The stars of the campy superhero classic discuss on-the-set injuries and “python pants”
As far as Adam West is concerned, there's no reason for him to worry about where he fits into the Batman legacy, because when it comes to the numerous actors who've played the caped crusader, he knows he's in a league of his own.
"My Batman, I think of it as the Bright Knight; the others are the Dark Knight," West offered during the panel honoring the 45th anniversary of the "Batman" TV series on Friday at Comic-Con 2011. "It's just a different ball game, that's all — not that I wouldn't love to play the Dark Knight's father."
West was joined by his former co-stars Burt Ward (who played his trusty sidekick Robin) and Julie Newmar (the first of three actresses to play Catwoman). The panel, sponsored by television network the Hub, packed the hall with rabid fans of the campy superhero series, many of whom had clearly not been born yet when the series debuted in 1966.
During the panel, West discussed how he scored the role ("I was hired to play Batman because they saw a commercial I'd done for Nestle's Quik," West recalled, "and they said, 'This is the turkey to play him'") as well as the specific appeal that the series held for him.
"It was such a harmless show, and it was so much fun — absurd," West offered. "I enjoy it so much more than any other series or movie I've done since."
Ward, meanwhile, discussed how he was injured while filming the series' famous scene when the Batmobile comes roaring out of the Batcave exit and hangs a sharp left. "On one of the takes, my door flew open; I grabbed the gear shift and broke my pinkie finger," Ward revealed. "They said, 'We have to get you to the hospital — but we have to get the shot first."
That wasn't the only discomfort that Ward experienced while shooting the program — there were also the infamous tights. "I called them my python pants because they strangle you in every way," Ward noted.
Newmar, however, was considerably more satisfied with her form-hugging Catwoman costume.
"Well, if you wear black, it takes 15 pounds of your body," Newmar offered. "When you put on the heels, which were four inches, it takes what — five pounds per inch off of your body?"
While the trio was quick to note how much they enjoyed filming the series together, West did hint at some degree of tension — with one of the series' numerous guest stars.
"Oh my God there were so many of them — about 120 — and I enjoyed working with all of them except one."
Despite heavy prodding from the crowd, West declined to identify the object of his ire.
Apparently, that's one for the Riddler to puzzle over.