Sunday, December 28, 2008


Recastaways in 'Batman' were never a problem when it came to the Riddler or the Catwoman, as the name is an occupation title; anyone could be those characters. (Mr. Freeze, on the other hand, did need extra splainin, as they should all be the same man - and yet three different actors played the role.)

Frank Gorshin was the original Riddler, but at one point the role was played by John Astin. No problem - Gomez Addams was hit on the head and not only lost his memory but also became eeeeevil! I covered this
back in 2005.

As for Catwoman, I believe I covered this as well, but perhaps not since the days of the old Tubeworld Dynamic website.

The first Catwoman was portrayed by Julie Newmar, perhaps appearing as Selena Kyle. But she died when she fell in the caverns underneath stately Wayne Manor. That left the persona of the Catwoman available for some other feline-oriented villainess.

Enter Tina Mara.....
'Mission: Impossible' - "The Traitor"
An American agent defects, and Briggs and his team must stop some secret information that the agent carries falling into enemy hands. In order to get into the embassy's air conditioning system, IMF agent Tina Mara is recruited, and Barney guides her through the system by radio. Rollin poses as a code breaker, Dan and Cinnamon pretend to be American agents, and Willy uses his strength as a heating maintenance man.

This was the only episode of 'Mission: Impossible' which featured Tina Mara as a member of the IMF. So the character was free to follow any career path or lifestyle she chose once the cameras no longer focused on her and kept her locked into a particular scenario. And so it is my contention that Tina Mara decided to capitalize on her skills as a cat burglar and go into "business" for herself.

Learning of the death of the original Catwoman, Tina Mara took on the identity for herself and tried to reap her fortune in Gotham City. However, she was eventually caught by the Dynamic Duo and sent to the women's wing of Gotham Penitentiary.

That's always been the contention of Toobworld Central, and that's where we've left it for a few years. But now, I think we can postulate how the life of Tina Mara aka Catwoman turned out......

'The Famous Jett Jackson' - "Field Of Dweebs"
When Jett buys the local minor league baseball team, he hires an eccentric woman to manage the team.

Eartha Kitt appeared in this 1999 episode as that eccentric woman, Albertine Whethers. As there's no way to actually dispute this anymore through future scripts, it's going to be the Toobworld position that the nickname for Albertine is "Tina", and that "Whethers" is the married name for Tina Mara; after being released from prison, she married and moved to that town where Jett Jackson was living. Perhaps she had children; hopefully she stayed on the straight and narrow.

As for the other Catwomen, the splainins follow the same pattern - for the 1966 movie, which was just an extension into the movie universe, the Catwoman was
a woman named Betty. Later she reformed and married her arresting officer - who happened to be the son of private detective Barnaby Jones....

As for the return of Julie Newmar to the role, that was more complicated (considering I claimed that she died originally). That was still the physical body of the original Catwoman, but the soul had departed. Instead, she was possessed by the spirit of the ancient cat-goddess of Egypt, Bastet, who had already established her presence in Toobworld.

As always, it can't be proven and can't be disproven either. As such, I seen no reason why Albertine Whethers, the former Tina Mara aka Catwoman, can't be considered for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame... especially as an honorary inductee.

Now, this could happen as part of the traditional "Birthday Honors", but considering that these were all characters played by Eartha Kitt, perhaps it might be better for the ceremony to be held in December... considering she is "Santa's Baby", after all......

Toby O'B

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