By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 60’s television series, Batman, and most of the fanfare is coming from generation X’ers who grew up watching it and are working hard in the pop culture/entertainment industry.
In honour of this day, LEGO has announced the release of a drool worthy Batcave play-set inspired by the designs used in this show. This massive build includes the retro Batmobile, Batcopter, and Batcycle. Now who does not want that? This set is due to hit shelves March 2016.
Although there was news about Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their role in an animated product this year, sadly it was not released on this day. It will have to appear later in the year, perhaps coinciding with either Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although a mark was missed, the year is still young! These two heroes have punched their way into syndication success. This series, however campy as it was, helped put DC comics on the road to further fame in other media. Superman can only do so much.
At the same time, plenty of other heroes are also celebrating their premiere on the small screen in 1966.
Nobody has to feel old; everyone can feel young by following the dealings that Barnabas Collins negotiated in his quest to reunite with his lost love. He graced the screen in Dark Shadows. This soap opera rose into becoming one of the earliest and longest running series for its time. It premiered June 27, 1966 and although the supernatural themes did not develop right away, that edge is what saved the series when ratings started to decline. The introduction of a vampire wanting to save family honour certainly gave this series new blood that instantly turned this saga into a favourite. It continues to this day in the form of audio dramas by Big Finish. The continued fan support does not necessarily rival the appeal of Batman, but the fact that two dark knights are celebrating in the same year must be noted!
Despite not being as big, The Green Hornet should not be forgotten either. Plans are being made to celebrate this series as part of the Worlds of Bruce Lee exhibit in San Francisco. This program premiered September 9, 1966 and this show helped Lee become a superstar.
As most fans know, The Hornet (Van Williams) encountered Batman in the episode “A Piece of the Action / Batman’s Satisfaction” and that alone makes for some legendary fun. The superhero shows of today, namely Arrow and The Flash owes a debt to these old shows for setting the stage for crossovers whether they belong to the same network or not.
In Japan, people should not forget that Ultra Q launched January 2. Although short-lived, this series executive produced by Eiji Tsuburaya set the way for the highly successful Ultraman July 17, 1966 to continue afterwards. The year will be busy, and in honourable mention, the following programs also made their debuts in 1966. Aside from Star Trek, little is known if any big celebration will be made for the following programs:
- Tarzan (September 8, 1966)
- The Monkees (September 12, 1966)
- The Time Tunnel (September 9, 1966)
- The Rat Patrol (September 12, 1966)
- Mission: Impossible (September 12, 1966)
- The Lone Ranger Animated (September 10, 1966)
- Rocket Robin Hood (October 9, 1966 Canada / January 2, 1967 USA)
One thought on “Batman Is Not the Only Hero Celebrating a 50th Anniversary”
If you enjoy this kind of stuff, I must quote Mae West, “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” ;)