The New Adventures of Batman

The New Adventures of Batman Information

The New Adventures of Batman is an animated series produced by Filmation in 1977 featuring the DC Comics superheroes Batman and Robin, and Batgirl. The current distributor is Warner Bros. Television due to parent company Warner Bros's ownership of DC Comics, which publishes the Batman titles. It is a continuation of the 1960s Batman TV series which had been canceled eight years earlier.

The New Adventures of Batman originally premiered February 10, 1977 on CBS. The episodes from this series were later aired along with other Filmation shows"?such as Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1976, CBS) "?as part of: The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour (1977"1978 CBS), Tarzan and the Super 7 (1978"1980 CBS), and Batman and the Super 7 (1980"1981 NBC).

In The New Adventures of Batman, the "Dynamic Duo" fights crime in Gotham City, encountering the classic Batman rogues gallery as well as some original villains. Complicating matters is Bat-Mite, a well-meaning imp from another dimension called Ergo, who considers himself Batman's biggest fan. As a result, he wears a variant of Batman's costume and attempts to help him, only to often create more problems (although he is occasionally an asset). Missing is Alfred, the faithful butler of Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne; also notable in this series are the inverted colors of the "R" on Robin's costume.

Predecessors and competition

In September 1968, before The New Adventures of Batman Filmation Associates had created and aired an animated Batman series (pre-Bat-Mite), named The Batman/Superman Hour, for CBS. This series, the first Saturday Morning vehicle for the Caped Crusader, paired up new Batman and Robin adventures with old Superman/Superboy episodes. In 1969, it was repackaged into 30-minute episodes without the Man of Steel and renamed Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder.

The New Adventures of Batman was produced concurrently with Super Friends, which was produced by the competing Hanna-Barbera Productions and included Batman and Robin as members, marking a rare occurrence in animation history which saw two studios simultaneously producing series featuring the same characters. The main distinction was that in Filmation's series, Batman and Robin were voiced by Adam West and Burt Ward, the lead actors of the 1960s Batman series. Hanna-Barbera's Batman and Robin were voiced by Olan Soule and Casey Kasem, who also voiced the Dynamic Duo for Filmation's 1968 version, The Batman/Superman Hour.

Episodes and villains

Season 1

No. Title Villain(s)
1 The Pest Joker
The Joker steals an experimental hydrogen-powered car, disguising himself as the inventor, but without his knowledge of the car's weakness.
2 The Moonman Moonman
Bruce Wayne's college friend Scott Rogers (who became the first astronaut to fly a solo Moon mission) comes back with a secret.
3 Trouble Identity Catwoman
Batgirl makes a surprise appearance at the debut of a new machine, that changes trash into fine fabrics, to claim it for herself. Or does she?
4 A Sweet Joke On Gotham City Sweet Tooth
4 out of 5 dentists would reject Sweet Tooth's plan to ruin children's health by turning Gotham City's water supply into chocolate syrup.
5 The Bermuda Rectangle Professor Bubbles
An underwater villain named Professor Bubbles and his henchman, Flow, keeps a trained shark to carry out his weapons schemes.
6 Bite-Sized Electro
Electro stalks Batman and Robin, intending to shrink them to help him steal government secrets.
7 Reading, Writing & Wronging Penguin
The Penguin opens a crime school, where young crooks finish with dishonors.
8 The Chameleon Chameleon
A shapeshifting villain named Chameleon (actually a robot created by an evil professor, Dr. Devious) plans to shut down Gotham City's new lunar/solar collector.
9 He Who Laughs Last Joker
The Joker escapes from prison, planning to get revenge on Batman by giving him a series of clues linked to his crimes.
10 The Deep Freeze Mr. Freeze
After seeing a news bulletin where Gotham City Police has announced the capture of Joker, Riddler, and 6 of the most wanted criminals, Mr. Freeze and his henchman Professor Frost plan to steal the N-1000 (a superfast submarine) to pull of the Crime of the Century.
11 Dead Ringers Clayface
Clayface poses as Batman and forces a reformed criminal turned circus acrobat to pose as Robin in order to abduct an Arab oil minister named Basil Oram.
12 Curses! Oiled Again! Clayface, Catwoman
During a cold snap, Catwoman and Clayface join forces to steal oil. At the same time, a TV newscaster named Boyd Baxter seeks to show up Batman.
13 Birds Of A Feather Fool Around Together Penguin, Joker
In order to win a criminals' election against Joker, Penguin invents the 'Crime Slime', which can turn people into criminals. It makes him and Bat-Mite switch bodies, and seems to affect Batman and Robin too.
14 Have An Evil Day (Part 1) Zarbor, Joker, Penguin, Clayface, Catwoman
Zarbor, a criminal from Bat-Mite's home dimension of Ergo, comes to Earth, enlisting Batman's enemies to keep the Caped Crusaders busy while he steals America's nuclear power plants.
15 Have An Evil Day (Part 2) Zarbor, Joker, Penguin, Clayface, Catwoman
Batman and Robin, the villains, and Bat-Mite follow Zarbor back to Ergo, hoping to foil his takeover plans, and recover the stolen nuclear plants.
16 This Looks Like A Job For Bat-Mite! Zarbor
Zarbor escapes jail in Ergo and returns to Earth, planning to become its ruler – with help from the Dynamic Duo.

Season 2

Reruns aired as part of The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour

Season 3

Reruns aired as part of Tarzan and the Super 7

Voice cast

  • Adam West - Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Burt Ward - Robin/Dick Grayson
  • Melendy Britt - Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Catwoman/Selina Kyle
  • Lou Scheimer - Bat-Mite, Bat-Computer, Clayface/Basil Karlo (1st Time)
  • Lennie Weinrib as Commissioner Gordon, Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze/Dr. Victor Fries, Electro, Chameleon, Zarbor, Clayface (3rd Time), Moonman/Scott Rogers, Professor Bubbles, Sweet Tooth

Missing Batvillains

Riddler and the Scarecrow were off limits to the show, as Hanna-Barbera already had the rights to the characters for Challenge of the Superfriends (though Riddler does appear in the opening credits of the show in a pink colored costume, and was mentioned being arrested at the beginning of the episode Deep Freeze). This is also the reason why Joker could not appear in Challenge of the Superfriends, though he was planned as a Legion of Doom member.

References in other media

Homage was paid to The New Adventures of Batman in a 1998 episode of Bruce Timm's The New Batman Adventures. In the DVD release audio commentary for the 1998-1999 season, Timm and the rest of the series creators (writer Paul Dini, director Dan Riba, artist Glen Murakami, and storyboarder James Tucker) explain that the first segment of the October 10, 1998 episode "Legends of the Dark Knight" purposely makes use of the same designs The New Adventures of Batman used for the Joker, Batman and Robin, as well as the same color schemes and shading in a nod to both The New Adventures of Batman and to Batman artist Dick Sprang, whose style heavily influenced the visuals of the Filmation cartoon (along with Neal Adams). They further explain that the episode segment also purposely makes use of the trademark silliness and corny tone of the original series (which differs from the darker, serious tone of Timm's series) and also mimics the low frame rate animation style used by Filmation.

DVD release

The New Adventures of Batman was released on DVD format on June 26, 2007; all sixteen episodes are collected. A retrospective detailing the creation of the series titled "Dark Vs. Light: Filmation and The Batman" featuring Filmation historian Michael Swanigan and Filmation founder Lou Scheimer is included as well.

One episode (the first one, titled "The Pest") was released along with an episode of Tarzan in the Saturday Morning Cartoons: The 1970s Vol. 1 DVD also released by Warner Home Video.


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