More TV Memories – Batman.

Batman (ABC, 1966-1968)

Now this is a TV show that is rather well-known, although I didn’t see this myself until there was a repeat run in the early-90s. The character of Batman had been around long before this show of course, originally becoming popular in comics. By the time that this came to the screen, there were a few questions. Was this a sitcom? Was this being played for laughs? Did people realise how strange all of this was?

In Gotham City, some know him as mild-mannered Bruce Wayne… but some, although they don’t realise it, know him as superhero Batman! The main character is played by Adam West, who was a good choice, because “nobody messes with Adam We!”. But he couldn’t have done any of it without this trusted sidekick, Robin The Boy Wonder.

They would always have to get into the Batmobile and come to the rescue against various villains. The most famous of these included The Joker, The Penguin, and The Riddler. And there were also the memorable fight scenes, mixed in with lots of sensational stunts, and crazy moments. Holy mackerel! That’s why the became known as The Dynamic Duo. There were 120 episodes packed into three series.

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What I do find interesting about Batman now though was how many different channels this has been repeated on over the years, and seemingly always aimed at different audiences. I remember watching this as part of Sharp’s Funday (that I reviewed a while ago) on Sunday afternoons on LWT, and I did find this enjoyable, and I think that there were also repeats on Saturdays around this time too.

By the mid-90s, the repeats had moved to Channel 4, but again they were aimed at younger viewers. And then in the 2000s, there was a repeat run on BBC4 in an evening slot. This really didn’t seem like the right channel for such a show, as this was supposed to feature educational programming. Maybe it was supposed to be an exploration of the campness and quirkiness of this era… or maybe they just bought them in cheap.

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And in the 2010s, this moved once again to ITV4, will these repeats never end? After the TV version, there would go on to be several high-profile and successful films, although these had a harder edge, along with other spin-offs. I also remember an animated version being shown as part of the early editions of CITV’s What’s Up Doc. And Adam West later went on to become the mayor of Quahog in Family Guy.

3 thoughts on “More TV Memories – Batman.

  1. Michael says:

    I like both this show and also the 1966 theatrical feature film of the same name which features the late Adam West (who died on 9th June 2017) as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin.

    West and Ward also even voiced Batman and Robin, respectively in Filmation’s The New Adventures of Batman (1977) as well.

    I think there was also Filmation’s The Adventures of Batman which featured Olan Soule (who died on 1st February 1994) as Batman and Casey Kasem (who also died on 15th June 2014) as Robin.

    Olan Soule and Casey Kasem also reprised the roles of Batman and Robin, respectively in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies called The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair and The Caped Crusader Caper IIRC.

    On a side note, Adam West also replaced Olan Soule as the voice of Batman beginning with Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. Olan Soule must have voiced Batman in the Super Friends franchise from 1973 to 1983.

    I think Batman (the 1966 TV Series) must have been unavailable on home media release until 2014 (in the USA only) due to rights issues, i think. However, the show is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, which was released on 11th November 2014 (under license from 20th Century Fox and in the USA only) with a variety of extras including a miniature Batmobile, a 32-page episode guide, and Adam West Scrapbook. A second box released on Warner Bros.’ own “batmanondvd” website replaces the Batmobile and the trading cards with a script from the episode “The Joker is Wild” and a bonus box containing the movie and the “Adam West Naked” documentary. This series is also available at the Google Play Store, and iTunes Store.

    I also even like Batman: The Animated Series as well which features Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman which used to be on CITV’s What Up Doc? on Saturday mornings from 1992 to 1995.

    I also even like Robin’s catchphrase which is “Holy [noun] Batman!” and Batman’s catchphrase that of “To the Bat Mobile!”, respectively.

    I must admit that i like Batman.

    What are your thoughts about it anyway?

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  2. John King says:

    Batman was of course one of many US imports TV-am aired during their long and protracted industrial action with the unions in 1987-1988.

    Batman along with Flipper and Happy Days filled out a lot of the TV-am schedules, especially during the early weeks of the lock out of union members by TV-am management, which meant live programming was severely restricted to news summaries and presentation.

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  3. Michael says:

    Yeah, on a side note, i think these screencaps of Batman (1966 TV Series) appear to be from TV Land airings in the USA. Am i right?

    Like

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