"For many modern fans, [the 1966 BATMAN] was the first televised version of the character they saw, and many if not all of them see it as a step toward whatever legitimacy one might see in having the character adapted for expensive Hollywood movies, starting with the 1989 BATMAN."
Obviously posters can say anything they like about the teleseries here, but I'll start off asking: did fans here resent or dislike the series because it wasn't that serious?
I've been on both sides of this disagreement. When I was a kid (late 1960s to early 1970s), I used to love the show. It was in syndication a lot, and I didn't read comics, so that's where I learned about Batman, Robin, Alfred, Gordon and the great villains.
When I got a little older (in my teens and early twenties), I didn't like the show. I thought it was pretty dumb. I took comics pretty seriously for a while. (I also hated Robin. It was nice that he was very seldom in the random issues of Batman and Detective that I was reading in the late 1970s. But when I did come across an issue where Robin was a guest star (like the classic stories in Batman #257 and #279), I liked him. He was OK in small doses.)
But I got into my mid-twenties and I started taking comics (and myself) a little less seriously and ever since then, I've loved the 1966 Batman series. You can't beat those guest villains! In addition to the obvious guests like Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt, there was a whole battalion of actors like Vincent Price, Otto Preminger, Art Carney, John Astin, Joan Collins, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Roddy MacDowell and I don't know who-all. It's action-packed and fun. And it's often hilarious.
It's been on IFC lately and I watched it quite a bit when they first started running it.
When I think of all the dumb stuff in "The Long Halloween" or "Batman R.I.P." or the Christopher Nolan films, I wonder that any fan has the gall to complain about Batman 1966 being "silly."
With this flying dreadnaught under me, I can wipe out all mankind! Now the Hulk will be the HUNTER instead of the HUNTED!
I rank the Adam West Batman series as one of the top 3 best adaptations of Batman comics ever. Along with Batman The Animated Series and The Dark Knight Returns animated film.
The costume alone makes it stands out!
This is why I say that the costume alone makes it real and having said that it is the true Batman of the Silver and Bronze Age and that's why the 1966 BATMAN show alone - helps Batman from being cancelled by DC Comics and this show played a big part of that resurgence of that iconic character. You are so right Jesse!
Post by Prince Hal on Dec 12, 2014 22:57:21 GMT -5
I eagerly awaited the premiere. I was 11 years old and thrilled that finally comics were going to get the respect they deserved. When the animated credits sequence came on, I thought it looked cool. And we didn't have a color TV!
The show itself, however, didn't really grab me, mainly because I knew that anyone who didn't care for comics, or who thought they were kids' stuff, would only have their opinions validated by what I didn't realize then was camp.
I didn't stay with the show past the second or third episode. I wanted detective work, serious fighting, and a Robin who wasn't a total dink.
Plus, you have to remember, at least for me in my social world, comics were something you were supposed to grow out of. Reading them into your teens was considered immature, infantile, and potentially dangerous to your mental health. You liked comics, you were a loser. (In some post or another, maybe the Christmas thread, I may mention how I had to smuggle comics past my friends and parents in extremis.) Now we had to deal with our favorite hero reduced to an object of mockery.
I loved the Norm Saunders Batman cards, though, which made me wish even more that the show had gone more for that look. I also was grateful to the show because its success meant more comics were published, and more books about comics, particularly a paperback collection of Golden Age Batman stories that were an enormous help to a kid eager to learn more about the earlier days of Batman.
Of course, within a couple of years, I loved the campiness of the show and still do. When I flip it on occasionally, I can only last maybe 20 minutes at a time, though. My sons, (27 and 24) and I will laugh together at it in ritualistic glee They grew up on Dini's Batman animated series, which I loved watching with them when they were kids. (A particular favorite was "The Grey Ghost," with the voice of Adam West.)
There's room for all these versions now: the "boys" and I enjoy the Bale movies, the various cartoons, Adam West, and even the old serials, enjoying each for its strengths and relishing the flaws of each as well.
I have to say, though, that for those of us of a certain age, that night in January, 1966 was as pregnant with hope and possibility as Christmas Eve.
Last Edit: Dec 14, 2014 12:41:25 GMT -5 by Prince Hal
"The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance." -- The Tempest, 5.1
I grew up watching the Adam West series. He was the Batman I grew up with. Back then I thought it was great. And yes as I grew I realized how campy and silly it is compared to how Batman is today, but I still like it. Why? Because it was fun. That's what superheroes are - FUN! And you have to give both Adam West & Burt Ward credit. When you think of some of the dumb, corny lines they had to say, it must have been very hard to say them with a straight face without busting up laughing. Can you imagine how many takes they had to do?
Granted, kids today would hate this show, but so what, he's not their Batman. My own wife thinks I'm weird for watching it, but hey I don't care. I watch it cause it's fun, and the big appeal of the show was the guest stars who played the villains or would do a cameo of popping out a window. A lot of great actors during the 60's wanted to be in this show! Again because it was fun!
I just got the complete DVD Box Set yesterday. Thank god it FINALLY got released! I put Batman up there with the original Star Trek & Get Smart! The 60's had fun TV shows, and Batman just happens to be one of them!
Post by Phil Maurice on Dec 13, 2014 20:54:30 GMT -5
I first saw the show in syndication around '72-'73. I'm with Hoosier X in that Batman '66 was my introduction to the works of Old Hollywood royalty like Tallulah Bankhead (Devil and the Deep) and Francis X. Bushman (Ben Hur), legendary actors like George Sanders (All About Eve) and the delicious Victor Buono (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?), not to mention director Otto Preminger (Anatomy of a Murder), among innumerable others.
These were celebrities that my parents instantly recognized and admired, though they often scratched their heads at these luminaries appearing on such a silly program alongside "Batman" (sniff). Still, my parents were the most sparklingly brilliant people I knew at the time ( I was 5) and I very much wanted to be "in the know," so I paid very close attention and gradually developed a deep and exclusive affection for cultural touchstones that pre-date me by multiple decades, a condition I still suffer from.
Batman '66 managed to attract a galaxy of stars into its field of gravity where they shone very brightly for a brief time, and what a time it was!
It's ludicrous rubbish - high camp, juvenile & ridiculous. And of course hugely enjoyable! I'd still rather watch the film spun out of the series than any of the godawful "serious" Batman films that followed.