the G-man wrote:
There IS a part of me that always wishes they'd given West a chance to do the part straight.
They did, to a degree, in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians
, the final season of the Superfriends
franchise, which was story-edited by future Batman: TAS
producer Alan Burnett and took a more serious, comics-influenced tone than previous seasons. West took over the role of Batman from Olan Soule in the final couple of seasons. (The second-last season, called The Legendary Super Powers Team
, might've been more serious too, but I haven't seen it in ages, if ever, so I can't be sure.) West played a lighter, less grim Batman than the one we know today, but he played it straight rather than for laughs, and had some serious emotional moments. Most notably, that season's fourth episode, Burnett's "The Fear," was the first ever screen adaptation of Batman's origin story, as the Scarecrow discovered Batman's fear of Crime Alley and used his devices to amplify it, forcing Batman to confront his past. While not as dark as B:TAS, it was surprisingly intense for its time, something of a prototype for what B:TAS would be. West didn't exactly knock it out of the park, but he did a solid job. There's also the series finale, "The Death of Superman," where West gets a nice dramatic moment or two when Batman is dealing with the (putative) death of his friend.