Sunday, December 02, 2007
The Wild Wild West: The Third Season
Written by Fantasma el Rey
Guns roaring, fists flying, bombs (large and small) exploding everywhere, this is the far-fetched, sci-fi classic The Wild Wild West: The Third Season. Continuing, and not much has changed, the adventures of U.S. Secret Service agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) who serve under President Grant. As in the previous two seasons every episode is titled “Night Of The…” followed by a hint at what’s to come. As started in season two all 24 “action packed” installments are in glorious color, bringing to bright life Jim West’s beautiful blue suit, which appears to fit a bit more snug this time through.
The plot lines remain much the same from season to season with different villains plugged in. The stories usually go thusly: dashing, dead-shot, brave, courageous and bold Jim and Artie the man of a hundred faces, ride into a new town on a mission or are just passing through when for some reason they become involved in a heap of trouble, mostly involving a madman’s (or evil doctor, greedy businessman, etc., etc) evil plot and must thwart said ne'er-do-well. Jim investigates on his own while Artie goes in disguise to find out more from the dangerous element. They reconvene some time after Artie follows Jim or rescues him, and they head off to foil the mad plot and save the day. Fans may be disappointed that regular nemesis Dr. Miguelito Loveless only appears in one episode “The Night Dr. Loveless Died,” but it’s a good one as we meet his German uncle, Dr. Leibknict.
No matter if they be in Mexico, Canada, or someplace in the American West the song remains the same for our heroes; whether they are pitted against Samurai warriors, Mexican banditos, or anyone else, that’s the way it goes down. To their credit though the show is always action packed, in fact that’s why the show was supposedly ended. Rather than cave to negative pressure and change what was working to tone down the violence, the network simply pulled the plug and WWW went out with a bang and on top of its game.
The violent action, I must say, really plays out like the Batman television series without the ZAP, SOK, BANG, and BAFFO comic-book pop-ups. I will also add here that Robert Conrad is in top physical condition and looks believable in the action sequences. Yes, female fans you get to see Jim sans shirt. That’s right, topless. Hubba, hubba. I’m sure that only led to more outrage from old folk calling for decency on television. Ah, the old days when this show was considered too much.
You can start The Wild Wild West: The Third Season just about anywhere on the set and get a feel for the show. Each episode lives on its own and feels complete. There are no extras on this six-disc set; all the punch so far was packed into the first season. If its interviews and such ye want, ye won’t find ‘em here. I did have fun watching and every title begs me to watch with that “Night Of” business and the chemistry between Conrad and Martin makes the stories a bit better, but I am content to catch it periodically on my local cable station. Die-hard fans will definitely want to own Season Three to see whom Jim and Artie meet and how they defeat all-comers in this third installment of the sci-fi western with a twist that is The Wild Wild West.