Review: Pioneers of Television – “Superheroes”

Last night’s episode of Pioneers of Television (“Superheroes”) on PBS was the best so far this season. Adam West is always gives a terrific interview and this was no exception. To be fair, it helped that roughly a third of the episode was dedicated solely to Batman, giving West and Burt Ward plenty of screen time. There was no mention of the Batgirl promotional short, although the narration did note talk of a Batgirl spin-off. At least two photographs from the short were shown.

Likewise, the segment on Wonder Woman did not include William Dozier’s campy attempt at a sitcom while Cathy Lee Crosby’s 1974 made-for-TV movie did get mentioned. Also, the segment on The Adventures of Superman took a weird turn when it delved deeply into the conspiracy theories regarding the death of George Reeves.

As has been the case with every episode this season, only the big name TV shows were included and with the exception of The Greatest American Hero only shows that were related to comic books. Batman got a lot of coverage but not The Green Hornet. Or the two short-lived sitcoms (Captain Nice and Mister Terrific) the other networks rushed to the air copying Batman. The Incredible Hulk was discussed but not The Amazing Spider-Man.

Also excluded were Man from Atlantis and Gemini Man. But perhaps the greatest travesty was the exclusion of Manimal.


1 Comment

  • ERIC R. PLEASANT says:

    Of all the shows in this series, SUPERHEROES was the weakest. It simply treaded upon things that had already been brought up before and ignored THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and THE BIONIC WOMAN-also superhero shows, as well as the original FLASH series from the 80s.

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