The Wild Wild West (1969)

Season 1 Episode 21

The Night of the Puppeteer

Aired Friday 7:30 PM Feb 25, 1965 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Dr. Lake: Artemus.
      Artie: Yes?
      Dr. Lake: He's still groggy, but he'll live.
      Artie: I told you, Doc.
      Dr. Lake: Well, I can't guarantee for how long, or you either, if you stay in this line of work.
      Artie: You know, that's what I love about you, your cheerful bedside manner.

    • Artie: Listen, I came in late. Would you mind filling me in on what happened.
      Jim: To tell the truth, it's a little embarrassing. I was shot by a puppet.
      Artie: Sorry I asked.

    • Dr. Lake: This was embedded in you.
      Artie: Propelled by a small powder charge. You note how the shock of impact activates the injector mechanism. That's beautiful, isn't it?
      Jim: You make me feel privileged to have gotten in the way.

    • Waitress: What's your pleasure?
      Jim: A drink for now, I'll decide later.
      Waitress: I was talking about the drinks.
      Jim: Oh. Let me see your wine list.
      Waitress: Sure. Soon as it comes back from the laundry.
      Jim: Til then, how's your beer?
      Waitress: Make you bark like a fox and leap like a tuna.
      Jim: In my run-down condition, I'd better have whiskey.
      Waitress: Whiskey. Chaser?
      Jim: Just a few kind words.

    • Jim: But I couldn't help noticing the eyepatch that Pitney wears.
      Zachariah Skull: He had an unfortunate accident.
      Jim: Another I notice was minus a finger. A hand. A nose and an ear. Are all your puppets accident prone?
      Zachariah Skull: Very well, sir, if you want it unadorned, they're mutilated. Well, why not? Art should imitate life.
      Jim: And do you believe that life is...?
      Zachariah Skull: Yes. Look closely enough, you'll find everything in life is mutilated, flawed, corrupt.

    • Jim: How does one compliment a puppet on her dancing? Or should I simply say, you dance divinely, Mr. Skull?
      Zachariah Skull: You're too kind, sir. And speaking for Vivid, you dance very well, too.

    • Jim: It's an amusing parlor game, but I'm bored with it now.
      Zachariah Skull: Don't you believe him, my dear. He's not bored. He's shaken. Aren't you, sir?
      Jim: Am I? I hadn't noticed.
      Zachariah Skull: You're shaken and affronted. You see, my dear, for one brief moment, Mr. West allowed himself to be caught up in the magic of your loveliness, puppet though you are. Oh, take that tribute with you and go.
      Jim: "And on the seventh day, He rested."
      Zachariah Skull: Oh, I'm playing God, is it?
      Jim: Aren't you? The world of people offends you. So you create your own world. Of puppets.
      Zachariah Skull: In short, you think I'm quite mad.

    • Jim: I was unfortunately absent at my own trial. I'm not complaining, of course. But surely I have the right to address the jury.
      Zachariah Skull: Mr. West, a suspicious mind might almost be tempted to conclude that you're just trying to stall.
      Jim: Your Honor...
      Zachariah Skull: The court apologizes for its wholly unwarranted suspicions. You may proceed.

    • (pretending to be drunk)
      Artie: I'm a citizen, ain't I? I owe my taxes, so, uh, hey, wait a minute. It's a free country, ain't it? Right of, excuse me, right of people peaceably to assemble. Well, I want to assemble peacefully, even if I have to fight everyone in this place for it.

    • Artie: Great jumping balls of St. Elmo's Fire! What were those things back there?
      Jim: Just what they look like. Puppets, with the brute force of a steam locomotive.

    • Jim: Artemus, what are you doing?
      Artie: I'm going to blow it up.
      Jim: It's the ocean up there. Let's keep it there, huh?

    • Zachariah Skull: So we play out the final scene here.
      Jim: You're Zachariah Skull.
      Zachariah Skull: Not as personable as my surrogate down below, perhaps.
      Artie: But twice as talented. You actually manipulated the puppet that manipulated all the others. Very impressive.
      Zachariah Skull: Thank you, Mr. Gordon. No comment from you, Mr. West?
      Jim: I've always been impressed by you, Mr. Skull. Sculptor, engineer, ventriloquist, puppeteer. And murderer.
      Zachariah Skull: Yes, I'm a murderer. Why not, I was murdered myself, once.

  • Notes

    • Commercial breaks: ll: Jim descending down into a subterranean cavern, lr: Skull holding his puppet self, ul: puppet toy soldiers, ur: the Vivid puppet

    • This outstanding episode was the favorite of producer Mantley, director Moore and Art Director Al Heschong. Ironically, it's also the last episode produced by Mantley.

  • Allusions