James West and Artemus Gordon are two agents of President Grant who take their splendidly appointed private train through the west to fight evil. Half science fiction and half western, the Artemus designs a series of interesting gadgets for James that would make Inspector Gadget proud. A light hearted adventure series
"Elaborate little subterfuges" and "intricate dramas" await the suave and dashing frontier 007, James West (Robert Conrad) and his partner, master of disguise Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin), courtesy of a gallery of rogues and flamboyant villains with grandiose schemes of world domination. Among them: Victor Freemantle ("The Night of Bubbling Death"), bent on establishing his own Texas Panhandle domain; the Falcon ("The Night of the Falcon"), who aims his behemoth cannon at Denver and conspires with a European syndicate to put the rest of the world under the gun; Emmett Stark ("The Night of the Death Masks"), who breaks out of prison to stage an elaborate and bizarre revenge against his captors, West and Gordon; and, of course, West's ultimate nemesis, the diminutive Dr. Miguelito Loveless ("The Night Dr. Loveless Died"), whose demise could just be "another typical Loveless prank."
You may not find The Wild Wild West on any of those "Greatest TV Shows of All Time" lists, but more than 40 years later, it leaves many of the so-called classic shows in the dust. West's blend of Western action, spy adventure, and sci-fi thrills (less here than in seasons past) still pack quite a kick. The pleasures of this offbeat, genre-bending series did not diminish in its penultimate season. There's the classic theme song, the animated opening credits (with West's bang-zoom dispatch of a femme fatale intact); the chemistry between one of TV's great buddy teams, and Gordon's primitive gadgets (like a smoking jacket that really smokes!) that are akin to the Flintstones' prehistoric versions of modern-day appliances. The Wild Wild West also rounded-up some great character actors. Robert Duvall appears in "The Night of the Falcon" as a "mild mannered country doctor" with a more sinister secret practice. Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian) and venerable Western bad guy Jack Elam team up to steal Aztec treasure in "The Night of Montezuma's Horde. Harry Dean Stanton (Big Love is an innocent man framed for murder in "The Night of the Hangman." --Donald Liebenson