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The Wild Wild West: The Night of Sudden Death

Strange black clad figures form human ladders to climb walls and enter the United States mint at Carson City. They plant a bomb and then leave - without stealing any of the money! Jim West and Artemus Gordon must figure out why they broke in, and hope that answer leads to the person responsible before economic disaster befalls the United States!

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x4
Production Number: 3224-0117
Airdate: Friday October 08th, 1965

Guest Stars
Robert LoggiaRobert Loggia
As Trevor
Antoinette BowerAntoinette Bower
As Janet Coburn

Co-Guest Stars
Julie PayneJulie Payne
As Corinne
Joel FluellenJoel Fluellen
As Chief Vonoma
Elisa IngramElisa Ingram
As Cosette
Main Cast
Robert ConradRobert Conrad
As James T. West
Ross Martin (1)Ross Martin (1)
As Artemus Gordon


Nighttime finds four shadowy figures prowling down a street. They pass a doorway marked “US Mint – Carson City” and stop in front of a street lamp. One climbs atop the other and snuffs the flame inside, then connects a hose to the hissing gas. At the nearby wall another of the men has climbed to the shoulders of the fourth. The second man climbs both of them, and the first man carries the gas line as he climbs all three members of the human ladder. With this help he reaches a tall ledge of the building and works his way slowly but confidently along it and around to a barred window set high in the wall...

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Episode Notes
Corner Slides:

Lower Right: “If you find Corinne… you will find… death!”
Upper Left: Jim West about to become a crocodile's meal!
Lower Left: Tied to totem and squeezed by skins in the sun.
Upper Right: Shall we dine, ladies?

Prussic Acid
Prussic acid is better known by a more modern name: hydrocyanic acid. It is extremely poisonous and as one of the toxic cyanides has been a staple of poisoners and detective story writers for decades. It kills cells wholesale by permanently deactivating the enzyme necessary of oxygen metabolism. Somewhat less than half of the population can smell its characteristic bitter almond odor; Jim West was lucky to be numbered among them!

Episode Quotes
(someone has just tried to murder James West by crushing his chest)
Artemus: You don’t look your happy self…
James: I’m not. I just came from the doctor’s. No broken ribs but they sure are sore.
Artemus: Oh, now, if that rib crusher had been a female you wouldn’t have minded the least little bit, now, would you?

Janet: Lions are really very gentle, given proper love and care.
James: But like people… don’t turn your back on them.

Janet: You shouldn’t go wandering around by yourself, Mr. West, in a restricted area!
(James hears machine sounds)
James: It’s that sound I keep hearing
Janet: Oh… there are so many mating calls in the jungle. One cannot keep up with all of them.
James: That mating call sounds a little rusty…

James: All I need now is a tight rope. Or am I walking one already?
Janet: You don’t think very positively, Mr. West, do you?

(Artemus is caged with the beautiful Janet Coburn)
James: Relax, Artemus. I’ll get you out!
Artemus: Get me out! Who said anything about wanting to get out!?!

(After James leaves, Artemus snags a hairpin from Janet Coburn and picks the cage lock.)
Janet: Why didn’t you think of this two hours ago?
Artemus: I did!

Episode Goofs
The Carson City Mint
A branch of the United States Mint did operate in Carson City between about 1870 and 1893. Built during the silver boom, it never produced paper currency, only silver coins.

A delayed blast?
There is a clear delay between when one of Artemus' thrown bombs lands and the special effects crew sets off the smoke charge. The other one goes off on time.

Warren Trevor
Warren Trevor claims to appreciate animals so much that he wishes to build a preserve in Africa where they may live unmolested. Yet he rather casually kills a tiger that might interfere with his own aim of hunting James West. One can only wonder at his definition of "unmolested."

Other Episode Crew

CreatorMichael Garrison
ProducerFred Freiberger
Associate ProducerRichard Landau
CastingJames Lister (2)
Unit Production ManagerCy Brooskin
MusicRichard Markowitz
Set DecoratorRaymond Molyneaux
Property MasterArthur Friedrich
Director of PhotographyTed Voigtlander
Art DirectorAlbert Heschong
Film EditorRobert B. Warwick, Jr.
Assistant DirectorDick Gallegly
Assistant To The ProducerDon Leonard
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