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Holy Long-Awaited DVD Box Set, 'Batman'!
November 17, 2014  | By David Bianculli  | 5 comments
 

The 1960s TV series Batman has never been available on home video – until now. It’s finally emerging from the proverbial Batcave, in a set sure to please Baby Boomers and confuse today’s youngsters…

The complete series, originally shown on ABC beginning in 1966, is available from Warner Bros. Home Video, on DVD and in a limited-edition Blu-Ray collector’s set, which comes complete with a tiny Hot Wheels Batmobile, a set of Batman trading cards, and other things. But for me, and people like me who grew up on this pop-art Batman series in the Sixties, it’s the shows that matter.

Extras included on the Blu-Ray set’s bonus disc include a round-table discussion in which Kevin Smith and others discuss the Caped Crusader with the show’s star, Adam West; a documentary that nicely ties the TV series to the pop art movement of the time; and even such rarities as the original screen test by Burt Ward (under another name), who won the co-starring role of Robin; and the original spinoff pilot for a Batgirl series starring Yvonne Craig.

But most of all, these brightly colored Batman episodes are the true gold mine. Younger viewers may have to adjust to a hero who’s less tortured than square, but they may, just as equally, respond enthusiastically to the cartoonish playfulness of the show in general, and the villains in particular.

Burgess Meredith as the Penguin! Frank Gorshin as the Riddler! And – sigh – Julie Newmar as Catwoman, who will forever embody that feline villain, for Boomers, just as much as Sean Connery will always be the best, as well as the first, James Bond.

To hear my review of this Batman set for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, listen to today's show, or, later this afternoon, visit the Fresh Air website. You also can order the Batman box set – just in time for gift-giving.

Holy holidays, Batman!
 
 
 
 
 
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5 Comments
 
 
Marlark
Yvonne Craig as Batgirl in her own series?!?!
(blood draining from head; feeling faint; weak at knees)
Nov 19, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
WHY do you use that irritating slide show on your home page? It is maddening!! Just as soon as I begin to read something it slides to something else. It is also extremely distracting when I try to look at something else on TV Worth Watching.
Nov 17, 2014   |  Reply
 
EG
Bob - Mouse-over the thumbnails next to the main home-page carousel image and presto, the scrolling will stop and you can read the captions uninterrupted. –EG
Nov 18, 2014
 
 
 
mike
thanks for nearly busting my eardrum for choosing to run on NPR a clip of Joan Collins as " the siren" with the ringing sound effect in its entirety, you fruitcake. Figures that would be your favorite episode. Why am I not suprised
Nov 17, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
I enjoyed your Fresh Air segment. Luckily, the sixties Batman was in syndication continually through my childhood in the seventies and eighties. The Baby Boomers aren't the only Batman fans. Hearing the theme music today transformed a dark, rainy Monday.

I'm also pondering again the question, Why did the Dark Knight have to be so dark? It's ironic that the most memorable pop culture of the sixties was brash and bright despite the tumult of the period. Makes me wonder what will turn out to be the most memorable of today's TV shows in four or five decades.
Nov 17, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Mister Glen
Listened eagerly to your review of the Batman DVD release.

No mention of MeTV featuring the show for over a year or two in Prime Time on Saturday night. For a web site called TV worth watching, MeTV is woefully overlooked. Is it because it is FreeTV?

You seem to focus on PayTV much more than FreeTV. It makes one wonder who is buttering your bread. To report on the Batman show DVD and omit the fact that it is on every Saturday, nationwide, is curious indeed.

My fourteen year old daughter has never seen any other Batman, just Adam West.

For me, Eartha Kitt is Catwoman and Glassboro State is the name of that college.
Nov 17, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
 
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