Legendary genre author Harlan Ellison worked steadily in television and now his TV work is being released in a series called ‘Brain Movies: The Original Teleplays of Harlan Ellison’. In volume 5, it is revealed that one show he wanted to write for was ‘Batman’ the venerable 60s series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. Ellison pitched an episode, prior to the show’s launch, entitled ‘The Two Way Crimes of Two-Face’. That’s right! Had Ellison had his way, the Dynamic Duo would have matched wits with Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne’s one-time friend, turned disfigured crime boss with a fixation on pairs. Instead, sadly the classic villain never made it onto the hit show.
His proposed episode was apparently based on Two-Face’s first appearance in ‘Detective Comics’ #66. Here is the official description from the book:
“Though Harlan’s written numerous comic book scripts for the Dark Knight, his first slide down the Bat-Pole was in 1966 when he pitched an episode to ABC’s Batman, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Tragically—for reasons explained in the editor’s notes—“The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face” was never produced, but now you can read what the Unrepentant Harlequin had in mind for the Dynamic Duo and their Bifurcated Foe.”
So why didn’t the episode get produced? Well apparently, Ellison had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of ABC’s Broadcast Standards and Practices department, Adrian Samish with Samish declaring that Ellison would never again write for ABC. But when Ellison learned that Samish was leaving the network, he went ahead and pitched his Two-Face episode in an eleven page summary.
Unfortunately, it was on Samish’s last day that the producers were selecting stories for the show’s premier season and the departing Samish squashed any chance of Ellison’s script ever getting made.
‘Batman’ went on to become a pop culture phenomenon and kicked off a craze dubbed ‘Batmania’ with manufacturers slapping the bat logo on anything they could make, comic book sales soaring and in Los Angeles there was even a Batman themed discotheque with go-go dancers dressed as Robin! The show became the “It Show” to appear on with celebrities lining up to guest-star on it, either in the “window” cameos or even better, as one of the colorful villains.
What classic actor would have made a great Two-Face? Let me remind you that at least on one side, Harvey Dent was so handsome he had the nickname “Apollo.” May I suggest…
What do you think? Would you have liked to have seen a Harlan Ellison-scripted episode of ‘Batman’ featuring Two-Face? And who do you think should have played the role? Comment below!
Source Den of Geek