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The Best of Batgirl 1967-68
by Billy Ingram

The Batman TV series was a huge hit for ABC when it debuted in January of 1966, so much so it ignited a Bat-craze. But with season 2 in the fall of 1966, ratings dropped considerably.

The most popular character on the show, besides the Dynamic Duo, was Catwoman but she couldn’t be on every week so the producers asked DC comics to come up with a heroic Catwoman so Batgirl debuted in Detective Comics # 359 in 1967. (As opposed to the earlier Batgirl, a minor character from the 1950s.)

Batgirl’s costume was very similar to Catwoman’s suit, tight in the same way, same material but lighter in color, only with a cape and bat symbol.

George Barris, who designed the Batmobile for the TV show, created a Bat-cycle motorcycle for Barbra Gordon’s secret identity to zip around the streets of Gotham with.

A Batgirl pilot was filmed, meant to be a spin-off, but with ratings in decline for Batman it was decided Bargirl would be added to the weekly cast. Adam West and Burt Ward were none too happy, this meant less screen time for them and more convoluted plot lines.

At the same time, ABC paired the twice weekly series down to just once a week. With a considerably lower budget, the show’s sets looked incomplete, the magic was largely gone despite the wonderful Eartha Kitt now portraying Catwoman.

 

Scenes from the first episode of Season 3 introducing Batgirl with footage from the pilot

Scenes from the final episode of Batman with Ethel Merman as the villain. Once again, Alfred saves the day.

 

 

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Best of Batgirl 1967-68

From DC: The mean streets of Gotham City have a number of guardian angels watching over them. And one of the first—the young woman who turned the Dynamic Duo into the Batman family—was Batgirl. Barbara Gordon has always existed between two worlds: her life at home as the only daughter of Police Commissioner James Gordon and her life swinging from gargoyles as an associate of the Dark Knight and a founding member of the Birds of Prey.

 

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