Legends of the superheroes

Legends of the superheroes

LEGENDS OF THE SUPERHEROES — THE CHALLENGE (1979)

Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin, Jeff Altman, Charlie Callas, Gabe Dell, Howard Morris, Mickey Morton, William Schallert, Aleshia Brevard, Garrett Craig, Howard Murphy, Danuta, Rod Haase, Barbara Joyce, Bill Nucklos, The Batmobile, A laughter track. A FRICKIN LAUGHTER TRACK!

Wri: Mike Marmer & Peter Gallay

Dir: Bill Carruthers & Chris Darley

The Flash Oh, sorry.

WHAT IS IT?

Its the 1970s NBC television special which reunited Batman TV stars Adam West, Burt Ward and Frank Gorshin, with a bunch of heroes and villains from the DC universe.

GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA:

Holy heroics! West and Ward were a smash hit in the 60s with Batman, so bringing them back for a TV special with other heroes sounded super! Turning the tongue-in-cheek comedy of Batman into puerile farce was just villainous!

WHATS THE STORY?

Somewhere in a secret hideout located on a remote island. the bad guys are discussing where their lives went sour as The Riddler (Gorshin) takes a villainous roll call. Suddenly Dr Sivana (Morris) sees the audience getting restless and initiates a countdown to the end of the world/show/their careers, with his Doomsday Device!

Meanwhile at the stately Hall of Heroes, a puzzled Batman (West) is presenting a gold watch to Retired Man (Schallert) whilst wondering why Alfred, Aunt Harriet and Batgirl have been fortunate enough not to be dragged into this show. As he ponders the situation he looks up to the ceiling and asks himself if the roof is structurally safe enough to hang a depressed man in a Bat-suit?

Before he can think that one through, the heroes suddenly get word that the Doomsday Device has been initiated and as the inappropriate 70s laughter track kicks in (CUE LAUGHTER TRACK ) they are off to find the evil doers.

TO BE CONTINUED. IN A MOMENT.

With 10 years passing between their old TV show, Batman and Robin (Ward) have not been looking after their bat-gadgets and the Batmobile isnt running as well as it should. So the Dynamic Duo are forced to pull in at a nearby gas station run by Solomon Grundy (CUE LAUGHTER TRACK ), which results in a fight over some 70s music.

TO BE CONTINUED. IN A MOMENT.

Over at a non specific park, Green Lantern (Murphy) meets his arch enemy Sinestro (Callas) disguised as a gypsy fortune teller. Green Lantern is unfamiliar with the concept of gypsies and when Sinestro offers to shine his ring, confusion ensues. TO BE CONTINUED. IN A MOMENT. leaving the Lantern perplexed.

Legends of the superheroes

The situation has clearly bored the audience, so the Dynamic Duo return with their Batmobile troubles and this time they attempt to buy a new ride, because Batman is aware that chicks dig the car. What they havent realised is the used car salesman is really The Weather Wizard (Altman) and whilst they are kept busy with a series of meteorological jokes (CUE LAUGHTER TRACK ), Hawkman (Nucklos), Black Canary (Danuta), The Flash (Haase), Captain Marvel (Craig) and The Huntress (Joyce) are running round trying to make sense of this plot.

The truth is the plot hasnt made any sense since the start, and so Dr Sivana suggests throwing in a new idea where he strips the powers from the heroes. This is clearly not the best plan as Batman, Robin and Green Lantern dont actually have super powers. TO BE CONTINUED. IN A MOMENT. and so when it fails, the heroes track down the villains at their secret hideout on a remote island.

Back at the secret hideout located on a remote island. the villains accidently strip themselves of their powers instead (CUE LAUGHTER TRACK ) and the Doomsday Device continues to count down. Things go from bad to worse when the heroes arrive uninvited and the Flash and the Huntress almost get something to do when a fight breaks out, but give up realising for the sake of their careers its best to keep out of the spotlight.

With one second to go the heroes disarm the device. TO BE CONTINUED. IN A MOMENT. and the audience clap because they know that its all over. As the villains are taken away, Batman and Robin wonder why Linda Carter wasnt roped into this and NBC get ready for an episode of Quincy.

THE END

LAUGHTER LINES:

*Notably absent from Legends of the Superheroes were Superman and Wonder Woman, because Supes had a movie on the way and Wonder Woman had a TV series on another network. Lucky, lucky people.

*The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera, but sadly didnt feature Top Cat, Hong Kong Phooey or Scooby-Doo.

*After appearing in Legends of the Superheroes the Flash said that he was ashamed to have ever been associated with such crap. The Huntress however said it was the best exposure she’d ever had. and let’s face it, she’s always been a bit slaggy.


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