Aloha humans! I’m sure you can already see where this is going, especially since I’ve mentioned the show already, but we’re gonna talk about the 1966 Batman TV show.
First off, I’ve only seen a season and a half so far, so I don’t know anything about Batgirl or anything else season 2 episode 35 and onward. With that in mind, I’ll be sure to warn about spoilers.
First off, this show is really silly. Of course, it is meant to be a campy, sillier take on the comics at the time.
- Adam West – Batman/Bruce Wayne
- Burt Ward (haha) – Robin/Dick Grayson (Bruce Wayne’s ward)
- Alan Napier – Alfred
- Madge Blake – Aunt Harriet (Harriet Cooper)
Every episode would have one or two “Special Guest Villain(s)” and the same villain would occasionally be played by different actors. For example Mr. Freeze was played by George Sanders, Otto Preminger, or Eli Wallach depending on the episode, but the Riddler was always played by Frank Gorshin.
Each episode typically featured a few (lots of) common things. In order they are:
- Opening narration
- Villain introduction
- Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara figure out villain and decide the police can’t handle them
- Commissioner Gordon’s “We may never know who he truly is…” speech
- Dramatic button push
- Alfred answers the Bat-Phone
- “I’ll call him, sir” or some variation thereof.
- Dick and Bruce doing something educational
- Dick gets frustrated
- Bruce says something about how that particular topic is important to society
- “Golly/Gosh Bruce, I guess you’re right”
- “The Bat-Phone, sir”
- Aunt Harriet is confused by Bruce and Dick running off suddenly
- Unconvincing excuse
- Aunt Harriet believes them because Aunt Harriet is a precious, overly trusting, cinnamon roll
- “Yes, Commissioner.”
- “To the Bat-Poles”
- Theme Song
- Run to the Batmobile
- One or both of the following
- “Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed” “Roger, ready to move out.”
- Close-up of buckling the hot pink lap seatbelts (late season 1 onward)
- Reused footage of leaving the BatCave
- Reused footage of entering the police headquarters
- Summary of crime
- “To the Batmobile, Robin. Let’s go.”
- Funnily enough, in an episode where Bruce and Dick were out-of-town when the crime wave started, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara point out how Batman almost always says that particular phrase.
- Cut to villain
- Find out villain plan
- Cut back to Batman and Robin
- usually with reused footage of entering the BatCave, but not always
- Episode unique plot
- Death trap
- Cliff hanger
- Next episode
- Trap escape
- Episode unique plot
- Post victory scene
- Usually of Bruce, Dick, and Aunt Harriet (sometimes Alfred as well)
- Sometimes of the villain talking to Batman (more likely to happen if the villain is female or wanted to be arrested for some reason)
- And, of course, at least one fight scene per episode with the iconic sound effects
- although, they rarely actually cover any actual impacts (or occasional badly telegraphed one)
It’s rare, but possible, for an episode to deviate from this pattern. Sometimes Robin will be the only one trapped, or they’ll both be trapped, but in different ways, but only a few episodes (in what I’ve seen) deviate extremely.
Note: If Batman and Robin fake their deaths in any way, you will probably see Alfred and Aunt Harriet (but especially Alfred) being really sad and mourning them. The resolution is never shown. Never. You never see them tell Alfred (or Aunt Harriet if the deaths were as Bruce and Dick) that they’re actually alive. You just have to assume that everything is fine afterwards and if Alfred was mad at them, he was too polite to show it.
Second Note: Although rare, Aunt Harriet has the potential to be incredibly bada**. Seriously, she can be the turning point between a villain’s plan succeeding or failing. However, she is still too naive, or perhaps too logical, to figure out that her nephew and his guardian are actually Batman and Robin, so don’t get your hopes up.
Some people might think the predictability of the episodes would make the show boring after a while, but the unique traps and capers keep the viewer (namely, me) invested in the show and the rare episode that throws out the formula entirely keeps one on their toes.
Long story short, it’s a really good, really funny show that I think any Batman fan should watch, if only to see the contrast between its lighthearted camp compared to modern, gritty interpretations (that’s a really long sentence). Good luck finding it online, though, because it’s surprisingly difficult.
And with that, thanks for reading humans, love ya all! Byeeeeee!