The Primary- Coloured Knight returns
The writers were adept at audacious alliteration
Release Date: OUT NOW!
1966- 1968 | PG | Blu- ray ( Amazon exclusive) Creator: William Dozier Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton,
Never throw away anything from your youth. Sell those Doctor Who jigsaws, get shot of that student record collection, and you’ll end up with stabbing pangs of regret once you realise that the things you discarded in the name of maturity had value.
Many made this mistake with the Batman TV series. Phenomenally popular in its day, its tongue- incheek approach later made it an embarrassment to comics fans touchy about being viewed as immature. Today, having won the culture war, and more secure in our geekdom, we can appreciate its many delightful qualities. Like brilliant performances: Adam West is a master of deadpan delivery, and he’s backed up by an incredible roll call of guest- star villains. The vibrancy of great pop art – this is a series that positively throbs with glorious colour. A love of language; Batman’s writers had to be adept at audacious alliteration.
Yes, it’s formulaic fare: the villain will have an over- complicated, surprisingly small- beer scheme. Knock- out gas will put Robin in a jam. And, of course, there’ll be a punch- up – KAPOW! BIFF! But there’s a comforting familiarity to that preset pattern.
Batman is best enjoyed like sweets, as an occasional treat. Binge all evening and you’ll end up feeling a little sickly. In small doses, however, it’s a hit of concentrated childhood joy.
Extras: “Hanging With Batman” ( 29 minutes), a beautifully illustrated overview of Adam West’s career, tackles his troubles with typecasting and eventual embracing of his iconic status, and is really rather touching. “Holy Memorabilia, Batman” ( 29 minutes) showcases two incredible fan collections ( prepare to be consumed with jealousy), one of which is visited by West. Other highlights include “Batmania Born!” ( 28 minutes), an extended love letter featuring a host of DC worthies; a rambling roundtable discussion between West and the likes of Kevin Smith ( 43 minutes); and 19 minutes of “Bat- Rarities”, including the pilot for a possible Batgirl spinoff and screen- test footage. The box set also contains a Hot Wheels Batmobile, a “scrapbook” of West’s photos, an episode guide, and 44 trading cards. An impressive spread, befitting the series’ decades- long wait for a home entertainment release.
During the roundtable, DC writer/ artist Jim Lee reveals that he spent $ 4000 having a replica of Adam West’s costume made.
Even the box is an explosion of lurid neon fun.