The Wild Wild West (1969)

Season 4 Episode 23

The Night of the Plague

Aired Friday 7:30 PM Apr 04, 1969 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Night of the Plague

West deals with the kidnapping of the Governor's daughter while Gordon rushes to find Jim to innoculate him from the disease one of the criminals was carrying.

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  • As already described.

    This series finale (though not the last show produced) features James and Arte working, not together, but towards a similar goal. Jim has come into contact with a deadly, contagious disease from his contact with a gang of stagecoach robbers that he's been tracking and requires an inoculation within five days.

    The story suffers a bit from obvious sets (but that was a problem with many westerns in the '60s). There's nothing particularly intriguing about this story, as it is a rather straightforward track/catch the bandits, while avoiding a spoiled girl who snuck aboard a baited stagecoach and who doesn't want to be rescued as she thinks she has found her way out from the clutches of the gang. She's particularly annoying, and hurts the entertainment of the story.

    She talks about wanting to get to a fort to meet her beau, Donald, a soldier she's desperate to marry despite her father's wishes. He's young and handsome, and everything she wants.

    In another great tag, James and Arte are speaking with the young woman, when Donald comes calling – it's Robert Conrad, wearing a mustache, in a soldier's uniform. The look on James' and Arte's faces are priceless.

    Red West this episode plays a gang member named Carl, who is intercepted on his way to deliver a ransom note to the state governor. West accidentally kills him during a fight when he falls off a cliff. Poor Red, even though he's named in the story and gets a fight scene with Conrad, he gets no on-screen credit.

    The music supervisor is Morton Stevens, so you hear elements of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s fourth season music, which is great. The picture quality on this episode in the new DVD box set is very grainy – I have better quality VHS copies. Disappointing.

    Overall, it's an okay episode. A shame it was the series finale, as one of my favourite series goes out with a whimper.moreless
Lana Wood

Lana Wood

Averi Trent

Guest Star

Cliff Norton

Cliff Norton


Guest Star

John Hoyt

John Hoyt


Guest Star

Douglas Henderson

Douglas Henderson

Colonel Richmond

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Gadgets: a multi-lens hexagonal telescope, grappling dart and line, windup arrow shooter

    • When Carl falls off the cliff to his death, he not only becomes an obvious dummy on the way down but has changed into Indian clothing.

    • Disguises: Shakespearean actor Kevin Kemble (who plays Falstaff on stage for an extended scene)

    • The scene where Jim is climb up the mountain is a scene from "TNOT Jack O'Diamond." You can tell that Jim's chaps are light in "TNOT Plague," but when be climbs up the mountain they're dark like "TNOT Jack O'Diamonds." Also Jim is very pale in "TNOT Plague" but when he's climbing he's more tanned.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (1)


    • Duncan: The quality of mercy is not strained.
      Referencing The Merchant of Venice and Portia's speech to the court. "The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven; Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."

    • Stills: Oh my offenses rank. It smells to Heaven. It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't.
      Referencing Hamlet, Act III, Scene 3.

    • Artie: Artemus, looks like the play's the thing, wherein we'll capture the conscience of... I wonder who?
      Referencing Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2. "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king."

    • Artie: There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.
      Referencing Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2.

  • 10:00 pm