Friday, November 5, 2021

Revisiting The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Egyptian Queen

"The Night of the Egyptian Queen" 
Written by  Ken Pettus
Directed by Mike Moder and Gunnar Hellström
Synopsis (from IMDB): A priceless ruby is stolen from an Egyptian exhibit at the San Francisco Museum, threatening an international incident, and West and Gordon are charged with recovering it. They find it on the toe of beautiful young dancer. The dancer goes on the run, and pair find they are competing with several unsavory characters to see who can get the gem first.

Trey: We're back in San Francisco, which always means the seedy waterfront. WWW has two main modes: depopulated Western town, or eccentric, Barbary Coast nightspot.

Jim: When the episode first started up, I got a real Batman tv show vibe from the music. As the episode continued up to the title sequence, that vibe was reinforced by the museum robbers costumes. This set the tone for what I expect to be a bit of a campy(ier) episode.

Trey: I assume you were not disappointed on that score? This episode is also pretty action packed with a lot for West and Gordon each to do.

Jim: Well, this is a bit of a roundabout episode with several scenes of people awaiting torture until West shows up to free them just in time as the search for the ruby plays out. The final scene revealing ancient treasure was cool enough, but outside of that, this wasn't a particularly 'wild' story, in the sense of being "weird."

Trey: Well, that's true, though I feel like that running around is fun. You sound a bit more negative on this one than me. 

Jim: Could be! I did enjoy the scenes with Ross Martin and William Marshall quite a bit.

Trey: Speaking of William "Blacula" Marshall, this episode has a number of guest stars: Tom Troupe, and most surprisingly, a young Sorrell "Boss Hogg" Brooke as Heisel, in addition to Marshall. Of course, I can't forget the lovely Penny Gaston as Rosie.

Jim: Having both Marshall and Troupe on this episode was quite a treat. It makes up for some lackluster villain actors we had on some other episodes.

I have a couple of thoughts on Penny Gaston as Rosie...

Trey: I'm sure you do!

Jim: Quiet, you! Anyway, I felt like she was an odd choice for a harem dancing girl costume, but I'll just chalk that up to a bit of dance hall pageantry. The other was how the show didn't make her hide her navel. 

That probably seems like a trifling detail to notice, but after years of hearing how the "censors" wouldn't allow Barbara Eden to show her navel on I Dream of Jeannie, seeing Gaston get away with it makes me wonder. What I'm left with is that either the showing of the navel simply went unnoticed by the CBS censors or NBC was just more uptight.

Trey: Well, if Cracked is to be believed, the oft-repeated story is sort of "fake news." Read about it here.

Jim: Well, that explains some of it! But maybe not all.

Trey: I think this enough for this episode, so you'll have to continue that navel gazing on your own time!

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