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Batman: The Second Season, Part One

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    Ian Jane
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  • Batman: The Second Season, Part One



    Released by: Warner Brothers
    Released on: February 10th, 2015.
    Director: Various
    Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward
    Year: 1967
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Series:

    Batman ran from 1966 through 1968 and has since gone on to immortalize Adam West in the lead role, and to a lesser extent Burt Ward as Batman's young sidekick, Robin. The series sat in home video limbo for ages but late in 2014 was given a special edition complete series release on Blu-ray. Warner Brothers has, since then, started releasing single sets on DVD only and through that strategy, we come to Batman: The Second Season, Part One - a collection of thirty episodes jam-packed with the kind of mirth and mayhem that fans of the series expect from the show.

    There's no need for a plot synopsis here - everyone knows that millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is secretly the Caped Crusader keeping Gotham safe. Everyone in the real world, that is - nobody in Gotham seems to have a clue outside of Dick Greyson. But then Dick's secretly Robin. Oh, and Alfred (Alan Napier), he knows too. But Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton) and Chief O'Hara (Stafford Repp)? They remain in the dark as to Batman's real identity. That doesn't stop them from signaling him with the Bat-Signal every time things hit the fan in the big city though, and of course, Batman and Robin are only too happy to hop into the Bat-Mobile and leave the Bat-Cave as soon as that happens to rush to their assistance. That's just the kind of guys they are.

    The episodes that make up the first part of the second season of Batman are spread across the four discs in this set as follows:

    DISC ONE:

    Shoot A Crooked Arrow / Walk The Straight And Narrow / Hot Off The Griddle / The Cat And The Fiddle / The Minstrel's Shakedown / Barbequed Batman? / The Spell Of Tut / Tut's Case Is Shut

    DISC TWO:

    The Greatest Mother Of Them All / Ma Parker / The Clock King's Crazy Crimes / The Clock King Gets Crowned / An Egg Grows In Gotham / The Yegg Foes In Gotham / The Devil's Fingers / The Dead Ringers

    DISC THREE:

    Hizzonner The Penguin / Dizzonner The Pengiun / Green Ice / Deep Freeze / The Impractical Joker / The Joker's Provokers / Marsha, Queen Of Diamonds / Marsha's Scheme Of Diamonds

    DISC FOUR:

    Come Back, Shame / It's How You Play The Game / The Penguin's Nest / The Bird's Last Jest / The Cat's Meow / The Bat's Kow Tow

    The series was campy by the standards of the day and seems even campier now. Batman's Rogues Gallery, this time around, is made up of The Archer (Art Carney), Catwoman (Julie Newmar), The Minstrel (The Green Hornet himself, Van Johnson), King Tut (Victor Buono), Ma Parker (Shelly Winters), The Clock King (Walter Slezak), Egghead (Vincent Price), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), Mr. Freeze (Otto Preminger), The Joker (Cesar Romero), Marsha Queen Of Diamonds(Carolyn Jones) and Shame (Cliff Robertson). As fun as Ward and West are in their roles, for a lot of viewers it'll be the villains that really steal the show - especially Julie Newmar. Meow!

    The whole thing is played for laughs and the comedy remains effective, but don't let that dissuade you from noticing the impressive costume work and garishly colorful production design on display in pretty much every frame of every episode. It's silly, goofy, harmless fun, but that's just it - it's fun. There's a place for a grim and gritty Batman but this isn't it and while things may get ridiculous throughout the run, what with all the traps and the gadgets and the nefarious plots that constantly unfold, the sheer entertainment value contained in this collection is massive.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The 1.33.1 fullframe transfers in this set look like standard definition versions of those seen in the recent Blu-ray release of the complete series, and that's a good thing. The image is pretty much pristine throughout, the colors look fantastic and the black levels nice and solid. Detail is about as good as DVD can get and things look very good indeed.

    The only audio option for this release is an English language Dolby Digital Mono track but optional subtitles are provided in English, French and Spanish. No problems here, the levels are nicely balanced, there are no issues with any hiss or distortion and the dialogue is perfectly easy to understand.

    There are no extras on the discs themselves, just menus and episode selection, but inside the keepcase is a booklet containing episode synopsis and credits for each episode. All four discs fit inside a standard sized DVD keepcase with flippers inside and that keepcase fits inside a cardboard slipcase.

    The Final Word:

    Blu-ray enabled fans would be silly not to opt for the complete series, even if it is a spendy choice, but for those who still rely on DVD for their home video viewings or those who might puzzlingly want only the first part of the second season, this will fit the bill quite nicely. The series still holds up and is remarkably fun and while there are no extras here, the episodes look and sound great.



























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