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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: "We all got along fine with each other when we did these, but I wasn't happy with them only because CBS imposed a lot of restrictions on us.
They never came up to the level of what we had done before. Robert Conrad starred as James West. Conrad claimed to be the 17th actor to test for the part.
Conrad performed nearly all of his own stunts in the series. Things started moving quicker when I took the jumps and the spills.
We started meeting the budget. On January 24, , however, during filming of "The Night of the Fugitives" near the end of the third season, Conrad fell from a chandelier onto the stage floor and suffered a concussion.
I was in intensive care for 72 hours, with a six-inch lineal fracture of the skull and a high temporal concussion. Conrad spent weeks in the hospital and had a long convalescence slowed by constant dizziness.
The episode was eventually completed and aired early during the fourth season, with footage of the fall left in.
It's a constant reminder to be careful. It also bolstered my determination to make this my last year with the series. Four seasons are enough of this sort of thing.
Lucky from to , portraying Mr. Lucky's sidekick, Andamo. Martin once called his role as Artemus Gordon "a show-off's showcase" because it allowed him to portray over different characters during the course of the series, and perform dozens of different dialects.
Martin sketched his ideas for his characterizations and worked with the makeup artists to execute the final look. Sometimes I feel like a one man repertory company.
I think I've proven to myself and to the industry that I am the No. Martin broke his leg in a fourth-season episode, "The Night of the Avaricious Actuary," when he dropped a rifle, stepped on it, and his foot rolled over it.
When the shell ejected from the rifle, it caught him in the eye and burned it. We still haven't finished that scene. It will have to wait until I can move around again.
A few weeks later, after completing "The Night of Fire and Brimstone", Martin suffered a heart attack on August 17, This was exactly two years after the show's creator, Michael Garrison, died.
Martin's character was replaced temporarily by other agents played by Charles Aidman four episodes , Alan Hale, Jr. Aidman said the producers had promised to rewrite the scripts for his new character, but this simply amounted to scratching out the name "Artemus Gordon" and penciling in "Jeremy Pike" his character's name.
Martin returned to work in mid-December and appeared in the final three episodes to be filmed. The show's most memorable recurring arch- villain was Dr.
Miguelito Quixote Loveless , a brilliant but petulant and megalomaniacal dwarf portrayed by Michael Dunn. Initially he had two companions: the huge Voltaire, played by Richard Kiel ; and the beautiful Antoinette, played by Dunn's real-life singing partner, Phoebe Dorin.
Voltaire disappeared without explanation after his third episode Richard Kiel returned in a different role in "The Night of the Simian Terror" , and Antoinette after her sixth.
According to the television film The Wild Wild West Revisited , Loveless eventually dies in from ulcers , brought on by the frustration of having his plans consistently foiled by West and Gordon his son, played by Paul Williams in the TV film, subsequently seeks revenge on the agents.
Though several actors appeared in different villainous roles, only one other character had a second encounter with West and Gordon: Count Manzeppi, played flamboyantly by Victor Buono Buono played a different villain in the pilot episode.
Manzeppi was a diabolical genius of "black magic" and crime, who—like Dr. Loveless—had an escape plan at the end. Henry Messenger", a parody of Henry Kissinger.
While the show's writers created their fair share of villains, they often started with the nefarious, stylized and sometimes anachronistic inventions of these madmen or madwomen , and then wrote the episodes around these devices.
Henry Sharp, the series' story consultant, would sketch the preliminaries of the designs eccentrically numbering every sketch "fig.
In Ratoff and Michael Garrison formed a production company to make a "Casino Royale" film, with Ratoff set to direct and 20th Century Fox set to distribute.
Production stalled when Ratoff and Garrison could not obtain financing. The series' pilot episode, "The Night of the Inferno", was filmed in December Western novelist and screenwriter Clair Huffaker also worked on the concept.
It was his idea, for example, to have a secret agent named Jim West who would perform secret missions for President Ulysses S.
Ralston later sued Warner Bros. As indicated by Robert Conrad on his DVD commentary, the show went through several producers in its first season.
This was apparently due to conflicts between the network and Garrison, who had no experience producing for television and had trouble staying on budget.
At first, Ben Brady was named producer, but he was shifted to Rawhide , which had its own crisis when star Eric Fleming quit at the end of the season.
Rawhide lasted another thirteen episodes before it was cancelled by CBS. The network then hired Collier Young.
Young also claimed to have added the wry second "Wild" to the series title, which had been simply "The Wild West" in its early stages of production.
Conrad was not sorry to see Young go: "I don't mind. All that guy did creatively was put the second 'wild' in the title.
CBS did the right thing. Young's replacement, Fred Freiberger , returned the series to its original concept. It was on his watch that writer John Kneubuhl , inspired by a magazine article about Michael Dunn , created the arch-villain Dr.
Miguelito Loveless. Phoebe Dorin, who played Loveless' assistant, Antoinette, recalled: "Michael Garrison came to see [our] nightclub act when he was in New York.
Garrison said to himself, 'Michael Dunn would make the most extraordinary villain. People have never seen anything like him before, and he's a fabulous little actor and he's funny as hell.
He came backstage and he told us who he was and he said he was going to do a television show called The Wild Wild West and we would be called.
We thought, 'Yeah, yeah, we've heard all that before. And that's how it started, because he saw the nightclub act. The character became an immediate hit and Dunn was contracted to appear in four episodes per season.
Because of health problems, however, Dunn only appeared in 10 episodes instead of After ten episodes 5—14 , Freiberger and executive producer Michael Garrison were, according to Variety, "unceremoniously dumped," reputedly due to a behind-the-scenes power struggle.
Garrison was replaced by Phillip Leacock, the executive producer of Gunsmoke , and Freiberger was supplanted by John Mantley, an associate producer on Gunsmoke.
The exchange stunned both cast and crew. He turned the matter over to his attorneys. Freiberger said, "I was fired for accomplishing what I had been hired to do.
I was hired to pull the show together when it was in chaos. Let's face it, the show is healthy. I think Fred Freiberger is totally correct in his concept of the show.
It's an administrative change, for what reason I don't know. Mantley produced seven 15—21 episodes then returned to his former position on Gunsmoke , and Gene L.
Coon took over as associate producer. By then, Garrison's conflict with CBS was resolved and he returned to the executive producer role. Coon left after six episodes 22—27 to write First to Fight , a Warner Bros.
Garrison produced the last episode of season one and the initial episodes of season two. Garrison's return was much to the relief of Ross Martin, who once revealed that he was so disenchanted during the first season that he tried to quit three times.
He explained that Garrison "saw the show as a Bond spoof laid in , and we all knew where we stood.
Each new producer tried to put his stamp on the show and I had a terrible struggle. I fought them line by line in every script.
They knew they couldn't change the James West role very much, but it was open season on Artemus Gordon because they had never seen anything like him before.
On August 17, , however, during production of the new season's ninth episode, "The Night of the Ready-Made Corpse", Garrison fell down a flight of stairs in his home, fractured his skull, and died.
When he was tapped for The Wild Wild West, Lansbury was working with his twin brother, Edgar , producing legitimate theater on Broadway.
The first season's episodes were filmed in black and white, and they were darker in tone. The acre lot was formerly the home of Republic Studios , which specialized in low-budget films including Westerns starring Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and Saturday morning serials which The Wild Wild West appropriately echoed.
In the mids the western streets and sets were replaced with new sound stages and urban facades, including the New York streets seen in Seinfeld.
In the lagoon set that was originally constructed for Gilligan's Island was paved over to create a parking lot. Footage of this train, with a 5 replacing the 3 on its number plate, was shot in Jamestown, California.
When The Wild Wild West went into series production, however, an entirely different train was employed. The locomotive, a named the Inyo, was built in by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia.
The Inyo, as well as the express car and the passenger car, originally served the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in Nevada. 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. 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 film, the engine was sent to the steam shops at the Strasburg Rail Road for restoration and repainting.
The Wild Wild West featured numerous, often anachronistic, gadgets. Some were recurring devices, such as West's sleeve gun or a 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. That took it away from the serious kind of thing that Tiomkin was trying to do What I did essentially was write two themes: the rhythmic, contemporary theme, Fender bass and brushes, that vamp, for the cartoon effects and for West's getting himself out of trouble, and the heraldic western outdoor theme over that, so that the two worked together.
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 abutting 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.
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 of scenes. In the final season, however, a generic design was used under the end credits.
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 from —77; occasional episodes indicate a more precise date:. Some episodes were considered violent for their time and that, rather than low ratings ultimately was the series' downfall.
In addition to gunplay, there were usually two fight sequences per episode. After Conrad suffered a concussion falling from a chandelier in "The Night of the Fugitives," the network insisted that he defer to a stunt double.
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 hidden and waiting to seamlessly complete the action.
It was hazardous work. Hughes recalled, "We had a lot of crashes. We used to say, 'Roll the cameras and call the ambulances!
Robert Conrad: 6-inch fracture of the skull, high temporal concussion, partial paralysis. Ross Martin: broken leg.
A broken skull for Red West. Broken leg for Jimmy George. Broken arm for Jack Skelly. And Michael Dunn: head injury and a spinal sprain. He did his own stunts.
And on and on. One of the questions it tackled was if violence on television, including graphic news coverage of the Vietnam War, was a contributing factor to violence in American society.
The television networks, anticipating these allegations, moved to curtail violence on their entertainment programs before the September start of the television 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: "Note to Directors: The producer respectfully asks that no violent acts be shot which are not depicted in the script or discussed beforehand.
Most particularly stay away from gratuitous ad-libs, such as slaps, pointing of firearms or other weapons at characters especially in close quarters , kicks and the use of furniture and other objects in fight scenes.
James West rarely wears a gun in these episodes, and rather than the usual fisticuffs, fight sequences involved tossing, tackling or body blocking the villains.
The most caustic of the commissioners, Rep. Hale Boggs D-Louisiana , decried what he called "the Saturday morning theme of children's cartoon shows" that permit "the good guy to do anything in the name of justice.
Three months later, in March , Sen. Of course, miners, homesteaders, and cattlemen alike also had to worry about the native tribes that they were displacing.
These conflicts also led to violence. In spite of these specific incidents of violence, the lawlessness of the Wild West has been blown out of proportion.
Ironically, the myth of the lawless West began before the period was over. Dime novels written in the East in the latter part of the 19th century exaggerated, or simply made up, stories about the crimes and criminals of the West.
The true story of the Old West is boring by comparison. Because of the need to hunt for food or protect themselves from wild animals, many people did have guns.
However, fans of Hollywood westerns may be surprised to learn that many western towns had strict gun ordinances, making it illegal to carry guns in town.
People entering the town were required to surrender their firearms to the sheriff. In fact, a story that has come to epitomize the violence of the Wild West involved a conflict over such a law.
When Virgil Earp, along with his brothers Morgan and Wyatt and their friend Doc Holliday, confronted five cowboys in the city of Tombstone over carrying firearms in town, violence erupted.
This incident became known as the gunfight at the OK corral. In any modern city today, such a minor incident would probably not even be front page news.
So, was there violence in the mountains, plains, and frontier towns of the old west? Yet, as with any wilderness, a man was just as likely, if not more likely, to die from thirst, starvation, drowning, freezing, snakebite, falling off a mountain, falling off his horse, being attacked by animals, or any one of a hundred other things.
Most of the settlers moving west, whether they were farmers, cowboys, miners, or some other profession, were honest and hardworking.
Just as today, outlaws existed, yet in most places and for most people, violent crime was not the daily norm that popular entertainment would have us believe.
As unromantic as it may be, relatively few people in the Wild West were involved in the gunfights and stagecoach robberies immortalized in the movies.
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