Fans have been waiting for decades, but the 60s ‘Batman’ TV series– starring Adam West in the title role, with Burt Ward as Robin, Yvonne Craig as Batgirl (third season only) and a bevvy of classic actors and comedians as their colorful Rogue’s Gallery– is, for the first time ever, being officially released on home video. That’s right, it was never even released on VHS, much less any subsequent format, due to rights issues. The original series was created by Paramount, but after that, Warner Brothers acquired DC Comics and the rights to all of its character, including the Dynamic Duo, thus making it… well, murky to determine who would get the rights to distribute the series on home video. Obviously neither studio wanted the other one to get all the profits from sales of the show, so until now no one has.
The news of this release came from an interesting source– Conan O’Brien. The late night talk show host tweeted:
— Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien) January 15, 2014
TVShowsOnDVD.com confirmed the news with Warner Home Video. So… FINALLY!!! The show, which ran for three seasons, will be released as a complete boxed set and will be out sometime this year, but no date was given.
Adam West revealed some time ago, that he’d recorded a commentary for each episode in hopes that the show would someday be released and that he wanted to provide his perspective before he was too ill or old to remember or, heaven forbid, deceased.
This is welcome news, but not completely unexpected considering that licensing from the series has begun popping up in an unprecedented amount in recent months. DC launched a weekly digital comic ‘Batman ’66’ based on the show, Mattel released action figures and Barbie dolls and Hot Toys created high-quality collectibles.
The series, though beloved today, hasn’t always been embraced by fans. Its comedic, campy tone rankled fans of the darker Frank Miller-esque comic book version. Older comic book collectors felt that it created a “comics are for kids” mentality among non-fans. But for my money, this is one of the best TV takes on a comic book property. Unlike other shows, the heroes were in costume for nearly the entire show, unlike say ‘Wonder Woman’ or ‘The Incredible Hulk’ where the characters were in their secret identities for 90% of each episode. And it’s not as if certain comics of the past weren’t even goofier than this show.
Take my money now!
Will you be picking up the boxed set of the 60s ‘Batman’?