Adam West: Essential viewing
West was always a wonderfully energetic man. He always had time for fans and honestly, we were lucky to have him. He continued to work right up until the end. Although he became trapped within the character, he loved Batman and He will be greatly missed among Batfans. I am a Batfan myself and although I am aware of some his other roles, I think he truly shines when playing Batman or when he is parodying the character in some way.
Batman the TV series, OBVIOUSLY
Adam West conquered our hearts as the light hearted Caped Crusader way back on January 12th, 1966. His charm and his wit solidified him as a national treasure and he helped propel the show to great heights! He was always so energetic and passionate about the character. Even when Batman returned to the shadows, and the character once again became the Dark Knight, West never apologised for his portrayal! And quite rightly so! The crew on that show knew what they were doing and I'm glad to see that fans are coming back around again to giving it love. It really set the world ablaze! Batman was the perfect show for all the family. The kids wanted to be Batman and the parents could enjoy the incredibly goofy humour! It also had several great messages!
Adam West's Batman became very influential amongst the kids of that era! He was always banging on about the duties of citizens and the importance of being a good person. They had a lot of fun on that show but Batman would never kid about the importance of law and order, honesty and kindness. So behind all of the gadgets and goofiness, the show also had a heart of gold.
It is iconic and is still remembered fondly today, 50 years later! There is even an ongoing comic that takes place within that continuity. The writers really nail the atmosphere of the original show.
Batman the Movie (1966)
The movie came out thanks to the popularity of TV series in 1966. It premiered 2 months after the first season ended. Basically, thanks to the bigger budget, it was everything that the fans loved about the show- but squared! Originally planned as the pilot film for the TV series, the movie was instead produced between the show's first and second seasons. The producers took advantage of the larger budget to have a number of new Bat-gadgets constructed, such as the BatBoat and the Batcopter! More fuel for the imagination!
It even had all of our favourite villains along for the ride, Catwoman, The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler! They even got a Batcopter! The film also birthed the scene which is perhaps Adam's most iconic Batman moment.. "some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
Batman The Animated Series: Beware the Grey Ghost
This is one of my personal favourite episodes in what is arguably the best animated series of all time. The titular Grey Ghost is a TV character within the world of Batman. One which Bruce Wayne enjoyed as a kid (perhaps even inspiring him to become the masked vigilante he now is!). However, as the years went by Simon Trent, who played the Grey Ghost on the show, struggled to find other work. He had become so iconic as the character that no casting agents could see him as anyone else and he gradually became broke as the merchandise sales dried up. The episode rather tragically mirrored West's real life career. However, it is also a metaphor for how this man paved the way for a lot of the Batmen who would proceed him! If it weren't for this show, Batman as a character, would have faded into the background! Batman creator, Bob Kane, noted that the TV series saved the Batman comic series from cancellation when the show revived the character's popularity. So even though the show came out LONG before I was born, I would be very different without it! If you know anything about me you'll know I'm obsessed with the character, so I am incredibly grateful for it!
In this episode, Bruce Wayne shares a sweet moment with Trent when he talks about how he would watch the show with his father when he was younger. Obviously, this is a bittersweet moment for Bruce as he remembers he deceased father. It's very emotional and I'm sure it is all too relevant for many people out there! I know for a fact, that Adam West hears that all the time!
Starring Adam West
Starring Adam West is a documentary which follows the process of, and the struggles with, getting Adam his star on the Walk of Fame! It gives you the story of his career as well as a good look at the man behind the mask. It charts his rise and fall (and his gradual rise again!). There are several interviews with the man himself, his family and his friends. Although it dominated his career, Batman wasn't his only part! You should watch this is if you want a more in depth look at his career as a whole.
Return of the Caped Crusaders
This was my favourite Batman movie of last year. Yes, I enjoyed it more than Batman V Superman! It was very fun when the 60s series got the budget to make a movie... so what would happen when they don't have to worry about a budget at all? Well they would probably end up in space at one point... and they do in this film! Adam West, Burt Ward and several other original cast members returned for this film, that takes place in the same continuity as the original series.
Not only is it hilarious but it is also a very clever parody of what has become of the Dark Knight. In the film we get to see what would happen if Batman went a bit darker. However, in true Adam West style- it's still a very timid version of the Dark Knight!
They have also been working on a sequel which had cast William Shatner as Two Face (who had not previously appeared in the series). I was very excited about this but now I'm unsure of it's fate. We don't know if he got a chance to finish his dialogue yet. I truly hope he did but if not, then might I suggest his good buddy Ralph Garman filling in as a voice substitute? That man has been a fan of Adam since he grew up watching the show. He also does regular Adam West impressions on his podcast; Hollywood Babble On, which he co-hosts with Kevin Smith.
- Adam West had an ongoing part in Family Guy, where he played himself as the mayor. It was a big part of his career revival and he was always extremely grateful of Seth McFarlane. Mcfarlane also helped campaign to get Adam's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I will be very interested to see how they deal with his death.
- As with many of the greatest geek icons, he has appeared on The Big Bang Theory.
- Adam appeared as himself/Catman in several episodes of Fairly Odd Parents. I would highly recommend the episode "Catman Meets the Crimson Chin!"
- He narrated a special Christmas episode of Johnny Bravo, called "Twas The Night"