Monday, July 30, 2012

Batman in the 1970s Part 29: January, February and March 1974

by Jack Seabrook &
                                        Peter Enfantino

Detective Comics 438 (January 1974)

"A Monster Walks Wayne Manor"
Story by Archie Goodwin
Art by Jim Aparo

A huge beast seems to be stalking Wayne Manor and when Alfred is attacked by the apparition, Bruce Wayne calls in ghostbuster Dr. Vanov. Turns out the monster is Ubu, servant of Ra’s Al Ghul, who has survived the huge explosion that ostensibly killed Ra’s. Knowing Batman’s true identity, Ubu travels to America to kill Bruce Wayne.

PE: Archie Goodwin slips easily into the writer's role here and steals a little trick from Roy Thomas' bag: he goes back a ways and ties up a few loose ends. What ever happened to Ubu that fateful day? It's a fun story, very much like the quasi-supernatural fare Denny O'Neil serves us now and then, but without any of the Scooby Doo elements. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say "A Monster Walks Wayne Manor" was, at least in part, inspired by Richard Matheson's novel, Hell House. I'm a Jim Aparo neophyte but I'm eager to see more. He's got a Neal Adams vibe to him and that can't be bad. I can't think of poor Ubu without thinking of that annoying "Sit, Ubu, Sit" at the end of each episode of Family Ties.

Jack: I'm glad I wasn't the only one who made the Ubu connection. There is so much junk in my head! I loved the atmosphere in this story and felt like we were right back in O'Neil/Adams territory. I also love the Mike Kaluta cover with the main scene in a circle and the heads along the bottom.

"The Manhunter File: Chapter Two"
Story by Archie Goodwin
Art by Walt Simonson

Interpol agent Christine St. Clair continues her pursuit of the elusive assassin known as Manhunter.

PE: I have no idea where this series is going. At times I have no idea what the heck I'm reading. All I know is that, amidst seven pagers featuring Robin and his hippy buddies and reprints about Batman's secret twin brother, Manhunter's got my full attention. By this point in the story, it's hard to tell whether it's the costumed Paul Kirk or the (equally costumed) Christine St. Clair for whom the series is named. I still find it hard to believe a strip like this got green-lit outside of a zine like Epic or Heavy Metal. It's unlike anything in "mainstream" comics at the time. Since those venues didn't exist yet and a crummy back-up spot in a fading title probably wouldn't ruffle feathers, Archie took what he was given. It helps he was the editor of Detective at the time.

Jack: I was happy to see the use of the Japanese Shuriken, known to 1970s kids like me as a Ninja star. I can't remember if this Manhunter series came before or after Marvel's Master of Kung Fu, but I do remember loving it all--my dad used to take me and my little sister to grindhouses in Newark, NJ, to see kung fu movies on weekends. No wonder I'm nuts. As for the Manhunter story, I love Simonson's creative panel and page designs and I agree with Peter that the art is unique for its time.

PE:  Reprint stories include “World of the Magic Atom” wherein The Atom teams with Zatanna to defeat the Druid and release her father Zatara the Magician. In “The Men Who Moved the World,” Hawkman and Hawkgirl must fight three aliens who have shifted earth out of its orbit and sent it towards the sun. Not being a follower of Hawk-lore, I was completely lost while reading this story. It’s easy to see that a science fiction writer (Gardner Fox) was the author since he populates his story with words and objects like “Thanagarian Duplicator,” “Transi-Globe,” and “Protonic Lancer.” What’s funny is that the editor bothers to asterisk only one word: Taxonomy. Obviously, eleven year-olds know what an “Orbitron Machine” is but not the word signifying the science of Biological Classification. The story, by the way, is fascinating – the three aliens turn out to be of an ancient race that came to earth twelve thousand years ago and founded their home of Lansinar. When another planet “entered our solar system it passed near Earth, altering the world’s axis so that the tropics became the frozen arctic,” thus burying Lansinar under tons of ice. The three were placed in suspended animation until the day they could awaken and put the world back the way it was. None of this confuses me, but I must confess I couldn’t figure out what Hawkgirl’s real name is, since it’s mentioned several times as both “Shayera” and “Shiera.” Art is by the magical Joe Kubert, best known for his DC war stories. To round out this massive package, we get a limp Dynamic Duo reprint, "Gotham Gang Line-Up" (from Detective #328, June 1964) and a sleep-inducing Green Lantern tale (with a rare sub-par art job from Gil Kane) from the same year.

One of many reasons to love Gil Kane!
Jack: I liked the Atom story because of the gorgeous Gil Kane art. Boy, can he draw beautiful girls! I found his art less mannered than it would be later in the decade over at Marvel (the Atom story is from 1965). I also enjoyed being reminded of Zatanna's method of casting spells by saying all of the words backwards. I have not had a lot of success with this myself. I thought the Hawkman story was boring, despite Kubert's stellar art. The Batman story is notable only because Alfred appears to get killed off and Aunt Harriet moves in to take his place. I agree that the Green Lantern story is weak and below-average Kane.

PE: This is as good a time as any to discuss Archie Goodwin as editor. One only has to read the editorial in the "Batman's Hot Line" letters section of #438 to get an idea that Goodwin treated his readers with respect. It's almost as though he imagined his audience to be, God forbid, near voting age rather than barely able to read. In the editorial, Goodwin explains in detail why DC has initiated the 100-page format:

There's also a letter from Mike Shoemaker of New York telling (the editor) what's wrong with Detective Comics and why its sales are sliding. It's an excellent analysis, one that highlights all the problems Jack and I have discussed about the Batman books. The back-ups, the artists ("Have good artists [by good, I mean everyone but Frank Robbins, Don Heck, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella..."]), everything. Archie addresses Shoemaker's issues (at times, admittedly, toeing the party line) and offers up hope for the future. Since we know that future will only last a year, we can hope that the man who takes over the vacancy learns a few lessons from Archie Goodwin.

Jack: Note that Peter only selected the letter that agreed with us to single out. Another letter writer this issue praises Frank Robbins and the Jason Bard series.

PE: That was the only letter that mattered, Jack.

Batman 254 (February 1974)

"King of the Gotham Jungle!"
Story by Frank Robbins
Art by Irv Novick & Dick Giordano

Scientist Kirk Langstrom decides he can control his Man-Bat alter-ego and helps Batman defeat a gang of burglars.

PE: Seems as though Man-Bat was a character that Frank Robbins just could not get a handle on. Is he friend or foe? Here he seems to be almost re-booted, with his ever-present wife absent. We don't even see Langstrom take his potion, he's just suddenly there to help fight crime with Batman. Whereas in the past, The Dark Knight has been forceful in his refusal to take on a mutant as a sometime partner, here he almost shrugs and sighs "Why not?" It's in this issue that we learn that Batman has gained super powers. How else to explain his leap from a rooftop into his waiting Batmobile? A ludicrous scene in a series that, for the most part, is grounded in reality. And it looks like Frank Robbins has been hitting the beatnik lounges again. From Batman's excited proclamations, "I've been jobbed!" to the final descriptive "Heavy!" the dialogue is about six to ten years' tired.

Jack: Batman introduces each of the stories in this issue with appropriate comments. For this one, he says "Listen, gang!" and tells "a swinging story of today!" At the end, the narrator (presumably still Batman) remarks that the Caped Crusader and Man-Bat make a "winning combo." While this story would have been average in the 1973 world of Batman, it pales beside what's been going on in Detective since Goodwin and Aparo took over.

"The Phenomenal Memory of Luke Graham!"
Story by Elliott S. Maggin
Art by Dick Dillin & Murphy Anderson

When a cab driver is killed by some holdup men, Robin taps the memory of a fellow college student to help solve the crime.

PE: It would just be repeating myself to say the Robin back-ups are a waste of good timber but just to prove I actually made it through the whole thing (I get some kind of reward for that, don't I?), I will say that Elliott S. Maggin seems to be aiming his story at the Spidey Super Stories crowd. Silly, inane, juvenile, all this and more in only seven pages.

Jack: The backup series in Detective is much better at this point. It seems evident that Archie Goodwin, the editor of Detective, is aiming at a more teenaged reader than Julius Schwartz does with Batman.

The Fabulous Forties
PE: In addition to the 20 pages of new material, we get five Batman reprints. I used to think, when I was a wee lad, that the 100-page Detective was a rip-off because we got a lot of non-Batman stories. Who wanted to read about The Atom, Hawkman, and all the other boring DC characters of yesteryear? Funny thing is, I now look forward to reading the non-Bats material in Detective and cringe at the "classic reprints" on display in the 100-page Batman. Most of the fifties and sixties Batman and Robin tales are just dreadful. I don't mind the art so much but trying to read these things is a nightmare. Especially those "alternate reality Batman stories" or whatever they call them (Elseworlds?).

The Furious Fifties
Jack: The reprints in this issue provide a good lesson in the development of Batman comics from The Fabulous Forties (as Batman calls them in his introduction to a story from 1941) to The Swinging Seventies. The Golden Age story features primitive storytelling by Bill Finger and rudimentary art by Bob Kane, though it has a visceral power that I find appealing.

PE: In "The Witch and the Manuscript of Doom," a villain named "The Witch" murders mystery writer Erik Dorne and steals a manuscript he was working on. Batman and Robin discover that "the Witch" is actually Dorne's publisher, who's got a side job printing "subversive literature" extolling the virtues of the "fatherland." Dorne had discovered his publisher's secret and was blackmailing him. One of those strange one-off villains who really has no reason to be costumed in the first place.

The Sizzling Sixties
Jack: The Furious Fifties are represented by a story drawn by Dick Sprang, whose art is an improvement in technique over Kane's. The story is also more developed, though still for kids. From The Sizzling Sixties we get a goofy story with a villain named The Grasshopper, demonstrating the wrong turn that the series took just as Marvel Comics were getting off the ground.

PE: In our trip to The Fifties, The Dynamic Duo belong to an elite Gotham Club called "The Bullet Hole Club," members of which must be shot and able to produce the bullet to join! The Sixties reprint, "The Man Who Stole From Batman" is noteworthy for two reasons: the first appearance of The Grasshopper(s) and also the first mention of "The Outsider," a presence that would be felt throughout a series of Bats stories in the 60s, culminating in the ludicrous resurrection of Alfred Pennyworth. 

PE: I got the most enjoyment out of the silliest yarn in the package, "The Son of the Joker" (reprinted from Batman #145, February 1962).  Alfred decides he's going to chronicle the events in the life of a future Batman and Robin, the jobs taken over by, respectively, Dick Grayson and the fruit of a marriage between Bruce Wayne and Kathy Kane (the original Batwoman), Bruce Wayne Jr. When a costumed clown claiming to be the son of The Joker terrorizes Gotham (well, terrorizes in a 1960s Comics Code fashion), the retired Bruce Wayne puts on his cowl one more time to visit the aged and similarly out-to-pasture Joker. Bats finds the Clown Prince of Crime watering his flowers and is quickly invited in for a glass of lemonade. Though The Joker claims he's just as appalled at this new villain claiming to be his son, we all know better. Most of us have read The Dark Knight Returns and know The Joker will never retire. Sure enough, we find out that the old man is behind the new kid in town (not actually his son, but I was hoping we'd get to hear who the lucky lady was) and, with a little help from the other old man, Batman II and Robin II defeat the gang and return Gotham to peaceful nights.

Jack: Not surprisingly, the Joker tale was my favorite as well. One great touch is how the Joker's hair is going gray, though some green remains. I was not clear on who Robin II was. One part of the story seems to say that Bruce Wayne Jr. is Batman II, but another says that there are three generations of the Wayne family battling the Joker and his son. Does this make Robin II the son of Batman II--that is, Batman's grandson?

Most intriguing was the column, Behind the Scenes at the DC Comic World, where we learn of the Comicmobile, a van that drove around parts of New Jersey and Long Island selling DC comics to kids who couldn't find them at the store. A great article about this short-lived phenomenon can be found here.

Detective Comics 439 (March 1974)

"Night of the Stalker"
Story by Steve Englehart
Art by Vin & Sal Amendola and Dick Giordano

In an incident eerily reminiscent of his childhood tragedy, Batman watches as robbers murder a couple in front of their young son. Driven by revenge and perhaps slipping into a psychotic state, The Dark Knight stalks the killers, one by one.

PE: Wow! Coming so quickly on the heels of The Joker story (back in Batman #251), here's another grim fable that pulls no punches. A very Dark Knight on view here, mixing horror and noir. Just when you think you've seen the origin story done once too often, a writer as adroit as Steve Englehart gives it an extra knifing and a couple twists. The Amendolas' art is rough, almost primitive, but it has a wonderful Val Mayerik vibe to it and they shoot right to second place on my favorite Batman artist list after only one appearance! On his website, Steve Englehart  reveals that it was editor Archie Goodwin's idea to have Batman remain silent throughout the entire story (he utters not one word) and, though the writer protested, he now looks back on  the story as "some of my favorite writing."

Jack: The Amendolas also get a plotting credit and the story is said to be from an incident as described by Neal Adams. Did the great Mr. Adams see someone get shot outside a bank? Or did he see Batman almost get drowned in a swamp? I need to know! I was really impressed by the Amendolas' art on this story. Batman is presented as an avenging angel and he never says a word. Englehart's writing is excellent as well.

PE: That "inspired by Neal Adams" credit is a joke. Archie reveals in the letters page of Tec #441 that Vin Amendola once overheard Adams remark that he'd love to read a Batman story with a "fight in the water." Yep, that's it. Imagine all the six year old kids who should have got an inspiration credit in the 1950s when they wrote in to DC asking for stories where Batman fights dinosaurs, mirror images, and giant peacocks!

"The Resurrection of Paul Kirk"
Story by Archie Goodwin
Art by Walt Simonson

Christine St. Clair's continent-hopping pursuit of Paul Kirk leads her to Marakech (sic) and the wounded object of her travels. Prompted by her request for information, Kirk tells the Interpol agent of his origin: a 1940s superhero asked by his government to retire. Unable to give up the adventure, he became a big game hunter in Africa where he met his fate at the tusks of a bull-elephant. Though technically dead, he is put in a cryogenic sleep for 25 years and thawed out by the brilliant Dr. Mykros, a surgeon and member of the mysterious "Council," a group comprised of the world's top ten brains. The goal of the "Council" is to "save the human race from itself." Kirk soon learns that a small army of killing machines has been cloned from his DNA and that fighting force will soon be used against him.

PE: What an incredibly intricate and fascinating puzzle we have here, one whose pieces are starting to come together. It's a shame that, looking back as I can 40 years later, the series will only last just a handful of installments. Goodwin does a grand job of tying his Manhunter in with the 1940s version (albeit providing his character with a bridging device "borrowed" from Marvel's Captain America) and capping it with a nice Ludlum-esque twist at the climax.

Jack: The series is beginning to make sense, so now we don't just have great writing and great art but also a plot we can follow. The Manhunter in flashback sure looks like the Simon & Kirby one from the 40s. The poor guy was brought back to life only to have to fight off an army of clones of himself!

Sure looks like Simon & Kirby's Manhunter to us!

Jack: The reprints are a mixed bag as usual. The Hawkman story is early Kubert art (1948) featuring The Ghost, a recurring Hawkman villain who always made me nervous. That floating top hat and monocle always freaked me out. The Atom story is another Time Pool adventure with tepid Kane art from 1964. The real treats are a Dr. Fate story from 1941 and a Kid Eternity story from 1946. I loved both of these Golden Age characters, who were revived in the Justice League comics beginning in the 60s. There is also a Batman reprint from 1965 and an Elongated Man story from 1966, neither of which deserves comment.

PE: The Golden Age art on the Dr. Fate (Howard Sherman) and Kid Eternity (Pete Riss) stories is worth four bits alone!

Neil Young guest stars as the witch.

Infantino's Zatanna

Great Golden Age splash page!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shatner Meets Hitchcock Part Two: Alfred Hitchcock Presents "Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?" PLUS Mini Episode Guide to Shatner Meets Hitchcock

by Jack Seabrook

The title of the short story, “Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?” is based on a nursery rhyme, but the story concerns themes that are decidedly adult. Told in the third person by an omniscient narrator, the tale follows John Tuthill Crane, a 36-year-old mama’s boy who is on vacation at a resort hotel in Maine, missing his mother. As he practices the piano in the resort’s large recreation hall, a young woman approaches and asks him why he plays “like an old woman.” She sits down and plays the same piece with virility. Crane, it seems, was stricken with polio at age 18, and his imperfect form is contrasted with that of the young woman, whose beauty “seemed too close, as if a figure in a canvas was leaning out of its frame.” She is an Austrian emigrant who works in the resort’s gift shop.

The young woman, whose name is Lotte Rank, represents the possibility of a life beyond his mother and wants to take him to see a waterfall up a nearby mountain. Afraid to miss his mother’s nightly call at 8:30, he agrees to go later. Together, John and Lotte climb to the waterfall. Crane views everything that happens to him with the perspective of the cultured education that his mother has directed—his looks are almost Byronic, he plays Prokofieff and Debussy, he mentally compares Lotte to a painting by Trepolo or Delacroix, and when he is with her he thinks of her as La Belle Dame Sans Merci, after the poem of the same name by John Keats.

Torn between the safety of his mother and the risk of Lotte, John thinks “how Claire would like this”; he refers to his mother by her first name, demonstrating an uncomfortable level of familiarity. When he tells Lotte about Claire, however, the young woman calls her a “cannibal mother” who eats her young. Lotte leads John into the water, nude, quoting the nursery rhyme of the story's title when she tells him to “hang your clothes on a hickory limb,” but this time, unlike the mother of the rhyme who tells her child to stay away from the water, Lotte draws John into the life-restoring pool.

William Shatner and Gia Scala
The next day, shame causes John to avoid Lotte as he waits for his mother’s telephone call. That night, he and Lotte return to the waterfall and he again thinks of the Keats poem, remembering the line “And then I closed her wild, wild eyes with kisses four” and applying it to his situation. To John, Lotte is the woman from the poem--an enchantress who enthralls a knight--but this flesh and blood woman does not leave John “alone and palely loitering,” as in “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” Instead, her enchantment is delirious, not evil, and with her even his musical tastes change from the conservative Debussy to the more adventurous Schoenberg. John’s loyalties become divided and he begins to think of his mother as The Enemy. After a week of nights spent with Lotte, he misses his 8:30 PM call for the first time; when he returns to his room and his mother calls at 2 AM, she is angry and hurt. Lotte tells John that she wants to marry him but he fears his mother would disinherit him. Lotte begins to express her wish that Claire were dead; her devotion to John and her hunger for him seem to be prying him away from his mother’s emotional hold.

Claire telegraphs that she is coming to visit and Lotte suggests a trip to the waterfall, where they can push Claire over the precipice and it will look like an accident. Claire arrives the next day and, after dinner, the trio hike up to the waterfall. “For the first time in several days, [John] was reminded of his lameness” as his mother’s presence begins to sap his masculine will. At the waterfall, he pushes one of the women to her death. We only learn which one at the end of the story, as he relaxes in his room after an inquest has concluded that the death was accidental. Unfortunately for John, he killed Lotte and chose to stay with Claire, ensuring that he will never escape his mother’s domination.

Shatner and Jessie Royce Landis
The short story was written by Hugh C. Wheeler and Richard C. Webb and first published in the July 1948 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine under the pseudonym of Q. Patrick. James P. Cavanagh adapted it for television and it was broadcast on Alfred Hitchcock Presents on April 10, 1960, during the show’s fifth season. Cavanagh kept the basic plot of the short story but made significant changes in its form in order to build suspense and flesh out characters and details.

The program begins with a framing scene that it will return to at the conclusion, as John Crane sits at the inquest following the death of an unknown person. Unlike the story, the show is narrated in the first person by Crane, and we hear his thoughts as the action unfolds onscreen. He tells the viewer, “I am a murderer,” and the suspense begins as we are left to wonder who he killed and why.

The scene then flashes back to one in Crane’s apartment, which is actually a private section of his mother’s house, where Claire helps John pack for his first trip without her and they share a farewell drink. He and his mother banter and he kisses her cheek with an affection that seems overly loving for a son toward his mother. This scene shows the uncomfortably close relationship between the two but it also portrays John as much more of a vibrant bachelor than in the story, where he is an effete cripple when he first encounters Lotte.

Gia Scala
John meets Lotte in the resort gift shop on his second day there and they flirt; the first trip to the waterfall follows and screenwriter Cavanagh updates Lotte’s history to make it fit the date (1960) and her age—instead of having left Austria in 1938, as in the story, she remained in Germany during and after the war until she could save enough money to emigrate. She talks of the satisfaction of working for what she has, in contrast to John, who gladly takes everything his mother gives him. The teleplay is bereft of the sort of cultural references that pepper the story; John thinks of the waterfall as having “a kind of enchantment,” but there is no reference to the Keats poem. John’s relationship with his mother is once again suspect when he tells Lotte that she is coming to visit and he describes her as young, gay and pretty.

Lotte and John share a dance in the empty dining room at the hotel; he proposes marriage at the waterfall and returns to his room, only to find his mother there waiting for him. There is no angry telephone call, as in the story—in the show, she appears as if by magic. She tells John that she looks forward to meeting his friend Lotte but hides her stricken look behind his back. John returns immediately to the intimate relationship he had shared with Claire before he left on his trip. They share breakfast and he lights two cigarettes, giving one to her. The scene is presented as if they are lovers who have spent the night together.

By the waterfall
In a key scene absent from the story, Claire visits Lotte in the gift shop, knowing full well who the young woman is but not revealing her own identity as she obliquely insults the immigrant by suggesting that she wants to marry John in order to gain American citizenship. Lotte later joins John and Claire for tea and recognizes the woman from the gift shop as her lover’s mother; an awkward scene follows and Lotte excuses herself as Claire chats with John, who has no idea that his mother has already insulted his girlfriend. At the waterfall again, Lotte and John argue and she urges him to tell Claire of their engagement. Back at the hotel, John sits like a dog at Claire’s feet and does not have the nerve to tell her about his plans.

The problem comes to a head as Lotte tells John she intends to go away unless he tells Claire about their decision to marry. She suggests taking Claire to the waterfall to tell her the news; John thinks (in voiceover narration) that Lotte wants Claire killed there, but she does not express this directly. Back at the waterfall, the women lean over the edge to admire the view and John rushes forward to shove one of them to her death. We see a female body fall to its death in a long shot that is surprisingly graphic.

Jessie Royce Landis
The show then returns to the present and the frame story of the inquest; as the death is ruled accidental, the camera pulls back to reveal Claire comforting John as they head for home, his disabling limp more noticeable than ever before.

Despite a strong cast and crew, “Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?” is not terribly suspenseful because its ending is never in doubt. John is so weak and so devoted to Claire that it is hardly surprising when he chooses to murder Lotte.

Writer James P. Cavanagh (1922-1971) wrote 15 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and also adapted the first episode of Thriller,  “The Twisted Image.” “Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?” was directed by Alfred Hitchcock Presents regular Herschel Daugherty, who directed 24 episodes of the half-hour series (including “The Cream of the Jest” and “The Cure”) and three episodes of the hour series (including “A Home Away From Home”).

Hugh C. Wheeler (1912-1987) and Richard W. Webb (1901-1966), who wrote the story on which the show was based, used the pseudonyms Q. Patrick, Patrick Quentin, and Jonathan Stagge. They wrote many novels together and won an Edgar Award for The Ordeal of Mrs. Snow (1961), a collection of stories in which this one was included. Although the story had been published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine under the name of Q. Patrick, the collection was published under the name of Patrick Quentin. Wheeler also wrote the books for Broadway shows, winning Tony Awards for A Little Night Music (1973), Candide (1974), and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979). “The Ordeal of Mrs. Snow,” the story that lent its title to the authors’ collection, was adapted for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and was broadcast on April 14, 1964.

The cast of “Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?” included William Shatner, who was born in March 1931 and was likely 28 years old when this show was filmed (the character of John Crane was 36 in the story). A look at Shatner’s hair (or lack thereof) in this episode can be found here, were the author posits that this is one of the first shows where Shatner wore a toupee. In Shatner’s autobiography, he mentions this episode, commenting that “On Alfred Hitchcock Presents I pushed my wife off a cliff instead of my mother-in-law,” a summary that is not entirely accurate. Shatner's performance in this episode does not fit the character very well; he is too much of the bon vivant/young bachelor and not enough of the sheltered young man. Lotte should bring him out of his shell, but his personality does not evolve in the course of the episode. His final thrust toward the women at the waterfall features the sort of overacting that would later become his trademark.

The lovely Gia Scala (1934-1972) appeared twice on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and once on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, in “The Sign of Satan.” She was in movies and on TV from 1955-1969 and she died tragically at a young age. Read more about Gia Scala here.

Finally, Jessie Royce Landis (1896-1972) plays Claire, John Crane’s mother. Landis was a delightful actress who is best remembered for her roles in Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (1955) and North by Northwest (1959). She was in movies from 1930, on TV from 1951, and on stage for much of her career. In “Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?” she plays a role that is very similar to the one she played as the mother of Cary Grant’s character in North By Northwest, which had been released to great acclaim the year before. She did not appear in any other episodes of the Hitchcock TV series.

“Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?” is available on DVD or can be viewed online.

Shatner Meets Hitchcock Mini Episode Guide:

Episode title-“The Glass Eye”
Series-Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Broadcast date- 6 October 1957
Teleplay by- Stirling Silliphant
Based on-“The Glass Eye” by John Keir Cross
First print appearance-The Other Passenger: Eighteen Strange Stories (1944)
Watch episode
Available on DVD?-Yes

Episode title-“Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?”
Series-Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Broadcast date- 10 April 1960
Teleplay by- James P. Cavanagh
Based on-“ Mother, May I Go Out To Swim” by Q. Patrick
First print appearance-Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (July 1948)
Notes-see above
Watch episode
Available on DVD?-Yes

COMING IN TWO WEEKS: An eight-part series on Ray Bradbury’s contributions to Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour!


"The FictionMags Index." The FictionMags Index. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2012. <>.

"Galactic Central." Galactic Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2012. <>.

Grams, Martin, and Patrik Wikstrom. The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion. Churchville, MD: OTR Pub., 2001. Print.

IMDb., n.d. Web. 23 July 2012. <>.

Keats, John. "La Belle Dame Sans Merci." The Oxford Book of English Verse. Ed. Christopher Ricks. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999. 400-01. Print.

"'Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?'" Alfred Hitchcock Presents. CBS. 10 Apr. 1960. Television.

Quentin, Patrick. "Mother, May I Go Out To Swim?" Twentieth Century Detective Stories. New York: Popular Library, 1964. 112-26. Print.

Shatner, William, and David Fisher. Up till Now: The Autobiography. New York: St. Martin's, 2008. Print.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 23 July 2012. <>.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Batman in the 1970s Part 28: 1973 Wrap-Up

by Peter Enfantino &
Jack Seabrook

The year 1973 saw changes for the Batman series, as Neal Adams nearly vanished from the scene and low sales figures caused a cutback in the publication schedules of both Batman and Detective Comics. In fact, Detective had been a monthly publication since its debut in 1937 and its conversion to a bi-monthly with the issue cover-dated July 1973 must have been a significant blow to the publisher whose name had originally stemmed from this series.

The 20-cent cover price and 36-page length that had taken effect in mid-1972 continued throughout 1973. Detective was published monthly from January to April, then bi-monthly from July to November. Cover dates were July, September and November, while dates in the indicia were June-July, August-September, and October-November—undoubtedly to keep the comics looking fresh on the newsstands for as long as possible. The actual dates the issues appeared seem to have been about two months before the earliest dates in the indicia; e.g., the October-November issue, with a cover date of November, came out in August.

This means that only 7 issues of Detective were published with 1973 cover dates. Each issue featured a Batman lead story running 12 to 16 pages and a backup story running 7 to 9 pages. Covers were drawn by Dick Giordano (3), Mike Kaluta (2), Nick Cardy (1) and Jim Aparo (1). The Batman lead stories were written by Frank Robbins (5), Denny O’Neil (1) and Archie Goodwin (1). Pencils were by Irv Novick (3), Bob Brown (2), Dick Dillin (1) and Aparo (1). Inks were by Giordano (3), Murphy Anderson (2) Frank Giacoia (1) and Aparo (1).

Backup stories included two featuring Jason Bard, written by Frank Robbins and drawn by Don Heck and Murphy Anderson (1) and Robbins (1). Other characters featured in backup stories (one each) were The Atom, written by Elliot Maggin and drawn by Anderson, Hawkman, written by E. Nelson Bridwell and drawn by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano, Elongated Man, written by Maggin and drawn by Giordano, and Manhunter, written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Walt Simonson.

A one-page letters column called Batman’s Hot Line was included in each issue. Julius Schwartz was the editor until he was replaced by Archie Goodwin with the November issue. Guests in the Batman stories included Shotgun Smith (issue 436) and The Spook (issues 434 & 435). Disappointingly, Neal Adams contributed no covers or interior art to Detective in 1973.

Batman remained monthly except for four months, as it had been in 1972, but the four months changed after the April issue, from January/March/July/November to March/May/August/December. This resulted in no issues of Batman or Detective being published in May, August or December 1973. It also resulted in only 7 issues of Batman coming out with 1973 cover dates: February, April, June, July, September, October and November.

Batman covers were drawn by Giordano (3), Kaluta (2), Cardy (1) and Adams (1). Each issue featured a lead story about Batman, running from 11 to 24 pages, and sometimes a backup story about Robin, running 6 to 8 pages. One issue also included a 6-page Batman backup story. Batman tales were written by O’Neil (5) or Robbins (4), with pencils by Novick (5), Giordano (2), Brown (1) or Adams (1) and inks by Giordano (8) or Adams (1).

The backup stories were all written by Maggin (4), with pencils by Novick (2), Brown (1) or Dillin (1) and inks by Frank McLaughlin (3) or Giordano (1). Julius Schwartz stayed on as editor all year and each issue had a one-page letters column called Letters to the Batman. The October and November issues also included a one-page column entitled Behind the Scenes at the DC Comic World; it included inside information and was probably an attempt to duplicate Marvel’s Bullpen Bulletins.

While neither Ra’s al Ghul nor Man-Bat appeared in 1973, the Joker made a triumphant return in the O’Neil/Adams full-length collaboration in issue 251. This was easily the highlight of the 14 issues of Batman and Detective in 1973. The appearance would thankfully open the door to the return of The Rogues' Gallery in 1974.

A sign of things to come was seen in the two Batman 100-Page Super-Spectaculars issued in 1973 as DC-14 and DC-20. Each featured a cover by Nick Cardy and was all-reprint, with three Batman stories per issue. Meanwhile, Batman continued to appear regularly in The Brave and the Bold, The Justice League of America, and World’s Finest. The covers to those comics were drawn by Cardy or Aparo and a few are featured to illustrate this article.

1973 was not a strong year for Batman, but exciting things were happening at DC; new or reprint series such as Shazam, Plop, Wanted, and Secret Origins brought back great stories from the Golden Age and sometimes revived long-forgotten characters. 1974 would see more big changes for the two Batman series, as they would be converted to bi-monthly 100-Page Super Spectaculars.

Best and worst of 1973:

Jack & Peter:

Best writer-Denny O’Neil

Best artist-Neal Adams

Best story: "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge" (Batman #251)

Worst Batman story: "The Night Has A Thousand Fears" (Detective #436). Believe us, it was hard to come up with just one!

Worst non-Batman story (Peter): "The Immortals of Usen Castle" (Batman #248). Starring Robin!

Worst non-Batman story (Jack): "Case of the Dead-On Target!" (Detective 435). Our favorite artist illustrates his own Jason Bard script!

Best reprinted story (Peter): "The Origin of Two-Face" (DC Super-Spectacular DC-20)

Worst writer & artist-Frank Robbins 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Batman in the 1970s Part 27: November and December 1973

by Jack Seabrook 
Peter Enfantino

Batman 253 (November 1973)

"Who Knows What Evil -- ?"
Story by Denny O'Neil
Art by Irv Novick & Dick Giordano

Batman foils a gang of counterfeiters unloading funny money at the Gotham Freight Yards and is helped by an unseen marksman with an echoing laugh. Bruce Wayne follows the money trail to Tumbleweed Crossing, Arizona, where unruly hippies have been wreaking weekly havoc. Bruce meets Lamont Cranston, a scientist who is staying at the same hotel, then Batman journeys out into the desert, where a shadowy figure shoots down the counterfeiters’ plane before they get away. The unseen marksman helps Batman dispatch the leader of the gang, then meets him back at the Gotham Freight Yards at midnight and reveals himself as The Shadow.

That's quite a cape, Batman!
PE: The Bat cape grows to even more idiotic lengths, this time as long as the car he's driving. Obviously, Bruce Wayne never read the biography of Isadora Duncan. The "big surprise" reveal of The Shadow, who's kept in the shadows until page 14, might have been a bit more... surprising... had the character not been featured so prominently on both cover and splash. The story itself is just another bad crime drama about counterfeit dough that could very easily have been authored by Frank Robbins. Why would Batman jump to the conclusion that his hidden ally is The Shadow based only on maniacal laughter? Why couldn't it be The Joker setting up Bats for a fall?

Jack: I think the marksmanship was what led Batman to deduce that The Shadow might be the laugher. Plus, he has a deeper voice than the Joker.

PE: Once again, when the bad guy is revealed, he turns out to be the only other supporting character introduced in the story. Haven't O'Neil or Robbins read Agatha Christie? If you want a reveal to be shocking, you need a few more characters. I'll go out on a limb and say the only reason this story exists is to give the debut issue of The Shadow, which was on sale the same time as Batman 253, a push. Denny O'Neil wrote ten of the twelve issues of the 1973-75 series. I'm assuming that O'Neil, Giordano, and Novick were privy to Jim Steranko's painting for The Living Shadow (Dell paperback) since the book wasn't published until 1974 and the two images are a little too similar. I find it highly doubtful that Big Jim would base his now-famous painting on the Novick/Giordano panel but then stranger things have happened.

Jack: I thought that the parts of this story involving The Shadow were cool enough to overcome the more banal bits with the hippies being paid to ride dune buggies through town and the hotel owner who ran the gang. I especially liked the ending, where Batman tells The Shadow that "you were my biggest inspiration." That's a nice touch and a bit of a comic/pulp history lesson by Professor O'Neil.

Detective Comics 437 (November 1973)


Story by Archie Goodwin
Art by Jim Aparo

The Gotham Museum plays host to the exhibit "Art of the Xochipecs," featuring priceless artifacts of an ancient Central American tribe. Some of the visitors, such as the gang of hoods on the roof, are not on the guest list. Batman takes care of them very quickly but the real menace seems to be an appearance by the Xochipecs' god of death, Matuchima, a robed figure with a skull mask and a mean disposition. Batman's not buying that Matuchima is an ancient God risen from the tombs and he sets out to prove that point. 

PE: I expected more from Archie Goodwin's first Batman story. Unfortunately, it falls into the same traps as the stories of Frank Robbins and Denny O'Neil: uninteresting villains and disappointing reveals. Aparo's an artist whose work I'm not familiar with but I've heard and read glowing reports. He does an admirable job illustrating The Dark Knight but I find his work to be very similar to that of Novick and Giordano. Nothing bad about that though.

Jack: This issue marks Jim Aparo's first Batman story for Detective. He had been drawing DC horror comics and the Batman team-ups in The Brave and the Bold. I think he is the second best Batman artist we've seen since January 1970, after Neal Adams. I do see a resemblance to the Novick/Giordano style, but I think Aparo's art is better. I especially like the wordless sequences.

PE: A couple of firsts here: Archie Goodwin's debut as both writer and editor of Detective, and the first Bat-gig for Aparo outside of his regular chores on Brave and the Bold (which he'd already been holding down for the past two years). Aparo would become well-respected in fandom for his Batman work, behind only Adams and Marshall Rogers in 1970s/80s popularity. Aparo had a hand in two of the most popular Batman arcs in the 1980s, "Ten Nights of the Beast" (written by Jim Starlin) and the controversial "A Death in the Family" (chronicling the death by Joker of Jason Todd, the second Robin). Archie Goodwin had been the guiding force behind Jim Warren's comic line, Creepy, Eerie, and Blazing Combat, editing the line and writing the majority of the stories that appeared in all three. One only has to look at the gruesome collapse of the Warren books after Goodwin's departure in 1967 (and the advent of reprints to fill up vacant pages) to realize just how important this guy was. Unfortunately, his tenure here at Detective would last only seven issues.

Jack: I looked back at the story after reading your comments and I think it is easily much better than anything Frank Robbins was routinely writing, and also better than the O'Neil Shadow story running the same month in Batman. It will be interesting to see what Goodwin does with the character in 1974.

"The Himalayan Incident"
Story by Archie Goodwin
Art by Walt Simonson

Interpol agent Christine St. Clair travels to Katmandu to interview a wise old man named Haj the Ancient. The focus of the interview is St. Clair's search for a man named Paul Kirk, who may be moonlighting as an assassin named Manhunter. Christine leaves frustrated, since the interview seems to raise more questions than it answers. If she'd looked back over her shoulder as she walked away, she would have seen Haj the Ancient reveal himself as Manhunter.

PE: Perhaps the most celebrated back-up feature in DC history, Manhunter had a very complicated journey leading up to its debut in this issue. A Manhunter (with the alter ego of Paul Kirk) appeared in the pages of Adventure Comics in the 1940s but writer Goodwin insisted that this was a new character altogether. A decade away from superstardom with the Beta-Ray Bill storyline in Marvel's Thor, Simonson bursts out of these pages like the breath of fresh air delivered by a Steranko or an Adams. There was literally nothing like this strip anywhere to be found in the Batman books up to this time. The antithesis of Goodwin's Batman story this issue, Manhunter reads like the opening chapter of a very adult and very intricately woven novel.  I can see a lot of 12-year olds (myself included) giving up on this confusing and, for the most part action-free strip, but 39 years later this comic reader thinks it's the first Batman back-up I'm looking forward to reading.

Jack: I agree that this is exciting stuff, but I think we had a similar jolt during the brief period when Rich Buckler took over the art on the Robin backup. The level of quality didn't last long, though. I only have a vague recollection of this series but I'm looking forward to more.

PE: No letters page this issue as Archie delivers a very detailed and very revealing editorial instead. He maps out his intentions for Detective and explains why Jason Bard, The Atom, Hawkman, and The Elongated Man have been put on the shelf (different from the reasons Jack and I would give) and why Manhunter has been given the green light. Goodwin explains that sales are down for the Bat-books and so the time is ripe for experiments. Amen!

Jack: Goodwin notes that Julius Schwartz will stay busy with Shazam and Strange Sports Stories, two series I loved at the time. Had I been on Peter's school playground, that admission probably would have gotten me beaten up (you wouldn't have lasted a day!-PE). There were no December 1973 issues of Batman or Detective Comics, and these two November issues were the last with a 20 cent cover price. The next issue of both titles would start the run of 100-page super-spectaculars that pervaded the DC line in 1974.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shatner Meets Hitchcock Part One: Alfred Hitchcock Presents "The Glass Eye"

by Jack Seabrook

Early in his career as a television actor, William Shatner had a co-starring role in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “The Glass Eye,” which was the first episode of the series’ third season. Broadcast on Sunday, October 6, 1957, at 9:30 PM over the CBS network, “The Glass Eye” was adapted by Stirling Silliphant from a short story of the same name by John Keir Cross. The story was first published in Cross’s collection, The Other Passenger: Eighteen Strange Stories (1944).

This little tale of horror is told in the first person by an unnamed narrator who relates the story of a woman named Julia: “gaunt,” with a long nose and an “uncanny genius for saying the wrong thing”—a spinster at age 42. She lives in a “little flat in West Kensington”—a section of London—and on her mantelpiece is a glass eye on a bed of black velvet. Five years ago, she lived in a small room in a house between West Kensington and Fulham (another part of London); her room had “yellow wallpaper” and her life was lonely and desolate.

Jessica Tandy
Cross’s brief mention of yellow wallpaper recalls the well-known 1892 story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman titled "The Yellow Wallpaper," in which a woman confined to a room by her husband descends into psychosis. Julia, in “The Glass Eye,” never married, but is trapped in her loveless and lonely life as much as any Victorian woman. She begins to see a way out of her misery one day when she takes her sister’s crippled son to the Old Palace Music Hall in Fulham and sees “Max Collodi, The German Ventriloquist, with his amazing Dummy ‘George.’” Julia is captivated by the handsome Max; his act with the grotesque dummy is of little interest to her, but “all the empty years, the acres of desolation, had been leading up to this glorious climax.” She dreams of marrying him and goes to see his act every night for a week.

Max and George
The next week, Julia follows Max from music hall to music hall: “the foolish infatuation of an ageing woman of great ugliness for a Music Hall performer” causes her to quit her job and follow him as he tours England. She begins corresponding with him and sends a blurred snapshot of herself taken fourteen years earlier. He finally agrees to meet her at the Temperance Hotel in Blackpool—it is odd that a music hall performer would stay in a hotel where alcohol was banned, but perhaps this was because he wanted to be apart from other performers due to his secret.

Julia excitedly prepares for and attends the meeting, where Collodi sits facing her “behind a large mahogany table,” his dummy George “lolling grotesquely on a chair to his left. Overcome by the desire to touch her idol, Julia approaches him and touches his cheek, causing him to fall over sideways from his chair. The dummy, George, screams and stands up on his chair, “his hideous painted face twisted with rage and fear and sorrow.” Julia laughs, screams, and kicks the figure on the floor; a glass eye pops out and rolls toward her. She picks it up and runs from the room, having learned the secret of Max and George—the “dummy” controlled the larger figure “by means of small pneumatic bulb controls.”

William Shatner and Rosemary Harris
As the story ends, the narrator tells us that the “terrible relic” (the glass eye) now sits on her mantelpiece. A year ago, he heard of a small traveling circus in Scotland with a clown named Maximilian, “a sad-faced, large-headed dwarf,” with a beautiful voice, who wears a “black patch over one of his eyes” when not performing.

“The Glass Eye” is a clever tale that asks the question, who is the gentleman and who, the dummy? Julia is described as ugly and she is an aging and lonely spinster. Max, the small man who pretends to be a dummy in order to survive, is intelligent, with a beautiful voice and enough talent to fool the public night after night. Yet when Julia discovers that the object of her affection is a fake, she is unable to see beyond the shallow appearance and into the heart of the man who possesses all of the qualities she truly desires. Why does Max wear an eye patch later on when traveling with the circus in Scotland? Perhaps it is in memory of the chance at love that he lost, when he almost took the bold step of revealing his true self to a woman and was jeered at in return.

George is revealed
To adapt the story for television, screenwriter Stirling Silliphant and director Robert Stevens had several challenges, the most significant of which was in convincing the audience that the figure supposed to be the ventriloquist was not obviously a dummy. This was done by having Tom Conway, who portrays Max, sit very still in his ventriloquist’s chair onstage, with one arm on his thigh and the other hidden behind George, the dummy. Watching the film carefully, one sees that he never moves any part of his body other than his lips and occasionally his head, supporting the notion that he is being controlled by the dummy. The scenes with Max and George are brilliantly conceived; Stevens uses a combination of long shots and medium shots to show the act without giving anything away. The key scene is at the end, in the hotel room, and again the man and dummy are posed together. It is only when the man falls to the floor and Julia crouches next to him that we see that it is clearly a dummy and not Tom Conway the actor.

The expressionistic camera angle shows Julia's inner turmoil.
Other changes made in the transition from story to small screen included strengthening the framing story, in which a man named Jim and a woman named Dorothy clean out Julia’s apartment after her death. Jim shows the woman (his wife?) the glass eye, and later he shows her theatrical programs and posters to illustrate the story he tells. William Shatner gives a great performance as Jim, holding the entire story together with his sensitive acting in the frame and with his narration that accompanies the flashbacks. Much of the narration is taken straight from the story, with phrases and remarks lifted intact.

Jessica Tandy, as Julia, also gives an outstanding performance, dramatizing what Jim’s narration describes. She often acts silently as his voice provides the details; as usual with this series, she is much more attractive than her character as described in the story, but she convincingly portrays a spinster who lives a life of loneliness. The most memorable shot in the episode is of George standing on the table in the hotel room, stamping his feet in anger and shame and yelling at Julia to get out. He then removes his grotesque dummy mask to reveal a small, aging man, with a look of sadness on his face that parallels that of Julia. In an incident absent from the story, he hops off the table and searches for the missing eye on the floor, as the camera fades from a close-up of the dummy’s head back to the framing narrative.

Hitch has a glass eye of his own!
The final shot of the film shows Max in the traveling circus, driving a horse-drawn cart. His head turns toward the camera and we see a black patch over his left eye. The effect is a good one when experienced as a simple twist ending, but without the narrator’s comments that are found in the story it leaves the viewer wondering why the small man wears the eye patch when it was the dummy that lost its eye.

Other pieces of the story left out in the TV version include literary devices such as a four-stanza poem written about Julia and a legend about a philosopher and a beggar; these serve to broaden the tale into one telling a universal truth, while the TV show is more narrowly focused on the story.

1st US edition
John Keir Cross, who wrote the original story, was a Scottish writer who lived from 1911-1967. In addition to the collection of stories where “The Glass Eye” was found, he wrote a science fiction novel called The Angry Planet. He is said to have been an insurance clerk, a hobo, and a traveling busker and ventriloquist, which (if true) gives added resonance to the story. He also wrote for BBC Radio.

Stirling Silliphant (1918-1996), who adapted the story for TV, was a prolific writer of television shows and movies. His credits include co-creating the series Route 66, creating the blind lawyer series Longstreet, and writing or co-writing films such as 5 Against the House (1955--from the Jack Finney novel), Village of the Damned (1960), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), and In the Heat of the Night (1967), for which he won an Oscar.

“The Glass Eye” was directed by Robert Stevens (1920-1989), who directed 44 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and five episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, as well as two episodes of The Twilight Zone. Previous episodes helmed by Stevens that I have analyzed include The Dangerous People and The Greatest Monster of Them All. On April 15, 1958, he was awarded the Emmy for Best Direction for a Television Series for "The Glass Eye"; this was the only Emmy won by a single episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents/Hour series in its ten-year run.

Jessica Tandy (1909-1994), who plays Julia, had a long career on stage and screen, appearing three times on Alfred Hitchcock Presents as well as in Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963). She won an Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy (1989).

Tom Conway (1904-1967), who portrays Max, was the older brother of George Sanders and shared his mellifluous speaking voice. Born in Russia to English parents, the family moved back to England when the 1917 revolution broke out. Conway had a long and wonderful career in film, playing The Falcon in ten films and appearing in three classic Val Lewton chillers: Cat People (1942), The Seventh Victim (1943) and I Walked With a Zombie (1943). He can be seen in three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Rosemary Harris (1927- ) has the small role of Jim’s companion in the framing sequence; she also went on to a long career on stage and screen, including three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She appeared in three Spider-Man films as Peter Parker’s Aunt May.

Billy Barty
Patricia Hitchcock     (1928- ), Alfred’s daughter, has a small role as a hat clerk who sells a hat to Julia. Ms. Hitchcock appeared in ten episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, including “The Cuckoo Clock.”

Billy Barty (1924-2000) stood three feet, nine inches tall and had a long career as an actor, from 1927 until his death in 2000. He formed The Little People of America, Inc., and also appeared in  “The Jar,” one of the best episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, as well as an episode of Thriller. A website is devoted to Mr. Barty.

Paul Playdon, who portrays the boy who Julia takes to the music hall, was a child actor who grew up to write for TV; he penned the teleplay for the Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode, The Werewolf.”

Finally, William Shatner (1931- ) is Our Greatest Living Actor. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has starred in such series as Star Trek, T.J. Hooker, and Boston Legal. A true renaissance man, he has won Emmys for his TV work, written numerous books, and sung on record albums. His movie and TV performances are legendary and he is still performing regularly at age 81. He has an extensive website. I also recommend a visit to this website, which uses “The Glass Eye” as the basis for a study of Shatner’s use of a toupee.

“The Glass Eye” is available on DVD and can also been seen online.


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