⦁ Adam West’s Final Batman Performance
So, this is the final performance of Adam West as the character he was born to play, one last time we get to hear the definitive Bruce Wayne and Batman.
June 9th this year, we lost the Bright Knight, the man who made good manners, puns, silliness, proper hygiene, kindness, gadgetry and doing the right thing, cool!
The stories with which he had to deal as the fully deputised agent of the law were often ludicrous, outlandish and often mind-boggling, but somehow his portrayal of the Batman brought you in as a viewer.
The writers obviously deserve their dues for the layered writing featured in the show but, the man at the helm, had the uncanny ability to make you believe as a child. Then when you grew up you realised the humour and the satire and saw that this Batman was still righteous but the performance was pitched so well in amongst the madness of the villains and situations that it made the humour that much better.
As a fan of many different Films and TV shows I often find myself drawn to the ridiculous; media that portrays the ridiculous as serious or the serious as ridiculous and I follow that back to Adam West’s Batman.
⦁ Not based on The Lost Episode
When it first surfaced that there was going to be a follow up to Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, and that William Shatner would be portraying Harvey Dent/Two-Face, the assumption/rumour was that it would be based on Harlan Ellison’s Lost Episode, The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face… a story which I will review in a separate post in the near future.
It appears with the trailer that dropped recently (which I have included at the bottom of this post), that this will be a completely new story.
Having seen the trailer I’m absolutely fine with this being a new story, it seems like a brilliant story in the vain of the classic show.
The Caped Crusader seems as righteous as ever and with lines such as “Harvey, Stay Strong”, it seems as though Batman is trying to see the good, bring out the good and rehabilitate the District Attorney as best he can.
Another astounding example that Burt Ward’s voice hasn’t aged a bit since 1966! He still sounds just like the plucky young man who was always attentive to the lessons Batman imparted upon him.
⦁ Harvey Dent/Two-Face
Though William Shatner is synonymous with his role of Captain James T. Kirk, by many people it tends to be looked upon as somewhat hokey or stunted due to his often clipped delivery, even those who identify with the character or hold him to be a hero or idol still see these qualities. This role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face when I’ve discussed it with other people are so taken aback by the duality to Shatner’s performance, almost all of them have questioned whether both the Two-Face and Harvey personas are both performed by William Shatner. Shatner in this performance, even in the short clips we’ve seen presents two distinctly different performances, cartoonish whilst also emotionally resonant. You believe the fractured nature of the Two-Face character and believe the fragility of Harvey Dent’s plight. I am so glad we’re finally getting this character presented on screen with this version of Batman, and that he seems to turn into Two-Face by having evil pour onto his face is an exquisite twist on the acid and burning of other versions, whilst the comics and the movies have their own versions, to me, that is already the best way to do this!
⦁ Hugo Strange
I will admit to not being overly familiar with Hugo Strange, but with what I am aware of him, his expertise and profession, it does make sense that he’d be involved in this story dealing with the psyche.
⦁ Harley Quinn
It was only a matter of time, the Batman character that seems to be more popular now than she’s ever been, finally makes it onto a Batman 66 project on screen. Her kooky voice heard at the beginning of the trailer as Hugo Strange’s assistant give us a hint that we may bare witness to the transformation into the Joker’s lady in this film.
⦁ The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman, Egghead, Mr. Freeze, Shame, The Clock King
It will be interesting to see how many of these villains come to be used in the full-length feature, will everyone get a chance to speak or will it be similar to everyone being busted out of Gotham State Penitentiary in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders when it was seemingly a visual cameo for everyone DC, WB, had the rights to show.
I wonder whether more Batman 66 Animated films are/were planned, as it seems like Return of the Caped Crusaders was done as celebration almost as a reminder of the brilliance that came before, setting the seeds for this new film to introduce new characters to the Batman 66 mythos as the Batman 66 comics have done so brilliantly.
I urge anyone reading this to check out the Batman 66 comics as they are a stylistically in-keeping with the original show but often presenting stories that weren’t possible back in 1966-1968, because either characters hadn’t debuted yet or simply budgetary constraints.
Doctor Harleen Quinzel/ Harley Quinn is featured in;
Issue 3: “The Joker Sees Red”
Issue 11: “The Joker’s Big Show”
Issue 25: “Night of the Harlequin”
I wonder if the evil extractor will play a part in Harley’s transformation in this, if she does indeed transform into the Harley Quinn we all know she’s destined to become. Within the Batman 66 comics she is turned insane by the Joker’s madness, so something similar to that in this feature would work well.
I look forward to more trailers and of course the feature itself coming October 30th for us UK fans.
As promised here is the trailer :