The Wild Wild West.

If you like the westerns we’re currently discussing, you may have liked other western TV shows. So why don’t we discuss them here! Post about western conventions (non Bonanza), the shows, the actors and anything you want to discuss.

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The Wild Wild West.

Post by heartbeatgirl » Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:31 pm

The Wild Wild West was a different genre of western, a cross between a spy series and a western show. It concerned the adventures of James West, a handsome gunslinger and Artemus Gordon, an inventor and master of disguise, who become the first Secret Service Agents, working for President Ulysses S. Grant. They travelled the west in their specially equipped locomotive "The Wanderer", fighting many villains en-route including Dr Loveless (Michael Dunn), who reprised his role in ten episodes.
The show ran for four seasons from 1965 - 1969, and also spawned two television movies in 1979 and 1980, starring the original stars Robert Conrad as West and Ross Martin as Gordon.
A big screen movie adaptation was made in 1999 with Will Smith as West and Kevin Kline as Gordon, but many fans of the show said it bore little resemblance to the original.


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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by the modeller » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:59 pm

Hi, I'm back! :rodeo

I remembered this series from the 1960's because of...yes, you've guessed it...the trains! :laughing

It's only now that the series is being shown once more here in the UK that I have found out more about the locomotives used, and why there were discrepancies from story to story, even occasionally on the same episode!

The shows pilot was filmed using Railtown 1897's famous Sierra Railroad's No 3, a 4-6-0 locomotive that was used extensively in a lot of films and early television series, like Casey Jones and Petticoat Junction. The engines number was changed to 5 for the shoot.

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During the series filming, footage of Virginia & Truckee's No 22 INYO was used, a 4-4-0 locomotive that was already a film star many times over. The smoke box number 22 was changed to 8 so the train footage could be flipped horizontally without the number appearing reversed.

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For the two follow on films starring the original stars, Virginia & Truckee's No 11 RENO was used.

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Shooting for the 1999 movie, Baltimore & Ohio's No 25 WILLIAM MASON was used as the Wanderer, with No 5 on the front.

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I'm really enjoying watching these episodes again as I don't remember them at all. Ross Martin was such a clever man as he came up with his own disguises and voices for each story. No-one quite knew what to expect when the story called for him to appear 'undercover'; the first they knew was when he turned up on set for the take. What a great actor and entertainer.

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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by Guitarlover » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:37 pm

the modeller wrote:

I'm really enjoying watching these episodes again as I don't remember them at all. Ross Martin was such a clever man as he came up with his own disguises and voices for each story. No-one quite knew what to expect when the story called for him to appear 'undercover'; the first they knew was when he turned up on set for the take. What a great actor and entertainer.

:modeller
I never knew this about Ross Martin. Artie was far and away my favorite of the two! Thanks for the info!

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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by patina » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:48 pm

I enjoy this show, too.

Thanks for the train info, Modeller! I know the same train car (the one with the curtains) was used on Big Valley on occasion.
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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by heartbeatgirl » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:08 am

the modeller wrote:

I'm really enjoying watching these episodes again as I don't remember them at all. Ross Martin was such a clever man as he came up with his own disguises and voices for each story. No-one quite knew what to expect when the story called for him to appear 'undercover'; the first they knew was when he turned up on set for the take. What a great actor and entertainer. :modeller


Ross Martin would read the script. Then he did a pen and ink drawing of the character he was going to play, down to the last detail, glasses, moustache, clothes, posture, shoes, etc. Then he brought the sketch to make-up man Don Schoenfeld, and together they molded his face until it looked like the drawing.

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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by Calamity Liz » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:29 am

That's great info about Ross Martin, Artemus was by far my fave character on the show. Love the pics of the trains!!!

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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by Calamity » Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:23 pm

I remember that show.
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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by heartbeatgirl » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:41 pm

We are currently watching the first season which was black and white, so it's difficult to appreciate the blue of Jim West's eyes, let alone his suit. :grin
However, Cinematographer Ted Voightlander (Bonanza regular) was nominated for an emmy for his work on the first season, which was definitely darker in tone!


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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by Calamity » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:42 pm

Love that picture even if I can't see the blue in his eyes.
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Re: The Wild Wild West.

Post by Fanofoldtvshows » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:24 pm

I don't think I saw any episodes. Might check to see if any episodes,are uploaded on YouTube.

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