Monday, May 30, 2016

Batgirl ABC TV Pilot 1967 - Just For the Hell of it Mondays

Now here's a fun one.

Following the second season of the Batman ('66) live-action television show, ABC was toying with the idea of spinning off a Batgirl series starring Yvonne Craig.  Rumor has it that ABC-TV execs were even considering dropping Burt Ward's Robin from the third season of the series and making Batgirl Batman's full-time partner!

How would our plucky librarian Ms. Gordon measure up to the might of the dynamic duo?  Let's find out...

We open with a look at the ladies of Gotham City.  Yup, the debutantes, nurses, stenographers... all those ladies doing ladies work (like debuting?)... why, they can even be librarians!

One such librarian is Barbara Gordon.  Here we observe her in her natural habitat, while she fetches a book on monarch butterflies for a very important patron, billionaire Bruce Wayne.  Bruce requires the information from the book to win a bet with a billionaire friend, Roger Something-or-another.

It's interesting seeing the two sorta-kinda flirt here.  She takes off her glasses and introduces herself as Commissioner Gordon's daughter... while Bruce smirks and offers that she'd been kept under wraps for far too long.

Book in hand, Bruce returns to his billionaire buddy (and Dick Grayson) and probably wins an island or two in their bet.  So involved are they in their bet that they fail to notice a table full of men wearing antennae on their heads literally two-feet away.

Among these buggers is longtime Bat-foe Killer Moth... who has designs on ol' Roger Whatshisface...

Moments pass, and Bruce and Dick take their leave.  As they pass the antenna-ed individuals, Bruce's young (Burt) ward offers that these geeks may have something to do with Killer Moth... great detective skills, boy wonder... especially considering that Killer Moth was never on the TV show to begin with.  Hell, maybe the Dynamic Duo fight crime even with the cameras off...

Shortly, it's closing time.  The elder librarian leaves Barbara to close up shop, and kick out all the folks just hanging around to use the lone clean public restroom in Gotham City.

After the scary lady leaves, the Moth(s) make their move...

Unfortunately for them, they chose to lock Ms. Gordon up in the one room in the entire library that she keeps her Batgirl gear in!

As the geeks tie up ol' Rog and ready themselves to flee... there's an explosion (!) in the doorway.  Batman and Robin have returned to save the day!

You just get the feeling their heart's not in it...
Following a brief fracas, the main Moth himself sprays the dynamic duo with cocoon fibers, leaving them stuck in a mass of goop.

Meanwhile, and completely without a sense of urgency... Barbara Gordon changes into her Batgirl togs.  She daintily hangs up her jacket, and wanders over and fetches her hat... it's really quite funny.

Several minutes (hours?  days?) later, Batgirl is finally ready to make her grand debut!  Maybe she is a debutante after all!

Once inside she makes short work of the Killer Moth gang, and even gets herself a few Batty fight-FX...

With the baddies kayoed, Batgirl turns her attention to her idol (and Robin).  She frees them with her laser-equipped make-up compact... that can destroy (literally) anything!

With the men now freed, the entire Bat-family leaps into action.  During the fight, Batman makes his way over to Batgirl, who is sitting seductively on the library counter, and asks just who she is.  She refuses to spill the beans, and when the dust settles has vanished from the scene!

Batman soliloquizes as only Adam West can... wondering if they'd just met a teammate... or a "crime-fighting rival".  In actuality, what they just met was the (rumored) reason their show was picked up for a third season... It is said that the ABC television executives were actually convinced to renew this program in part to the Batgirl character (and this very pilot).  So, we now know who to thank... or blame.

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