Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Revisiting The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Winged Terror (part 2)

"The Night of the Winged Terror (Part 2)"
Written by  Marvin J. Chomsky
Directed by Ken Pettus
Synopsis: West and Harper race to stop Raven's plot to kill a Mexican official--but West has actually been brainwashed to carry out the deed! Harper must foil this plan and use his talent for disguise to infiltrate Raven's headquarters and save his partner.

Trey: This second part makes for an entertaining hour of television, but I feel like it's a little bit less accomplished than part 1. Mainly, this is in the fact that there's that "escape, capture, repeat" loop that tends to bother you more than me, but I'm not completely immune to getting tired of it. What makes it a bit egregious is it relies on our heroes acting dumb. West is so certain he hasn't been brainwashed with little reason. Ok, you could say that is part of the brainwashing, and Harper isn't fooled--but you've still got West beating around the push with putting his hands on Tycho (it wouldn't have matter, invisible screen and all, but West doesn't know that), and then Harper and West snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by setting off an explosion when the cabal has barely left the room!

Jim: Yes, this episode spins its wheels a bit. It's like the writer didn't know how to utilize the expanded format, so the fell back on their old standbys. Part of that might be the need to accommodate all the unnecessary second bananas that work under Tycho. Additionally, Tycho's plan never gets expanded in any meaningful way. In a James Bond movie, the villain's machinations are usually steps that build up to a master plan.  Here, they are all the same, and done to demonstrate Raven's power--for some reason. The final capture/escape combo with Tycho's glass shield was just stupid.

Overall, this was a disappointing follow up to the first installment, with Schallert's spots providing the most enjoyment to me.

Trey: There was dumb to go around to other characters, too. Tycho is pretty gullible for a guy supposedly as smart as he is. Then there's Laurette being so certain West is on her side after he had just been brainwashed by them.

Jim: Did you notice when Laurette is giving James the hard sell on Tycho, you can see the classic rock formation from the Star Trek episode "Arena" prominently in the background?

Trey: Yep, that's Vasquez Rocks.

Jim: I'm glad they selected Michele Carey to be the femme fatale in these episodes. She has a distinctive lilt to her voice that makes her delivery a pleasure to listen to. It was probably that voice that won her the role of Effie in another Robert Conrad series, A Man Called Sloane.

Trey: It feels a bit like Tycho was being positioned to be a replacement Loveless. His plots more resemble some other villains of the week, but he has the eccentric character and unusual physicality of a Loveless. 

Jim: Unfortunately, Christopher Cary doesn't have any of the personal charm or elegant elocution that Michael Dunn possesses. Tycho is more like one of those forgettable one off Batman villains that might show up between Joker and Catwoman episodes.

Trey: Ouch! 

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