The Green Hornet and Kato are in Gotham City to bust a counterfeiting stamp ring. Believed to be arch-criminals by nearly everyone, their midnight visit to Colonel Gumm at the Pink Chip Stamps Factory stirs alarm. Even Batman and Robin believe they are out for a piece of the action. Figuring the Green Hornet's goal must be the Gotham Gothic, a rare and valuable stamp, they trail him and Kato to the Pink Chip Stamps Factory. But when Colonel Gumm and his men make giant stamps out of the visiting crime fighters, it appears Batman and Robin will be doomed to the same fate.
The Green Hornet and Kato come to Gotham City to stop a stamp counterfeiting scheme, but the Dynamic Duo, unaware of their true heroic motives, is out to stop them.
"A Piece of the Action" is unusual in that, instead of the 'Special Guest Villain' we have a crossover with the fading GREEN HORNET series, starring Van Williams as wealthy newspaper publisher (and boyhood rival of Bruce Wayne) Britt Reid aka The Green Hornet, billed as 'Visiting Hero,' with Bruce Lee as chauffeur/sidekick Kato, billed as 'Assistant Visiting Hero' (the duo had previously contributed a Batclimb cameo five months earlier in "Tut's Case is Shut"). Authorities in Gotham City consider a new arch criminal is on the loose once they learn that The Green Hornet is in town, but the actual villain is Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd in two STAR TREKs) as Colonel Gumm, foreman of the Pink Chip Stamp Factory owned by Pinky Pinkston (Diane McBain, previously the moll for David Wayne's Mad Hatter), daughter of the late Pincus Pinkston, whose collection of rare stamps is missing the rarest and most valuable one of all, the Gotham Gothic. The Green Hornet and Kato pay a midnight visit to Colonel Gumm, in the middle of his usual snack of alphabet soup, clearly establishing themselves as potential accomplices out for 'a piece of the action' (later the title of a comic STAR TREK episode). In fact, Batman and Robin aren't sure about anything, apart from the suspicious behavior of Boris Sevaroff, actually Colonel Gumm in disguise, his employer unaware of his activities in stamp counterfeiting. Among the henchmen are familiar faces Seymour Cassel as Cancelled, and a young Alex Rocco as Block, whose beginnings in low budget horror ("Blood Mania" and "Stanley") would yield to blockbusters such as "The Godfather." The cliffhanger has The Green Hornet seemingly blocked, gummed, and perforated into a full sized stamp thumbtacked to the wall, with the Dynamic Duo next to be 'stamped out.' The flirtatious sexy models on display are played by Jan Watson and Angelique Pettyjohn, the latter in just her fifth television appearance, soon to appear as Shahna in STAR TREK's "The Gamesters of Triskelion."
In the 1970s and 1980s, this two-part Bat-episode was my only exposure to The Green Hornet and Kato. The Green Hornet series (1966-67) was never replayed in Australia and other places so I just could not get my hands on it until 1992. Despite some cool Billy May music pumping away in it, I could not get into The Green Hornet series...however the episode The Ray Is For Killing is good.
The Green Hornet and Kato are more fun when up against people like Col. Gumm, rather than the TOO serious crims they delt with on their show. And being in a 50 minute adventure rather than a 25 minute adventure also works for them.
Granted, this two-parter has some rubbish going on, but what was going on when the cameras stopped rolling is 50% of the episode's appeal: Bruce Lee went a bit crazy with Burt Ward when making part two! All in all, I would call this cool but not the best of Batman. a5c7b9f00b
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