The opening "Friendship Cake" Cutting Ceremony of the Prime Minister's Frienship Luncheon at the Republic of Moldavia Pavillion of the Gothan City World's Fair is disrupted when the cake explodes, dropping a riddle by mini-parachute. The riddle is delivered to Commissioner Gordon's office, where he, Chief O'Hara, Inspector Basch and several other members of the GCPD fail to solve it. The call goes out to the Dynamic Duo for their assistance.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is meeting with members of a committee for establishing anti-crime centers, which he wholeheartedly endorses. Alfred alerts Bruce of the call on the Batphone, and excuses himself to take his ward Dick Grayson fishing. Both go to Bruce's study, where they learn of the Riddler's riddle. Lifting the head of the Shakespeare bust and turning the dial within, Bruce and Dick reveal the Batpoles behind, and slide down them into action.
Arriving at the Batcave dressed in their crime-fighting garb, Batman and Robin jump into the Batmobile and head to Police Headquarters. There, they solve the riddle, "Why is an orange like a bell?" with the solution "They both can be peeled/pealed", leading them to track the villain to the Peale Art Gallery. When they arrive, the The Bat Phone in the car rings. Batman picks the phone up to hear a recorded riddle from the Riddler: "There are three men in a boat with four cigarettes but no matches. How do they manage to smoke?" Hanging up the phone and using a Batarang & Bat-Rope, they climb up to the Museum's main office. Here, they find the Prince of Puzzlers presumably holding a gun on the proprietor, Gideon Peale, and apparently stealing a valuable cross from him. But when the Dynamic Duo stops the Riddler’s "hold-up" and puts the Batcuffs on him, photographers show up and take pictures of the arrest. The crime-fighters learn that Riddler's gun is actually a lighter, and that the cross is in fact his own purchased property. Robin then realizes the answer to Riddler's riddle: "They threw one cigarette overboard and made the boat a cigarette lighter!" The Riddler immediately summons a team of lawyers, who promptly hand the Caped Crusader a subpoena--Riddler is going to sue him for $1 Million for false arrest! He also tells the Dynamic Duo, "After you've chewed over this one for a while, look for two more."
Later that evening, while combing through his father's law books in the library, Bruce watches a TV news report along with Dick and Alfred speculating on the success of the Riddler's lawsuit. Bruce's main worry is not the money, but that he may be forced to reveal his true identity in court, thus ending his and Dick's usefulness to Gotham as its secret defenders. Dick recalls the Riddler's closing words, suggesting two more hints to his caper may be hidden on the subpoena papers. Both men rush to the Batcave to analyze the document, discovering two more riddles. The first, "When is the time of a clock like the whistle of a train?" is answered "When it's two to 2...TOO TOO TOO!"; the second, "What has neither flesh, bone nor nail, yet has four fingers and a thumb?", with the answer "A glove!". The overall solution: 222 Glover Avenue, the location of the What a Way to Go-Go dance club.
Meanwhile, in the secret headquarters of the Molehill Mob (located in an abandoned subway tunnel), the Riddler alerts his henchmen and their moll Molly that Batman has had enough time to solve his riddles. Ducking out into a nearby tunnel, the gang use the subway tunnels to proceed to the club as well. As the Batmobile pulls up, the club's doorman tells Batman that Robin is too young to enter the club. Sensing a trap to separate them, Batman warily lets Robin park the Batmobile and monitor him via the Batscope. Batman enters the club to modest fanfare when he's approached at the bar by Molly with a problem: "Why is a quarrel like a bargain?". Ordering an orange juice, Molly answers her riddle, "It takes two to make it." The bartender--really Molehill Mob Boss Harry--delivers Batman's juice, which he's spiked with some form of drug. Molly asks Batman to dance after he downs the juice. The drugged juice makes him start to act strangely and do a weird dance before collapsing.
Out in the parking lot, Robin watches the goings-on in the club, unaware that the Riddler has popped out from a hidden manhole several parking spaces distant. Seeing Batman fall, he flips a cover over a sign on the Batmobile's console reading "ANTI-THEFT ACTIVATOR" to now read "START BUTTON". He then tries to leave the vehicle when Riddler delivers an airgun dart to his arm, knocking him out. Seeing the opportunity to steal the Batmobile, Riddler directs Molly and Harry to the manhole, while he jumps into the driver's seat and presses the "START BUTTON". Suddenly, fireworks shoot out of the exhaust pipes of the Batmobile, alerting everyone of the Riddler's machinations, most notably the police. He abandons the car, but has his henchman grab Robin and disappear into the manhole. He then throws an incendiary into the car attempting to incinerate it, but the built-in "Batostat Anti-Fire Activator" extinguishes it in due haste. He follows his mob into the manhole, just as police officers and a dazed Batman approach the Batmobile. Insisting that he must find Robin, Batman prepares to drive off, but the officers stop him, seeing that he's in no condition to drive. They then look up to see the Bat-Signal shine from Police Headquarters, and sadly back to the Dark Knight as they decide not to alert him of the light.
Back at the Molehill Mob HQ, a still-unconscious Robin is strapped to an operating gurney, where the Riddler presumably prepares to use a tray of various medical apparatus--most notably some very sharp scalpels--on the Boy Wonder. A vice grip around Robin's head is tightened, presumably to further hold him in place. The Riddler gloats that both he and Batman "...are set for the final bow."
- SPECIAL GUEST Jill St. John as Molly
- SPECIAL GUEST VILLAIN Frank Gorshin as The Riddler
- Allen Jaffe as Harry
- Michael Fox as Inspector Basch
- Damian O'Flynn as Gideon Peale
- Ben Astar as the Moldavian Prime Minister
- Jack Barry as the Newscaster
- Leon Alton as Fair Attendee
- Don Anderson as Fair Attendee
- Carl Christie as Club Maitre D'
- George DeNormand as Police Officer
- William Dozier as Voice of Maitre D'
- Catherine Ferrar as "Gleeps! It's Batman!" Dancer
- Stuart Hall as Police Officer
- Ethelreda Leopold as Observer Outside Club
- Hans Moebus as Police Officer
- Mike Morelli as Henchman
- Monty O'Grady as Observer Outside Club
- Richard Reeves as What a Way to Go Go Club Doorman
- Victor Romito as Lawyer
- Bernard Sell as Fair Attendee
- Carl Sklover as Police Officer
- Gotham City World's Fair, Republic of Moldavia Pavilion
- Peale Art Gallery
- Headquarters of the Molehill Mob
- What a Way to Go-Go
Used by Batman & RobinEdit
- Bat-Laser Gun to remove grating from Peale's office window
- Bat-Hook to hold grating after being cut
- Bat-Grenade for subduing Riddler during "hold-up"
- Bat-Hyper-Spectrograph Analyzer to scan the Riddler's subpoena for additional riddles
- Bat-Scope in Batmobile for Robin to keep tabs on Batman
Used by RiddlerEdit
- Pistol-shaped cigarette lighter during meeting with Gideon Peale
- Dart Gun to subdue Robin
There were no fight scenes in this episode, so no on-screen "sound effects" were used.
Holy Quotations! Edit
"Perhaps if there had been anti-crime centers of the type you now propose when my own parents were murdered by dastardly criminals..."
- - Bruce Wayne addressing the committee members
"Oh, there you are, Dick. Feel like a bit of fishing?"
"Holy barracuda! You mean--?" (looks over shoulder and sees Aunt Harriet, then camly replies) "Sure, Bruce, why not. Sounds swell."
- - Bruce and Dick Grayson before heading to the study
"Atomic batteries to power! Turbines to speed!"
"Roger! Ready to move out!"
- - Robin and Batman with their first utterance of those lines
"Holy ashtray! He did tip us off!"
- - 'Robin realizing the answer to Riddler's "cigarette lighter" riddle
"What is it that no man wants to have, but no man wants to lose?"
- - Riddler' and Robin just before Riddler serves the subpoena to Batman
"It's not the money, Alfred. It's the idea of it. My identity revealed...my value as a secret crime fighter ended...everything I've trained myself for since my parents were murdered...in the ash can. Gone. Up the chute."
- - Bruce ruminating over the possible repercussions of the Riddler's lawsuit
Cliffhanger Text Edit
WILL ROBIN ESCAPE???
CAN BATMAN FIND HIM IN TIME?
IS THIS THE GHASTLY END OF OUR DYNAMIC DUO???
SAME BAT-TIME!!! SAME BAT-CHANNEL!!!
THE WORST IS YET TO COME!
- This is the pilot episode for the Batman TV show. As such, it does not show the "BATMAN IN COLOR" opening card as subsequent episodes do.
- The story for this and the follow-up episode are based on the comic story "The Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler" from Batman #171 (May 1965), written by Gardner Fox. In that story, The Riddler is jealous of the attention Batman is giving The Mole Hill Mob, and arranges a trap so Batman will apprehend the gang and begin further focusing on the Riddler's activities.
- The opening footage of the Gotham City World's Fair is actual stock footage of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.
- No narrator's dialogue is used for the opening scenes of this episode. Instead, on-screen captions denote the World's Fair and Moldavian Pavilion. The narration from producer William Dozier is not used until the first scene in the Molehill Mob's HQ.
- Apparently, after the Moldavian Prime Minister cuts into the "Friendship Cake", he yells expletives in German rather than Romanian, which would be the tongue of people from Moldavia.
- Bruce makes one of the few mentions of his parents' death during the series in the scene where he meets with the anti-crime center committee. He mentions it again when commenting about the possible outcome of the Riddler's lawsuit.
- The look & layout of both Bruce's study and Commissioner Gordon's office differ from that of the rest of the series run.
- The back wall behind the Batpoles in this and the first few stories is a brick wall. In later episodes, it becomes a flat paneled wall.
- Commissioner Gordon meets with several members of the GCPD's upper echelon at the beginning of this episode rather than just Chief O'Hara.
- The opening theme does not include the "twiddle opening" with the rotating opening graphic. Also, the "punch stings" that normally come in when the credits show the Dynamic Duo punching out a group of thugs behind them play instead just when Adam West's screen credit appears. In addition, the "punch stings" during the onslaught of the second group of criminals (with Joker, Penguin and others) are absent.
- This is the only story in which a Guest Cast actor was listed with each episode's opening crawl as a "Special Guest", but not a "Special Guest Villain" (in this case, the listing for Jill St. John as Molly).
- Batman & Robin exit Commissioner Gordon's office by a side door rather than the usual front doors of the office.
- Bruce claims that he's looking through his father's old law books. However, according to established history, Bruce's father Thomas Wayne was a doctor, not a lawyer. This does not necessarily preclude the physician from having law books in his library; it's possible he had them to go over certain precedents to avoid malpractice lawsuits.
- This is the only time that Alfred is seen a tuxedo in the series, despite it being "standard" butler wear and the usual garb he sports in the comics.
- Much of the dialogue for the scenes in the library, the Batcave and outside of the club was re-used from the Screen Tests in which Adam West, Burt Ward, Lyle Waggoner and Peter Deyell tested for the series. The scenes changed slightly between the Screen Test and the broadcast episode:
- In the Screen Test, Dick Grayson is reading the story of the Riddler's lawsuit from a newspaper, rather than the characters hearing it over the television.
- Alfred was not part of the scene in the Screen Test. Some of the dialogue used was later given to him for the aired episode.
- Also, the mention of Robin's inability to enter the night club (due to his young age) happened at the end of the Batcave scene in the Test, rather than in the subsequent scene outside the club in the broadcast episode.
- The Newscaster in this episode is played by Jack Barry, best known prior to that time as the host of the infamously-rigged 1950s game show TWENTY ONE. It would not be until 1972 that he made a regular return to US television game shows co-creating and hosting the perennial favorite THE JOKER'S WILD, which he hosted until his death in May of 1984.
- In this episode, Robin's gloves are made of the same green material used for his tights. Later in the series, his gloves are made of green leather.
- This episode is the first appearance of the infamous Batusi, which Batman performs while dancing with Molly. The dance is never identified by name in the episode, but is called the Batusi by narrator William Dozier during the recap that opens the next episode.
- This episode also marks the first usage of the Bat Signal. According to one of the police officers, it's located atop Gotham City Hall.