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Batman/Superman Hour of Adventure, The (CBS 1968, Casey Kasem, Olan Soule)

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Every generation since the late 1930’s has had its own Batman. For some, it’s the original Detective Comics masked vigilante; for others, the 1960’s TV camp version starring Adam West and Burt Wardis what Batman was meant to be; still others prefer the dark, cinematic Tim Burton version starring Michael Keaton, and the moody cartoon series that followed.

In any case, Batman has always had the same basic story: When young Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed in front of him, he was changed for life. As he reached adulthood, he decided to dedicate his life to battling evil in his hometown of Gotham City. Using his brilliant mind, toned body, and millions of dollars, Bruce Wayne became Batman, the Dark Knight. Eventually, Bruce took on a ward whose parents had also been killed. That ward, Dick Grayson, trained to become Batman’s partner, Robin. With the help of their butler, Alfred, Batman and Robin fought an assortment of criminals, each more dastardly and bizarre than the next.

The first animated version of the caped crusader debuted in 1968 and shared his TV time with Superman in The Batman/Superman Hour. A year later, Superman was dropped completely and the program was retitled The Adventures of Batman And Robin. Segments featuring Batgirl were added in an effort to draw in a wider audience.

This version concentrated on action over story, causing it to be banished to the Batcave until the Dynamic Duo returned again in 1977’s The New Adventures of Batman.

production details
USA | CBS – Filmation | x20 minutes | Broadcast 14 September 1968 – 6 September 1970

cast
Ted Knight as Commissioner Gordon / Narrator (voice)
Olan Soule as Batman / Bruce Wayne (voice)
Casey Kasem as Robin / Dick Grayson / Chief O’Hara (voice)

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