The Batman TV series (1966-1968) was launched 45 years ago this week. Although our context and image of the character has changed over the years with input from Frank Miller, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and others, we can't deny the incredible impact that the Adam West incarnation had on 1960s pop culture. The visual and narrative styles of competing shows had to punch things up if they were going to stay on the air. The transition of Lost in Space from black and white to color was a prime example. Batman was a true cultural phenomenon, and it's colorful focus on design, gadgets, and fun conventions fit well within the era's fascination with mystery/adventure stories. Images from the Adam West website here, where you can also order signed collectibles by Batman himself.
From fellow C.O.B.R.A.S. writer, Wes Britton: "Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the premiere of ABC’s Batman (Jan. 12, 1966), next week’s Dave White Presents will be a Batman extravaganza! We’ll have two trivia-packed interviews for you including Jim Beard, editor of the brand-new GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES and legendary DC Batman writer Chuck Dixon talking about the 1966 pop phenomena, the movies, and, of course, the comic book that started it all! The 90 minutes of capes, cowls, and fun will debut on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, then 7:30 Pacific over at KSAV. On Wednesday, Jan. 19, the program will be archived for download access anytime you like at Audio Entertainment."
Baby, you can drive my... Batmobile! Spy Vibe creator, Jason Whiton, remembers his first gadget-love:
As a Spy Viber growing up watching the Adam West Batman TV show, I was drawn to his arsenal of Bond-like gadgets. The anti-shark Bat spray notwithstanding, the show had slick gear that rivaled the space-age designs of its competitors. Batman's secret lair was filled with modern computers and technology (what, no rotating bed on prime-time?). But the coolest gizmo by far was the Batmobile! The call to adventure each week meant exciting sequences of firing up the engines and launching the rocket-powered auto from a secret exit in the Batcave. The design was sleek, long with black fins, and a bubble windscreen that reminded me of the window of a WWII-era fighter plane. The parents of my childhood pal, Alec, had a Cadillac in their garage- complete with fins! We spent many afternoons, sitting in the parked car, racing after baddies. I don't remember if we ever decided who was Batman and who was Robin. Maybe we both imaged ourselves in the dark cowl. Well, for Spy Vibers with a childhood dream of really driving the Batmobile, your day has arrived! As Wired reported recently, the folks at Fiberglass Freaks are now offering a complete working replica of the 1966 Batmobile. Despite its "holy price tag, Batman" cost, I'm sure retro gadget fans will be thrilled to see what these beauties look like. Now, if they would only offer a fully loaded Goldfinger Aston Martin DBV. Spy Vibers, what gadget or vehicle would you want in your garage?