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Like many who grew up in the '60s and '70s (and perhaps even '80s and later), Tim and Paul had the course of their lives changed by the 1966 Batman TV show, from the types of play they did growing up to their present-day interests.

In this series, they discuss the show's allure and its failures, the arc of the show from satire to sitcom, its influences (the '40s serials and the comic books themselves) and the things it, in turn, influenced.

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Sep 16, 2021

In 1966, William Dozier’s Greenway Productions was riding high, seemingly on the verge of building a TV empire built on superheroes: first Batman, then the Green Hornet. Why not keep going in that direction? An entire pilot episode of Dick Tracy was made, starring Ray MacDonnell, and all signs point to Dozier having confidence that the show would be bought by NBC - but it wasn’t. Meanwhile, Greenway also made a test film for Wonder Woman, starring Ellie Wood Walker, with a script that would have been more more appropriate for a MAD parody.

While Dozier’s Wonder Woman experiment was NOT a success, the question lingers: Why wasn’t Dick Tracy picked up? We suggest some answers as we discuss both films in this episode.

Also, we head down to the Bat Research Lab to try to figure out what Lorenzo Semple Jr.’s Mr. Zero idea was all about; Burt Ward talks about “holys” and ad libs, a dog sings the Batman theme, and we read your mail about our “Mr. Freeze(s)” episode.

Mr. Zero test scene script

Dick Tracy TV Format document

Dick Tracy pilot

Jaime Weinman discuss the pilot in Maclean's

TV Obscurities on the Tracy pilot

Lon Chaney Jr. made up as Pruneface by makeup legend John Chambers (scroll down a bit)

The Dick Tracy TV-tie-in pinball machine

Wonder Woman test scene script

Wonder Woman test scene

Hollywood Reporter on the WW pilot

TV Obscurities on the WW pilot

Rebeat magazine on the Dozierverse

Thanks to Mr. Glee for the following articles (click to enlarge):

July 17, 1966: Signs of a budding Dozierverse, by Dean Gysel

June 9, 1965: NBC already looking into Dick Tracy (Variety)

November 17, 1965: NBC ready with Dick Tracy, whether Batman succeeds or not (Variety)

Batman test screenings: West & Ward vs. Waggoner & Deyell