James Bond with a gun. It was the late 60's and cowboy dramas were getting passe' and James Bond was hot hot hot. So the studio got the idea of doing a western James Bond and came up with James West. Sexy, jack of all trades to could save the U.S. and the world form tyrants, mad scientist and any bevy of bountiful babes.
This episode introduces the greatest of all The Wild Wild West villains: Loveless. The way they portray his inventiveness and dreams to the audience as he tries to win Jim West over to his side almost made me feel sympathetic wit his vision.
This is one of the classic shows in the serious since it introduces the most famous continuing nemesis of the Wild West team. The writer and director had a clear vision for what the series should be like and since every Holmes needs his Moriarity and every Batman needs his Joker, Loveless fits the bill perfectly for Jim West. His intellectuality (albeit warped) is a perfect foil for Jim's sheer physicality. I really look forward to seeing how Artemis' intelligence will be used to combat Loveless in future battles. How anyone can compare the superb performance of the television favorably with that of the movie's Loveless, is laughable!
Artie's characters are a riot. The plots are fun. The gadgets are fun. Jim's frolics with the ladies are fun. It is fun to watch the "freeze frames" and try to anticipate when they are coming. I can't believe that the show was cancelled in part due to its "increasing violence", as the good guys were easily distinguished by not resorting to extreme violence, relying mostly on fists, deception (standing behind a door or waiting until the last second to dodge a villain or break out of their vile grip)and only occasionally to guns or knives.And, of course, the GADGETS They don't hit women (except in the intro, which I was disappointed in, as it portrayed a false impression of the show's "attitude", so to speak). I miss shows like this, which are NOT reality shows, and NOT world-ending drama, where the end of the show is the guys relaxing on the train, frequently with pretty women. I notice that Numb3rs also makes use of the "freeze frame" approach, and usually ends with a family scene, which I wonder if the concept was "borrowed" from WWW. If so, then they know a great suspense ploy when they see it, and the power of a quiet end to the story. It ends the situation, relaxes the viewer, and puts it in context. The world has not come to an end, and the powers of Right are relaxing in their sanctuary, a train, at home, etc.
"The Wild Wild West" is 100% proof that casting is the key to any show's success. The pairing of Robert Conrad and Ross Martin was inspired, and their real-life camaraderie made the rapport and friendship between Jim and Artie all the more believable. Not only are they clearly having fun working together, but their different styles compliment one another extremely well. Nobody is going to hail Robert Conrad for his "acting," but as a steely-eyed action hero with two fists, wit and an eye for the ladies, he's perfect. On the other hand, Ross Martin isn't an action hero, but his subtle humor, theatrical style and flair are the perfect balance to Jim West. Today, as so many TV characters are cookie-cutter, it's nice to see a show where the leads were actually unique and distinctive.
The stories have been well-done, elaborate capers that hold up remarkably well. There is tongue-in-cheek humor, like some of the best James Bond movies, but it never is overrun by silliness or camp. It's childhood fantasies and play brought to life - cowboys, spies, mad scientists, damsels in distress. Only "Brisco County Jr." matched "Wild Wild West" in capturing this spirit on a weekly TV show.
It's great watching West and Gordon tangle with some of these megalomaniacs (including J.D. Cannon, Robbert Loggia, Leslie Nielsen, Martin Landau, Burgess Meredith, John Dehner and the great Michael Dunn as Dr. Loveless!) with great stories and a musical score that has some of the best themes and incidental music from a TV show of that era, in my opinion. I'm very glad that Paramount is going to release the complete run. This is a show that has been a treat to discover on DVD!
The post-Civil War Secret Service mixed with James Bond gadgetry.Jim West is a western Bond with a litany of concealed lethal weapons.His partner Artemus Gordon was the king of disguises.Together they slayed evil maniacs as U.S. government agents.
Another series influenced by the James Bond films of that decade.With a Reconstruction Era twist,it mixed cowboys,trains & elaborate(sometimes anachronistic) gizmos.Usually,like 'The Avengers' and 'Mission Impossible', it involved an evil genius.What distinguishes this show is the western locale,the incredible stuntwork of Bob Conrad and his 'band' of stunt pros who could also act (such as his good friend Red West).They were in disguise on almost every show,jumping off chandeleers,falling down stairs or just plain fighting.And,of course,there was the million dollar train where they lived.Ross Martin was a wonderful character actor and was perfectly cast as the chameleon-like Artemus Gordon. The comradery of the two lead actors was evident and added to the appeal of the show.One feels that this show could have ran for longer than 4 years.Rumour has it that this show was cancelled in 1969 more because of its violent action scenes than its'decent ratings.CBS programmers around 1970 were rumoured to want to 'kill any show with a tree'All westerns,like 'WWW',suffered this fate,as well as rural comedies like 'Mayberry RFD','Green Acres','Petticoat Junction' and The Beverly Hillbillies'.They even tried to cancel CBS giant'Gunsmoke',but CBS Top Boss Paley interceded to save it only because he personally liked it.
One of the most original TV series of the 60´s!Put together spy gadgets and old west cowboys was as a very original idea! James West can be considered like a kind James Bond´s "ancestral" on the XIX century!
Other TV serie that I hope see aviable in DVD on Brazil someday.Unfortunally,the version made to the theater was a a real tragedy!At original TV serie,the main character was a white man.On the theater,a Afro-American.I´m not a racist and I haven´t nothing against Will Smith(He was great in Man in Black 1 and 2!)But,I think that the original character´s features always must be considered.I´m sure that many people would had been protested if the Shaft´s remake would had been made with Tom Cruise(Or any other Caucasian actor)on the main role.At TV serie,James West always respected and admire the intellect of Miguelito Loveless(Maybe,his nemesis)and never make fun because Miguelito was a dwarf.On the theater,Mr.West make fun with the body´s imperfections of his enemy.Abominable!
"The wild wild west" is the most eccentric espionage series that blends the Ian Fleming's James Bond character, the western genre and the Jules Verne's fantasy world into a baroque and glamorous extravaganza. This show has a huge identity : the leitmotiv music and its different themes, the title design (the freeze frame sketch), the bizarre universe and the foe-characters (secret society, mad inventors, wizards, monsters, revolutionaries, corrupted politicians, putschists), the disguises and the gimmicks, the gorgeous women, a special sense of humour combined with camaraderie, action and stunts. In other words, something that is very, very rich, colourful and varied and far away from today's imagination. In my opinion, the most important aspect of this unusual drama comes from the characters : James T. West, the tough-as-nails dandiest dude secret agent with his fancy train and his fancy costumes full of hidden weapons (I like the knife boots and the sleeve-gun, re-used by Martin Scorsese in "Taxi driver") who works with his partner : the dashing Artemus Gordon aka Arte who is an expert in masks, bombs, magic tricks and acting; the president Grant and the Colonel Richmond. Above all, the regular outrageous villain that sums up the flavor of the series : Dr. Miguelito Loveless, the genius prankster dwarf. The most clever device created by him is the painting-traveling machine in The night of the surreal Mc Coy. Without forgetting the flamboyant Count Manzeppi, of course, in The night of the eccentrics and The night of the feathered fury. The whole show is a crazy circus : a madhouse. The series also makes reference to classic sci-fi novels such as : "The incredible shrinking man" in The night of the raven, "Frankenstein" in The night of the big blast, "The time machine" in The night of the lord of limbo. "The wild wild west" has a lot of similarities with "Mission : impossible". For instance : the characters of Artemus Gordon/Rollin Hand and James West/Jim Phelps. They have the same psychologic patterns. Producer Bruce Lansbury and composer Richard Markowitz worked on both series. But the first series is delirious and the second one is stone-cold. My advice is not to miss the Loveless episodes : 1.The night the wizard shook the earth, 2.The night that terror stalked the town, 3.The night of the whirring death, 4.The night of the murderous spring, 5.The night of the raven, 6.The night of the green terror, 7.The night of the surreal Mc Coy, 8.The night of the bogus bandit, 9.The night of Dr. Loveless died, 10.The night of the Miguelito's revenge. Another best and maverick show of the 60's decade.
Wild Wild West is a one of a kind show. West and Gordan were an amazing team. One muscle and brawn and the other brains. The fun of the show is to see what crazy villian will be on the next show and what tricks the boys will pull out there there sleeves to get out of trouble. I highly recomend this show. Great memories
James West (Robert Conrad) was a secret service agent. His cover was he was a very rich dude who had a fancy train. His partner was Artie or Artemus Gordon (played by the late Ross Martin). He was very good with any disguise. He could be an Indian or a old man. He also made a lot of new gadgets which helped them with their work. This show was set in the old west in the 1870's. They did all of this under President Grant. When we first see James he is being arrested for desertion and going to be hung. He is brought into a room and says hi President Grant. That was just how he was. They solved all sorts of crime by their wits and with a lot of gadgets. Even though there plans where always trying to be foiled. The bad guy that showed up the most was Dr. Loveless, a short, mastermind, who was always trying to either kill or just do away with James and Artie. The reason he did this was he thought the state of California belonged to him. It was a very good show.
James West and Artemus Gordon, these way-ahead-of-their-time sci-fi enhanced crimefighters, and their adventures, set in the Wild West, charmed and cut-and-pasted viewers to their TV sets so closely it would surely harm their vision every airing!
Ahhhh, James West. What happened to this stereotypical \"All American Male\" who bested the bad guys and all the ladies with his Sci-Fi gadgets and his genius sidekick? He went the way of Peter Gunn, that\'s what. Who knows, perhaps another version of this terrificly entertaining ahead-of-its-time show will come along - and not in movie mode, either. James and Artemus always bested the bad guys with wit, charm, and impossible gadgets - but no one cared. The genre was unique to the extreme - and still is. Come on back (an updated version of) The Wild Wild West!
The Wild Wild West was and is one of the best westerns to ever appear on television. Even beyond that, it is one of the better shows on television period. Two Secret Service Agents protect the President and America against evil terrorists. The writing was so good that it still holds up to today's standards. The regular cast was outstanding. The guest starts were absolutely fantastic. In this time period of television many famous actors would make appearances on great television shows such as this. Then there were the up and coming actors that would go on to become huge stars and used this as a springboard of sorts. All in all a great show that can still be watched today without missing a beat.
Probably one of the shows from the '60's that holds up the best in our current time. Robert Conrad and Ross Martin are fun, but the main reason to watch and enjoy this show are fantastic array of guest villians (Michael Dunn and the great Victor Buono)
One of the best shows from the 60's, this classic still stands the test of time and holds up as a great fun view.
The cast is superb, the villians are fun (Agnes Morehead, Harold Gould, Boris Karloff, Victor Bueno and the great Michael Dunn). The gadgets (telescoping sliding sleeve derringer, hollow boot heel) and Ross Martin's inventive "charactorizations" that Artemus Gordon played, all bring back fond childhood memories.
Robert Conrad and Artemus Gordon were fun to watch. The fight scenes with all the cheap set wood breaking up was cool as chairs hit backs. Dr. Migilito Loveless was the best guests. He was always trapping them, they were getting free, and then he did too by turning into a bird or jumping down a tunnel or something. The little dude could sing too, plus he had a 178 I.Q. in real life! I loved the old West decor and the set designers really busted their humps. Roberts blue outfit was really cool. He was fit and tough. He was a lady's man like an early Fonzie. Artemus was the brains, always creating a neat device or disguising himself as an old drunken Seamen or something. It seemed like every outfit had him in some crazy beard. Fun to watch for an hour. Rarely a bad episode if any.
Truly one of the greats. One of CBS\'s acts of stupidity on a par with wiping out the rural comedies out of spite, was cancelling WWW due to winey family council types griping that what was obviously a fantasy show was contributing to a culture of violence. Fall of \'69 was the best, being able to see both Star Trek and Wild Wild West on Friday nights. That was truly TV heaven for an 11 year old. Having the ensuing TV movies was a small measure of balm. The Will Smith big screen reimagining wasn\'t the blasphemy that some wanted to paint it as; Kevin Kline\'s Artemes scanned quite nicely. Too bad Robert Conrad didn\'t go through with the U.S. Grant cameo.
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