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"Holy Introductions!"

Based on the character created by Bob Kane in ‘Detective Comics’ #27 way back in 1939, ‘Batman’ follows the adventures of the eponymous crime-fighting Caped Crusader and his trusty sidekick, Robin, the Boy Wonder, who bravely fight the forces of crime and injustice in Gotham City.

The character of Batman has always proved popular with the public, and after appearing in hundreds of comic books and two movie-serials, the decision was made to make the first ‘Batman’ television series, in 1966. Originally, the ABC Network planned the show to be comprised of sixty-minute episodes, but soon decided to change it into thirty-minute two-, and sometimes three-, part stories, featuring some classic cliff-hangers. Executively produced by William Dozier, who was also the series’ distinctively off-beat narrator, ‘Batman’ was one of the few shows to be transmitted twice a week, on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30pm.

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An inspired choice of casting placed Adam West in the title role, and he swiftly made the role his own, playing it with a serious-but-camp gusto; together with Burt Ward as Robin, the chemistry between the Dynamic Duo was nothing short of superb, and remains one of the best partnerships in television history. The show was blessed with a great supporting cast comprising of Alan Napier as butler Alfred Pennyworth, James Hamilton as Police Commissioner Gordon, Stafford Repp as Police Chief O’Hara, Madge Blake as Aunt Harriett Cooper, and, in the third and final season, the delectable Yvonne Craig as Batgirl. One of the show’s major strengths is the many villains the our heroes faced, with terrifically over-the-top performances by Cesar Romero as the Joker; Burgess Meredith as the Penguin; Vincent Price as Egghead; Julie Newmar, Lee Ann Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt all playing Catwoman; Frank Gorshin and John Astin as the Riddler and many, many more.

The show worked on two levels: children would enjoy seeing their comic-book hero brought to life, while adults would appreciate its camp humour, in-jokes and guest celebrities. With its bright comic-book colours, quirky camera angles, fantastic gadgets (the Batmobile, the Batcopter, the Batarang, the Battransmitter and the Batearplugs to name a few), crazy on-screen graphics (Biff! Thwack! Powie! Krunch!), and Robin’s terrific epithets (Holy Bullseye! Holy Impossibility! Holy Sky Rockets! Holy Sudden Incapacitation!), the show proved an instant hit. A movie soon appeared in cinemas, although it was actually supposed to be shown before the television show, as an introduction to the characters, but ABC then decided to bring the premiere of the television series ahead from its intended premiere date in Autumn of 1966 to January 1966. A second series was made, which features one of the longest episode runs ever made. However, with the third series the show began to lose its popularity, possibly because episodes were now stand-alone stories, although they still ended with a reference to the next one. Finally, ABC cancelled the series, and when, two weeks later, NBC offered to make a fourth season, it was too late, as the order had already been given for the sets to be demolished.

But the show lives on through the usual repeats; still terrific fun, it remains one of the best cult shows from the classic era of the 1960s.

Batman - Season 1
Batman - The Movie
Batman - Season 2
Batman - Season 3
Batman - Specials

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Legal Bit: 'Batman' is a registered trademark of DC Comics. The 'Batman' logo and all images from the television series are copyright ABC Television unless otherwise stated; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, not born yet, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

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