Batman – Instant Freeze / Rats Like Cheese

by Alan Rapp on July 19, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman – Instant Freeze / Rats Like Cheese
  • wiki: link
  • wiki: link

Batman - Rats Like Cheese

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we continue to look back at the more memorable moments on the big and small screen. The seventh and eighth episodes of 1966 Batman TV-series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin introduced Mr. Freeze (George Sanders) for the first time. Te show used the classic origin of the criminal scientist Mr. Zero (whose renaming here stuck in comics as well) as an evil scientist whose lab accident caused the cold-blooded scientist to need to wear a cryogenic suit in order to survive. In a twist, the show made Batman responsible for the accident (at least in Freeze’s mind). As with the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of the character in Batman & Robin, this version is also obsessed with stealing diamonds.

“Instant Freeze” begins with Mr. Freeze’s heist of the Gotham Diamond Exchange and an elaborate set-up involving multiple henchmen dressed up as duplicates of both the Caped Crusader and Mr. Freeze to confuse the situation and allow the real villain to escape with his ill-gotten gains. While attempting to stop the villain from stealing the most valuable diamond in the world from Princess Sandra of Molino (Shelby Grant) the Dynamic Duo are frozen solid by Mr. Freeze leading to the show’s cliffhanger ending.

Batman - Instant Freeze

After being thawed with the help of doctors and Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton) the second-half of the story resumes with Mr. Freeze kidnapping baseball player Paul Diamante (Robert Hogan) who he agrees to exchange for Batman. Disobeying orders, Robin follows the unconscious Batman back to Mr. Freeze’s lair only to be taken hostage as well. However, between the two of them, Batman and Robin escape and turn the tables on the villain finally bringing him to justice.

Mr. Freeze is a first on the show as a character who is primarily obsessed with revenge over Batman. Although the previous villains introduced all wish to defeat the Dynamic Duo, none are inspired by revenge. The gun used by this version of Mr. Freeze, used in later animated episodes around the same time, allows the villain to shoot both freeze and heat rays (the second of which would eventually be dropped from the character’s repertoire over the years).

Although Sanders worked well as the cold-hearted villain, this would be his only appearance on the show as other actors (Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach) would take over the role when Mr. Freeze returned to Gotham later in the series. Along with showcasing the villain’s hot-and-cold style lair (used against him in the end), the episodes also introduced several key freeze-fighting pieces of Batman’s arsenal including an Antifreeze Capsule, Super-Thermo-B Long Underwear, and a portable freeze chamber.

gary June 10, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Mr. Freeze is one of my favorites

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