The Wild Wild West

Michael Garrison Productions

Action & Adventure Comedy Drama
English     7.5     1965     US

Overview

The Wild Wild West is an American television series Developed at a time when the television western was losing ground to the spy genre, this show was conceived by its creator, Michael Garrison, as "James Bond on horseback." Set during the administration of President Ulysses Grant, the series followed Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon as they solved crimes, protected the President, and foiled the plans of megalomaniacal villains to take over all or part of the United States. The show also featured a number of fantasy elements, such as the technologically advanced devices used by the agents and their adversaries. The combination of the Victorian era time-frame and the use of Verne-esque style technology have inspired some to give the show credit for the origins of the steam punk subculture.

Reviews

MagicMark wrote:
I was born after the show had been off the air for a few years, so of course I discovered it in reruns. It was syndicated all over the country by then, and locally it aired on Sunday nights at 6pm (a fairly wise strategy, since airing episodes once a week meant they wouldn't run through them too quickly). My father was a fan of the show, and we watched it together every Sunday evening after dinner. When we started this ritual I was too young to enjoy most of the shows my dad enjoyed, but this had everything I could want; good guys, bad guys, lots of action, inventive plots, gadgets, and humor. It might be the only show that I enjoyed at that age that I still enjoy today because of its quality. (I can still watch Happy Days or the Dukes of Hazzard and remember WHY I enjoyed them at that age, but they don't hold up). The writers were inventive, and the show was able to mix sci-fi with the western genre very well, with some really nice gothic horror touches and mystery elements along the way. Robert Conrad deserves praise for his stunt work, which was a hallmark of the show, along with Ross Martin and his many disguises and accents. Probably the best part of the show was the villain each week, sometimes bent on world domination, but always creative. The show spawned two reunion movies, which failed to recapture the spirit of the original series but were both pleasant diversions for a few hours. Unfortunately the show was unable to escape the 'old tv show turned into a big screen movie' machine in Hollywood, and the results were a mess.

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