We've written about our intense desire to see the amazing 1966 Batman TV series enjoy a home release. It's hard to believe that the landmark series, which has been in constant syndication for nearly 50 years (currently airing in the US on MeTV on Saturdays), has never been released on home video (except the uneven feature film). Somehow the copyright being split between DC Comics, Warner Brothers, and 20th Century Fox botched any attempt to do anything besides keep the show locked in reruns on TV forever.
This week there was a hint at a breakthrough. Warner Brothers tweeted out via @WBHomeEnt saying that the series will see a "home entertainment release" sometime in 2014. Good timing since Batman is celebrating 75 years as a pop icon, and there is currently a comic book series based on the campy approach of the 60s series.
I'll go further and hope that the series gets the deluxe restoration and scrubbing up that the original Star Trek did a few years ago. I've said it before... I really want to see the colors and pop art touches exploding off the screen in HD.
Need more reminders of why the series was cool?
- That strident narrator you hear in every episode? That's William Dozier the executive producer.
- Latin love idol Cesar Romero played The Joker. Refusing to shave off his signature moustache, they simply painted his garish makeup over it.
- Her 1968 episode was Tallulah Bankhead's final performance. She died shortly after her on-screen performance as The Black Widow.
- Robin sputtered out "holy..." 357 times over the course of the series.
- The Bat Cave is littered with lots of tongue-in-cheek signs enumerating the technological wonders therein - 47 of them!
- Liberace played a dual role (and rather well, too!) in "The Devil's FIngers" and "The Dead Ringers", netting the show the highest ratings of its original run.
- After ABC cancelled the show, NBC was interseted in continuing the adventure. The deal never happened because the $800,000 Batcave set had already been destroyed. Good thing in a way, the show had really begun to run out of steam in its last year.