I was born in 1969, making this show a little before my time.  Growing up, I didn't catch it in re-runs because we lived in the boonies and only had two channels.  It was the early 90s before I had access to  multiple cable channels.  I may have noticed it then but promptly dismissed it.  After all, as a good comics fan who grew up in the 80s, wasn't it my duty to be embarassed by this campy relic of a time long passed?

Flash forward to 2012.  The Cartoon Network here in Canada has this show on every night, so I decided to give Adam West and company a try.  I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.  Sure, "campy" is the perfect description, and I find Burt Ward grating at the best of times.  I'm not sure Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara would take a bathroom break without calling in Batman.  And sure, it's formulaic and repetitive at times.  But there's still something fun there.  And Adam West seems to be the only one playing it straight, respectful of the character and not chewing the scenery too much, at least not as much as the others.

For those of you who were there at the time, what did you make of it all then?  And how did it go from being such a craze to being cancelled so quickly?  Am I correct that it hasn't been released on DVD?  I don't ever recall seeing it anywhere.

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I wasn't around (aware) of the show when it debuted as I was all of 2 years old.  However, I did watch it in reruns as a young lad, and I would say it played differently to a kid back then than to an adult.  As a kid I took it somewhat seriously, and yes, I was one of those who wondered "just why don't the villains shoot Batman and Robin rather than using those elaborate death-traps". I didn't really enjoy it as comedy until I was in college.

I do know that the show currently is not on DVD, although I have heard that will change shortly.

I think the fact that the show is owned by someone other than Warner Bros is the block to DVD sales. It's the same company as made 'Moonlighting' so blockbusting short-fad TV series are kinda their thing. (DesiLu productions?)

The movie is available on DVD, presumably after much legal wrangling.

I still can't believe they got someone who wouldn't shave off his moustache to play the Joker. I spotted something weird was going on there within 5 minutes as a kid. Otherwise the Joker was pretty good. I guess such a character on such a show couldn't be too OTT.
There was a minor Bat-Craze for the old show in the late 80s in the UK. There was a long strike by the people who made breakfast TV on one of the channels and they filled the slot with this. It took off again and Adam West did the chatshow circuit once more, double-page spreads in the popular press etc.

I suppose the then-upcoming Keaton movie and the recent Dark Knight Returns fed into it to some extent.

the Batman TV show had 'a certain quality' as well as plain old 'quality' which did no harm. Neither did West's steady presence at the centre of such a crazy party of a show.

...Mark , wouldn't , even by the standards of the show , any desire by Catwoman to kill have been a joke , given her , in her villian days , " she's a nicer villian " status ???????

  I was born in 21960 and I guess saw the show in prime time pretty much from the beginning .

  John , I don't believe the West series has ever been on DVD OR VHS in US pressings , ever !!!!!!!!! ( The 1966 feature film has . )

  When there was a legal dispute between WB and Fox a fw years back regarding the rights to " Watchmen " I remember reading that " a settlement of the 60s Bat-Series logjam allow Fox " might be part of the settlement...The WM dispute was settled , obviously , but still ( Up to now . ) no B-S on DVD .

Was that 21960 AD or BC?

 

Either way we are glad to have you here in the 21st Century.

 

:-)

...Ha ha . Okay , Imis-typed and didn't notice it , I am under hurried - and exceptionally stressing , today - circumstances here .

I thought the TV Bat-Cave was the coolest "fort" I'd ever seen. Still do. Bright, filled with gadgets and gizmos and everything is labelled!

As far as the villains, the Joker was the corniest of the major ones, the Riddler the zaniest, the Penguin the cleverest and Catwoman via Julie Newmar the sexiest!

But I liked Bookworm, King Tut, the Archer, Marsha-Queen of Diamonds and, of course, Egghead!

Teh only person cooler than Vincent Price is Vincent Twice Vincent Twice.

At this point in time, Catwoman was still a "villain" and not an anti-hero as I recall.  Mind you, she hadn't been seen for a while when the show debuted. Additionally, both in the comics and on the TV show, when she was revived she seemed to have zero compulsion against killing.  Heck, she set up as many death-traps as anyone in the series, and in the comics around that time she was quite prepared to kill Batman, Robin and especially Batgirl if she couldn't have Batman for herself.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...Mark , wouldn't , even by the standards of the show , any desire by Catwoman to kill have been a joke , given her , in her villian days , " she's a nicer villian " status ???????

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

One thing I did always wonder about as a kid was how they changed clothes while sliding down a fire pole.

 

Once -- once -- they showed Batman and Robin stopping off partway to change clothes, and then getting back on the poles in costume, and continuing on their way. 

"I do remember being disapointed that she couldn't fight"

Diana Rigg, she wasn't.   : )

"King Tut was a lot of fun.  He was what we'd call 'snarky' today."

Stanley Ralph Ross wrote most of his stories (and most of the Catwoman stories as well).  Ross was one of the only writers on the show who was able to mix drama with out-and-out COMEDY.  Some writers (Charles Hoffman!!!!!!) did "stupid".  Ross did "funny".  And boy, is there a difference.  (Of course, they made Hoffman the story editor. Take the show's worst writer, and put him in charge of all the others. You can tell, right there, that William Dozier was DELIBERATELY screwing the potential of the show over. It astounds me that he was "assigned" to do this show by his boss, William Self-- it was not in any way Dozier's idea. Wonderful way to do a TV series... he said, sarcastically.)

Ross was later the one who "developed" WONDER WOMAN for TV (Lynda Carter!!!).  That first season, set in WW2, was just sooooooooooo good!!! And, when I caught the pilot again a few years back, I was shocked to discover it was much more authentic to the actual comic-book "origin" story than I ever could have imagined back in the 70's.

There's a couple of instances where Victor Buono is actually imitating W.C. Fields when he's doing Tut. Just, totally, completely nutso!!!

I love the bit where he's describing his ancestry, and adds, "...and that's just on MAMA's side of the family!"

ClarkKent_DC:

"Once -- once -- they showed Batman and Robin stopping off partway to change clothes, and then getting back on the poles in costume, and continuing on their way. "

NO, they DIDN'T!!!    : )

But at least once, they DID show a big SWITCH on the wall on the way down that activated the "Bat-Automated Costume Change"-- and if you hit the switch to turn it OFF, Bruce could arrive in the Batcave STILL as Bruce Wayne, instead of as Batman.

In the newspaper comic (which debuted in May or June '66) there's a shot early-on which shows them sliding down "Bat-Ropes" (which I think might be hard on the hands).  They cut to Alfred (who looked like the comic-book Alfred, not the TV version), who looks straight at the readers, and says, "I don't know how they do that quick-change gimmick, but it is quite clever, don't you think?"

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