James West and Artemus Gordon are two Secret Service agents of President Grant who take their splendidly appointed private train through the west to fight evil. Half science fiction and half western, Artemus designs a series of interesting gadgets for James that would make Inspector Gadget proud. A light-hearted adventure series that was a fan favorite.

The Wild Wild West - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 1965-09-17

The Wild Wild West - List of The Wild Wild West episodes - Netflix

The Wild Wild West is an American television series that ran on the CBS network from 1965 to 1969. During its four-season run a total of 104 episodes were broadcast. The Wild Wild West blended westerns – hugely popular on television at the time (Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Wagon Train, Rawhide, etc.) – with spy adventure, which came into vogue in the wake of the highly successful James Bond films, resulting in such spy-oriented series as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Avengers and Secret Agent. The Wild Wild West is set in the 1870s and deals with the exploits of James West (played by Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin), two agents of the United States Secret Service who work directly under the command of President Ulysses S. Grant. James West is presented as a sort of “James Bond of the West”, i.e. the handsome, muscular action-hero who is handy with his fists, as well as a dashing ladies' man. Artemus Gordon is West's partner, a master of disguises and also the inventor of the many gadgets that the two of them use in the course of their adventures. The two men travel about in a private train and use their talents to vanquish the many dastardly villains that threatened the United States — among them, disgraced ex-soldiers seeking revenge against President Grant, power-hungry megalomaniacs, and mad scientists with their brilliant but diabolical inventions. The last group includes the recurring character of Dr. Miguelito Loveless, played by 3'11" Michael Dunn. As series producer Bruce Lansbury stated:

“Jim [West]'s world was one of two-faced villainy, male and female, countless 'Mickey Finns', and needle-tipped baroque pinkie rings that put him to sleep even as he embraced their dispensers. There were inevitable trap doors, hotel walls that ground their victims to dust or revolved into lush Aubrey Beardsley settings next door, lethal chairs that tossed occupants skyward or alternatively dumped them into dank sewers that subterraneously crisscrossed countless cow towns of the period. And then there was that old Dutch sea captain, leaning in the corner of the swill-hole of a bar, who inexplicably winked at Jim as he entered … Artemus, of course, in one of his thousand disguises.”

Ten years after the series was cancelled a made-for-television revival movie, The Wild Wild West Revisited, aired and was successful enough to warrant a follow-up entitled More Wild Wild West (1980), thus bringing the total number of episodes up to 106. However, the movie was more campy compared to the serious tone of the television series. The death of Ross Martin in 1981 ended any plans for another film.

The Wild Wild West - Directors - Netflix

The Wild Wild West employed a large number of directors during its run, with Irving J. Moore directing the most episodes (25 total). Of note is that three episodes were directed by William Witney, who had co-directed many “cliffhangers” during the 1930s and 1940s, including Zorro Rides Again, The Lone Ranger and The Adventures of Captain Marvel. Also among the series directors are Mark Rydell (who would go on to direct On Golden Pond with Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda) and Richard Donner (later to direct The Omen, Superman, and the Lethal Weapon series).

The Wild Wild West - References - Netflix