This article is about the 1960s series. For the animated 1990s series, see. For the animated 2000s series, see.
Batman is a 1960s, based on the. It stars as and as – two crime-fighting heroes who defend from a. It is known for its,, and its intentionally humorous, simplistic morality (aimed at its largely teenage audience). This included championing the importance of using seat belts, doing homework, eating vegetables, and drinking milk. It was described by executive producer William Dozier as the only situation comedy on the air without a. The aired on the network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968, twice weekly for the first two and weekly for the third. In 2016, television critics and ranked Batman as the 82nd greatest American television show of all time.
The series focused on the adventures of Batman and Robin. Although the lives of their alter-egos, millionaire and his ward (Richard John Grayson) were frequently shown, it was usually only briefly, in the context of their being called away on superhero business, or in circumstances where they needed to employ their secret identities to assist in their crime-fighting. The "Dynamic Duo" typically come to the aid of the Gotham City Police upon the latter being stumped by a supervillain. Throughout each episode, Batman and Robin have to follow a series of wildly improbable clues to discover the supervillain's plan, then figure out how to thwart that plan and capture the criminal.
For the first two seasons, Batman aired twice a week on consecutive nights. Every story is a two-parter, except for two three-parters featuring villainous team ups (The Joker and The Penguin, The Penguin and Marsha, Queen of Diamonds) in the second season. The titles of each multi-part story usually rhymed. For the third season, which aired one episode a week, most episodes were self-contained stories. However, each episode would end with a teaser featuring the next episode's guest villain. The cliffhangers between multiple-parters typically consisted of the supervillain holding someone captive, usually the Dynamic Duo, with the captives being subject to some elaborate, gruesome – if unlikely – death. This would inevitably be resolved early in the follow-up episode.
Ostensibly a, the style of the show was in fact campy and tongue-in-cheek. It was a true situation comedy, in that situations were exaggerated and were generally played for laughs. This increased as the seasons progressed, with the addition of ever greater absurdity. The characters, however, always took the absurd situations extremely seriously – which added to the comedy.
- as : A millionaire whose parents were murdered by criminals, he now secretly uses his vast fortune to fight crime as Batman. Producer William Dozier cast Adam West in the role after seeing him perform as the -like spy Captain Q in a Nestlé Quik television ad. had screen-tested for the role, though West ultimately won out because, it was said, he was the only person who could deliver the hilarious lines with a straight face. West later voiced an adam lambert without makeup 2018 animated version of the title character on and well as and.
- as : Batman's faithful (if overly eager) partner and "Boy Wonder", a high school student noted for his recurring interjections in the form of "Holy ________, Batman!" (The series avoided referencing Robin's origins as Bruce Wayne's fellow "crime orphan", as whose legal guardian the courts appoint Bruce.) Ward voiced an animated version of this character on The New Adventures of Batman.
- as : Batman's loyal butler and Batgirl's discreet confidant. He is the only person who knows the true identities of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Barbara Gordon.
- as : The Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department and one of Batman's two major police contacts. He summons the Dynamic Duo via the Batphone or the Bat Signal.
- as : Gotham City's Chief of Police, and Batman's other major police contact. The character was created by Semple for the series, as someone for Gordon to talk to, and later briefly added to the comics.
- as : Dick Grayson's maternal aunt. She first appeared in the comics, two years before the series premiered, to give Bruce and Dick a reason to be secretive about their dual identities.
- as : Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Gotham City librarian and crime fighting partner for Batman and Robin for the third season. Occasionally, this threesome was nicknamed the "Terrific Trio".
- – Executive producer, creator, and narrator (uncredited).
According to Adam West's memoir, Back to the Batcave, his first exposure to the series concept was through reading a sample script in which Batman enters a nightclub in his complete costume and requests a booth near the wall, as he "shouldn't wish to attract attention". It was the scrupulously formal dialogue, and the way that Batman earnestly believed he could avoid standing out while wearing a skintight blue-and-grey costume, that convinced West of the character's comic potential.
With the death of Adam West on June 9, 2017, Burt Ward is now the only surviving main Batman cast member.
Recurring villainsas Catwoman in the first and second seasons (1966-1967) of the show
- as the...A white-skinned, red-lipped, green-haired, purple-suited clown with a maniacal laugh who leaves behind jokes as clues to his next crime.
- as the...A waddling, cackling, chain-smoking, umbrella-wielding menace in a top hat and tails and a monocle.
- The played by:
- (seasons 1 & 3 and )
- (season 2)...A giggling fiend whose costume alternates between a green leotard with tights or a black derby and green suit, both accented with question marks. He taunts Gotham City and the Caped Crusader with riddles that are clues to his crimes.
- The played by:
- (seasons 1 and 2)
- (season 3)...A purring feline seductress in a tight black bodysuit with designs on Gotham City's riches and Batman himself.
- as Professor William McElroy a.k.a....An Egyptologist with a split personality, who divides his time between being a university professor and a reincarnated version of the centuries-old pharaoh.
- , a.k.a. Dr. Schimmel, played by:
- (season 1)
- (season 2)
- (season 2)...A cool, cruel crook who must dwell in an environment 50 degrees below zero. His weapon of choice is a freeze-blast gun. In his first appearance the gun could also produce a heat/incendiary beam.
- , a.k.a. Jervis Tetch, played by...A formally dressed baddie with a obsession for collecting hats.
- as...A smug, bald-headed genius whose crimes and speech patterns involve eggs. ("Egg-zactly.")
- as...A stunning, jewel-bedecked enchantress with very expensive tastes.
- as...A none too bright cowpoke whose partners at various times include Okie Annie and Calamity Jan.
- as...A Russian-accented redhead in cahoots with Egghead. (Baxter had earlier appeared in one story as "Zelda the Great", a master of illusion whose crimes were tied in with magic tricks.)
- as...A stogie puffing gangster with an unhealthy attraction for flowers.
- Plays a dual role as concert pianist Chandell and his gangster-like twin Harry, who was extorting Chandell into a life of crime as "Fingers".
In the early 1960s, Ed Graham Productions the television rights to the and planned a straightforward juvenile adventure show, much like and , to air on on Saturday mornings.
East Coast ABC executive Yale Udoff, a Batman fan in his childhood, contacted ABC executives and, who were already considering developing a television series based on a comic-strip action hero, to suggest a Batman series in the hip and fun style of When negotiations between CBS and Graham stalled, DC Comics quickly reobtained rights and made the deal with ABC, which farmed the rights out to to produce the series.
In turn, 20th Century Fox handed the project to and his production company, Greenway Productions. ABC and Fox were expecting a hip and fun—yet still serious—adventure show. However, Dozier, who had never before read comic books, concluded, after reading several Batman comics for research, that the only way to make the show work was to do it as a comedy. Originally, espionage novelist was to have scripted a TV movie that would launch the television series, but he dropped out after learning of Dozier's campy comedy approach. Eventually, two sets of screen tests were filmed, one with and and the other with and Peter Deyell, with West and Ward winning the roles.
had signed on as head script writer. He wrote the script, and generally wrote in a pop-art adventure style., Stanford Sherman, and were script writers who generally leaned more toward campy comedy, and in Ross's case, sometimes outright slapstick and satire. It was originally intended as a one-hour show, but ABC changed the premiere date from fall 1966 to January of that year. With the network having only two early-evening half-hour time slots available, the show was split into two parts, to air twice a week in 30-minute installments. A cliffhanger connected the two episodes, echoing the old.
Some ABC affiliates weren't happy that ABC included a fourth commercial minute in every episode of Batman. One affiliate refused to air the series. The network insisted it needed the extra advertising revenue.
,,,,, and, villains who originated in the comic books, all appeared in the series, the plots for which were deliberately villain-driven. According to the producers, was selected to portray the due to the fact that he was a fan since childhood. was portrayed by three different actresses during the series run: by in the first two seasons, by in the, and by in the third and final season.
Semple's participation in the series decreased in the second season. In his autobiography Back to the Batcave, Adam West explained to Jeff Rovin, to whom he dictated the autobiography after rejecting an offer to contribute to The Official "Batman" Batbook, written by Joel Eisner, that when work on the second season commenced following the completion of the feature film, Dozier, his immediate deputy Howie Horwitz, and the rest of the cast and crew rushed their preparation. Thus, they failed to give themselves enough time to determine what they wanted to do with the series during season two.
Season 3was added to the cast for season three in 1967, portraying Barbara Gordon/Batgirl.
By season three, were falling and the future of the series seemed uncertain. To attract new viewers, Dozier opted to introduce a female character. He came up with the idea of using, who in her civilian identity would be Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara, and asked the editor of the Batman comics to further develop the character (who had made her debut in a 1966 issue of Detective Comics). To convince ABC executives to introduce Batgirl as a regular on the show, a promotional short featuring as Batgirl and Tim Herbert as was produced. The show was reduced to once a week, with mostly self-contained episodes, although the following week's villain would be introduced in a tag at the end of each episode, similar to a. Accordingly, the narrator's cliffhanger phrases were mostly eliminated, most episodes ending with him encouraging viewers to watch next week.
Aunt Harriet was reduced to just two cameo appearances during the third season, due to 's poor health and the issue of trying to fit so many characters (Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Chief O'Hara and a guest villain) into a half hour episode. Another cast change for the final season was replacing, who had been a popular recurring guest villain as the Catwoman for the first two seasons. Singer-actress assumed the role for season three, as Newmar was working on the film at that time and thus unable to appear. In the, Kitt's performance in the series marked the second mainstream television success of a black female, following Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura in Star Trek and continued breaking the racial boundaries of the time. Kitt's performance as Catwoman would also, later, inspire 's portrayal of the character in the 2004 film, in which Berry would mimic Kitt's famous purrs. Frank Gorshin, the original actor to play the Riddler, returned for a single appearance after a one-season hiatus, during which made one appearance in the role.
The nature of the scripts and acting started to enter into the realm of. For example, the set's backgrounds became mere two-dimensional cut-outs against a stark black stage. In addition, the third season was much more topical, with references to,, and distinctive 1960s, which the previous two seasons had avoided.
Near the end of the third season, ratings had dropped significantly, and ABC cancelled the show. agreed to take over the series, but before they could do so, they discovered that hundreds of thousands of dollars of Batman sets had been destroyed. Rather than rebuild the sets, dropped the project. Reruns of the series have been seen on a regular basis in the United States. They are currently shown on the classic TV networks on Saturday mornings, on Saturday nights, weekdays dubbed in Spanish on, as well as Saturday mornings on.
The original Batmobile from the 1960s TV series was auctioned on January 19, 2013, at the auction house in. It was sold for.2 million.
Several cast members recorded music tied into the series. Adam West released a single titled "Miranda", a country-tinged pop song that he actually performed in costume during live appearances in the 1960s. Frank Gorshin released a song titled "The Riddler", which was composed and arranged by. Burgess Meredith recorded a spoken-word single called "The Escape" backed with "The Capture", which consisted of the Penguin narrating his recent crime spree to a jazz beat. Burt Ward recorded a song called "Boy Wonder, I Love You", written and arranged by.
In 1966, Batman: The Exclusive Original Soundtrack Album was released on LP, featuring music by Nelson Riddle and snippets of dialogue from Adam West, Burt Ward, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Anne Baxter (as Zelda the Great) and George Sanders (the first Mr. Freeze). The "Batman Theme" was included, along with titles like "Batusi A Go! Go!", "Batman Thaws Mr. Freeze", and "Batman Blues". It was reissued later on compact disc.
The show lasted for three seasons, consisting of 120 episodes:
- Season 1 consisted of 34 episodes, and aired from January 12, 1966 to May 5, 1966
- Season 2 consisted of 60 episodes, and aired from September 7, 1966 to March 30, 1967
- Season 3 consisted of 26 episodes, and aired from September 14, 1967 to March 14, 1968
The show featured numerous adaptations of various Batman comics stories – particularly in its first season. These first-season episodes were adaptations:
- The episodes "" and "" were adaptations of "Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler" from Batman #171 (May 1965), written by ; in it, the Riddler, jealous of the attention Batman is giving the Mole Hill Mob, arranges a trap so Batman will apprehend the gang and give the Riddler the Caped Crusader's undivided attention.
- The episodes "" and "" are based on "Partners in Plunder!" from Batman #169 (February 1965), written by ; the only difference is the Penguin steals the jeweled meteorite (which was mentioned in the comic), instead of kidnapping Dawn Robbins (who did not appear in the comic).
- Many events of the episodes "" and "" are based on the silver age comic book story "The Joker's Utility Belt" from Batman #73 (October 1952) by.
- The episodes "" and "Rats Like Cheese" were inspired by "The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero" from Batman #121 (February 1959) by Dave Wood and Sheldon Moldoff.
- The episodes "" and "" are based on "Batman's Inescapable Doom-Trap!" from Detective Comics #346 (December 1965) by John Broome. Although the evil character Eivol Ekdol appeared in the story, Zelda did not; instead, the magician was a man named Carnado.
- The episodes "The Thirteenth Hat" and "Batman Stands Pat" borrow several elements from several comic book stories such as "The Mad Hatter of Gotham City" by and Sheldon Moldoff, from Detective Comics #230 (April 1956), and "The New Crimes of the Mad Hatter" by Dave Wood and Sheldon Moldoff from Batman #161 (February 1964). Also the Mad Hatter's plan of impersonating the sculptor working on a Batman statue for the city (for which Batman himself is, of course, posing) in an attempt to steal Batman's cowl comes from the Batman #49 story "The Scoop of the Century!" (October 1948) by.
- The episodes "" and "" have a plot point of the Penguin framing Batman for a theft actually comes from Detective Comics #58 (December 1941) by Bill Finger, which is ironic as it was the issue in which the Penguin first appeared.
- The episodes "" and "" have several plot points similar to the comic story "A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!" by Bill Finger, from Batman #53 (June 1949).
- The episodes "" and "" used a few elements from "" by Gardner Fox, from Detective Comics #341 (July 1965), only replacing the main villain of the Joker with the Riddler.
Each story relied on using the same formula, so that the audience quickly came to expect a series of familiar set pieces: a phone call from the police asking for Batman's help, a dash to the Batcave, a race in the Batmobile to police headquarters, a conference in the Commissioner's office, investigating the scene of the crime, examining clues in the crime-lab at the Batcave, rushing to the villain's secret hideout, falling into the pre-arranged trap. By relying heavily on a formula, it became easy to spoof various elements of that formula.
Teaser and exposition
The typical story begins with a villain's caper (such as stealing a fabulous treasure, kidnapping a prominent person, or attempting to take over ). In his office,, along with Chief O'Hara, learn of the crime and the culprit. Helpless to stop the villain, they contact Batman via the Batphone – a bright red telephone that provides a direct phone link to Batman (be it at Wayne Manor, the Batcave or the Batmobile). At "stately ", (Wayne's butler) answers the Batphone and informs of the call. Frequently, Wayne and his ward,, are found talking with Dick's aunt,, who is unaware of Bruce and Dick's secret identities. Alfred discreetly interrupts and they excuse themselves to go to the Batphone in Wayne's study. Upon learning the details from Gordon, Wayne turns a switch concealed within a bust of that stands on his desk to reveal two hidden behind a sliding bookcase. "To the Batpoles!" Wayne exclaims, and he and Grayson slide down the poles that lead to the.
The title sequence features animated versions of Batman and Robin, drawn in the then-current style of the comic books, running towards camera and then fighting an assortment of villains, including several "marquee" villains such as the Joker and the Penguin.Series stars (left) and (right), as Dick Grayson/Robin and Bruce Wayne/Batman, respectively.
Similar in style and content to the 1940s serials, Batman and Robin would arrive at the bottom of the Batpoles in the Batcave in full costume (reference is made later in the series to some sort of costuming device that functions on the way down the poles). They then jump into the. Robin checks the gauges and reports, " to power... to speed." Batman responds, "Roger, ready to move out." With that, the two would drive out of the cave at high speed. As the Batmobile approached the mouth of the cave (actually a tunnel entrance in Los Angeles' ), a camouflaged door would swing open and a hinged road barrier outside the Batcave would drop down to allow the car to exit onto the road. The duo then speeds to police headquarters to meet with Gordon and be briefed on the criminal they must thwart. Most of the footage following the opening title sequence from Batman and Robin sliding down the Batpoles through their arrival at police headquarters was in each episode. After the complained that Batman and Robin should set a good example, the repeated sequence was changed to show them fastening before starting out.
The initial discussion of the crime usually leads to Batman and Robin conducting their investigation alone, although the police are often used for assistance and to implement plans or traps that Batman devises to catch the villain. Typically Batman and Robin must use deduction from the clues left by the villain to determine elements such as the villain's identity, plan, target, and/or location. This usually results in a meeting with the villain, a fistfight with the villain's henchmen, and the villain's escape, leaving a further series of unlikely clues for the duo to investigate. Later, they would face the villain's henchmen again, be captured and one or both heroes placed in a deathtrap leading to a ending, which was usually resolved in the first few minutes of the next episode.
After the cliffhanger
The latter part(s) of multi-episode stories begins with a brief recap of the first part(s). After the opening credits and the theme music, the cliffhanger is resolved.
The same general plot pattern of investigation and confrontation repeats in the following episode until the villain is defeated in a major brawl.
Other recurring elements
The series used a narrator (executive producer, uncredited) who parodied both the breathless narration style of the 1940s serials and 's bombastic narration of . He would end many of the cliffhanger episodes by intoning, "Tune in tomorrow – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!" In the episodes following cliffhangers, recaps of the previous episode consisted of a series of short phrases from Dozier accompanying short, silent clips of the prior episode, which usually ended in a freeze-frame. In the third season, when single-episode stories were introduced, the narrator would end the show by encouraging viewers to tune in the following week.
During the climactic fistfights in each episode, the punches and other impacts were punctuated by (sound effects) superimposed in bright colors over the action on the screen, as in comic-book fight scenes ("POW!", "BAM!", "ZONK!", etc.). As a money saving device, after the first season, instead of being superimposed over the fight scene, the sound effects were merely printed on cards and inserted into the action.
Despite the regular fighting on the show, Batman and Robin typically use non-lethal force; only three criminal characters die during the series: the Riddler's Molly (played by in the pilot episode), who accidentally falls into the Batcave's atomic reactor, and two out-of-town gunmen who shoot at Batman and Robin, but kill each other instead, toward the end of "Zelda the Great"/"A Death Worse Than Fate". In the film, six criminals die in total: five henchmen are dehydrated by the Penguin in order to infiltrate the Batcave, but this plan fails when the henchmen unexpectedly disappear into antimatter once struck. A sixth henchman is presumably killed when he is caught in a trap meant for Batman and sprung into an exploding octopus. Twice, the Catwoman () appears to fall to her death (into a bottomless pit and from a high building into a river), but returned in later episodes. In "Instant Freeze", Mr. Freeze freezes a butler solid and knocks him over, and sound-effects suggest that he is shattered into pieces. A later reference suggests the butler survived. In "Green Ice", Mr. Freeze freezes a policeman solid; it is left unclear whether he survived. In "The Penguin's Nest", a policeman suffers an electric shock at the hands of the Penguin's accomplices, but he is presumed to survive, as he appears in some later episodes.
A catch-phrase popularized by the series was Robin's saying "Holy [subject], Batman!" whenever he encountered something startling. This phrase was parodied in the 1995 film.
In many episodes, Batman and Robin must get to a high point of a building or other structure. They do this via the Batrope which is thrown and anchored above the high point, and which Batman and Robin climb by walking up the side of the structure with the aid of the rope. The climbing sequences were filmed by rotating the camera 90 degrees and building a set for the "side" of the structure along the studio floor. The heroes' capes were pulled back (to replicate the pull of gravity) with invisible lines. In many episodes, celebrities made by popping their heads out of windows along these climbs to speak to the heroes.
In one episode, Catwoman's hideout is a hair salon owned by a "Mr. Oceanbring". The real-life inspiration for the character, hair stylist (and future Manson family victim), appears uncredited during the fight scene and has a couple of spoken lines.
The villains commonly have henchmen whose names are somehow associated with the villain's identity; for example, Catwoman's henchmen have cat-related names like Felix and Leo. Characters commonly use alliterations. Examples include Batman referring to the Joker as a "hateful harlequin" and the Penguin calling Catwoman a "feline floozy".
Only two of the show's guest villains ever discovered Batman's true identity: by deductive reasoning, and on two occasions – the first time with a bug placed on the Batmobile and the second time by accidentally mining into the Batcave. Egghead was tricked into disbelieving his discovery, though, as was Tut in the episode when he bugged the Batmobile. In the episode when Tut tunneled into the Batcave, he was hit on the head by a rock, which made him forget his discovery and jarred him back into his identity as a mild-mannered professor of Egyptology at. While under the spell of the Siren (), Commissioner Gordon found the Batcave beneath Wayne Manor and deduced Batman's true identity, but Alfred gassed him to prevent his informing her, the memory of the discovery gone after leaving the Siren's spell.
The show's campiness was played up in elements, including the design of the villains, dialogue and in signs appearing on various props. Batman would frequently reveal one of his many crime-fighting gadgets, which were usually given a ridiculous-sounding name that somehow incorporated the word "bat" – often simply by adding the word "bat" to an otherwise normal descriptor, such as Shark Repellant Bat-Spray, Bat-Computer, Extra-Strong Bat-Knockout Gas, etc. Most of Batman's items in the Batcave, bat-vehicles and on the utility belt were given superfluous and simplistic block-letter labels, even though Batman, Robin, and Alfred, the only people who used the equipment, clearly knew what all of it was.
- In 1977, Adam West and Burt Ward returned as voice actors for the second Filmation-produced animated series,.
- In 1979, West, Ward, and Frank Gorshin reunited and reprised their respective roles on NBC for 's two television specials.
- In the 1980s, several cast members teamed up for a series of celebrity editions of . The participants were Adam West, Burt Ward, Yvonne Craig, Lee Meriwether, and Vincent Price.
- In 1984 West would once again reprise his role as Batman in animated form when he succeeded in the final two seasons of.
- November 1985 would see several cast members reunited on the syndicated afternoon talk show, as Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar and Yvonne Craig we're reunited along with the original Batmobile which was still covered with from its tours since the 70s.
- In 1997 West returned to the role of the Batman for the first time in 12 years voicing The Caped Crusader/Spruce Wayne in the animated short Boo Wonder. It was the fourth segment of episode 93 (season 5) of produced by. It was a parody of the 1966 Batman TV series with Animaniacs character replacing Robin The Boy Wonder.
- In 2003, West and Ward reunited for a tongue-in-cheek titled which combined dramatized recreations of the filming of the original series (with younger actors standing in for the stars), with modern footage of West and Ward searching for a stolen Batmobile. The film included cameo appearances by Newmar, Gorshin, and Lee Meriwether, as well as, who had been an early candidate for the role of Batman. Yvonne Craig did not appear in the movie—she reportedly disliked the script. The movie was released on DVD in May 2005.
- In 2005 Adam West again returned to the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne for the Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School released, a short CGI film in which all characters were portrayed as (predating the film craze). In addition to West, other notable voice actors included as The Joker, as Catwoman and as Commissioner Gordon
Spin-offs & Sequels
Batman (1966 film)
A film based on the television show,, was released in 1966. The film was originally intended to be produced before the series as a way to introduce the series to the public. However, the series' premiere was moved up and the film was forced to wait until the summer hiatus after the first season. The film was produced quickly to get into theatres prior to the start of season two of the television series.
The film did not initially perform well at the cinema. Originally, the movie had been conceived to help sell the television series abroad, but the success of the series in America was sufficient publicity. The film was shot after season one was filmed. The movie's budget allowed for producers to build the and lease a helicopter that would be made into the, both of which were used in the second and third seasons of the television show.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
West and Ward announced at the Mad Monster Party that one or two Batman animated movies would be released in 2016 with the two doing voiced roles as their characters for the show's 50th anniversary along with Julie Newmar returning.
The trailer for made its debut on August 17, 2016. The film was released on Digital HD and Digital Media on October 11, 2016 and on DVD and Blu-ray November 1, 2016.
Batman vs. Two-Face
A sequel to Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders called Batman vs. Two-Face was released on October 10, 2017. The film starred voicing as the main antagonist. died before it was released; however, he did complete his voiceover work before his passing. This was one of Adam West's final roles before he passed away from.
In 2013, DC began publication of Batman '66, a comic book series telling all-new stories set in the world of the 1966–68 TV series. writes the series, which features cover art by and interior art by different artists each issue. In the course of this series, the Bookworm, the Minstrel, Sandman, Olga Queen of the Cossacks, Zelda The Great, Shame, and Marsha Queen of Diamonds all have their first appearance in Batman comics. Penguin, Joker, Riddler, Catwoman and Mr. Freeze also appear in the series. Issue #3 of Batman '66 introduced the and into the series continuity. In issue #7, Batman used a new vehicle, the Bat-Jet, to follow False-Face to Mount Rushmore. The series was to have introduced into the continuity, as well as a new villainess named Cleopatra. In April 2014, the first five issues were compiled into the Batman '66 Vol. 1 trade paperback. and likewise worked on a Batman and Green Hornet crossover, titled Batman '66 meets The Green Hornet. The six-issue miniseries began publication in June 2014. wrote a Batman and team-up titled Batman '66 meets The Man from U.N.C.L.E. released in 2016. Ian Edginton wrote a Batman team-up with and of titled Batman '66 Meets Steed and Mrs. Peel. Batman teams up with in the crossover team up Batman' 66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 writing by both Parker and Marc Andreyko. In a reversal of sorts, announced in March 2018 that they would be producing the next crossover titled, Archie Meets Batman '66 to be released as a six issue mini series starting in July. The series would be written by Batman '66 veteran and Archies stalwart. would return to create the main covers with Archie artists creating the alternate covers and interior art.
The 7th issue of featured a short adventure titled, Batman A-Go-Go! which was designed by writer/artist as a tribute to the 1960s TV series.
has released a series of comics that take their cue from the TV show. They are The Mis-Adventures of Adam West, The Secret Lives of Julie Newmar, and Burt Ward, Boy Wonder and are similar in tone to the TV series. The Mis-Adventures of Adam West was a four-issue miniseries and a regular series that ran nine issues. The Secret Lives of Julie Newmar was a four-issue miniseries and Burt Ward, Boy Wonder was going to be a four-issue miniseries, but has not yet been published.
The Green Hornet and Kato on Batman lambert
Van Williams and Bruce Lee made a cameo appearance as the Green Hornet and Kato in "window cameos" while the Batman and Robin were climbing a building. This was in part one of a two-part second-season episode of the Batman TV series, "The Spell of Tut", which aired on September 28, 1966.
Later that same season, the Green Hornet and Kato appeared in the two-part second-season episodes A Piece of the Action and Batman's Satisfaction, which aired on March 1–2, 1967. In the two episodes, the Green Hornet and Kato are in to bust a counterfeit stamp ring run by Colonel Gumm (portrayed by ). The Batman's Satisfaction episode leads to a mixed fight, with both Batman & Robin and The Green Hornet & Kato fighting Colonel Gumm and his gang. Once Gumm's crew was defeated, Batman and Robin squared off against The Green Hornet and Kato, resulting in a stand-off that was interrupted by the police. In this episode, Batman, Robin and the police consider the Green Hornet and Kato to be criminals, although Batman and Robin were cordial to the duo in the earlier window appearance. There is also a mention of The Green Hornet TV series on the Batman TV series episode The Impractical Joker (episode 55, Part 1, aired November 16, 1966): while watching TV together, Alfred, Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne (who says, "It's time to watch The Green Hornet", and you hear the Hornet buzzing sound) are interrupted by the Joker; then, after the interruption, The Green Hornet TV series theme music is heard.
Batman and Robin on The Green Hornet
In the December 9, 1966 Green Hornet episode "The Secret Of The Sally Bell", the Batmobile can be seen revolving on its turntable floor in the batcave on a bad guy's TV set. In the February 3, 1967 Green Hornet episode "Ace in the Hole" (which aired between the September 1966 and March 1967 Batman appearances mentioned above), Batman and Robin can be seen climbing a building on a television set. There was one other Green Hornet & Kato appearance that was not on the Batman TV series nor on The Green Hornet TV series: a segment of the Milton Berle Show/The Hollywood Palace aired in the Fall of 1966 brought together The Green Hornet and Kato (Van Williams and Bruce Lee), and Batman (Adam West), in a comedy sketch with Milton Berle, in which Bruce Lee demonstrates his martial arts expertise. Burt Ward as "Robin" was not included in this appearance.
This section refers to special appearances (outside of the series) by the Batman cast in full costume/character.
- Lava Soap "Grime Fighters"
In this 1966 Commercial Batman and Robin had just wrapped up the latest crime when Commissioner Gordon notices Chief O'Hara's dirty hands and asks Batman to pass the chief a bar of Lava Soap.
- Fact Toothpaste
stars as the faithful Alfred Pennyworth as he explains how to get Batman and Robin posters through Fact toothpaste.
Public Service Announcements
The Batman character appeared in four.
- U.S. Savings Bonds
In 1966, West, as Batman, encouraged schoolchildren to heed then-'s call for them to buy U.S. Savings stamps, a children's version of, to support the.
- British Road Safety
In 1967 a one-minute film was created for the Central Office of Information. The information film was filmed in Kenning, London and showed Batman played Adam West taking a break from fighting crime and helping children with their technique of road safety.
- Safety Caution
In 1966 due to multiple instances of UK children jumping from elevated locations attempting to emulate Batman, Adam West and Burt Ward recorded a short PSA to be shown prior to the airing of all episodes of Batman in the UK to explain to children that Batman could not fly. Despite only airing in the UK Burt exclaimed what is arguably his most famous line, "Holy Broken Bones!" during this film.
- U.S. Department of Labor
In a 1974 PSA for the Wage & Hour Division narrated by William Dozier, Batman and Robin were tied to a post amid the threat of a ticking, but Batgirl (Yvonne Craig) refused to release them because she was paid less than Robin (Burt Ward), in violation of the Federal Equal Pay Law. played Batman this time, because West was, at the time, trying to distance himself from the role.
During the summer/fall of 1966 and went on a tour as Batman and The Riddler to promote the new Batman movie and of course the series. They were usually accompanied by several bands before the featured event that saw Batman and the Riddler exchange corny jokes as well as a song performed by Adam. The tour most famously stopped at the Shea Stadium in New York on June 25, 1966 and City Park in New Orleans on November 26, 1966
International broadcastList of broadcasts
- United States
- (January 12, 1966 – March 14, 1968)
- United Kingdom
- (1993–1996) (Channel 4 started running the series in 1993 at the rate of one episode a week. Then: ITV4 started running the series in 2011 at the rate of one episode a week.)
- (2011–2014) (18 Years Of Channels : Channel 4 started running the series in 1993 at the rate of one episode a week. Then: ITV4 started running the series in 2011 at the rate of one episode a week.)
- // (1993–2001)
The television show was extraordinarily popular, called "the biggest TV phenomenon of the mid-1960s". At the height of its popularity, it was the only prime-time television show other than to be broadcast twice in one week as part of its regular schedule, airing at 7:30 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays. Episodes of the show were filmed as two-part cliffhangers, with each storyline beginning on Wednesday and ending on the Thursday episode. In the second season, a pair of three-parters was also seen; at the very end of the Thursday night segment, a brief tag featuring the next week's villain would be shown, such as, "Next week: Batman jousts with The Joker again!" This started on the third week of the series' run and continued until the end of season two. The first episode of a storyline would typically end with Batman and Robin being in a, while the narrator (Dozier) would tell viewers to watch the next night with the repeated phrase: "Tune in tomorrow—same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!" Even decades after the show ceased production, this catch-phrase remains a long-running punchline in popular culture.
Television critics and ranked Batman as the 82nd greatest American television show of all time in their 2016 book titled, stating that "West's performance, the brilliance of which has required decades to be properly recognized, played as if series creator William Dozier and chief developer Lorenzo Semple Jr., had taken the establishment's fantasy of itself and dolled it up in tights and a cape.... The anarchic gangs of supervillains and henchmen that kept trying to capture or destroy Gotham City stood in for the forces of chaos that kept threatening to engulf so-called civilized America throughout the sixties, only made colorfully grotesque and knowingly silly." In 1997, ranked the episodes "The Purr-fect Crime" and "Better Luck Next Time" #86 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes. In 2009, "Better Luck Next Time" was ranked #72.
The series' stars, Adam West and Burt Ward, were for decades afterwards, with West especially finding himself unable to escape the reputation of a hammy, camp actor. However, years after the series' impact faded, an episode of paid tribute to West with an episode titled "". In this episode, West himself provided the voice of an aging star of a superhero television series Bruce Wayne had watched as a child and from which he later found inspiration. This gave West new popularity with the next generation of fans. He also played Gotham City's Mayor Grange as a somewhat recurring role in. In addition, West played the voice of Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's father in the episode "Chill of the Night" from the series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
In other media
- Batman: Exclusive Original Television Soundtrack Album is the official series soundtrack featuring the music of series composer Nelson Riddle in addition to the voices of Adam West, Burt Ward and several guest villains from the first season. Released 1966 through.
- Miranda, recorded by at the height of the series' popularity is an upbeat pop song about Batman falling in love but begging not to be asked to remove his mask. The B side featured West singing the non Batman related song You Only See Her. Released 1966 through.
- The Capture and The Escape are a pair of jazzy singles recorded by. Both songs are essentially the telling of one story with side A explaining how Batman foiled the Penguin's latest plot and side B telling of the jailbreak! Released 1966 through.
- The Riddler is a pop song written by and recorded by where Batman arch-villain The Riddler sings about himself while asking Riddles. The B side features the non-Batman related single by Gorshin, Never Let Her Go. Released June 1966 through.
- Boy Wonder I Love You is a Pop song written by and recorded by where Robin reads fan mail from his adoring fans. The B side features Ward singing Orange Colored Sky's which Batman co-star Adam West had previously performed on the variety television show, Hollywood Palace. Released 1966 through.
- Batman and Robin and The Story of Batman are a pair of talk-tunes recorded by to promote his 1976 appearances in the UK during the 10th anniversary of the TV series. Side A features Batman and Robin using pepper to defeat "The Tickler". Side B features Batman telling fans how the record can be converted into a disguise by looking through the center hole of the disc as if it was some kind of mask. In a Bit of Bat-Trivia, these recordings marked Adam West's return to the roll of Batman (aside from public appearances) for the first time since the series ended. Released through.
The company released the machine Batman '66, based on the TV series, in December 2016. It is the first Stern game that features a full color LCD in the backbox instead of a. There are three different versions of the pinball machine: Super Limited Edition, Limited Edition and Premium.
Home media releasesDVD/Blu-ray name Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 The Complete First Season (DVD) November 11, 2014 TBA TBA The Second Season: Part One (DVD) February 10, 2015 TBA TBA The Second Season: Part Two (DVD) July 14, 2015 TBA TBA The Complete Third Season (DVD) November 3, 2015 TBA TBA The Complete Series (DVD & Blu-ray) November 11, 2014 16 Feb. 2015 TBA
In January 2014, posted on his Twitter account, and Warner Bros. later confirmed, that Warner Bros. would release an official DVD and Blu-ray boxed set of the complete series sometime in 2014.
On April 10, 2014, the website tvshowsondvd.com quoted Burt Ward in saying that Warner Bros. would release the complete series on November 11, 2014, in time for the holiday season from, and that Adam West and he were doing special features for the release.
Prior to the announcement, multiple conflicting reports were given for the reason the series had not been released officially. These included:
- Negotiations between DC Comics (and parent company ), owners of the Batman character and, owners of the program itself.
- Greenway/ABC/Fox rights issues: The Batman series was conceived as an equal partnership between William Dozier's Greenway Productions and Fox in 1964, before Fox entered into a separate agreement with to produce the series in 1965. With three companies involved almost from the outset, some speculation indicates 'these rights' are tangled even before the DC Comics character ownership rights are to be considered. Moreover:
- In 2006, Deborah Dozier Potter, "the successor-in-interest to Greenway Productions" sued Fox for allegedly withholding monies under the Fox/ABC agreement. Dozier Potter further claimed that this came to her attention when, in March 2005, "she considered releasing the series on DVD", implying that (from her perspective at least) Greenway/Dozier Potter has some say in the matter of potential DVD release of the series. The case was resolved/dismissed in November 2007. In February 2005, John Stacks had approached Deborah Dozier Potter to market the series on DVD. There were many offers and lots of interest in the release of the series, as can be read in Joel Eisner's The Official Batbook Revised Bat Edition 2008.
- Other complications/rights issues:
- Christopher D. Heer, writing at the "1966 Batman Message Board", clarified a quote by moderator Lee Kirkham, noting that there will likely be the need for complicated deals regarding cameos, since "...at least some of the cameos were done as uncredited, unpaid walk-ons – which means that Fox does NOT have home video clearances for them. Either those scenes would have to be cut or an agreement reached with the actors."
- Kirkham's initial quote also noted that, alongside music clearance issues, there could also be problems over some of the costumes, and the original Batmobile:
The series, under the Fox/ABC deal, is still in syndication, and regularly shown on a number of channels around the world, currently appearing in the United States on and as of July 4, 2014. Until 2014, only the 1966 feature film was available on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for nonbroadcast viewing in North America. This affected the 2003 television movie reunion , also released to DVD, which was able to make use of footage only from the 1966 movie.
With Batman being unavailable for home-video release until 2014, an unusual situation occurred in which material that would be considered DVD featurettes was released separately. In 2004, released Holy Batmania, a two-DVD set that included documentaries on the making of the series, as well as rare footage such as the original screen tests of the cast and Lyle Waggoner. In 2008, Adam West released a privately issued DVD with the tongue-in-cheek title Adam West Naked for which he recorded anecdotes regarding all 120 episodes of the series. In 2013, PBS aired an episode of Pioneers of Television called "Superheroes" that featured interviews with Adam West and Burt Ward, and talked about the 1960s TV series. It was released on DVD March 11, 2013.
Also in 2013, produced and transmitted a documentary titled Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. This documentary talked a little bit about the series and included an interview with Adam West.
On November 11, 2014, released the full 120-episode Batman collection on Blu-ray and DVD with a variety of extras including a miniature Batmobile, a 32-page episode guide, and Adam West Scrapbook. A second box released on Warner Bros.' own batmanondvd website replaces the Batmobile and the trading cards with a script from the episode "The Joker is Wild" and a bonus box containing the movie and the "Adam West Naked" documentary. This series is also available at the.
Starting in 1966, an enormous amount of Batman merchandise was manufactured and marketed to cash-in on the TV show's vast popularity. This includes trading cards, bubblegum cards, scale model kits of the Batmobile and Batboat, coloring books, and board games. Items from this particular era have gained substantial collector appeal with their remarkable variety, scarcity, and style.
One of the most desired collectibles involves the episodes introducing Catwoman ("The Purr-fect Crime"/"Better Luck Next Time"), which were the subject of a reel & booklet set in 1966 (Sawyers Packet # B492). While the series was first-run on ABC, packet cover indicia reflected the "Bat Craze" cultural phenomenon by referring to the booklet as a Batbooklet, Dynamically illustrated. By the time the television series was cancelled in 1968 and GAF had taken over the View-Master product, Batbooklet was removed in favor of then-standard View-Master packaging for all future releases in the decades to follow, right up to the period when the standard packet line was discontinued. The first season's superimposed fight onomatopoeias were not used for the View-Master's scenes of fights. Instead, black-lined "blast" balloons (transparent inside), and series-like onomatopoeias were illustrated and superimposed over fight images.
The popularity of the TV series has carried several decades after its debut; toy company has made the 1966 in various scales for the product line. The Batmobile with Batboat were also produced under the Matchbox and Corgi names in the UK, during this period.
acquired merchandising rights to the series in 2012, and in 2013 Mattel released an action figure line based on the television series. To date only a single series of figures have been produced: Batman, the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman and, exclusive to a boxset, Robin. Three Batman variants were also produced, a limited SDCC exclusive boxed figure, with an action feature that replicates the famous Batusi dance, a carded Surf's Up Batman figure complete with surfboard and trunks, and a boxed, unmasked Batman with Batcomputer and Bruce Wayne's study accessories. A carded Joker variant, with surfboard and trunks, and a boxed Batgirl figure followed. Each figure has the likeness of their respective actor (with Catwoman resembling Newmar and the Riddler resembling Gorshin) and came packaged with a display base and collector card. A Batmobile was also sold to retail making this the first time the classic model has been produced for action figures in the 6-inch scale.
In 2013, Hong Kong–based entertainment collectible manufacturer,, produced 1⁄6 scale versions of West's Batman and Ward's Robin. A large range of 8" action figures with the TV cast's likenesses have been released by (FTC) from 2013-2018 and, in 2017, a single wave of 3.75" figures (including King Tut, Bookworm and two Mr. Freezes) from.
References in popular culture
References in animation
Referenced in 
The animated television series is influenced by the 1960s television series. The opening credits feature Batman rope-climbing up a building, something that Adam West and Burt Ward often did in the show. Several villains from the 1960s show including King Tut, Egghead, Mad Hatter, Archer, Bookworm, False Face, Black Widow, Siren, Marsha Queen of Diamonds, Louie the Lilac, Ma Parker, and Shame make cameo appearances as prisoners at prison in the episode "Day of the Dark Knight!" They are all captured by Batman and during a mass escape attempt. In the same villains have brief cameos. The episode "Game Over for Owlman!" shows a room in the Batcave containing "souvenirs" of deathtraps that the Joker employed in the 1960s series, with accompanying flashbacks: the giant key from the "Human " from "The Impractical Joker", the -controlled from "The Joker Goes to School", and the giant clam from "". The episode "The Color of Revenge!" begins with a flashback to the time of the 1960s television series, using attributes such as the red Batphone, the Shakespeare bust, the, the Batpoles, Robin in his old television-series costume, and the shot of Batman and Robin fastening their seat belts in the Batmobile. Additionally, the Adam West Batman briefly appears in "Night of the Batmen!" as part of an army of Batmen gathered across the.
Referenced in 
The episode "Schooled" briefly references the show, as well, by featuring a Shakespeare bust in Bruce's office at the building in. As a further homage to the series, Bruce is shown accessing an emergency hidden in his desk by flipping a switch concealed within the bust.
Referenced in Robot Chicken
Adam West and Burt Ward lend their voices and likeness to the third DC Comics Special on. In the plot, when Batman brings over a Superman from another dimension to make him jealous, Superman retaliates by bringing the Adam West Batman, who trumps the Robot Chicken Batman by addressing the glucose issue of muffins and dancing. He is later seen battling the Arkham versions of Batman's villains and is killed by Penguin's anthrax gas. Burt Ward kidnaps him as well as the Robot Chicken Robin and takes them to the Lazarus Pit, where he resurrects West's Batman and makes himself younger to relive the glory days. He only kidnapped Robot Chicken Robin so he could have his outfit.
Referenced in The Lego Batman Movie
of starring Batman features a number of references to the television series. When Alfred addresses similar phases of Batman's life (in which he references all the years a Batman live-action film was released), he mentions "that weird one in 1966" in which the film briefly shows a clip of Adam West's Batman dancing in an episode. During the film's climax, Alfred dons an identical costume to Adam West's Batman out of nostalgia. When Batman and Robin take on a room of villains, they hit them so hard that onomatopoeia pops out of thin air while a remix of the '60s theme song plays in the background.
References in live action
Referenced in Batman Forever
A line spoken by Robin () in is a homage to the television Robin's catch-phrase exclamations that started "Holy" and sometimes ended "Batman!" - for instance "Holy bargain basements, Batman!" (from the television series' first season) and "Holy flypaper, Batman!" (from the television series' second season). During the movie, Robin says "Holy rusted metal, Batman!" after the duo climbs onto twisted metal girders beside some water. This catchphrase also appeared for a time in Batman comic books.
Referenced in Birds of Prey
In the third episode of "Prey for the Hunter", the famous William Shakespeare bust from the series has a cameo. However, instead of bending the neck back to expose the button, it is simply turned to the left, giving it the same function—exposing a hidden passageway.
Referenced in 
In the film, a damaged car belonging to Flounder's older brother (which was earlier reported stolen) was re-purposed for the climactic scene by Bluto and D-Day. The car initially appears as a parade float depicting a layer cake, with the words 'Eat Me' on the front; when the float is cut away, it reveals the car repainted in black and red, in a style similar to the Batmobile of the television series, but also incorporating a black armored turret with the word 'DEATHMOBILE' on it in red. This would technically be anachronistic, as the film is set in 1962, but given the parodic nature of the film this is generally ignored.
References in video games
Referenced in Batman: Arkham
- In the video game, exclusive DLC for the PlayStation 3 includes a Batman skin based on the Batman TV series.
- In, the stone bust containing a hidden button used in the TV series as the secret entrance lever to the Batcave appears as one of the game's. The stone bust concealing a button can be seen and interacted with in the Clock Tower and Wayne Office areas of the game. The Batman skin is also featured as DLC in with the 1960s series Robin and Catwoman skins, as well as the Batmobile.
- Rather than having a massive grin as in the comics the Joker in the Arkham games has a painted on smile to make his already unnaturally large smile even larger. The painted on smile and the general look of it massively resembles Cesar Romero's Joker, who also had a painted on smile along with the red lips.
Referenced in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
In Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, an extra level is included, based on the series; called “Same Bat-time, Same Bat-channel” along with characters including Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin and Alfred. Also, Adam West is a playable character. The Batmobile from the show is also included as a drivable vehicle. The end credits sequence remakes the Batclimb window cameos.
- Adam West, dictating Back to the Batcave to Jeff Rovin, admitted to having resented the development; in his words, "...We were now calculating and titillating. These kinds of things are always short-term solutions to problems...."
- From Lambert, David (December 5, 2005).. Archived from on April 16, 2008. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
- Fox (which owns the footage) and DC Comics (owner of the characters, and sister company of Warner Bros.) are still deep in the process of sorting out the legalities and licensing situations for this release. Other license issues may be involved, as well, such as music.
- The relevant passage reads: "The lawsuit filed by Debra Dozier Potter was dismissed with prejudice on 11/26/07. Furthermore, a notice of unconditional settlement was filed by the Plaintff on 11/19/07. The case is DEBORAH DOZIER POTTER VS TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Case No BC357067."
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