The Wild Wild West (1969)

Season 2 Episode 3

The Night of the Raven

Aired Friday 7:30 PM Sep 30, 1966 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
21 votes

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Episode Summary

The Night of the Raven

Dr. Loveless' newest plan involves a powder that lets him miniaturize anyone who opposes him... and Jim West is his first target.

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  • review

    One of the more sillier epsiodes Dr Loveless uses a CAT to stalk a minuature West and a "Indian Princess"
  • The memory cheats

    I had a chance to rewatch this on RTN recently. And while it's a good episode, it's pretty overrated among the fans. Maybe because it's the first color episode of the series to feature Dr. Loveless. Maybe because of the Doctor's most ambitious scheme: to miniaturize everyone in the world with a white powder!

    And clearly some money went into the special effects for the miniaturization sequences. There's a giant mouse trap, a giant spider web, a giant eight-ball, a cat carrier.

    Problem is it looks like they spent all of the budget on the shrinking effects. The cast is absurdly small, and there's way too much cost-saving padding int he first half. The guys get captured before the opening credit, and pretty much stay captured. Dr. Loveless knows when they're coming (he sent the ransom note!) but takes forever to complete his final preparation. So the guys get captured. And escape. And get captured. And escape. And get captured. And escape. Artie doesn't get to do any disguises (Ross Martin doesn't really have anything to do except "comically react") and Robert Conrad doesn't even get a decent fight scene. He just gets to spar with a blue-screen giant cat.

    There's also some odd cuts. Dr. Loveless has some giant venus fly traps and promises they'll have a "main course" later. Implying he was going to feed the miniaturized Jim to them. But... that never happens. Cut scene, maybe? It would have been more interesting then regular-sized Jim escaping again.

    There's also padding with Jim bonding with the Princess, who we don't know and won't see again, and don't care about. The ending is also very abrupt. Loveless escapes, the guys rescue the Princess, they share a laugh, and end show. Michael Dunn is as impressive as always, but he doesn't have much to do here. He gets a musical number, and a few "oh whoa is me" tragic speeches. The bit with the agents giving him tips on how to wear his hat is cute.

    And finally... this episode's concept really puts the show into the fantastical in a way that doesn't work. Like Dr. Loveless' later plan to use paintings as dimensional portals, this goes a bit too far as far as fantasy-scientific schemes. Even "TNOT Burning Diamond" (with it's super-accelerated invisibility) is more believable, because it explores the limitations inherent in the possibility. Here, Jim grows from miniature to giant size and we don't even get the often-seen pant split!

    So overall this is an okay episode, but it's not one of the better Loveless episodes. "TNOT Green Terror" later in the season is probably the best second-season Loveless episode you can expect, so check it out if you get a chance.moreless
Phyllis Newman

Phyllis Newman

Princess Wanakee

Guest Star

Howard Hoffinan

Howard Hoffinan

War Eagle

Guest Star

Sandy Josol

Sandy Josol


Guest Star

Michael Dunn

Michael Dunn

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

Recurring Role

Phoebe Dorin

Phoebe Dorin


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Gadgets: gold pen with lockpick, miniature blowtorch in boot heel

    • After West gives his word that they will not try to escape, he and the princess are returned to the "Tipi room" and Artie's chain is removed from his leg. The scene shifts to Dr. Loveless' lab and then to a commercial break. In the next scene, we see Artie snoozing in a chair with the chain on his leg.

    • It is mentioned in this episode that Dr. Loveless had three previous plans and West stopped all three. Since Dr. Loveless appeared four times in the first season, it should have been four plans stopped by West.

    • In the long shots, Loveless' is wearing a diamond collar. However, in the closeups, it isn't wearing any collar at all.

    • Jim stabs the cat in the left forepaw. However, when it runs off, it then licks its right forepaw.

    • When Jim West gets shrunken, he gets new clothes adapted to his size. We see Antoinette make those new clothes for him and when we see him shrunk down for the first time we see his original clothes, which look like giant clothes now, hanging on a hanger. Yet when Jim and the princess are returned to their normal size, their small clothes expand with them.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Dr. Loveless: I didn't want to spoil the surprise, knowing that you thought me dead after our last meeting. I merely reversed an old law of physics to suit myself: what goes down must come up.
      Jim: Nothing you do surprises me, Dr. Loveless.
      Dr. Loveless: Well, then I shall have to extend myself to prove you wrong. Life would be pretty dull without a few surprises now and then, wouldn't it?

    • Dr. Loveless: Whatever inequities possess my soul, idleness is not one of them.

    • Artie: I think he's finally made it, James. He's out of his mind.
      Dr. Loveless: So was Aristotle, eh? Columbus, Da Vinci, Galileo. No, gentlemen, I have at last found the means to the end, a means so powerful that I will cover the world like a giant wave, and wash away the sins of man forever. I shall make a world of my own where I can walk among the eagles, fly among the stars. A world of light, sound, and motion. My world!

    • Wanakee: There is no evil spirit here except the doctor. Perhaps you and your friend Mr. Gordon.
      Artie: You keep that up, you're never going to make president of our fan club.

    • Wanakee: I cannot understand how a man could sacrifice so many people for revenge against one.
      Artie: You would if you knew Loveless as well as we do.

    • Jim: You win. What do you want from me, outside of killing me?
      Dr. Loveless: Our game, Mr. West! You're not playing our game. These constant attempts to escape only annoy me and interrupt my work.

    • Dr. Loveless: Oh I can see it now. A world where my eyes will never have to look upward again. Except to gaze at the sky… and the sun and stars.

    • Dr. Loveless: Ah, there you are.
      Artie: No you have us confused with somebody else. We're over there.
      Dr. Loveless: Mr. Gordon, you're such a wit.

    • Wanakee: Why is he doing this?
      Jim: To prove that he can. Whatever's in that white powder is the key to his plan to rule the world. He can put it into anything: food, water…
      Wanakee: He can do this?
      Jim: That little man can do anything.

    • Dr. Loveless: And man can relax. No more worries about power, wealth, or wars. He will have found his Garden of Eden.
      Artie: If I remember correctly, there was a snake in that Garden.
      Dr. Loveless: Very clever, Mr. Gordon.
      Artie: I knew you'd appreciate it.

    • Jim: One thing about you, Dr. Loveless: you do have style.
      Dr. Loveless: I try, Mr. West, I try.

    • Dr. Loveless: And you, you, Mr. Gordon--you didn't play fair, you cheated!
      Artie: A weakness. So sue me.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Artie: Ah, the Ghosts of Christmas Past.
      Referencing Charles Dickens' 1843 novel, immortalized on stage and screen, which tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who learns the true meaning of Christmas after being visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

    • Dr. Loveless: We may have miles to go before we sleep.
      Referencing Robert Frost's 1922 poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Written in iambic tetrameter, the poem was used as an eulogy for both John F. Kennedy and Pierre Trudeau.

    • Jim: The best laid plans of mice and men...
      Referencing the poem "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough" by Robert Burns, written in 1785. The original line is "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley," but "schemes" is often paraphrased as "plans."