Batman ‘66 holds the distinction of being known as the TV series that caused the cancellation of two other kid-friendly series of the time: The Addams Family and The Munsters. The show’s format of being on twice a week and being in full color (as opposed to the black & white of the other two shows) proved to be a huge ratings grab for the network that aired it. Despite attempts by the other two series, they were soon taken off the air, and Batman became the king of TV.
For three seasons, Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) fought against the villainous foes that tried to enact their evil misdeeds on the citizens of Gotham City. Their oftentimes campy antics and implausible plots made the villains of Batman all the more enjoyable to watch. Through in the morally square Batman and the Boy Wonder, Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), and plenty of “Holy (fill in the blank) Batman!” statements from Robin, and you have yourself a fun and entertaining time!
Noticeably absent in this third season are the two-part episodes, which were the initial draw in the first two seasons. Episode One would end on a cliffhanger with Batman, Robin, or both about to be meet their demise at the hand of that week’s guest villain. The second episode would pick up where the first left off and Batman and Robin would eventually BAM!, POW!, and ZONK! their way through a huge fight with the villain Du Jour and his or her henchmen.
In season three, each episode ends with a tease about who will be the next guest villain, but there are no two-parters to be found.
Does it at all diminish the enjoyment of the series? Absolutely not! The show still works and there are plenty of high-camp moments, zany action sequences, and absurd scenarios to go around. We also get treated to a whole slew of celebrities of the day as Batman and Robin’s villainous foes. Along with The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Joker (Ceaser Romero), and Catwoman (Eartha Kitt), Batman, Robin, and Batgirl face off against the likes of Egghead (Vincent Price), Louie the Lilac (Milton Berle), Minerva (Zsa Zsa Gabor), and Olga, Queen of the Cossacks (Anne Baxter), among others.
The Batman TV series is just plain fun. While it may have been targeted toward kids, it’s clear that there is plenty for adult viewers to enjoy as well. I remember watching the series in reruns as a kid and I still enjoy it as an adult. It’s definitely worth watching!
The third and final season also includes a DVD with plenty of bonus features that include:
Hanging with Batman
An excellent documentary about Adam West’s career.
Holy Memorabilia Batman!
A look at the Batman merchandise inspired by the series.
Batmania Born! Building the World of Batman
A look back at the massive popularity of the series.
Bats of the Round Table
An interview with Adam West to celebrate the release of the series on DVD and Blu-ray.
I highly recommend Batman: The Complete Third Season. It’s classic, campy, comedic fun for everyone!
Batman: The Complete Third Season is available November 3, 2015 on DVD!
What’s your favorite version of Batman? Favorite Batman villain? Leave a comment and let us know!