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 Post subject: The Wild Wild West
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Postal Carrier
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Some critics hate the mixture of the Western and SF. I don't...if it's executed with skill.

Bruce Lansbury's CBS teleseries, "The Wild, Wild West," sported a number of SF concepts, or tropes, if you will. Most of these came to the fore when the late Michael Dunn ("Dr. Miguelito Cervantes Loveless" in the show) tried using one of his inventions for, well, world domination--or at least hegemony over portions of the Wild West.

Viewers of the teleseries will recall Dr. Loveless' eagle-shaped extreme long-range cannon (TV Guide ran a photo feature on this episode, showing the original production drawings that called for the eagle-cannon to spread its wings before firing, nixed due to production costs), a steam powered robot that resembled a Knight in armor--his inventions became more elaborate as the series unfolded.

There were other little touches, like protagonist James West's (Robert Conrad) special personal weapons and escape artist devices, Artemus Gordon's (Ross Martin) "Mission Impossible" style masks, as well as the steam locomotive powered train the two Secret Service agents traveled around in (it sported quite a few innovations).

Of course, a lot of this show was not SF...or barely so, like the phonograph Dr. Loveless has on a timer in a death trap for Jim West: as the room he's trapped in is ejected into the sea it plays, "What Can You Do With A Drunken Sailor?" Dunn sang the lyrics and, when he often appeared with a gorgeous but misguided young lady, they sang duets.

The small derringer up Agent West's sleeve was also not SF; often called a "Panther Pistol" becuse of the spring mechanism that sends it into his hand with a flick of the wrist (I have one) was also featured in the film "Taxi Driver."

Overall, this was a delightful program, enjoyable on many levels, including it's "Maverick" style wry humor. All the episodes were titled, "The Night of...." and at each commercial break, the live action scene would freeze and we'd PULL BACK and DISSOLVE into a graphic of that scene, one of four that would replace those seen during the opening sequence.

Deal me in.


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 Post subject: Re: The Wild Wild West
Unread postPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:44 am 
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Stamp Collector
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:32 pm
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Never grew up--but it was kind of favorite such as Mission IMpossible {Peter Graves orginal series and not the remade series or those idiotic movies. Two MI epsiodes I like was The Seal where is the hero is a IMF agent Rusty the cat and Encore will William Shatner}. The Man from Uncle I never grew up with and was too silly to take seriously. Star Trek the orginal series was so much more of the 1960's science Fiction...the best I liked were "LEt that be your last Battlefield" :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: The Wild Wild West
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:53 pm 
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Postal Carrier
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Beginning next Saturday, WWW will air on METV


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