Batman (1966) – The Purr-fect Crime, and Better Luck Next Time

Catwoman in the form of Julie Newmar makes her first appearance in the Batman series. She’s been mentioned, but it’s not until The Purr-fect Crime written by Stanley Ralph Ross and Lee Orgel, which aired on 16 March, 1966, that she actually showed up.

The famous cat burglar is off to cause a lot of trouble for Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) as she works to steal a pair of golden cat statuettes. She makes off with one, setting the stage for the Dynamic Duo to figure out her plan, and how to track her to her hideout. They’ll be ready when she attempts to steal the next gold statue.

Or will they?

Robin is rendered unconscious, and despite putting up a good fight, Catwoman and her gang escape with the statue. Just as Batman planned. They’ve sprayed it with a tracker and a quick jaunt in the Batmobile leads them to an aptly named warehouse, but Catwoman is expecting them and sets her own trap for them.

Robin is whisked away by a vacuum tube, after a couple of playful franks that Catwoman organizes and watches by video, but the episode leaves Batman in the lurch with a choice between the lady and the tiger.

What will happen?!

Newmar is completely enchanting as Catwoman, and it’s no surprise she was the first crush of a number of young viewers. The episode is playful, engaging in gags and its sense of fun (and use of stunt people) and the Caped Crusaders are just a hoot to watch!

Better Luck Next Time aired the following evening on 17 March, 1966 and was also penned by Ross and Orgel. Catwoman leaves Batman to his fate with the tiger, no sense paying attention, I mean it’s not like he can escape right? And in the interim, she goes to deal with Robin, leaving him dangling over a pair of hungry tigers ready to drop as soon as the time runs out!

But once again, why hang around?

Batman escapes with his knowledge of audio equipment (and a little explanation from narrator William Dozier) and then works his way through the labyrinthine hideout in search of Robin.

Of course, the heroes escape and with the recovered statues the pair dig into the history of Gotham City and discover that when the statues are put together, they reveal the location of the buried treasure of a famous pirate.

So it’s off to the caves and cliffs to catch up to Catwoman and stop her before she escapes (again). She takes off with the treasure, and a chase ensues, but when she comes to a chasm that Batman warns her again, she jumps across it, but eventually tumbles away down into the darkness.


Batman reminds us that cats are supposed to have nine lives, and something tells me we’ll be seeing this character again!

See you next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

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