Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Revisiting the Wild Wild West: The Night of the Circus of Death

"The Night of the Circus of Death" 
Written by Arthur Weingarten
Directed by Irving J. Moore
Synopsis (from IMDB): When masterfully forged bills appear in circulation, West and Gordon must catch the forgers to prevent the collapse of the U.S. economy from a flood of nearly perfect counterfeit bills. The trail leads to a circus..

Trey: I feel like this episode pulls a bait and switch! "Circus of Death?" How about "Circus of Only Tangentially Related?"

Jim: True! I'm surprised as well at how little the actual Circus plays in this episode. It feels like we spend more time in the boutique! 

Trey: Or the Denver Mint.

Jim: There, too. But yeah, a better title would have been "The Night of the Funny Money." The circus was a nice change of pace, though. West versus the lion is well shot I think. I sincerely doubt that's Conrad in the cage, but the camera work does a good job of not letting on. 

Trey: It was colorful too.

Jim: True. We've commented on the show's efforts to take advantage of the new color television technology, and the circus does that, but the boutique scene at the start of this show is the best example so far.

Trey: The opening scene in the boutique is amusing.

Jim: Goodbody's spiel about dynamic numerology feels like the show is making fun of some of the sillier counter culture beliefs of the era.

Trey: Artie's return to the boutique is good too. Like several episodes this season it shows how formidable he is in his own right.

Jim:  I was a little disappointed when Artie showed up in his Mr. Gentry guise. I just seemed a bit too ordinary. But Martin had so much fun with the role that I quickly got over my disappointment.

Trey: Would it upset you if I told you this episode was historically inaccurate? The Denver Mint was an assay office until 1906. Even then, it made coins not notes.

Jim: You've ruined the entire episode for me!

Trey: I think you'll be alright.

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