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The Wild Wild West (1969)

Season 2 Episode 8

The Night of the Bottomless Pit

Aired Friday 7:30 PM Nov 04, 1966 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
19 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Night of the Bottomless Pit
Jim infiltrates a prison to rescue a fellow agent from a vicious commandant.

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  • Definitely seems like a half-baked episode. The plot remains fairly vague and the resolution is contrived and abrupt.

    It almost feels like the writer was going for a two-hour pace and then just slapped on a mindless climax.

    Disappointing in that there is a nice hook to set up the story, a villian whose appearance and quirks reminds one of "Blowfeldt" from the James Bond movies (complete with Oddjob-esque henchman), and an element reminiscent of POW camp movies like "The Great Escape" or "Stalag 17". The entire episode is comprised of a series of vignettes that do not combine to make a cohesive narrative. Ultimately this crazy-quilt of a plot leads to a very unsatisfying end. There were a couple more rewrites and tighting to do to the script before they set this one to roll in front of the cameras.moreless
  • cherchez Marcuse!

    No plot to speak of in this one; in fact, it looks like some half-hour show padded out to an hour (except it wouldn't have even been enough story for a half-hour one). Also the series' detour over to Devil's Island makes very little sense, unless of course they were trying to launch a pilot for another show.

    There is however definitely a reason to watch this episode: Marcuse's performance, which is tremendous (and tremendously funny). He is in turn urbane, bullying, mincing and psychotic (all he needs is a cat or something in his arms to pet while he's engaging in his delightfully bent badinage).moreless
Joan Huntington

Joan Huntington

Camille Mauvais

Guest Star

Tom Drake

Tom Drake

Vincent Reed

Guest Star

Mabel Albertson

Mabel Albertson

Mrs. Grimes

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • As the guard takes Jim up the secret passageway to see Camille, the lamp he carries casts a shadow, which is impossible if it's the only light source as indicated. Also, as the guard goes up the stairs, the supposed light from the lamp snaps on and then snaps back on again a little further, indicating that off-screen spots are being used. The light from an actual lamp wouldn't go off and on and off again.

    • Trivia: With the majority of the episode set in or near Devil's island, France, this is one of the few episodes to take place outside of North America.

    • Gadgets: exploding knockout gas cigar and gas mask, cane with miniature grenade launcher

    • Disguise: Pierre Gaspar, French prison guard

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Guard A: To the... to the Commandant? What would the Commandant want with vermin like you?
      Jim: To join him for a cup of mint tea or watercress sandwich, I suppose. (the guards prepare to beat him) And to make my usual undercover report about the inefficiency of prison personnel.

    • Le Cochou: This poor Gaspar.
      Mauvais: Yes. It's a pity in a way. On the other hand, I never really quite trusted him in spite of his record. I seem to detect some lingering shred of decency.

    • Artie: James, my boy, you'll never guess who we have approaching from outside this very minute.
      Jim: Give me a clue, Artie. Animal, mineral, or vegetable?
      Artie: Well, think of silk, satins, laces, uh, tassels. Blonde hair.
      Jim: Well, that could be almost anyone.
      Artie: How about a feather boa?
      Jim: Camille.
      Artie: Right.

    • Couteau: I... but I don't get it. He's letting them take him to Devil's Island.
      Artie: Yup. So far, so good.
      Couteau: But why would he want to spend twenty years in Hell?
      Artie: Probably just a whim.

    • Reed: Le Fou. he's been here too long. Well, in his own way he's managed to escape his environment. I almost admire him.
      Jim: Don't envy him. You'll be doing the same thing very shortly.
      Reed: What do you mean? It would take some kind of a miracle.
      Jim: Nowadays miracles come in the oddest shape and sizes.

    • Gustave: All in all, this is one of the worst service records I've ever seen. It's a testimony to your treachery, cowardice, cruelty, and dishonesty. You should do well here.

  • NOTES (4)