Footage of the Inyo in motion and idling was shot around Menifee, California , and reused in virtually every episode. Stock footage of Sierra No. These trains were used only for exterior shots. Neither Stage 6 or the western streets still exist. The State of Nevada purchased the Inyo in ; it was restored to vintage, including a wider smoke stack and a new pilot cow catcher without a drop coupler. The express car No. For its role as "The Wanderer" in the motion picture, the engine was sent to the steam shops at the Strasburg Railroad for restoration and repainting.
The Wild Wild West featured numerous, often anachronistic, gadgets. Some were recurring devices, such as West's sleeve gun or breakaway derringer hidden in his left and right boot heels. Others appeared in only a single episode. The main title theme was written by Richard Markowitz , who previously composed the theme for the TV series The Rebel. He was brought in after the producers rejected two attempts by film composer Dimitri Tiomkin.
The Series included in the first season DVD boxed set, Markowitz recalled that the original Tiomkin theme "was very, kind of, traditional, it just seemed wrong. That took it away from the serious kind of thing that Tiomkin was trying to do What I did essentially was write two themes: Markowitz, however, was never credited for his theme in any episode; it is believed [ by whom?
Markowitz did receive "music composed and conducted by" credits for episodes he'd scored such as "The Night of the Bars of Hell" and "The Night of the Raven" or where he supplied the majority of tracked-in cues for example in "The Night of the Grand Emir" and "The Night of the Gypsy Peril". He finally received "theme by" credit on both of the TV movies, which were scored by Jeff Alexander rather than Markowitz few personnel from the series were involved with the TV movies.
The animated title sequence was another unique element of the series. The screen was divided into four corner panels surrounding a narrow central panel that contained a cartoon "hero". In the three seasons shot in color, the overall backdrop was an abstracted wash of the flag of the United States , with the upper left panel colored blue and the others containing horizontal red stripes. Each episode had four acts. At the end of each act, the scene, usually a cliffhanger moment, would freeze, and a sketch or photograph of the scene faded in to replace the cartoon art in one of the four corner panels.
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The style of freeze-frame art changed over the course of the series. In all first-season episodes other than the pilot, the panels were live-action stills made to evoke 19th-century engravings. In season two the first in color the scenes dissolved to tinted stills; from "The Night of the Flying Pie Plate" on, however, the panels were home to Warhol -like serigraphs of the freeze-frames.
The end credits were displayed over each episode's unique mosaic except in the final season, when a standardized design was used curiously, in this design the bank robber is unconscious, the cardsharp has no card and the lady is on the ground, but the sixshooter in the upper left-hand panel has returned. The freeze-frame graphics were shot at a facility called Format Animation.
During the first season, the series title "The Wild Wild West" was set in the font Barnum,  which resembles the newer font P. In subsequent seasons, the title appeared in a hand-drawn version of the font Dolphin which resembles newer fonts called Zebrawood, Circus, and Rodeo Clown. Robert Conrad's name was also set in this font. Ross Martin's name was set in the font Bracelet which resembles newer fonts named Tuscan Ornate and Romantiques. All episode titles, writer and director credits, guest cast and crew credits were set in Barnum. The series is generally set during the presidency of Ulysses S.
Grant , —77; occasional episodes indicate a more precise date:. Some episodes were violent for their time, and that, rather than low ratings, ultimately was the series' downfall citation? In addition to gunplay, there were usually two fight sequences per episode. After he suffered a concussion filming "The Night of the Fugitives," the network insisted that Conrad defer to a double. His chair on the set was newly inscribed: Often, George would start a stunt, such as a high fall or a dive through a window, then land behind boxes or off camera, where Conrad was concealed and waiting to seamlessly complete the action.
This same ploy was sometimes used by Ross Martin and Bob Herron. It was hazardous work. Hughes recalled, "We had a lot of crashes. We used to say, 'Roll the cameras and call the ambulances.
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A broken skull for Red West. Broken leg for Jimmy George. Broken arm for Jack Skelly. He did his own stunts. And on and on. Following the assassinations of Dr. One of the questions it tackled was whether violence on television was a contributing factor to violence in American society. This also included graphic news coverage of the Vietnam War. The television networks, anticipating these allegations, moved to curtail violence on their entertainment programs before the start of the season.
However, despite a CBS mandate to tone down the mayhem, "The Night of the Egyptian Queen" aired November 15, contains perhaps the series' most ferocious barroom brawl. A later memo attached to the shooting script of "The Night of Miguelito's Revenge" aired December 13, reads: The producer respectfully asks that no violent acts be shot which are not depicted in the script or discussed beforehand. James West rarely wears a gun, and rather than the usual fisticuffs, fight sequences involved tossing, tackling or body blocking the villains.
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The most caustic of the commissioners, Rep. Three months later, in March , Sen. Congress's concern was shared by the public: After being excoriated by two committees, the networks scrambled to expunge violence from their programming. The Wild Wild West received its cancellation notice in mid-February, even before Pastore's committee convened.
It was seen by the network as a gesture of good intentions. Conrad denounced Pastore for many years, but in other interviews he admitted that it probably was time to cancel the series because he felt that he and the stunt men were pushing their luck. He also felt the role had hurt his craft. I jumped off roofs and spent all my time with the stuntmen instead of other actors. I thought that's what the role demanded. That role had no dimension other than what it was—a caricature of a performance. It was a comic strip character.
Curiously, none of these featured Dr. CBS-TV was never really very eager to cancel this series, since over a four-year run that began in the Wild Wild West had been a solid winner in the ratings. Cancellation came mainly because CBS officials were concerned about the criticism over televised violence and to a lesser degree because Robert Conrad had grown slightly weary of the role of James West. None of the replacements have done nearly as well and, as a result, all of the Friday programs suffered. That fall, CBS put the program into syndication , giving it new life on local stations across the country.
This further antagonized the anti-violence lobby, since the program was now broadcast weekdays and often after school. The suit said the series "contains fictionalized violence and horror harmful to the mental health and well-being of minor children", and should not air before 9 pm. Corporan, was quoted as saying, "Since programs directed specifically at children are broadcast in the late afternoon by three other TV stations, it is our purpose to counter-program with programming not directed specifically at children.
Court of Appeals upheld the district court decision dismissing the suit on the grounds that FIT had not exhausted the administrative remedies available to them. By then, WTOP had stopped broadcasting the series altogether. Additionally, the NABB cited 81 syndicated live-action shows that "may have a detrimental influence on some children who are exposed to such programming without parental guidance or perspective" when they are telecast before 8: In Los Angeles, such shows opened with a cautionary announcement: By then The Wild Wild West was running on 99 local stations.
By the spring of the original series was still carried on 74 local stations. In the late s the series was still seen on local stations in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, among other cities. Significantly, WGN Chicago , which carried the show at 10 a. The series was dropped from WGN soon after. Hallmark Channel aired the series in as part of its slate of Saturday afternoon Westerns but dropped it after only a few weeks.
On January 1, , MeTV began running the series weekday afternoons again, starting with second season color episodes. It also airs in the United Kingdom as of on the Horror Channel on Sky channel , Virgin channel , Freeview channel 70 and Freesat channel Michael Dunn, who played Dr. Loveless in the original show, had died in Loveless planned to substitute clones for the crowned heads of Europe and the President of the United States.
This plot is similar to the second-season episode "The Night of the Brain". Most of the exterior filming took place at Old Tucson Studios where there were still many "Old West" buildings and a functioning steam train and tracks. Ross Martin said, "We worked on a lot of the same sets at the studio, including the interiors of the old train. The script, unlike the old shows, is played strictly for comedy. It calls for us to be ten years older than when we were last seen.
There are a lot more laughs than adventure. Paradine planned world conquest using a formula for invisibility recalling the first-season episode "The Night of the Burning Diamond". Both films were directed by veteran comedy Western director Burt Kennedy and written by William Bowers in the latter case with Tony Kayden, from a story by Bowers ; neither Kennedy nor Bowers worked on the original series.
Beauchamp of a short story by Beauchamp. Conrad was later quoted in Cinefantastique about these films: They never came up to the level of what we had done before. In January , Variety reported that Warner Bros. In , a theatrical feature-length film loosely based on the series was released as Wild Wild West without the definite article used in the series title.
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld the film made substantial changes to the characters of the series re-imagining James West as a black man played by Will Smith and Artemus Gordon played by Kevin Kline as egotistical and bitterly competitive with West. Additionally, significant changes were made to Dr. Loveless Kenneth Branagh in the film. No longer a dwarf, he was portrayed as a double amputee with no legs in a steam-powered wheelchair similar to that employed by the villain in the episode "The Night of the Brain".
Loveless' first name was changed from Miguelito to Arliss and he was given the motive of a bitter Southerner who sought revenge on the North after the Civil War.
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Robert Conrad reportedly was offered the role of President Grant but turned it down. He was outspoken in his criticism of the new film, now little more than a comedic Will Smith showcase with virtually no relationship to the action-adventure series. In a New York Post interview July 3, Conrad stated that he disliked the movie and that contractually he was owed a share of money on merchandising that he was not paid.
He had a long-standing feud with producer Jon Peters which may have colored his opinion. He was offended at the racial aspects of the film as well as the casting of Branagh as a double amputee rather than a little-person actor in the role of Loveless.
Conrad took special delight in accepting the Golden Raspberry Awards for the film in I made a mistake on Wild Wild West.
That could have been better. And now I get it. It's like, 'That's my baby! I put my blood, sweat and tears into that! Conrad for that because I didn't realize. I was young and immature. So much pain and joy went into [my series] The Fresh Prince that my greatest desire would be that it's left alone. Although it was touted as a special 40th anniversary edition, it appeared 41 years after the show's debut.
Robert Conrad recorded audio introductions for all 28 first-season episodes, plus a commentary track for the pilot. The Series , and s era footage of Conrad and Martin on a daytime talk show.
The second season was released on DVD on March 20, ; the third season was released on November 20, ; and the fourth and final season was released on March 18, None of the later season sets contained bonus material. A disc complete series set was released on November 4, On May 12, , CBS Home Entertainment released a repackaged version of the complete series set, at a lower price, but did not include the bonus disc that was part of the original complete series set. All of the episodes are presented in English with French subtitles, and several episode titles differ in translation from the original English titles.
Both TV movies are included as extras, but only in French-dubbed versions. The Series by Susan E. A sequel to the TV series, it involved Dr. Loveless in a conspiracy to assassinate President Grant and the President of Brazil and put the Knights of the Golden Circle into power.
The characters of Voltaire and Antoinette were prominent here, despite their respective early departures from Dr. Loveless' side in the original program. A review from the Mile High Comics site states: President Lincoln states his famous quip that, if General U. Grant is a drunk, he should send whatever he's drinking to his other less successful generals. As with many television series, The Wild Wild West had several merchandise tie-ins during its run. These are listed below. I watched both in syndication in the '70s. Wild Wild West was really interesting, that combination of genres—a Western and secret agent, and they dabbled in the occult and paranormal.
I really wanted to do a new version for CBS. Moody Valley; eBook 1 edition 17 August Sold by: Customer reviews There are no customer reviews yet. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. I liked the out come. Also the way the mountain man hunted the mountain lion an saved the wild girl. With her usual story telling abilities, Peggy Poe Stern takes us on another awesome adventure with an awesome cast of characters Her rich characters, vivid descriptions, and plot prowess lead the imagination through the story in the Appalachain Mountains as though we were seeing it first hand.
Kudos on an excellent follow-up. I guess I should have been born way back then because I do enjoy reading about the simpler times and mountain life. All of the "Mountain" stories I have read by this author are wonderful. I get started and cant put it down.
I hope she writes more soon! Read all her books. You will not be disappointed. I Have them all on kindle. I grew up in the country as did my parents, and listening to stories about characters in their lives and stories handed down to them from previous generations,make all Peggy Poe Stern books a good read. I enjoy Peggy Poe Stern's writings!
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