Batman (1966–1968)
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Zelda the Great 

The Dynamic Duo arranges a trap for an elusive annual bank robber, but the female magician they are hunting is on to them with a new scheme of her own.


Norman Foster


Lorenzo Semple Jr., Bob Kane (based upon characters appearing in "Batman" and "Detective" comics magazines created by)




Episode cast overview:
Adam West ... Batman
Burt Ward ... Robin
Alan Napier ... Alfred
Neil Hamilton ... Commissioner Gordon
Stafford Repp ... Chief O'Hara
Madge Blake ... Mrs. Cooper
Anne Baxter ... Zelda
Jack Kruschen ... Eivol Ekdal
Barbara Heller ... Hilary Stonewin
Frankie Darro ... Newsman
Jim Drum Jim Drum ... Clancy
Stephen Tompkins ... Bank Guard


A mysterious figure robs a Gotham City bank on the same date each year. Batman and Robin are summoned to help the police solve the crime. To flush out the robber, Batman plants a false story in the newspaper that the money taken was counterfeit and being held by the bank for disposal. It turns out the robber is none other than magician Zelda the Great. She needs the money to pay a "mad Albanian genius" to come up with escape tricks for her act. Now, Zelda has to commit another crime and Batman sets a trap. But Zelda pulls a switch and kidnaps Harriet Cooper instead. If a ransom isn't paid, Aunt Harriet will be dropped in boiling oil. Written by Bill Koenig

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

9 February 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


First episode in which the phrase "Same bat-time, same bat-channel" is both seen and heard during the closing narration. See more »


When Chief O'Hara goes to call Batman at the beginning, he picks up the receiver of the Bat Phone and the phone lights up red before the Chief presses the call button. Normally the Bat Phone will not light up unless the call button is pressed. See more »


Commissioner Gordon: The same strange pattern every year; precisely a hundred thousand each April first.
Chief O'Hara: Glory be! I've got it: it's to pay his income taxes!
Batman: A loyal tax payer stooping to criminal methods?
Chief O'Hara: Oh, sure, ah, whe - when you put it that way.
[looking down embarrassed]
Commissioner Gordon: I fear you're growing the cynical, Chief O'Hara; the notion of a faithful tax payer robbing a bank is clearly ridiculous.
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User Reviews

Anne Baxter and Jack Kruschen
8 May 2016 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"Zelda the Great" introduces Anne Baxter as the show's first female villain, a master illusionist who calls herself Zelda the Great, all of her magic tricks supplied by Albanian Eivol Ekdal (Jack Kruschen), at a very high price, $100,000 to be exact. We open inside a bank vault where the disguised assailant makes off with that same amount, the guard unable to stop him because bullets have no effect on the criminal. One of the bullets leads Batman to conclude that the thief was a woman, but without any leads decides to create one by planting a false newspaper story informing the crooks that the stolen money was counterfeit. This irks the greedy Ekdal, who has promised to show Zelda his latest creation, 'an indestructible doom trap,' seemingly inescapable, but not until she can come up with another 100 grand to save her failing act. The phony emerald planted in the salon of Hilary Stonewin (Barbara Heller) is quickly thrown away by Zelda, proving to Batman that she correctly smelled a trap, instead kidnapping none other than Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet (Madge Blake) for a ransom of $100,000. Best remembered for "All About Eve" and "The Ten Commandments," the smolderingly sexy Baxter makes for a fun loving yet reluctant criminal, eager to display her prowess to taunt and befuddle the Dynamic Duo (after this two parter, she would return the third season as a new villainess, Olga, Queen of the Cossacks, opposite Vincent Price as Egghead). Watch for a cameo from longtime Hollywood veteran Frankie Darro as the newsman who reads about the counterfeit cash.

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