Beard: Classic Batman TV series to be released on DVDWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly forty-six years after its final broadcast, the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West is set to be released on DVD later this year, marking the first time ever the classic show will be available for home viewing.
Let that one sink in: First Time Ever. We’ve had VHS tapes since 1976, LaserDisc since 1978, DVDs since 1995, and Blu-ray discs since 2006. We’ve even had Super-8 film since before the TV show debuted in 1966, but aside from pirated DVD sets, there’s never been an official home viewing release of Batman. That might seem like a joke, so perhaps it makes it even more fitting that the recent good news came by way of funnyman Conan O’Brien on Twitter. Burt Ward, who played Robin on the series, thought it was a hoax and was ready to denounce O’Brien until 13thDimension.com, a comics news website, convinced him otherwise.
The exact reasons behind the Holy Holdup are murky, but it’s probable that the nuts and bolts of it are the same things that are now causing a bit of a stir among the fans of the show: the rights issues. Legend has it that the multitude of rights for the series – actors, music, design, production, characters – were a legal morass that strung out the proceedings for decades, and have currently created a niggle of fear in some consumers that the upcoming DVDs might be edited to omit bits that haven’t been legally ironed out with the rest.
Could it be? Batman episodes without Werner Klemperer’s cameo as Col. Klink? Excised of Chad and Jeremy’s rendition of “Distant Shores”? Missing the knockdown-dragout fight between Robin and the Green Hornet’s Kato? Well, possibly, but one would like to think that all rights to the show have been covered after forty-six years of negotiations and Bat-fans may rest easy knowing that Susie Knickerbocker’s window appearance in the second season’s “King Tut’s Coup” will remain intact. What would Batman be with it?
Regardless, Warner Bros. claims the show will be released complete in one box set of all three seasons. No word has come down yet on any extras – Lyle Waggoner’s screen test as Batman, anyone? – or if the show will also then be released on Blu-ray. Stay tuned, citizens!
Tags: "Distant Shores", "King Tut's Coup", Adam West, Batman, Batman TV Series, Blueray, Burt Ward, Chad and Jeremy, Col. Klink, DVD, Green Hornet, Kato, LaserDisc, Lyle Waggoner, Robin, VHS, Werner Klemperer