One of the most anticipated home video releases of the decade is finally here! Batman The Complete Television Series is available in a glorious limited edition (I got 46,805 out of 95,000) re-mastered Blu-ray boxed set. I’ll save you the suspense; it was well worth the wait. Warner Home Video has really given fans of the series what they have been clamoring for.
I know I say this a lot and at this point can almost phone it in, but the re-mastering job here is nearly flawless. I haven’t had time to watch all the 103 episodes, so I just spot checked the various discs and couldn’t find many flaws.
The new coat of paint makes the show look fresh and new. It’s not as eye poppingly (sic) bright or grainy (on the face) as I expected. Everything is well balanced and not over corrected. It is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio. I wish it was full screen HD, but what can you do?
Every biff, bam, pow, holly Batman, golly gee, Na Na Na is now in crisp Dolby Digital 5.1 and never sounded better.
Bats of the Roundtable (45 Min) – Kevin Smith, talk show host Ralph Garman, Comic Artist Jim Lee, and Phil Morris (from Smallville) have a nice sit down dinner with their hero Adam West and just geek out about the show for 45 minutes. Of course Smith dominates the entire discussion.
Na Na Na Batman (12 Min) – This feature includes the cast of Arrow, The Following, Supernatural and others talking about their love of the show. How is it possible the only two women that were interviewed were from Arrow and they have no idea what this show is? Come on! Wow, old Burt Ward.
Hanging With Batman (30 Min) – Adam West must be in love with this set, he is really getting a lot of love. Here Adam spends time giving us his life’s story, complete with family pictures and old photos from his early days as an actor.
Holy Memorabilia Batman (30 Mins) – All about the toys!
Bat Rarities – The area of the special features disc includes the original Batgirl Pilot, and screen tests with Burt Ward and Adam West, Lyle Waggoner and Peter Dayell. There’s also a 2-minute tribute/interview with Post Production Supervisor James Blakeley
Batmania Born! Building the World of Batman (30 Min) – This feature talks about the show’s impact on the cultural landscape of the late 60s and why the show was so popular.
Inventing Batman: In the Words of Adam West (60 Minutes) – Adam west gives us more information than we probably want to know about how he created the Batman character. The feature intercuts the first two episodes with West reading the actual script and providing commentary on how he gave specific line readings.
Digital Copy – Woot! I’m so tired of boxed sets, especially TV shows, not including the Digital Copy version – it seems so cheap in this day and age to force fans to pay full price for a digital copy, so I was pleasantly surprised that Warner Home Video threw in the UltraViolet Digital copy.
Yes, I wish it also included the iTunes version as well, but it’s hard to complain about a free HD digital version of the complete series. If I had one complaint it is, I wish WHV would let us redeem the Digital Copy on other UV services like Vudu and stop forcing us to go through Flixster.
Flixster is a HOT MESS – site was broken (almost always broken when I try and use it), then slow, and even though I set up my account awhile ago it constantly insists on asking for 3 different logins every freaking I time I attempt to use it. What’s worse it’ll automatically log me into the wrong account because of facebook connect. Not to mention it always ends up taking a day or two for the UltraViolet copy to actually show up on my other UV enabled services like Vudu. I CAN’T STAND FLIXSTER!
In addition to the extras, the numbered limited edition set includes a deck of collectible playing cards, a miniature hot wheel Batmobile that seems to be made out of actual metal, an episode guide and a little Adam West scrapbook.
The only flaw in this otherwise perfect set is the packaging. The box is unnecessarily big and bulky. The discs come in 3 separate jewel case boxes that are stacked on top of each other, so in order to get at box 2 and 3 you have to pretty much pull all three cases seasons out. The individual discs are stacked on each other in the jewel cases. I would have preferred a much slimmer package with all the discs in their own individual sleeves.
Packaging aside, it is nearly impossible for fans to complain about this set. The transfer is solid and Adam West finally gets the love that he deserves. He is all over the extras.
Weirdly there is not much love for Burt Ward, he appears sporadically throughout the extras, but no dedicated feature for him – he was half the show, where’s his due?
Considering you get over 3 hours of bonus materials and the digital copy for free, $175 (at most retail outlets) is a steal for one of the most anticipated Blu-ray releases in years.
- TV Show – A
- Audio/Video – A
- Extras – A
- Packaging – B
Final Overall Grade A