Batman (1966–1968)
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A Death Worse Than Fate 

Told that her loot is genuine money after all, Zelda is forced to lure Batman and Robin into a possibly unsolvable deathtrap, with hitmen waiting outside to shoot them if they escape.



, (based upon characters appearing in "Batman" and "Detective" comics magazines created by)

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Episode cast overview:
The Doctor (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Hood No. I
Hood No. II (as Bill Phipps)


Bruce Wayne makes a live, hurried appearance on a Gotham City television station to plea for Harriet Cooper to be freed by her kidnapper. During the broadcast, both Bruce and Commissioner Gordon reveal the money stolen by the bank robber was genuine. Zelda frees Aunt Harriet as a result. Now the "mad Albanian genius" shows Zelda the latest device he's built for her magician act. It is an "inescapable doom trap." The problem: it's truly inescapable. As a result, the criminals now bait a trap for Batman and Robin. If anybody can figure out how to escape it's Batman who is "the world's greatest escape artist." Two hitmen hide to kill the Dynamic Duo when they do escape. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

10 February 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


At the end of the episode, next week's villain is announced as the Joker. However the next villain is the Riddler. See more »


Eivol Ekdol: After Batman escapes from the Doom Trap, he walks into instant liquidation!
See more »


References El Cid (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

No escape from the doom trap
8 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

"A Death Worse Than Fate" finds Zelda the Great (Anne Baxter) convinced by a live broadcast featuring Robin and Bruce Wayne that the money she had stolen before is genuine and not counterfeit, so she agrees to set free Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet (Madge Blake), on the same corner as Frankie Darro's newsman. A match book planted by Zelda leads the Dynamic Duo to the secret hideout of Eivol Ekdal (Jack Kruschen), who plans to catch them inside his latest creation, 'an indestructible doom trap,' and if they actually find a way to escape, certain death awaits in a pair of hoods waiting to use their machine guns (one of whom is played by Victor French). The hoods wind up blasting each other to kingdom come, thanks to Zelda's timely warning of danger, while Ekdal's hasty retreat isn't quick enough to avoid the Batarang. Bruce Wayne's visit to Zelda in prison is a welcome coda to an unusual two part excursion from the pen of Lorenzo Semple Jr., directed by veteran actor/director Norman Foster, whose only other two parter is the debut of David Wayne's Mad Hatter. One last note of trivia: the doctor who treats Aunt Harriet after her safe return is played by an unrecognizable Douglass Dumbrille, at age 76 the second oldest actor to appear on the show during its three seasons on the air (Burt Mustin the eldest), in the last of his over 200 roles on screen.

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