Friday, April 16, 2021

Revisiting the Wild Wild West: The Night Of the Wolf

"The Night of the Wolf"

Written by Earl Barrett and Robert C. Dennis
Directed by Charles Rondeau
Synopsis: Escorting an old and ailing Eastern European Prince to his coronation, West and Gordon encounter wolves controlled by the sinister Talamantes, who is determined to take the kingdom for himself.

Trey: I'm interested in your take on this one, because it might be more in the direction of things you would like WWW to do. I feel like it has an interesting premise but the execution is lacking in some ways, leaving it only average.

Jim: You are right, this is more in the area I think the show should pull from, though I must agree with you, the way it's done is a bit lacking. 

I think the chief problems are 1) lack of a truly evocative threat out the gate. We spend a lot of time dwelling on intrigue and lackluster visuals. The wolf attack is interesting, but the show spends some time priming us for something more exciting. 2) The pacing seems a bit wobbly. 

Trey: Joseph Campanella is great as always as the mad scientist villain with a creepy angle. Some of his early appearances here are are pretty clumsy cuts, though. They clearly were trying to build atmosphere, though.

Jim: Lorri Scott does an excellent job looking mesmerized. Almost too good.

Trey: Yeah, Lorri Scott seems sort of wooden before she ever gets hypnotized!

Jim: Conrad gets a rare change of outfit in this episode that really seems to fit him. It also gives the episode a little bit more of authenticity that his usual blue cowboy attire seems to diminish. 

Trey: The wolf "special" effects really fail the show. This was perhaps a plot too ambitious for this budget. That perhaps all sounds more negative that I really feel about it, but ultimately it's a B-side.

Jim: Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. This is definitely B-side material, but it did a have a few things I liked: The wolves as weapons is a neat gimmick. The runaway mining car makes for a good escape mechanism. I was cool to see Artemis riding a horse at full gallop for once. 

Trey: Well, the next one promises to be better with the return of our favorite villain: Dr. Loveless!

Jim: Looking forward to it!

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