Pow! 1966 Batman TV series finally coming to home video

Batman 1966

Batman fans can rejoice, because one of the most sought-after versions of the Caped Crusader will at last make its long-delayed debut on home video this year.

According to Warner Home video -- and first revealed in a tweet by Conan O'Brien -- Batman, the 1966 ABC-TV series that starred Adam West in the title role and Burt Ward as Robin, will be released in a complete series boxed set sometime in 2014.

The official arrival of the show on home video has been a long time coming, with the series only seen in reruns and on bootleg videos in the nearly five decades since it ended its run in March 1968. 

The home video rights to the show were, by many accounts, trapped for years in a legal limbo between 20th Century Fox, which produced the series, and Warner Bros., which became the owner of DC Comics and the Batman property years after the show concluded its three-season run. 

There have also been reports that the estate of William Dozier, who produced the series, made an ownership claim on the rights, while other issues such as clearances for cameos by certain actors, and even copyright claims on the design of the Batmobile and other elements of the show, have also been cited as playing a role in keeping the series unavailable.

The series was famous for (in its first two seasons) its two-episode structure, with each story being divided into two halves and the first half always ending in a cliffhanger. On the other hand, it was infamous for its ultra-campy take on the Batman mythos and exaggerated comic-book colors and visuals, which enraged comic-book fans who preferred a more serious approach to the material.

The series also introduced the first screen incarnations of classic villains like Joker, Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman and the Mad Hatter, while also inventing its own bizarre assortment of bad guys ranging from King Tut to Bookworm to Shame.

With Batman being a much darker figure in the movies, comics and TV shows created in the last 25 to 30 years, it's safe to say that the 1966 series is now looked upon much more kindly, as a different and more light-hearted spin on the classic superhero.

Personally, I can't wait to delve into the series once again. There's no word yet on whether it will be available on Blu-ray, DVD or both, and bonus features remain to be revealed as well. But all we'll say for now is: Holy home video, Batman!


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