Image: IAmBirmingham / YouTube
Why did the British children cross the road? This is no riddle from the Riddler. Rather, a clue to a rare piece of Batman footage.
Adam West passed away in 2017. It turns out, however, that was not the last we've seen of the Batman actor. A British organization named Kaleidoscope, based in Birmingham, England, specializes in digging up missing television footage. Recently, Kaleidoscope kicked off a mission to unearth the United Kingdom's "top 100 missing TV shows." And the first result is a delight for Batman lovers.
Filmed in May 1967, this long-lost, black-and-white clip shows the Caped Crusader teaching young British kids how to cross the street. Adam West donned his cape and flew to London for the short film, which was never screened outside of the U.K.
"I'm taking a holiday from crime-fighting," Batman says from the banks of the River Thames, with Big Ben over his shoulder. Naturally, he's brought along his nifty Batcamera to capture some memories. "No rest from danger, though, because all around us is that deadly, daily danger — traffic!" Cue the "POW!" effect as a double-decker bus zooms by.
"I admire the way all you British children triumph over this danger," West says in his inimitable voice.
Batman then gathers five young children and teaches them the Green Cross Code. "Look right, look left, look right again," he instructs. Then he gets a little face time with a blond moppet.
The clip was screened for TV professionals and scholars this past weekend at Birmingham City University. Kaleidoscope surveyed 1,000 folks in the British television industry to compile a list of the most sought-after footage from bygone television. Episodes of Doctor Who, Top of the Pops and The Avengers. So there are more treasures to come.
Watch the complete Batman clip at I Am Birmingham.
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