A Cry for Help from A Batman Fan (Jerome A. Holst © 2005)
TV ACRES received this email from a Batman
enthusiast on September 14, 2005.
The writer (Sean Bush) wants FOX to create a TV
special for the upcoming 40th Anniversary of the
BATMAN TV Series. He has gone to great length to
detail his idea, and being a Batman fan myself,
I felt he should have a chance to be heard. I
have posted the text of his email below.
If you want to contribute to his vision of a
40th Anniversary special, then please contact
Sean at his email address at firstname.lastname@example.org
As you may know, next year will be the 40th
anniversary of 20th Century Fox's famous BATMAN
TV series of the 1960s. What would be better for
the 40th than the discovery of four "new" or
"lost" episodes of the series. They do exist and
Fox could have them ready in time for the 40th.
I'm trying to get Fox to tackle the project.
Please help me in anyway that you can.
The episodes to which I'm referring are the two,
1-hour live action "Legends of the Superheroes"
(THE ROAST and THE CHALLENGE) that were produced
in the 1970s by Hanna-Barbara. These specials
featured Adam West, Burt Ward, and Frank Gorshin
all reprising their roles from the TV series as
well as the show's famous Batmobile. They were
done in the same campy fashion as the series,
and being 1-hour each, they can easily be turned
into two, 2-parters (four episodes total). And
like the series, the villains are all played by
well known comics of the time, and even features
the traditional celebrity appearance, in this
case Ed McMahon. I don't believe that they've
been seen on TV since their original airdate, so
to most fans they will be like new. So with just
a little tweaking, we can have four "new" or
"lost" episodes of the series for the 40th
Let's start with the second of the two (THE
CHALLENGE) as that will be the easier to
prepare. It already contains the perfect place
for the cliffhanger and has two Batfights: one
at the end, and one in the first half/episode
that Batman loses just like in the series. Just
make these 10 slight alterations:
1) Replace the narration with someone who sounds
more like William Dozier (the series original
2) Eliminate the laugh track as it was never
used on the series.
3) Eliminate the "Legends..." opening at the
beginning and start the show with the villains
plotting their crime (which immediately follows
4) At the end of the above scene the camera
zooms in on the Doomsday Device countdown. Add a
couple of seconds of new footage: a close-up of
the countdown. Then go to the regular TV Batman
series opening and credits.
5) Fix this blooper: Sinestro is sabotaging the
Batmobile but clearly has no tools in his hands.
(oops!) Add in some yellow beams so that it
looks like he is using his power ring to do the
6) Add "POW!", "BIFF!" etc... during the final
Batfight as well as Batman's gas station fight
with Solomon Grundy during the first
7) Cliffhanger: Batman unknowingly buys a booby
trapped motorcycle from the Weather Wizard who
then turns to the camera and says," They won't
last 5 minutes on that bike!" then the show goes
to a commercial. As soon as the action pauses,
add in this commentary: "What devilish trap have
Duo befallen, and will the Superheroes find the
Doomsday Device in time? For the answers, tune
in tomorrow. Same Bat-time, Same Bat-channel."
Start the second half/episode with the usual
recap followed by the Batman opening and
credits. Then pick up where the first
half/episode left off. It will work
8) Create new titles for the two
halves/episodes, one of which referring to the
"challenge" in order to be true to the original
9) Add the Batman theme during the following
scenes: The Batfights, when Batman's in the
Batmobile, on the jetski, running
("Holly-blisters Batman!") and when he takes off
on Booby trapped motorcycle. However, when cycle
separates, make the theme sound like it's being
played on tin cans for both humor and to
emphasize that they are on an out of control
10) When Batman and Captain Marvel ram Dr.
Sivana's head into the Doomsday Device to
deactivate it, add "GONG!", a gong sound, and
shake the camera at the point of impact.
And that's all there is to it. You now have
episodes # 123 and 124 (THE ROAST will become
#121 and 122) of Batman.
Now for THE ROAST. Unlike THE CHALLENGE --
Batman was not the center player in this one. At
the same time there is no obvious place for the
cliffhanger. As a result this one will take a
little more work, but can still be turned into 2
"new" or "lost" episodes. For starters, I have
come up with a new opening made from classic
footage with new dialog supplied by
West, Ward, McMahon, and new narration (again,
find someone who sounds like William Dozier).
This opening will make Batman the main focus of
the episodes. NOTE: New dialog is clearly marked
-----EXTERIOR SHOT OF WAYNE MANOR-----
NARRATOR: (new dialog)
"Stately Wayne Manor, home of millionaire Bruce
Wayne and his youthful ward
Dick Grayson better known as the Dynamic Duo:
Batman and Robin..."
NARRATOR CONTINUES: (new dialog)
..."where they are about to receive what may be
the most urgent call for their services that
they've ever had."
-----ALFRED THE BUTLER ANSWERS THE BATPHONE-----
"I'll get him sir."
-----BRUCE ANSWERS THE BATPHONE-----
Ed McMAHON'S VOICE: (new dialog)
"Hello Batman, this is Ed McMahon."
-----SHOT OF ALFRED WHO REACTS WITH
BRUCE'S VOICE: (new dialog)
DICK'S VOICE: (new dialog)
-----CLOSE UP OF GRAYSON-----
BRUCE'S VOICE: (new dialog)
"Well, Mr. McMahon, to what do we owe this
-----SHOT OF BRUCE LISTENING TO BATPHONE-----
McMAHON'S VOICE: (new dialog)
"I'm hosting a special televised celebrity roast
in honor of all the
superheroes. I would be most honored if you and
the Boy Wonder would attend."
-----CLOSE UP OF DICK ACTIVATING THE SECRET
BRUCE'S VOICE: (new dialog)
"Thank you very much. Robin and I would be happy
-----BRUCE HANGS UP BATPHONE-----
"To the Bat-poles!"
-----BRUCE AND DICK SLIDE DOWN THE BAT-POLES
[then the famous BATMAN opening
-----BATMAN AND ROBIN ENTER THE BATCAVE VIA
BAT-POLES AND TAKE OFF IN THE BATMOBILE WHICH WE
SEE EXIT THE CAVE THROUGH THE SECRET ENTRANCE
AND DRIVE DOWN THE ROAD-----
From this point we begin "THE ROAST" starting
with the "Legends..." opening, which now acts as
the opening to Ed McMahon's show. (NOTE: Do not
replace the narration for the "Legends..."
opening as he will now be the narrator for
McMahons show. Also, being that this is supposed
to take place before a live audience, leave the
laugh track in for this one.) Unfortunately, as
I stated earlier, on "THE ROAST" Batman and
Robin are not the main focal point. None the
less, they do have their good moments. These,
along with the new opening will help to keep
more of the focus on Batman.
1) Robin using charades do tell Batman that he's
totaled the Batmobile.
2) Batman "saves the day" by throwing a pie in
3) A villainess talks about an affair she had
with Batman ("Remember that time you gave Robin
a quarter and sent him off to the movies?")
4) Robin gets in several "Holy" words.
5) The show begins with Batman introducing Ed
Now for the problems that need to be fixed:
1) First of all, there is no Batfight and
therefore no obvious place for "POW!" and so
forth. The one exception being when Batman
throws the pie. (Be sure to add "SPLAT!!!".)
SOLUTION: The super villains are wrecking havoc
on stage throughout the show (like Solomon
Grundy repeatedly beating up Ed McMahon). Add
the "POW!" and so forth during these times.
2) There is no obvious place for the
SOLUTION: The show is filled with "we'll be
right back" commercial breaks. During one of
these have the narrator (the William Dozier
sound-alike) say: "What super villains will be
next to wreak havoc on the Superheroes? Will
they be able to withstand it? And will Ed
McMahon's medical insurance have
to go up? To find out, tune in tomorrow. Same
Bat-time, same Bat-channel." Start the next
half/episode with the usual recap+Batman
opening, then pick up where the first
half/episode left off.
3) Sadly, Frank Gorshin did not appear in this
one, so Batman does not have an arch enemy
appear on stage. There may be a way to fix this
SOLUTION: In the late 80's (during a new "Batmania"
boom) there was a TV special produced to help
promote the series. In this special, Julie
Newmar -- looking as sexy as ever -- gets back
into her Catwoman outfit. The only footage of
this that I have ever seen is on the video "BATMANIA:
From Comics To Screen. So I don't know how much
footage there is. But if there is a sufficient
amount, you could use this to have Catwoman
appear on stage, per (no pun intended) haps
singing an evil song. Have Julie Newmar record
the needed dialog, and have the camera going
back and forth between Catwoman,
and shots of the intrigued Superheroes and
McMahon. Early in "THE ROAST" there is even a
scene of Batman applauding wildly. This could be
re-used here as well.
If it will be too difficult to put her image on
the scenery, then have this be a pre-recorded
dance that they're watching on screen. Either
way have Ed McMahon announce her as "the sexiest
villainess in the world. Batman's arch
enemy/dream girl: Catwoman!" Or something to
Perhaps, since they're all masked anyway, a few
seconds of new footage can be shot of the
superheroes trying to rush to the stage with
dollar bills. Maybe even getting into a fight
amongst themselves (providing the show with a
Bat-fight). This would be a perfect reason for
Ed McMahon to go to a commercial break. The show
will then just pick up from there. It will be a
4) All of this added footage will obviously make
the episodes run over.
SOLUTION: True they will run over, so for usual
TV viewing some parts (perhaps Retired Man's
constant yapping) will need to be cut out. But
for video/DVD, and per haps a TV special to air
them for the first time, they should be shown in
their entirety. The new opening will obviously
happen during the first episode, while the
Catwoman scene should be in the second. Perhaps
the second to last villain.
All that's left is to create new titles, one of
which referring to "the
Roast" in order to stay true to the original
title. And that's all there is to it. We now
have a total of four "new" or "lost" episodes of
the Batman TV series just in time for the 40th
Please help me to get 20th Century Fox to do
this. E-mail them and tell them that you want
these episodes made ready for the 40th. Post
this information on your site and ask others to
join us. We can make this happen.
In addition to the 40th anniversary, the recent
passing of Frank Gorshin is a sign that this
must be done as soon as possible while West,
Ward, McMahon and Newmar are still with us. So
please help us in any way you can.
4645 Beechgrove Dr.
Independence, KY 41018
P.S. Please Answer if you have any helpful
advice or know who all I should contact that
could help to get this project done by the 40th.
Sean Bush email@example.com
Back to Top