Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What might've been: Batgirl (1967)

In season 3 of Batman, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara, was added to the cast. Months earlier, she'd debuted in the pages of Detective Comics, and the resulting sales spike was such that William Dozier decided to bring Barbara (Yvonne Craig) and her alter-ego, Batgirl, on board. Initially, Dozier had intended on a solo series for the "dominoed dare-doll", but that didn't work out, and so Batgirl was added to Batman straight away as the season started.

Sadly, Batman was cancelled six months later, going on to a very long shelf life in syndication and, presently, on cable. The Batgirl pilot has surfaced on VHS, and has traded around the last few years. A number of years ago, I acquired the tape, which also included a teaser for another failed Dozier pilot, which we'll talk about another time, and an assortment of other stuff.

Killer Moth never made it onto Batman, but might've had this episode gone to air as a backdoor pilot. Coincidentally, Killer Moth was also Batgirl's first foe in that issue of Detective, so there is some correlation.

Enough chatter, let's let Dozier, as the narrator, introduce us to Batgirl.

After Batman's cancellation in March 1968, Dozier never produced another series, and, in fact, Batman was his only success. Later on this week, we'll take a look at some of his other failures.

Rating: A-.


magicdog said...

Killer Moth's costume was laughable - even by this show's campy standards!!

I always liked Yvonne Craig as Batgirl and I thought a spinoff might have been in the works when you see the Batman eps she appeared in.

Overall, she seemed to work well with the cast and unlike many subsequent TV incarnations of Batgirl, B&R never knew her secret identity!

It's a shame the series couldn't have gone another season. I think poor writing was partly to blame when Lorenzo Semple wasn't handling scripts anymore.

Too bad Dozier never sold another series. Sounds like he was blackballed. Whatever became of him? He was great as the show's announcer! You'd think we'd have at least heart his voice in other projects - or have we?

hobbyfan said...

As I wrote in the review on the Wonder Woman pilot, Dozier, Craig, & Burt Ward were brought together one final time for a PSA in 1971 or thereabouts. I'll find that and have it up soon. That would, however, be the last we'd hear from Dozier.