Episode 122: Holy Known Unknown Flying Objects!: December 25, 2023

The Joker's Flying Saucer
February 29, 1968
"The Joker is back in Gotham City, this time with his sights set on worldwide domination. He plants rumors of an invasion from outer space, then sets out to gather the Beryllium metal needed to build an actual flying saucer. Batman picks up on his scheme and sends Alfred to check up on a stash of the metal. But when Alfred is mistaken for a mad scientist by the Joker, he is hauled off to the villain's lair along with Batgirl. The Dynamic Duo are on their way when a bomb planted by one of the Joker's henchmen goes off, leaving them unconscious, and their Batcave cut off from the rest of the world."
45 minutes

RD: HAS FLYING SAUCER JITTERS. Vince thinks he was fooled by next week's episode. This week's episode was the only one to air on a leap day (with the 10th Annual Grammy Awards which aired from LA, Chicago, and Nashville). 

Narrator: "Night over Gotham City. But what else is over Gotham City? Not flying saucers!"

In his Office, Gordon has to answer the phones personally for some reason to dispel the rumors of flying saucers. Bonnie then calls on behalf of a Mrs. Green who claims she met a Martian in Gotham Park.

Instead of seeing her we instead cut to the Library. RD thought Barbara's red and green striped dress was not her best, although it still seemed smart looking. She is talking to one Professor Greenleaf who is wearing his own Riddler green suit, who warns of the city being overrun by "virulent living organisms from outer space".
On cue, someone in his own green suit and green face paint "invades" by knocking some books off the shelves. This prompts Barbara to scream at who RD thinks is more of a leprechaun than an alien.

Cut back to the Office, where the Undynamic Duo look out the window.
Gordon (looking at the Batphone): "What we need is some experienced help."
RD: "Does Batman have some Martian experience which we have not been acquainted?"
I mean, the Martian Manhunter did have his own solo series for a few months by that time. Why couldn't they have tried to contact him?

Anyway, cue titles.

Narrator: "But what's this? In a big black warehouse an abandoned launching pad factory, our old nemesis, the Joker, up to a  sinister sky-born caper."
Joker's goons Shamrock and Chartreuse are in green turtlenecks, as is his lady Emerald who thinks him "marvy" and calls him "poopsie".
Joker: "I was positively inspired, completing these plans for my flying saucer, with the help of my  cellmate, a mad scientist who had a passing penchant for picking pockets. Shortly, it'll be speeding across the skies of Gotham City. Oh, but not without warning.Ooh, the rumors I've planted. Yes, the whispers are flying. What scuttlebutt is afloat on my private grapevine."

RD wants to hear ballyhoo more duing the day.

Cut back to the Office, again, this time with the Dynamic Duo present to meet Mrs. Green. Shockingly, Barbara is not there with them (yet). (:11) Mrs. Green could not understand what the Martian supposedly said to her.
Batman: "That's understandable since there is no life on Mars as we know it. There can be no intelligible Marsish language."
Mrs. Green: "It's not often I run into a man 3 feet tall."
Robin (leaning into her way too closely): "Three feet tall? Holy interplanetary yardstick."
Mrs. Green: "I'm sorry to be so lacking in details, gentlemen, but I thought the incident should be  reported."
Batman: "It's the duty of every good citizen of Gotham City to report meeting a  man from Mars in a public park. Gotham City Penal Code Section 32, Subsection 14."
The Bros wonder how big the Code should be if it includes such uncommon subsections. RD wishes he got one for Christmas.
After Mrs. Green leaves, and noting that she seemed familiar, the Duo decide to check the Batcomputer. Only now does Barbara run in,  reporting on the "little green man from Mars" squatting in the Library. 

Narrator: "But the library isn't the only place the little green man is scrambling."
He is now seen meddling with something in the Batmobile, still not looking convincing.

Back at the lair, Joker is on the phone with Greenleaf and Green, who are unsurprisingly also goons (and siblings), spreading the "flying saucer jitters" throughout the city. 

Joker does, however, have a spaceship under construction.

Yes, like an actual mobile flying interstellar spaceship.


He doesn't say where it came from or how he got it. He just has it in his possession all of a sudden.

Even in a universe where another superhero alien is hiding in another city as a mild-mannered bespectacled reporter, this is too farfetched even for me. 

However Joker needs Nilanium beryllium to finish building it. On a completely unrelated note, the Wayne Foundation has a large supply of it for research in its Metals Research Wing. He sends his goons to go get it so he can get his spacecraft up and running, so he can use it to issue his demands for "complete capitulation, complete
cooperation, complete control" of the entire world. 

Of course he can't go with them because he's too well known, but before he can expound further the "Martian", another goon named Verdigris, gives his own laugh as he returns from his own jitter spreading. Also he put a bomb in the Batmobile that will detonate at midnight. "We Martians like to dispose of our Earthly enemies at the witching hour."

In the Batcave, Batman finally remembers Mrs. Green as a "front woman for that bunko artist who, at one time, was blackmailing greengrocers."
Alfred: "It's a small world, isn't it, sir?"
Batman: "It's a small universe, Alfred."
Fully satisfied that this is in fact a hoax, he awaits the "Current Criminal Activity Bat-Disclosure Unit" to tell them that Joker is in fact "manufacturing a flying saucer."
Robin: "Gosh, Batman. This machine's almost human."
Guessing that Joker may go after light metals, including their supply, Batman asks Alfred to check the Wing in person. He'll inform Gordon, who is still in the Office at a quarter to midnight. RD wonders if instead of his own place he just has a dog bed in Barbara's Apartment. 

Speaking of Babs, she is also there with the Undynamic Duo overhearing the call.
Narrator: "On a night filled with incredible happenings, Barbara Gordon makes her own incredible  change into Batgirl as the witching hour arrives in the Batcave."
RD wishes the show had a Halloween episode. Perhaps one involving a villain who also crimes at various important days of the year.

Anyway, the clock strikes midnight and the Batcave explodes with a great force. 

All of a sudden we cut to the lair with Joker celebrating having his beryllium - as well as Batgirl and Alfred. (:24)


To cover for the lack of an in-between scene which would have cost money, the script's expository dialogue has Alfred - who is mistaken for a mad scientist - captured at the Wing when the goons made their robbery, along with Batgirl who had also come to investigate "caught coming in a window". 

This is despite Joker having met Alfred before a couple of times already, knowing fully well who the man is by now, including when he played his own brother. Perhaps he thought he had another brother on his hand.

Verdigris reports the explosion in such a melodramatic matter that the Bros couldn't help but appreciate. They also appreciate the villains planning to get rid of Batgirl by strapping her onto a rocket.

Cut back to the "battered" Batcave. Robin is still stuck in the Batmobile. Batman was somehow knocked on top of the 30 foot atomic pile. They've also been knocked out for 8 and a half hours. Thankfully they were wearing their "Anti-Thermal Bat T-shirts" to protect them, which also would have protected their faces - oh wait.
Batman: "Quickly, old chum. We must rig up an Auxiliary Circuit Bat-regenerator. (To the camera) Who knows what's happened to the outside world?"

Gordon (in the Office): "Who knows what's happened to the Caped Crusaders?"
Mayor Linseed (in the Office): "Do you expect me to report that to Governor Stonefellow? To the president? Londinium? To the United Nations? This is an emergency, commissioner. Flying saucers and men from Mars don't invade our country every day."
O'Hara: "Well, at least they've stopped invading for a minute. The sky is as clear as a die."
Gordon: "Die? A very poor choice of words, Chief O'Hara. That's what we may all be doing if the Martians return. Dying! If we can't find Batman and Robin. Not to mention Batgirl."

Somehow in that eight hour window of opportunity Joker has...only finished literally tying Batgirl to a rocket.
"I've thrilled many a woman, Batgirl, but I never sent one completely in orbit before." [sic]
He also doesn't notice Alfred talking into his handkerchief attempting to reach the Duo.
Emerald: "Are you talking to that handkerchief?"
Alfred: "No, just dabbing my eyes. Stronger men than I have wept at moments like this."

Batman (relaying Alfred): "And then he's about to launch his own flying saucer."
Robin: "Holy known unknown flying objects!"
Batman: "...What?"
Robin: "Holy known unknown flying objects!"
Batman sends him to the Batcopter while he informs Gordon.

Thankfully for Batgirl, the "automatic fuse extinguisher in my Batgirl utility belt" puts out the cartoonishly large fuse to send the rocket flying. Joker decides to take her and the "mad scientist" in the flying saucer. 

So the flying saucer actually takes off for real. Gordon is informed that it's been seen over Russia. "BARBARA!" he exclaims randomly. "I wonder what's happened to her in all this excitement."

So the Joker and green goons are all sitting around a bridge as they somehow travel in outer space, cosplaying that one show on NBC where the goons wear red shirts instead and one guy has pointed ears and the captain makes long-winded speeches. Then again, that show's third season would have a bunch of children being led by a trial lawyer in a green muumuu, the pointed ear guy's brain being stolen, and the captain body swapping with an overacting woman. I don't know which is better in its badness.
Joker: "Activate the Supersonic Decelerating Contra-Rotating Turbines, Verdigris. We're getting a little too close to the sun."

Back on Terra, the Dynamic Duo ride the Batcycle into the Batcopter in props that look way too small.

Joker: "Invert the compression radial ratio. Energize the tandem ailerons, Verdigris, while I turn up this Interplanetary Microphone. In 46 and three-eighth seconds, we'll be over Gotham City where I will  ultimate my ultimatum."
He sprays some cough syrup he brought with him into his mouth as Craig tries her best not to laugh on camera. 

The Duo manage to contact Alfred through the Intercosmic Two-Way Thermophone, who informs them through his handkerchief he had put some "homing beryl" in the stolen beryllium. "Just clearing my head. Altitude, you know," he covers. 

Joker: "Hahaha! It's time for my ultimate ultimatum. Hear this. Now hear this. All citizens of Gotham City and the world, this is the Joker speaking to you from outer space. From inner outer space."
Before he can issue his demands, the ship starts moving on its own returning to the launchpad.
Joker: "Depress the Aerothermo Turret Resojets. Accelerate the Isothermal Oxyacetylene  Vaporometers."
Verdigris: "Huh?"

By the way, all that flying saucer 'footage'? Taken from Invaders from Mars 15 years earlier (if IMDB is truthful).

Joker: "I wanted to rule the world from Mars. I liked the looks of that place."
Batman (appearing in the entryway): "Yes, I think you'd be more comfortable there at the moment, Joker." 

In the fight some of the beryllium is used as a weapon, which confused RD since he thought it was supposed to be light. Unfortunately the Joker stunt double is only seen for a second or so. The goons all tumble down the stairs, including one who does it twice for some reason. 

Batman: "It looks like you've flown your last saucer."
Joker: "But I came close, Batman. I came close."
Batman: "Close doesn't count."
O'Hara: "You'll come much closer to washing tin saucers up at Warden Crichton's cosmic calaboose, Joker."

Still, there's going out, and then there's going out after flying into space and back. So perhaps the Joker was the true winner this day in his final appearance.

Barbara takes the opportunity to change back into her civilian dress, having taken an "unexpected little trip" and being told where to go by Bonnie. Cue Gordon looking at her lustily since he didn't get his chance for any groping this episode.

Back at the Batcave much of the damage has been repaired.
Robin: "Well, at least the Joker's Martian invasion has been grounded."
Batman: "For five to ten years, I would imagine."
RD: "Is there any question why Gotham is so riddled with crime?"
The Batphone rings, alerting them to a theft at a jewelry store. Batman asks about the culprits. 

Narrator: "What do they look like? Who could possibly describe Dr. Cassandra and her husband Cabala eyeing the priceless Mope Diamond hungrily and then disappearing? No wonder all of Gotham City is  startled, as you are bound to be in our next episode!"

Vince guesses Emerald was 32 years, way off her actual 43. He didn't find her good looking either due to too much makeup, giving her 4 Batpoles. RD is "very generous" at 5.5. French actress Corinne Calvet's majority of her filmography was in America, with a huge span of highs and lows and what might have beens. 
RD (reading the ever accurate Wikipedia): ""According to one obituary, she was promoted "as a combination of Dietrich and Rita Hayworth", but her persona failed to live up to this description." If someone puts that in an obituary, do you really need to go on Wikipedia and say "yeah she failed to live up to anything like that?" How rude."

RD is preparing for Gooker voting. Vince: "Very interesting."


  • Special Guest Villain: The Joker [11] (Cesar Romero) [11]
  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 1. To boldly go where no clown prince of crime has gone before.

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