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Batman was a thirty-minute prime time, live action television series broadcast by the ABC Network between 1966 and 1968. Premiering on January 12th, the series featured actor Adam West as the perennial character of Batman, while Burt Ward donned nylon stockings and fairy boots for his portrayal of the erstwhile sidekick, Robin.

The series took the tradition of Batman into the then uncharted territory of lampoon comedy, oftentimes seemingly mocking the character's heritage with what have been described as trite dialogue and overly campy plot devices. The show was noteworthy for its memorable use of onomatopoeia during climactic fight scenes. Despite the clumsy nature of the series however, the show proved popular to many fans, and transformed Adam and Burt into modern pop culture icons.

Whenever they were not fighting crime as Batman and Robin, the "Dynamic Duo," as they were called, were often found at stately Wayne Manor in their respective identities as Bruce Wayne and his "youthful ward," Dick Grayson. Living alongside them in the vast mansion, was doddering old Aunt Harriet, and their mild-mannered butler, Alfred. Alfred possessed the good fortune of being the only other person to know Batman and Robin's secret identities--and, in the third season when she was introduced, Batgirl's as well.

Unlike the earlier movie serials of the 1940s, this was the first Batman project to feature Batman's rogues gallery of villains. Cesar Romero made numerous appearances as the Joker, while Burgess Meredith reinvented the image of the Penguin, with his crooked smile and trademark "squawk." Julie Newmar provided Catwoman's rolling "R's," but she was unavailable for the 1966 movie Batman and was replaced by Lee Meriwether. The part was recast a third time for season three when Newmar was committed workwise, with Eartha Kitt taking the role. Two men provided their talents to the role of the Riddler — Frank Gorshin for seasons one and three; and John Astin for one rather disappointing story in season two, when Gorshin pulled out due to salary disputes.

By season three, declining ratings prompted the introduction of a third partner to the Batman Family, Barbara Gordon – aka Batgirl (played by Yvonne Craig). (As stated above, Alfred Pennyworth learned her secret dual identity, even though neither Bruce/Batman nor Dick/Robin did.) The pattern of the series also changed, being cut down from two episodes a week to one. The cliffhanger endings were eliminated, as it was felt these would be difficult to remember from week to week. Stand-alone episodes were introduced, with next week's villain being introduced at the end of a story.

Although Batgirl was an immensely popular character, her presence could not save the series, and it was cancelled by ABC in 1968. Two weeks after the cancellation, NBC offered to make a fourth season, providing the sets — the Batcave, Wayne Manor and Gotham City Police Headquarters — were still available. However, NBC's offer came a week too late, as the sets had already been demolished.

Principal Cast

Actor Character
Adam West Batman (Bruce Wayne)
Burt Ward Robin (Dick Grayson)
Alan Napier Alfred
Neil Hamilton Commissioner Gordon
Stafford Repp Chief O'Hara
Madge Blake Harriet Cooper
Yvonne Craig Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)

Episodes

Season One

Episode # Title Airdate
01 "Hi Diddle Riddle" January 12, 1966
02 "Smack in the Middle" January 13, 1966
03 "Fine Feathered Finks" January 19, 1966
04 "The Penguin's a Jinx" January 20, 1966
05 "The Joker is Wild" January 26, 1966
06 "Batman Is Riled" January 27, 1966
07 "Instant Freeze" February 2, 1966
08 "Rats Like Cheese" February 3, 1966
09 "Zelda the Great" February 9, 1966
10 "A Death Worse than Fate" February 10, 1966
11 "A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away" February 16, 1966
12 "When the Rat's Away, the Mice Will Play" February 17, 1966
13 "The Thirteenth Hat" February 23, 1966
14 "Batman Stands Pat" February 24, 1966
15 "The Joker Goes to School" March 2, 1966
16 "He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul" March 3, 1966
17 "True or False Face" March 9, 1966
18 "Holy Rat Race" March 10, 1966
19 "The Purr-fect Crime" March 16, 1966
20 "Better Luck Next Time" March 17, 1966
21 "The Penguin Goes Straight" March 23, 1966
22 "Not Yet, He Ain't" March 24, 1966
23 "The Ring of Wax" March 30, 1966
24 "Give 'Em the Axe" March 31, 1966
25 "The Joker Trumps an Ace" April 6, 1966
26 "Batman Sets the Pace" April 7, 1966
27 "The Curse of Tut" April 13, 1966
28 "The Pharaoh's in a Rut" April 14, 1966
29 "The Bookworm Turns" April 20, 1966
30 "While Gotham City Burns" April 21, 1966
31 "Death in Slow Motion" April 27, 1966
32 "The Riddler's False Notion" April 28, 1966
33 "Fine Finny Fiends" May 4, 1966
34 "Batman Makes the Scenes" May 5, 1966

Season Two

Episode # Title Airdate
35 "Shoot a Crooked Arrow" September 7, 1966
36 "Walk the Straight and Narrow" September 8, 1966
37 "Hot Off the Griddle" September 14, 1966
38 "The Cat and the Fiddle" September 15, 1966
39 "The Minstrel's Shakedown" September 21, 1966
40 "Barbecued Batman?" September 22, 1966
41 "The Spell of Tut" September 28, 1966
42 "Tut's Case is Shut" September 29, 1966
43 "The Greatest Mother of Them All" October 5, 1966
44 "Ma Parker" October 6, 1966
45 "The Clock King's Crazy Crimes" October 12, 1966
46 "The Clock King Gets Crowned" October 13, 1966
47 "An Egg Grows in Gotham" October 19, 1966
48 "The Yegg Foes in Gotham" October 20, 1966
49 "The Devil's Fingers" October 26, 1966
50 "The Dead Ringers" October 27, 1966
51 "Hizzonner the Penguin" November 2, 1966
52 "Dizzoner the Penguin" November 3, 1966
53 "Green Ice" November 9, 1966
54 "Deep Freeze" November 10, 1966
55 "The Impractical Joker" November 16, 1966
56 "The Joker's Provokers" November 17, 1966
57 "Marsha, Queen of Diamonds" November 23, 1966
58 "Marsha's Scheme of Diamonds" November 24, 1966
59 "Come Back, Shame" November 30, 1966
60 "It's How You Play the Game" December 1, 1966
61 "The Penguin's Nest" December 7, 1966
62 "The Bird's Last Jest" December 8, 1966
63 "The Cat's Meow" December 14, 1966
64 "The Bat's Kow Tow" December 15, 1966
65 "The Puzzles Are Coming" December 21, 1966
66 "The Duo Is Slumming" December 22, 1966
67 "The Sandman Cometh" December 28, 1966
68 "The Catwoman Goeth" December 29, 1966
69 "The Contaminated Cowl" January 4, 1967
70 "The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul" January 5, 1967
71 "The Zodiac Crimes" January 11, 1967
72 "The Joker's Hard Times" January 12, 1967
73 "The Penguin Declines" January 18, 1967
74 "That Darn Catwoman" January 19, 1967
75 "Scat! Darn Catwoman" January 25, 1967
76 "Penguin Is a Girl's Best Friend" January 26, 1967
77 "Penguin Sets a Trend" February 1, 1967
78 "Penguin's Disastrous End" February 2, 1967
79 "Batman's Anniversary" February 8, 1967
80 "A Riddling Controversy" February 9, 1967
81 "The Joker's Last Laugh" February 15, 1967
82 "The Joker's Epitaph" February 16, 1967
83 "Catwoman Goes to College" February 22, 1967
84 "Batman Displays His Knowledge" February 23, 1967
85 "A Piece of the Action" March 1, 1967
86 "Batman's Satisfaction" March 2, 1967
87 "King Tut's Coup" March 8, 1967
88 "Batman's Waterloo" March 9, 1967
89 "Black Widow Strikes Again" March 15, 1967
90 "Caught in the Spider's Den" March 16, 1967
91 "Pop Goes the Joker" March 22, 1967
92 "Flop Goes the Joker" March 23, 1967
93 "Ice Spy" March 29, 1967
94 "The Duo Defy" March 30, 1967

Season Three

Episode # Title Airdate
95 "Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin" September 14, 1967
96 "Ring Around the Riddler" September 21, 1967
97 "The Wail of the Siren" September 28, 1967
98 "The Sport of Penguins" October 5, 1967
99 "A Horse of Another Color" October 12, 1967
100 "The Unkindest Tut of All" October 19, 1967
101 "Louie, the Lilac" October 26, 1967
102 "The Ogg and I" November 2, 1967
103 "How to Hatch a Dinosaur" November 9, 1967
104 "Surf's Up! Joker's Under!" November 16, 1967
105 "The Londinium Larcenies" November 23, 1967
106 "The Foggiest Notion" November 30, 1967
107 "The Bloody Tower" December 7, 1967
108 "Catwoman's Dressed to Kill" December 14, 1967
109 "The Ogg Couple" December 21, 1967
110 "The Funny Feline Felonies" December 28, 1967
111 "The Joke's on Catwoman" January 4, 1968
112 "Louie's Lethal Lilac Time" January 11, 1968
113 "Nora Clavicle and the Ladies' Crime Club" January 18, 1968
114 "Penguin's Clean Sweep" January 25, 1968
115 "The Great Escape" February 1, 1968
116 "The Great Train Robbery" February 8, 1968
117 "I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle" February 22, 1968
118 "The Joker's Flying Saucer" February 29, 1968
119 "The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra" March 7, 1968
120 "Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires" March 14, 1968

Notes

  • The iconic theme song for the series was created by composer Neal Hefti.

Trivia

  • For the first two seasons, Batman episodes were aired as two-part storylines, with the title of the second episode often rhyming with the title of the first episode.
  • The Batman series was famous for showcasing various celebrity talents including: Edward G. Robinson, Jerry Lewis, Art Linkletter, Roddy McDowell, Milton Berle, Dick Clark, Steve Allen, Sammy Davis Jr., and many others.
  • The Batman and Batgirl costumes from this series are featured in the Kingdom Come future era Planet Krypton restaurant in Kingdom Come #1 and the "One Year Later" epilogue following Kingdom Come #4 in the collected editions. The Batman costume is seen hanging in a display case, while a T-shirt salesgirl reading a Young Love comicbook wears the Batgirl costume.

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