FW Presents: Batman, Barnabas and Beard

Chris and author/editor Jim Beard discuss the subjects of Jim’s newest collections of essays, Batman ’66 and Dark Shadows! What do these two 60s fads have in common, and what makes them remain fan favorites to this day?

Ooof! Boff! Spaltt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Three and Running Home to Shadows: Memories of TV’s First Supernatural Soap from Today’s Grown-Up Kids are available on Amazon! 

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10 responses to “FW Presents: Batman, Barnabas and Beard

  1. This was a really fun discussion about two of my favorite shows. Batman ’66 is literally the first TV show I have any memory of watching. I was born in 1968 just after it ended so I must have seen it in syndication in the early 70s. When Superfriends started, Batman and Robin were the only heroes I knew because of the ’66 series; I didn’t even know Superman yet, let alone Wonder Woman and Aquaman, because I had never seen the Filmation cartoons or the George Reeves series at that point.

    By contrast, I did not see Dark Shadows until 2019 when I watched most of the series on Amazon Prime and Tubi. I still haven’t seen all of the pre-Barnabas episodes or the final parallel time storyline, but I’ve seen everything from the introduction of Barnabas through the 1995 time travel storyline. I thought the same thing as you and Jim about how Barnabas started out as extremely evil in how he treated Maggie but then evolved into an anti-hero, a hero, and even a victim in the Leviathan story. I was initially rooting for Barnabas to get caught and exposed as a vampire, but then when we see the 1795 story, we learn Barnabas’s origin and start to see him in a more sympathetic light. By the way, when Jim mentioned Buzz, that reminded me that I wished there had been a scene between Barnabas and Buzz, which we never got. Barnabas’s reaction to Buzz would have been hilarious, and Buzz might have met the same fate as Jason McGuire! Overall, I can definitely see how the series caused children to run home from school to see it, and why the show generated an enduring cult following after it ended.

    1. Thanks for listening Mike! I hadn’t seen the bulk of DS until streaming them a few years back. I recently jumped back into the pre-Barnabas episodes after having stalled out after a few weeks worth of binging. I’m hooked again, thanks in part to Jim’s book, and Penny Dreadful’s Terror at Collinwood podcast:

  2. I’m looking forward to listening to this discussion asap! In the meantime, I thought I’d mention the Deconstructing Comics podcast where brothers & hosts Tim and Paul Young do very deep-dives into Batman ‘66. They look at original drafts of the scripts which are fascinating. Tim lives in Japan and actually came for our BGSU Batman conference a few years back.
    I really enjoyed Jim’s first volume & am anxious to read the new book.

  3. Great show Chris and Jim! Very interesting story about Amazon and DC/WB. Sorry you had to go through that Jim. Look forward to seeing you at the Reunion! PS I knew nothing about Dark Shadows but now want to go watch it!

  4. Just have to add my compliments to the others: a very good show, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.
    And I have to say, I love the idea of writing a straight-faced series of analytical essays about the non-existent fourth season of the Batman TV show.
    Otherwise, Dark Shadows is a big whole in my pop culture knowledge. I know I’d never even heard of it when I was a kid – I honestly think I first became aware of it once the internet became a thing and saw it mentioned in the comments on a comics forum or blog. My first reaction was similar to Chris when his father told him about it, i.e., “there was a soap opera about a vampire back in the late ’60s/early ’70s? No way!”
    And since you guys brought up the hypothetical casting of a Batman movie or show in the 1970s, I once more have to insist that the perfect choice to play Talia is not, in fact, Caroline Munro (much as I love her), but rather Jane Seymour.

    1. You know Edo, I don’t disagree with you about Jane Seymour. As much as I love Caroline, I think Seymour has the acting chops to pull off the conflicted, O’Neil-written Talia. Not the psycho modern comics have made her out to be, but the original, likeable Talia.

      Just take one look at her in Live and Let Die and you have…Talia!

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