The Weather Maker is the fourth episode of season 1 of the Super Friends series. Like most episodes from the first season, the villain of the story isn't really much of a bad guy, just a man who goes to far to warm his home country up a little bit, since his home country is in the North Pole. This episode is full of educational material, even for a season one episode. For example, Wendy Harris teaches everybody the best way to make buttermilk biscuits, Batman teaches Marvin White about hydrography, (even going as far as telling him the origin of the word) and finally we are taught that the Gulf Stream warms up Florida.
This episode features a return appearance by Colonel Wilcox, who was last seen in The Baffles Puzzle. Here we learn that he often hangs around a place called World Weather Headquarters, which is apparently some sort of meteorological monitoring facility for the government agency he works for, which is called the Secret Department of Investigation, or the SDI for short.
The theme of the episode was meant to make one ask the question: "Why shouldn't we change the climate on one part of the world to fix the climate on another part of the world?" And of course this question could be asked in different ways; for example, if one city in the north dams up a river and causes a southern city to experience a drought, is that wrong? Basically the principal that the episode was trying to get across to the audience was that such selfish thinking is indeed wrong, although such things even happen in real life, and this episode was an attempt to highlight that theme.
A possible source of inspiration for this episode might have been the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode The Blizzard Makers, which also involved the Gulf Stream getting shifted and dealt with the consequences of that, which of course was extreme cold along the Florida coast.
|Plot Summary for The Weather Maker|
It is a sunny day in Miami Beach, Florida, and Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are having their summer vacation on the beach, at a rented beach house. The beach is packed with tourists and visitors that are enjoying boat riding, and water skiing. Wendy is baking some tarts, and Marvin and Wonder Dog go to the back of the beach house, where there is a pool. They jump in the pool to go for a swim, only to find that the water in the pool is frozen to solid ice.
Meanwhile, not far from the shore, a scientist and a man named Mr. Wicker in a amphicar, are observing the pool and how the water froze. The scientist tells Wicker that in three minutes the temperature of the water will return to normal. He then presses a button on a remote control. Mr. Wicker tells the scientist that he wishes he'd keep the weather warm all the time, but the scientist tells him he can't control the weather, but he can control his jet, and his jet stream has a very real effect on the weather.
Meanwhile, Batman and Robin arrive at the beach house, and Marvin tells everyone the pool is frozen, and Robin tells Marvin it isn't April Fools' Day. But Marvin insists it's frozen and tells him he will stand on it. He then falls into the water which at this point was back to normal temperature. Everyone laughs, until they notice Wonder Dog has ice stuck to his tail.
At the Hall of Justice, the JLA watch the CDQ and see that their are Icebergs in the Atlantic Ocean, that have drifted south. And in the Arctic Circle, glaciers are breaking off into the sea. This sudden change in the climate causes the seaweed to grow and an alarming rate. Whales are fleeing from their natural environments.
At the beach house, the phone rings, and Wendy answers it, telling Batman it's for him. Batman takes the phone, and it's Colonel Wilcox. He tells Wilcox that a strange weather anomaly occurred at this location. He tells him about how the pool froze and Wilcox told him if he learns of what caused the pool to freeze then they will likely find out the cause of what's behind the freak climate change. Batman hangs up the phone and tells Robin they have an investigation to embark on. Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog come along as well. They head to the Government building in the Weather Service and Hydrographic Research room.
Meanwhile over the Atlantic, Wonder Woman is in her transparent plane searching for an ocean liner that has been caught in a whirlpool. Wonder Woman sees a hurricane ahead, and she dives her plane into it and she flies the plane around in circles, causing it to dissipate. She then flies off to meet Superman...
Who at this moment is coming to the aid of a battleship that is trapped by large icebergs. As Wonder Woman arrives, Superman suggests that they make a train hitch to widen the passageway. Wonder Woman uses her bracelets to melt the ice of an iceberg in such a way that carved it into the shape of train hitch. Superman meanwhile, uses his super strength to carve out the other iceberg to make the other side of the train hitch. They then move the icebergs and free the battleship.
While at the government building, in the Hydrographic office, Batman tells Marvin that "Hydrographic" comes from the two Greek words "Hydro," which means water, and "graphos," which means writing. He then looks at a chart and shows Marvin the Florida coast and the Gulf Stream. Based upon the freak cold weather that froze the pool, they deduce that something has gone wrong with the Gulf Stream. While in the background, a man named Mr. Malvit is spying on the heroes and he radios the scientist. Batman tells Marvin that they also need a chart of the Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, in a car, Doctor Thinkwik answers Malvit's radio call, and Malvit tells him there are spies. He tells him they are getting maps of the Gulf Stream, and Thinkwik tells him they'll be right there. He tells Wicker to get to the government building fast, so he steps on the gas and they take off for there as quick as they can.
Back a the government building, unknown to the heroes, Malvit takes the Florida coast map and hides it. And Batman is upset, because it was the last one and the most important map. In another room, Malvit tells Thinkwik that they want the Florida coast map. He tells them not to let them have it.
In the Weather research room, Robin and Wendy see that the weather is messed up, because somewhere along the Florida coast, in one place it's 85 degrees, and right next to it it's 50 degrees. Wendy tells Robin they should report their findings to Batman. They rush into the hydrographics room and tell him. They then notice they are being followed, and Batman tells them that strange things had been happening, that their maps had disappeared. He tells Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog to wait outside in the Batmobile, and that they will continue to search for the missing map.
They then locate the men and the map. He asks for the map but the all scramble. Mr. Wicker ends up with the map, and the Dynamic Duo give chase. Batman tries to catch Malvit, but he escapes, leaving only Batman his pants. Mr. Wicker escapes from Robin down a mail chute.
While outside, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog are by the Batmobile talking about the little man following them and Wendy said she didn't notice him. Marvin tells her that men have keener observation skills. Just then, Thinkwik walks by with the map, and Wonder Dog is the only one who seemed to notice. He looks at his clock, and up at the sun, and pulls out an umbrella. Wonder Dog barks to get their attention and finally they notice him as well, and wonder why he would have an umbrella and be wearing rubber rain boots. Just then, it starts to rain. The two kids think that was suspicious. They then follow him, and he looks at the clock again and realizes that the rain is about to clear. He takes down his umbrella and continues walking. Wonder Dog accidentally follows him too close and he runs into the back of him. The man tells him "Down hound! The man then asks them why they are following him. And they explained how they thought it was odd that he knew when it would rain and vice versa. He tells them not to follow him again or he'll call the cops.
However, Wonder Dog follows and observes him putting on a heavy coat. And he pulls out his weather remote and presses a button which causes the wind to blow hard. Marvin and Wendy are in the Batmobile waiting on Wonder Dog to return and Wonder Dog barks in and gestures in a manner that Wendy is able to decipher that it was the man who caused to wind to blow with some sort of gadget.
Meanwhile, back at the government building, Thinkwik's lackeys escape through the window and take off in their car. Batman and Robin then give chase in the Batmobile. Meanwhile, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog are still tailing Thinkwik, until the reach a seaside dock, and Thinkwik stops, puts his umbrella in the air and waves down his lackeys, who are approaching in the car. They then pull up to the dock, and Thinkwik jumps in, with the Batmobile tailing behind. Marvin and Wendy are hiding behind some crates, but once they see him get in the car they run after him. The car takes off down the pier toward the water. The Batmobile picks up the kids and dog and continue their pursuit. Wendy tells them she thinks he's the weather guy. The car drives out on the water, proving that it's apparently some sort of aquatic car. Robin suggests that they get the rest of the Super Friends and especially Aquaman.
Meanwhile, in the Mid-Atlantic, Globi, a pilot whale responds to Aquaman's telepathic call about the tangled seaweed. He tells the whale that the drifting seaweed is a danger to ships and he asks Globi if he knows the exact direction and speed of the drift. Globi gives Aquaman the necessary information. The whale then asks Aquaman if he could help a family of dolphins escape from the clutches of the seaweed, because they had gotten tangled up in it. Aquaman goes to free the calf from the weeds first, then the mother dolphin and finally the father dolphin. He then has them follow him to safety and tells them to stay away from the seaweed. He then returns to the Hall of the Justice League.
Back at the beach house, Superman and Wonder Woman join the others, and Wendy realizes that they have to find a pattern in what's happened if they want to find the bad guys. While Wonder Dog is on the roof of the beach house he spots Aquaman coming ashore. He leaps from the ocean and into the swimming pool and out again and lands right next to the picnic table with biscuits. He then eats some and likes them.
Later, in the beach house, Marvin and Wendy are in charge of the chart. While Superman is flying high over the Florida coast to measure the barometric pressure: 1012 millibars, and as he continues east, it continues falling. Aquaman reports the water temperature off the coast of Florida.
Batman then radios Wendy and tells her they are in the city and they're getting some strange temperature readings: Robin tells her that it's 90 degrees at 600 feet altitude, but it's almost freezing on the streets below. He takes his Batrope to swing to another building and he tells them that it's 100 degrees up there. Wonder Woman is in her transparent plane getting readings on wind velocity. Over the coast at 10,000 feet it's 70mph from the east, and over the city at 5,000 feet the wind is 40mph from the east. And that completes their weather map. They then recognize the pattern. The Super Friends return to the beach house, and Aquaman deduces that the Gulf Stream is shifting. And they realize that the bad guys are operating within that area. Just then Wilcox radios the Super Friends to tell them that many animals are marooned on an island because the land bridge was covered by floodwaters. Wonder Woman tells him she's on her way. Batman tells the others they need to begin searching for the evil men.
Meanwhile, the evil men are in their tugboat, and Thinkwik says they need more fuel. Malvit says he and Wicker no where to get some.
The kids are riding with Batman and Robin in the Batboat as Superman flies over the area in search for the weather trouble makers. Aquaman is swimming under his own power in the ocean. Superman then spots a waterspout and heads for it. Aquaman finds it odd that there is a waterspout here, since there are no tornado conditions present. As Aquaman checks under the sea in the area, he finds a huge nozzle with an incredible jet stream. And he follows it up, and sees the boat it is attached to. He returns to the others to report his findings, and tells them the boat is about 25 miles over the horizon.
Wilcox calls the Super Friends again and says that a Oil tanker is in trouble at the Panama Canal. And a fishing boat is also in trouble. Superman heads to the Panama Canal and Aquaman to the fishing boat. Batman and the others continue on in the batboat until the reach the boat. Batman, Robin, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog board the boat. The kids and the dog stay in the Batboat while Batman and Robin see if it's safe on deck. Wonder Dog goes sneaking out to the the boat. Marvin and Wendy go after him, boarding the boat, and just then, elsewhere on the boat, and unseen by anyone, Wicker and Malvit jump into their aquatic car. Batman and Robin burst back into the scene and jump in the Batboat and give chase, believing that the kids and dog are in the back of the Batboat, not realizing they are on the tugboat. At first Marvin and Wendy are scared because they left them, but then they realize it must be safe, so they go looking around in the tugboat. They located a weather chart that is similar to the one that they had, with the Gulf Stream and the Jet Stream shown on the map...this confirms that they are the ones responsible for the wacky weather. Just then, Thinkwik enters the room, and he asks what they are doing on his boat. Marvin tells Thinkwik that the Superfriends know what's going on, and they will be back. So Thinkwik decides to move his operation to another location so that they can't locate him, but he promises to return them to the Super Friends once the Gulf Stream has been shifted. He sits at the controls of his boat, and flicks a switch that retracts his jet stream nozzle. He then sets a new course...
Meanwhile, the Batboat is still chasing the Aquatic car back to the dock, where it drives up a submerged pier. As they dock, Batman tells Marvin and Wendy to "wait here." But he then realizes that they aren't even there. Batman's keen detective skills allows him to deduce that they must have gone aboard the tug. He tells Robin that Superman and Aquaman could reach them the quickest.
At the Panama Canal, Superman rescues the ship, and is radioed by Batman about the situation with Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog on the tugboat. Superman tells him he will get to the boat, and that he will inform Aquaman as well.
Meanwhile, Batman and Robin are at Pier 57, where they notice the amphicar's tracks.
While on the tugboat, Wendy asks Thinkwik why he's shifting the Gulf Stream, and he tells her that he's from the country called Glacia, located in the Arctic, is a very cold place to live. The weather is horribly cold. It's so cold that the natives of the country cannot raise enough crops or cattle to feed themselves. He goes onto say that shifting the Gulf Stream will give his country a nice climate, making agriculture and animal husbandry a possibility. He then says: "We'll be warm." Then Marvin says: "But we'll be cold!" But this doesn't seem to concern Thinkwik, which leads Wendy to the conclusion that he is a selfish man.
Meanwhile, after hours at the government building, Malvit and Wicker enter through a basement window. Batman and Robin arrive and realize that they must have gotten in somehow. Robin suggest they call the FBI to get them in. But Batman tells him that he wants to know what they're after. They then toss their batropes up to an open window, and climb in. Robin takes the Hydrographic office and Batman the Weather Service room. They are unfruitful, but they notice that one of the elevators is going up. So they take the stairs and try to beat it to the top. They reach the 60th floor and enter the door, and realize that the two men were going to steal government secrets from the depository room. Although the door to the room is locked, they enter through the door's transom and find the two men trying to open a safe. As they open the safe, they pull out a canister of nuclear fuel. Batman and Robin are observing stealthily. They figure it's for their jet stream engine. Just then, Batman tosses his batrope to tie them up and he puts the nuclear fuel safely back in the vault and he locks the safe. Robin presses a button to call the police. They then return to the Batboat and rendezvous with Superman to find the tugboat.
When they arrive, they see that the tugboat is gone. Superman and Aquaman are also clueless as to where the tug could be. Superman tells the Dynamic Duo he'll search further out to sea, and Aquaman tells them his friends below will help search. Batman then calls Wonder Woman to help, who at that moment is saving the goats from being stranded on the island, by lowering a bridge down with her transparent plane.
Meanwhile on the tugboat, Thinkwik stops the boat and lowers his jet stream nozzle there, where it will be every bit as effective. He sets it to maximum. And he tells them if the Super Friends try to shut down his jet engine, he'll switch it to irreversible, making it impossible to shut down. Wendy tells Thinkwik that if he freezes Florida to warm up Glacia, it could be bad for Glacia...sooner or later, since we all live on the same Earth. What hurts one part of the Earth, eventually hurts all countries. But the man doesn't agree.
Under the sea, a bottle-nose dolphin reports to Aquaman that although he hasn't found the tugboat, he and his relatives are working on it. A pilot whale, Killer whale, sperm whale, California gray whale and a baleen whale are engaged in the search. Then an excited dolphin tells Aquaman he's cited the jet stream. He thanks the Dolphin and speeds back to the batboat.
Upon returning to the Batboat, he tells Batman he found it. Robin flags Superman down, and he flies down into the boat. Batman radios Wonder Woman and tells her to follow them in the Batboat because they have located Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog...and the jet stream.
Back on the tugboat, Wendy tries to reason with Thinkwik to see if there's a way everyone could work together to help Glacia with its' problems. He says no. But Marvin said that Glacia's problems aren't just Glacia's problems alone, they are the whole world's problems. Just then the JLA enter the room and Batman says: "Correct." Thinkwik is surprised he found them, and they ask him to shut off the machine, but he tells them he won't until the Gulf Stream has completely shifted. Robin attempts to shut off the jet stream himself but Thinkwik switches it to irreversible mode. Aquaman attempts to plug the nozzle and Superman attempts to disconnect it, while Batman and Robin work on a way to short circuit the wires. Even with all of Superman's vast super strength, he is unable to disconnect it. Batman and Robin fair no better at short circuiting the wires. Aquaman tries to plug the nozzle with a boulder, but it is blown right off. Aquaman uses his aquatic telepathy to tell a great whale to redirect the nozzle straight down, right toward the ocean floor. Superman then forces the jet nozzle straight down, plowing it into the earth. Thinkwik is now upset, thinking that his people will now starve. But what he didn't realize was that his jet nozzle drilled a hole into the earth which drilled into a geothermal pocket, or heat, below the Earth's crust which can be used to warm Glacia's climate.
Now, Glacia has become a land of agriculture. A warm and beautiful country. Doctor Thinkwik thanks them for burying the jet nozzle below the sea bottom.
Back at the beach house, Marvin is baking tarts and Wendy asks him he'd like to take a swim. Marvin looks out the window and sees that the thermometer says it's freezing. But Wendy shows him that she had attached an icecube to it as a practical joke. The two of them laugh.
Continuity in Other Media
- References: water softener, magazine, Xel, Race, weather, U.S. Government, colonel, swimming pool, auto, bone, equator, golf, pants, rubber rain boots, Syn, corn, litter, Boat Sales/Sea Food, Marine Supplies, telepathic, whales, buttermilk biscuits, baking, buttermilk, biscuits, Overcoat Sale, nuclear fuel, Hades, Waterspout, toothpick, sailfish, Great Whale, Pier 57, Pier 58, North Pole, FBI, Batclimb, cricket, Miami Police Department, scientists, criminal, nuclear power, geothermal pocket, temperature, water-jet drill, farm, ice skates, swimsuit, ice cubes.
Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.
Dr. Pelagian's War
|Season 1: SuperFriends (1973)|