Sunday, September 21, 2014

HOLY BROKEN BONES, BATMAN!

Ask any Batman fan who grew up in Britain in the 1960s what Robin's most famous "Holy..." aphorism was, and he'd say "Holy Broken Bones!". Yet this quip of Robin's is never found in the 120 episode series. Why is this?
For those of us entranced by the series in the UK (myself aged 6), every episode of Batman was prefaced by a short film of Batman and Robin standing in front of some curtains talking directly to camera about the perils of thinking Batman could fly, and not jumping off of roofs in an effort to emulate Batman.






The only photos of that safety film shoot are captured in card 27 of the Bat Laffs set of photo cards of the Batman TV series, and card 41 from the Belgium Monty Gum set, both shown here.

What happened to that intro film? Does it still exist?





The blog http://tothebatpoles.blogspot.com/2011/10/second-season.html contains the following explanation to the short intro being made.

With the release of the feature film and the series now airing overseas, a new problem besides sagging ratings arose, as Executive Producer William Dozier recalled, 'In England, kids started jumping out of windows; they thought Batman could fly. They thought the cape was wings. We had to do a special lead-in to the show, with an interview with Batman saying, "Boys and girls, I do not fly. I can't fly any better than you can. Don't think I can and don't think you can. And don't take chances by trying to jump off the roof." They were doing it, but never in this country. Thank heaven it never started in this country.'

Found among William Dozier's files, was the following note from the executive in charge of Fox's overseas operations. It included the actual intro aired in England:

TIGHT TWO SHOT

Into camera, seriously

BATMAN Robin and I want all you youngsters to understand we have no wings, and no superhuman powers, and we can not fly.

ROBIN And listen, kids, if either of us tried to fly, or jump off a high place, we would be badly hurt. So would you so for gosh sakes, don?t ever try it. Holy broken bones!

And then Robin punched one fist into the other gloved hand, in time-honored fashion.



Does anyone else remember this?

3 comments:

  1. Yup, I remember it very well, but I probably didn't know the reason for it at the time. I wonder if it'll be included in the Batman DVD set which is due to be released. (In fact, it may even be released by now, not sure.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - will be interesting to see if it turns up on the DVD/blu-ray set in November. If it was only shown in England, copies may be in the hands of the regional ITV broadcasters who tacked it on before the program proper

      Delete
  2. I remember jumping off the third step of the house stairs trying to get my plastic cape to flow behind me. Don't think the safety film was aimed at mild mannered young Batman fans like myself. Holy stair jump Batman!

    ReplyDelete