I believe that Time Magazine stated that in the 60’s…The three B’s were The Beatles, Bond, and Batman ’66. Makes sense to me, finally on DVD. It almost didn’t happen. My only hypothesis is that since, it has been the most bootlegged T.V. series ever. Someone was able to tape all the episodes and sell them to you, at your local comic con. Many A- Bat-fanatic wondered why this series is so…well ’60’s?
One is that Batman (although never meant for children), was marketed that way. An eight year old witnessed a murder, and wanted justice. Many, many young minds back in the ’30’s – present could relate. However in the late 50’s Batman was softened, to be more “family friendly”. Due to the book Seduction of the Innocent. Also for those who had the pleasure to buy a Color T.V. and with the age of Aquarius…it was a idea that made sense on paper…For me its aged well.
I’m not going to review episode by episode here. I will on my podcast Hunnicoutcast. In the meantime, what did I think of the DVD Blu Ray limited edition? First of all it’s pricey. Not as much as an Iphone6 Plus…but you get the idea. Second only 95,000 copies of the Special Edition Blu Ray Complete Series sets are being made….so get it before it’s gone. You won’t have buyers remorse.
The average price is between $175.00 – $229.00. I purchased the set on Amazon.Com/ Prime. “I have no buyers remorse.” After taking it out of the Amazon Box, the set weighs close to four pounds. The outside box art is a love letter to not only the show. But color as well. If you are color blind, you’d throw a fit. The classic logo hovers over the middle of the box. The dynamic duo are ready for action on the far left. Bam and Pow are on the upper right and left of the box. On the sides we see Batman and Robin climbing the walls. And if you press the side of the box, the first five seconds of the theme music plays.
Almost forgot about the Hot Wheels Bat mobile in the lower left. Best of all the box is horizontal. So opening it, is like entering the Batcave. You get all three seasons of the series. Kept in a special section. Each DVD set has a pop art picture of a famous character. From Alfred the Butler, to Penguin, to King Tut. Front and back, it is well designed. Also season one contains four discs. Where season two and three has four – six discs . So the series is not compressed. Making the picture and sound rather impressive.
Also on the Special Edition Blu Ray, you get an small episode guide. A bat book from Adam West. That makes great Bat-Room reading. As well as 44 trading cards. Some of the images deserve to be framed. Or shown in a museum. As for the episodes themselves. They hold up well. This show had a great cast. Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier. Not to mention an excellent villain rogue. Cesar Romero as the Joker. Burgress Meredith as the Penguin. As well as Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. Each played over the top, but had fun with it. Penguin used a fine feathered/gentleman’s way of speaking. Riddler had a great way of playing a giggling idiot and then menacing at the drop of a hat. You also had Julie Newmar and Ertha Kitt as Catwoman for two different seasons.
This show had a ton of guest stars. Cliff Roberston played Cowboy Shame. Who stated in a interview “they let me play a cowboy who is dumb.” ” It was supposed to be a parody of the movie Shane.” Vincent Price was Egghead, an genius who used egg puns. I could go on and on. Some appearances were memorable, others not so much. Shelly Winters as Ma Parker was one, or Joan Collins as The Siren was another. By the third season Batgirl was introduced for the female demographic, and some eye candy for the male demographic. However by season three…with the show over budget, and doomed ratings. Several episodes were chopped from one hour to thirty minutes. The novelty was wearing off.
The show was also known for the heroes to have moral fiber. The writing had to deal with Batman and Robin being deputized by the G.C.P.D. So kids wouldn’t get the wrong idea of their heroes. The villains couldn’t be too menacing. So kids wouldn’t have nightmares (which is why Two- Face was axed). The battle scenes dealt with both heroes and villains kicking the air. Followed by an colorful BIFF!!! or POW!!! over the “air punches/kicks.” I guess for censoring issues. Did it hurt Batman’s rep? No…but I stated before…the novelty was wearing thin…N.B.C. was willing to buy the series and work on a fourth season. However A.B.C. took too long for negotiations to go through, and sets were already destroyed…even the Dynamic Duo couldn’t save the series.
In the 70’s Batman ’66 would BAM!!! POW!!!! ZIFFF!!!! its way on syndication. A few years ago it got its own comic book series. I caught the series in the 80’s, when Batman ’89 was released. I appreciate the camp, and believed that the actors/writers/producers had a blast with the final product.
I have a feeling generations of old and new still/will have that feeling as well.
As of this review I haven’t watched the Special Features. I have heard that the Standard DVD set has them. Which sells for a little less,but w/o the special edition goodies (no Hot Wheels Bat mobile, trading cards, ect). The complete first season is also out. But the second and third seasons are being sold in two parts. I’m not sure if they will have the Special Features, also no special goodies. Also the Blu Ray Complete Set has a code to stream the episodes on Flixster. Again it’s 50/50, so until next time old chums….