Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier
Release Date: Own it today on Limited Edition Blu-Ray
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Wealthy entrepreneur Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson lead a double life: they are actually the crime-fighting duo Batman and Robin. A secret Batpole in the Wayne mansion leads to the Batcave, where Police Commissioner Gordon summons the Dynamic Duo on the Batphone with the latest emergency threatening Gotham City. Racing to the scene of the crime in the jet-powered Batmobile, Batman and Robin must (with the help of their trusty utility-belts) thwart the efforts of a rogues gallery of flamboyant arch-villains, including the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler and the Catwoman.
I know many never thought the day would come, I’ll admit myself included to a degree; but nevertheless that day has indeed arrived. The original iconic Batman television series which debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons, starring Adam West and Burt Ward (in their respective roles of Batman and Robin, the Dynamic Duo) has finally arrived home in its entirety and surprisingly on Blu-Ray no less. As if that fact alone wasn’t enough cause to celebrate, the Limited Edition Numbered Blu-Ray release is absolutely fantastic and a definite must own collection that every fan will definitely want to add to their collection as soon as possible.
I can tell you first hand that this Numbered Limited Edition (limited to 95,000 units) Blu-Ray collection of ‘Batman: The Complete Television Series’ is a Bat-fan’s dream come true. It features all 120 episodes of the classic series, spread throughout a total of 13 discs (or 12 as one of the discs is dedicated solely to bonus content) and remastered and presented in breathtaking high definition video like you’ve never seen it before, all in a gorgeous and sturdy collectible case you will want to display as prominently as possible.
The whole collection is compiled into a solid, hard plastic case with some fantastic artwork, felt interior and magnets implemented in the front to keep it closed when desired or when not in use. This great case also includes a ‘Press Here’ button on one side of the case which when pressed plays (yep, you guessed it) the show’s theme song which I thought was a pretty great touch. The bottom of the case is where you’ll find the unique number for your specific set, any number from 1 to the limited number of 95,000 copies of the release that were created in total. Inside of the case you’ll find the box of 44 collectible animated cards in its case placed securely above the hot wheels replica of the Batmobile (viewable from the exterior of the case) on the right, both of these collector’s items securely fitted into their own cases (a typical card pack wrapped in cellophane for the cards and a plastic case for the hot wheels replica) in addition to cutouts in the felt interior present in order to keep them securely in place, but both also easily removable. To the left of these items you’ll find the rest of what’s included in the collection; separate foldout cases for each of the three season’s with some great profiles of the cast included as the artwork on each. You’ll also find the two included booklets, both ‘The Adam West Scrapbook’ which is a good bit of fun, along with the full color ‘Episode Guide’ which includes everything you’ll need in order to simplify making your selection of which episode to watch at any given moment, this episode guide providing episode titles, original airdates, the villain featured in the episode and more.
To summarize, the ‘Batman: The Complete Television Series’ Limited Edition Blu-Ray collection is a must own for any Bat-fan and collector. Not only do you get an overall fantastic presentation of a set with a truly impressive, sturdy and beautifully detailed case, you get every one of the show’s 120 episodes remastered in High Definition and presented here with the best video and audio quality you’ve ever experienced the series in. All of this, on top of the incredibly cool collector’s items included within and an entire disc dedicated solely to bonus content which includes hours of Bat-Tastic bonus features such as detailed and informative featurette’s and rare goodies like the original Batgirl pilot and actor screen tests (detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) make this an absolute must own. Make sure to pick up your copy as soon as you can before it’s too late to do so and this Limited Edition is sold out for good.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Batman: The Complete Television Series’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.33:1 4×3 Aspect Ratio on every episode of all three seasons. The video presentation on the episodes is absolutely breathtaking and even with the knowledge that each episode had been digitally remastered in high definition for the release, it still managed to truly impress me. While some brief moments still look a bit washed out or contain excessive video noise, these moments are very miniscule, usually only a few frames; surely an unavoidable side effect considering the age of these episodes and aside from these rare and brief occurrences, the video presentation looks fantastic in every possible way. The shapes, colors and detail are as beautiful and perfect as I’m guessing we’ll every see them and far better than I’d have imagined them appearing. Fans will be absolutely thrilled at finally having the opportunity to enjoy the entire series whenever they desire in such absolutely phenomenal video quality.
The Blu-Ray release features an English 1.0 channel Dolby Digital mono soundtrack on all 120 episodes of the series. While lossy mono soundtracks aren’t any surprise here considering the age of the series, these Dolby Digital 1.0 tracks actually sound quite solid as a whole. The audio effects, catchy music and surrounding activity is always discrete and sounds quite impressive and detailed, while also never detracting from the audibility of the dialogue; never combining elements into indiscernible clutter. While it may not be nearly as impressive as the video presentation included here, these Dolby Digital mono soundtracks are very competent and should hopefully still leave the fellow fans very satisfied.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Batman: The Complete Television Series’ also includes hours of bonus goodies that the fellow Bat-fans out there are sure to have a lot of fun with just as I did. The Blu-Ray release includes a bonus disc dedicated solely to the bonus content. The bonus disc includes a number of new featurette’s with everything from interviews, inside perspectives and behind the scenes content/photos as well as a look at the collectible content related to the series and its impact still to this day, plus much more. The featurette’s include the following: ‘Hanging with Batman’; ‘Holy Memorabilia Batman’; ‘Batmania Born! Building the World of Batman’; ‘Bats of the Round Table’; ‘Na Na Na Batman’ and ‘Inventing Batman: In The Words of Adam West’ which includes separate segments for the episodes ‘Hi Diddle Riddle’ and ‘Smack in the Middle’. All of the featurette’s run approximately 30 minutes in length each with the exception of ‘Bats of the Round Table’ which is approximately 45 minutes and ‘Na Na Na Batman’ which runs just over 12. Also included are ‘Bat-Rarities: Straight from the Vault’ which includes some pretty fun little goodies such as the ‘Batgirl Pilot’; ‘Screen Tests’ One featuring Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin, another with Lyle Waggoner and peter Deyell in the iconic roles, as well as a tribute to James Blakeley (post-production supervisor for the series). There are of course the additional physical goodies included in the Limited Edition Blu-Ray collection such as the included collectible booklets and cards as well as the Hot Wheels Batmobile replica (mentioned in more detail above in the main body of the review) which are definitely not to be forgotten about either. All in all, you can clearly see there is certainly no shortage of bonus content included in this absolutely phenomenal Limited Edition Blu-Ray collection.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.