Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wild, Indeed

As The Spy Command blog opines, tomorrow—April 15—will bring “the 50th anniversary of what may be the best episode of The Wild Wild West [1965-1969], ‘The Night of the Murderous Spring.’ If not the series’ best outing, it’s in the conversation.
It was the next-to-last episode [the 27th] of West’s first season and the fourth to feature Michael Dunn as Dr. [Miguelito] Loveless.

The episode, written by John Kneubuhl (creator of Dr. Loveless) and directed by Richard Donner, removed all of the limits from the villain’s initial encounters with U.S. Secret Service agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin).

Loveless is determined to kill humanity to restore Earth’s ecological balance. The villain has come up with a chemical, when mixed with water, will spur men to hallucinate and go into a murderous rage.
Read more here.

For a while, that whole installment was available on YouTube. But as so often happens, someone complained about a copyright infraction, so the video is now down. Too bad. “The Night of the Murderous Spring” is a weird episode (as was often true of that CBS-TV series combining the spy, Western, and fantasy genres), but it’s well worth watching if you can get your hands on a DVD collection of the first season.

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A bit of trivia, courtesy of The Wild Wild West Web site: “The lake assigned to the evil duty of releasing the ducks that would carry Loveless’ drug across the land is actually the man-made lake used as the lagoon in Gilligan’s Island, since demolished and turned into a studio parking lot.”

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