Monday, September 5, 2011

What Brings Us To Batman...

Welcome aboard, Bat-fans!

Before we begin, we feel it's appropriate to set the stage explaining our personal history with Batman.

Peter: Batman is the first television show I have a memory of. I'm sure I watched other stuff (Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and The Big Valley are candidates) but I have vivid memories of watching the show twice a week. I loved its fantasy world and bright color palette. Its whacky villains and supporting characters (someone remind me why there was an Aunt Harriet). I even loved its campiness, though I didn't know what camp was at the time. I still love the show. Or at least I think I do. It's been three decades since I've seen the majority of these episodes so that great fog known as nostalgia may be blinding my vision. It may be a bumpy road. Ironically, though I have that aforementioned fondness for the show, I really hate the comics from the same period. You know, the ones that fed the show. Batman is bitten by a snake and becomes a giant reptile. "Robin Dies at Dawn." The Caped Crusader decides that roller skates are the way to go. Ad Nauseam. Nah, give me the Neal Adams/Denny O'Neil Dark Knight anyday. And don't even get me started on Joel Schumacher's travesties. Tell you what though. I'll keep an open mind if you will. As with the previous two blogs, we won't agree on everything but I think we can all nod our heads at the fact this show is a bit different than the previous two. I'm looking forward to it.

John: My first exposure to Batman was in the mid to late 70s—it was an after school staple. I didn't see it in prime-time, for me those memories are associated with SWAT, Planet of the Apes, The Rockford Files and Match Game. I do remember the colors, and the colorful character actors that portrayed the villains. I remember feeling at home with all of the regular supporting characters: Alfred, Aunt Harriet, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara. I remember drawing a picture that tried to explain exactly how Bruce and Dick changed their outfits between jumping on the batpoles and arriving in the batcave in costume. While I enjoyed the humor, I didn't grow up mocking the show due to the dynamic duo's straight delivery. As with all the shows I watched over and over in syndication growing up (The Twilight ZoneThe Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver),  I assume that I've seen them all, however I'm prepared to experience quite a few for what will feel like the first time. My lasting memory of the show, and I don't know how long I had been watching before I figured it out, was watching the opening credits with baited breath hoping that an animated Batgirl might swing in, indicating that Yvonne Craig would be making an appearance in that day's particular episode.

If you followed A Thriller A Day or We Are Controlling Transmission, you're already familiar with how we'll be doing things with Batman. Once again we'll only be running our episode reviews Monday through Friday. And since Batman was almost always multi-part episodes, we'll be covering a complete storyline each day. You can expect to see some familiar names dropping in to provide spotlight articles and regular commentary as we make our way through the series. And watch for our daily reviews to be posted each morning.

For each storyline, our individual ratings will be listed separately (so it will be clear for you to direct your hate mail to Peter). Ratings will be in the form of 0-4 Bat Signals:

Once again we've invited a respected authority on the show, Joel Eisner—author of The Official Batman Batbook, to offer his thoughts on each episode, as well as other interesting facts about the show and its cornucopia of special guest stars. Tomorrow we'll kick things off with an interview with Joel.

Thanks for joining us on this journey. We'll see you tomorrow - same Bat Time, Same Bat URL!


  1. Zero Bat Signal rating? I can't imagine you'll be needing that one, but I have fond memories of this show, too. I must have been watching after school with John, because I remember looking forward to getting home from school to find out how the Dynamic Duo would escape their unusual predicaments. It will be fun to see how I view these episodes now. No doubt there will be some funny things I missed as a youngster, and surely some episodes I've never seen.

    Peter, I think Aunt Harriet was there to make sure Dick and Bruce were behaving themselves (no wild parties with go-go girls), and possibly to deter speculation that they may have had an inappropriate relationship. They liked to dress up in tights, after all. Oh, was that a rhetorical question, or did you really need reminding?

    Very cool that you've managed to get another expert on board for this blog. Do you guys know everyone? Look forward to the interview with Joel tomorrow and his contributions here.

  2. I was 24 in 1966 and soon drafted into the army but I do remember seeing several episodes. I remember that college students had an interest in the Batman serial from the 1940's and the serials and the comics had a big influence on the TV show. I can't believe 45 years have passed since I watched it.

  3. Did anyone else think that when the show said "IN COLOR" at the beginning that there was a chance it would actually show up in color, even though your TV was black & white? I always held out hope but it never happened.

  4. I was one of those 70's afternoon syndication viewers - taped every chopped-to-pieces episode off The Family Channel when they ran them thanks to the 1989 movie - love this show to pieces! I'm looking forward to working my way through A Post A Day.

  5. I just stumbled across this blog while doing some episode research to accompany my viewing of the BluRay edition I got for Christmas, which is probably the coolest box set for any series I've ever owned. I look forward to reading the insights here after viewing each episode block.