Legacy of the 66 series

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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Ricky
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Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Ricky »

This is something I have found myself pondering over this evening as I watch the series, which is what is the legacy of the Batman series?

It's probably impossible to predict in reality but how long will the series last into the future and what will it look like? On the 100 year anniversary in the year 2066 how much would it be celebrated? It is part of the wider Batman universe/franchise so no doubt will live amongst fans of Batman and be a staple in it's history, but my fear is as years go by the even acknowledgement of the series existing would become less and less. Although as a fan I'd argue the series is timeless but to the ordinary wider Batfan or casual fan in general - would they argue the same?

Ironically I feel the release of the series onto DVD is part of the decline. For example you look back at even this forum, which I consider as THE place to look at for 66 Batfans, before the series was released there was far more active members and this place was more busy in general. A lot was the hype around if the series would be released but a lot of it was fans not being able to watch the series therefore spent a huge amount of time socialising online about it and the kind of word/excitement of the series was being spoken about and almost preached in a way - id argue keeping the series legacy alive. Now we have the DVD's it appears like almost that was the fight won to keep a legacy and that it goes no further?

Maybe I'm wrong about this, i'm just thinking aloud but I feel as a forum/community of Batfans its something that I feel we have mutual agreement on that we want the series to be loved just as much in 2066 and beyond. And to be honest, i've been equally as guilty of this for not keeping a presence myself!

Would love to hear some thoughts.
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dell
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by dell »

I think your point about the release of the series on DVD is valid. Prior to that we could only talk about would the series be released. And if someone had a question about an episode this board was a good place to ask. Now if we have a question you can just pop in the DVD and watch.

Will the show be around in another 50 years? Yes, but at a much lower level of interest than today. If nothing else, the sheer volume of content being made has skyrocketed and created a lot of competition for your time. 50 years ago you had three networks and to watch something you had to be parked in front of a TV at a precise time. Today there are thousands of places to find content; most of it on demand so that you decide when to watch it.

Also, most of us here watched it live or in syndication shortly after the production run. So for us it is something from our childhood; something special.

I think the 1966 version of Batman will live on due to how different it was from anything else at the time, and even now. The fact that this forum still exists is part of the legacy. Are there active forums for any other shows of the 1960s?
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High C
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by High C »

This is an interesting question, Ricky, and some people won't like my answer, but I will put it out there anyway. And this opinion comes from someone who has been around the various Bat-forums longer than most, so make of it what you will.

I think part of the reason for the lack of activity on the forum is the fact, and this is not a knock on anyone, is that the Bat-fanbase doesn't obsess over the actual episodes the way fanbases of current shows do. Perhaps that is a byproduct of all those years when the show was NOT available. There are many people who are more interested in the trinkets that pop up, whether they be figures or dioramas or such, or costumes, or what-have-you. Again, it's a matter of personal preference. I have no ax to grind with anyone. Whatever floats your personal boat.

Similarly, there was/is a segment of the base that enjoyed the many conventions, but, sadly, with many of the actors now either no longer with us or getting older, those are not as big a factor anymore. I think that, too, contributes to the lack of conversation here.

Will it change anytime soon? I tend to doubt it. What does it mean for the legacy of the show? I don't know. I do know that 55 years is a pretty good run compared to its contemporaries. Will people still be discussing Nolan's Dark Knight series in say, 2063? We'll see.
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Therin of Andor
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Therin of Andor »

Ricky wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 1:36 pm I feel the release of the series onto DVD is part of the decline. For example you look back at even this forum, which I consider as THE place to look at for 66 Batfans, before the series was released there was far more active members and this place was more busy in general. A lot was the hype around if the series would be released but a lot of it was fans not being able to watch the series therefore spent a huge amount of time socialising online about it and the kind of word/excitement of the series was being spoken about and almost preached in a way - id argue keeping the series legacy alive. Now we have the DVD's it appears like almost that was the fight won to keep a legacy and that it goes no further?
No one would have guessed that - decades after our childhoods - we would get Blu-Ray/DVD sets, 8" FTC action figures with cast likenesses (plus lots of villains and even goons and molls, and a Batcave playset), 6" Mattel action figures, 4" ReAction-style action figures, Funko Pop! figures, Moebius model kits, a 30-issue comic book, numerous crossover comic mini-series, a DC comic book Alfred figure with a spare TV Alfred head, two animated movies with the voices of West, Ward and Newmar, and a forthcoming Mezco playset with more figures.

How is that a decline?
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Keith Mayo
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Keith Mayo »

In addition there's the slew of products that came out for a few years. That has kind of dried up so there's less people posting.
Then again there's those of us who've been fans of the show since it was first run, and then there's everyone else. Not trying to divide and conquer, but we die hard fans are in it for the long haul. Some of the "normies" who jumped on the train in 2016 or so aren't as emotionally attached.
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AndyFish
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by AndyFish »

Wow- interesting question! As someone who has been a member of this board back when it was run by David Sutton and about the only posters were Wally and G-Dog I can tell you the board interest goes up and down. Scott will likely chime in that Facebook groups have replaced much of the ‘heat’ that was once here. Well, I don’t do Facebook so that leaves me out. I’ve got nothing against any members here but less and less do I see posts from longtime friends like John, Kieth, Mike, Tony and SprangFan. I still lurk about every other day but I only log in if there’s something I feel I can add to a discussion. I guess I am one of those prop obsessed fans when it comes to the cowl, I love when Chuck posts a new discovery.

I myself grew up watching the show in re-runs in the 70s and it will always remain a favorite from a great era of tv. I think the show itself has only gotten more popular with the dvd release and the marketing of toys. I see many West Batman’s at various conventions and DC Comics still tries its best to catch lightning in a bottle with the ‘66 property. That’s a long ways from the 90s when I would go to the freelance room at DC Comics and they would have bootleg copies of the show on VHS playing but they couldn’t have any official tie ins. The rumor that DC hates the 60s Batman is and always has been false.

Will Batman the show celebrate its centennial? I have no doubt it’ll be an event. I won’t be around for it but I’m positive that as long as Batman remains an intellectual property so too will the show. It has legs and it holds up. Is it my personal favorite tv show of all time? Absolutely not, but as a lifelong Batman fan it’s still better than any of the rubber suit versions, and there was a time I didn’t feel that way. The show when it was good was brilliant, and of the 120 episodes and the movie there are a lot of gems that will forever be remembered.
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rsaffle
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by rsaffle »

There will always be new fans that discover the show because of the DVDs but the core audience are the ones that enjoyed the show as kids. We are getting older and many of our age group are probably not very Internet savvy or at least not the types to talk for years about a 1960s show. I for one was always a Batman fan but it took me a long time to talk on this group, even though I visited it several times before. Maybe I didn't feel I had anything to tell the experts. I had the love but it took some time to find something I had to share. As this groups core knowledge grows it will be harder and harder for someone to share anything that hasn't been said before and that may alienate new fans from joining in.

The show will live on but will also be talked about less and less over time. Are there forum's for the Batman 40s serials? Maybe but I'm sure they are even less active.

You will always see Marilyn Monroe and Elvis images but they will be thought about in different ways by each new generation and Batman won't be any different. I also agree that the overwhelming amount of tv shows, movies and video games creates a throwaway society. We all have shared experiences growing up and all watched the same things but it's not that way anymore.
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Scott Sebring
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Scott Sebring »

Quick(ish) response to a lengthy subject (from my point of view.)

The legacy is fine and this board is not a direct reflection of the show's popularity in pop culture. The board members' participation and activity was already at a steep decline by 2012 (post FB and smart phones) before the DVDs, Blu Rays and Toys started to come out. The prospect of these items did stimulate some conversations but not nearly the scope of what used to be speculated or the various fan experiences and interests once shared on the board back in the day. The board has WAYYYYYYY more visitors per day, week and year than it did years ago but LESS participation. It's just an evolution of how folks experience the net these days. Especially how they interact socially on a tech level. There's less sitting and typing at a computer and more swiping and occasionally tapping on a mobile device. Tapping "likes'' somewhere you are automaticaaly logged in and not having to actually type something to share experiences and thoughts is more of the norm. Other forums like the RPF that were once central to all things prop and costume building have seen a major shift in participation and sharing over the years. Props and cosplay building has boomed and grown exponentially in craft, teaching and popularity but you wouldn't get that impression over there if you judged it solely on the amount or types of posts in recent years. Folks just went elsewhere or just held off having to sign in and type something. Facebook has twenty or more self proclaimed "official" 1966 Batman groups, and that interface of skimming through stuff that way is more than enough for many fans.

I type less over here than I used to but folks on the Video Bat Chat can tell you that I'm still bursting with stuff to talk about and discuss.

The legacy will be fine and continue but the fans will shift and evolve in how they are interested in the show and how they decide to participate (or not participate.)
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

Ricky wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 1:36 pm This is something I have found myself pondering over this evening as I watch the series, which is what is the legacy of the Batman series?

It's probably impossible to predict in reality but how long will the series last into the future and what will it look like? On the 100 year anniversary in the year 2066 how much would it be celebrated?
That depends on how well the series ages, and how future generations perceive the series, but be warned, there are some older series once recognized as "classics" that next to no one actively discusses on any public forum or gathering (e.g. My Three Sons, Gunsmoke, etc.).

Then, there's the superhero adaptation factor: we are now living in a period of nearly 20 straight years of what are considered serious superhero film and TV adaptations, so the culture has been hard-wired to use that kind of adaptation as the standard all others must follow. There's no back and forth as in the 1970s, where some films or TV series played things straight, while others were silly or very, very light. With serious adaptations as our consistent norm, many young viewers of today--and those yet to be born--may not tolerate the Dozier series at all, looking at it as being "wrong" to a degree far beyond its present day detractors.

Ironically I feel the release of the series onto DVD is part of the decline. For example you look back at even this forum, which I consider as THE place to look at for 66 Batfans, before the series was released there was far more active members and this place was more busy in general. A lot was the hype around if the series would be released but a lot of it was fans not being able to watch the series therefore spent a huge amount of time socialising online about it and the kind of word/excitement of the series was being spoken about and almost preached in a way - id argue keeping the series legacy alive. Now we have the DVD's it appears like almost that was the fight won to keep a legacy and that it goes no further?
Interest in an old TV series cannot hinge on retail availability. We need to remember that for a series like the original Star Trek, from its cancellation in June of 1969 and all throughout the 1970s, there was no home video--no easy access to indulge in every frame. But in 1980, Paramount released the first VHS of the series, and its been one of the most successful home video releases (including Beta, laserdiscs, DVDs, blu-rays, etc.) in history, yet after generations of home video availability, there are still legions of TOS fans discussing the series, and a large number of fan films (before and after CBS' restrictions).

Why?

Perhaps the answer rests in the source; no matter how many non-TOS Star Trek productions have been created since 1987 (the year Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered), none have dulled or replaced the worldwide love and active interest in a series well over a half-century old. The point being that old series still generate interest--and new fanbases--if they are perceived to be of a quality that (in one way or another) still captures the imagination and/or impresses generations later. One might say the lack of strong interest in the '66 series has less to do with its availability on blu-ray, and more about that aforementioned perception issue, and this is not just pointing in the direction of late Generation X-ers, or Millennials, as there are some older people who saw the series in 1970s syndication, and maybe in recent years, they casually mentioned the series on social media, but its not holding their heart, so to speak, or, they really prefer the serious direction superhero adaptations took, and no longer feel the same way about the '66 series.

It could be a number of motivating factors that would address your question, but I doubt its tied to the release of the series on DVD/blu-ray.
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Lou Szabo
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Lou Szabo »

Wow, what a great thread, and some of these points crossed my mind too. So here are some rambling thoughts.

I guess we could look at the serials from the 40’s that made a resurgence in the 1960’s. It seems that nostalgia follows real life some twenty years later, but how long the nostalgia lasts depends on the source?

The 50’s brought Happy Days and Grease in the 1970’s. A hundred years from now, who knows. These superheroes may be the cowboy movies and series from the 30’s through the 60’s that represent the latter half of the 19th century.

I am curious if there will be a movement away from gritty realism, but it seems to be grittier with every DC movie release and comic book. A lighter release (WW84) box office failure will reinforce the grittier trend.

I still come here daily just to see what’s new, and slowly I work my way through threads that I normally would skip, and I love to see the clever crafts people come up with, and of course many of the off topic pieces are fun too. As noted in most of the responses, some people have left, some have passed away, others moved to other apps. The 1966Batmobile site is gone, now on FB. There was a modeling forum that also folded. That’s the nature of evolution, but if anyone of us are around in 2066 (not as distant as you might think), I hope the Bright Knight is still represented, and the Bat Signal still shines in the night sky!

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floatinjoe
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by floatinjoe »

I am actively involved in the "Lone Ranger" community on Facebook (because it is the only place the communities seem to exist). There is a huge fan base of for the classic series from the 1950s, but I've looked at the demographics of the group. The membership is getting older and older, and it is slowly dying off. It sounds horrible, but it's true. As has been mentioned, many of the fans here watched the show in their youth. They too are getting older, and the number of new fans coming in aren't necessarily enough to replace them. The one major benefit that Batman has is that he is still relevant. DC keeps publishing comics and making movies, so you will have fans of "Batman" digging into the character's past, discover the show, and hopefully enjoy it.

I'd like to see the show live on, as I am a big fan, but as Lou pointed out, will the fading memory of the Westerns of the 50s also happen to the comic films/tv of this era?
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Dan E Kool
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Dan E Kool »

I'm browsing this forum while sipping from an Adam West Batman mug that I got as a gift. Just a regular mug bought in a regular store. If anything, I think our Batman is way more accessible and prevalent today than at any other time since the 60s. I wouldn't be surprised if the series got a reboot or something in the coming decade.
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Bat-fan01 »

Dan E Kool wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 6:04 am I'm browsing this forum while sipping from an Adam West Batman mug that I got as a gift. Just a regular mug bought in a regular store. If anything, I think our Batman is way more accessible and prevalent today than at any other time since the 60s. I wouldn't be surprised if the series got a reboot or something in the coming decade.
I think with the biggest or smallest things(like a mug or a DVD,ect ect) the legacy still lives on. But in a 100 years? That is a huge reflexion. I think yes, it will still lives on, but it’s not every body that knows Batman of the 60s so it will probably lives, but forgotten or maybe even worse, and nobody here wants that to happen. As a guy of 14 years old, 3/5 of my friends doesn’t know or never actually watched the series. So maybe it will lives on this forum or Facebook pages run by younger/older persons than me. In my point of view, I think yes it will lives on, but some will forget it or just totally ignore it. Maybe that if Discord still exists, there will be a community of Batman of the 60s. I hope it will still lives and that it will be celebrated with something huge. Batman made my childhood, as it made others from the forum here.
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Dan E Kool
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Re: Legacy of the 66 series

Post by Dan E Kool »

Bat-fan01 wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 5:35 pm I think with the biggest or smallest things(like a mug or a DVD,ect ect) the legacy still lives on. But in a 100 years? That is a huge reflexion.
Yeah but in 100 years I'll be dead, so... who cares? :lol:
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