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The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Sabatini Death

Dying crime lord Johnny Sabatini wants Jim to help his ward, the blind Sylvia, in exchange for him giving the agent information on another criminal, Boorman. Sylvia knows nothing about Sabatini's true background but has vague memories of the town of Calliope, MO. Jim and his new partner, chemist Ned Brown, investigate the matter and find that a $500,000 Army payroll was stolen and hid in Calliope, and someone knows more than they're telling.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x17
Production Number: 3224-0617
Airdate: Friday February 07th, 1969

Special Guest Stars
Alan Hale, Jr.Alan Hale, Jr.
As Ned Brown (as Alan Hale)
Jim BackusJim Backus
As Swanson (Fabian Swanson)

Guest Stars
Douglas HendersonDouglas Henderson
As Colonel James Richmond
Jill TownsendJill Townsend
As Sylvia (Sylvia Nolan)
Bethel LeslieBethel Leslie
As Melanie (Melanie Nolan / Laura Semples)

Co-Guest Stars
Don Don 'Red' Barry
As Farnsworth (Harry Boorman)
Ted de CorsiaTed de Corsia
As Sabatini (Johnny Sabatini)
Ben WrightBen Wright
As Clarence
Red WestRed West
As Heavy #1 (Joe)
Dick CangeyDick Cangey
As Heavy #2 (Carson)
Eddie QuillanEddie Quillan
As Snidley
Thomas A. GeasThomas A. Geas
As Sheriff Chayne (as Tom Geas)
Main Cast
Robert ConradRobert Conrad
As James T. West


Jim goes to the Star Warehouse in St. Louis at the request of scarred gangster Johnny Sabatini. The wheelchair-bound mob boss wants a private talk with Jim and orders his men away. Sabatini then tells Jim that he needs his help because he's dying. He offers him another mobster, Harry Boorman. But first Sabatini explains that he wants Jim to protect a woman. Jim is to find a man named Swanson in Calliope, MO, and give him a key. When Jim wonders why Sabatini chose him, Sabatini explains that the agent is the only one he can trust, even among his own organization. Boorman will try to stop Jim so Jim can capture him. The woman knows Sabatini as "Mr. Caroline" and Sabatini doesn't want Jim to tell her differently. Before he can explain more, Sabatini has a seizure and mutters "the Madonna statue" with his dying breath. Jim takes the key, the card with the woman's address, and Sabatini's cigar, and leaves...

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Episode Notes
After Ross Martin's heart attack and several appearances by Charles Aidman as Jeremy Pike, this is the first of several episodes in production order where they tried several one-shot "substitute" partners for Jim.

Corner slides:
Upper Right: Sylvia announces she is going to Calliopoe.
Upper Left: Jim sees the cameo of Sylvia and Melanie.
Lower Left: Melanie reveals her true face.
Lower Right: Ned departs for a desert island.

Episode Quotes
Sabatini: You scratch my back and I'll scratch your back.
James: My back isn't itching, Sabatini.
Sabatini: I think maybe you could develop an itch.

James: Back to Washington, huh, Ned?
Ned Brown: Nope. I'm off on a well-deserved vacation.
James: London, Paris, or Rome?
Ned Brown: I'm going to make a big dream come true. And you know what my big dream is? I'm going to spend a vacation all aloneā€¦ on a desert island.

Cultural References
At the end, Ned Brown talks about going on a vacation to a desert island. Ned is played by Alan Hale Jr., who played the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. As he leaves, they play a little of the Gilligan's Island theme in the background. Several Wild Wild West episodes were filmed on the same "concrete lagoon" set that Gilligan's Island used.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorMichael Garrison
ProducerBruce Lansbury
Associate ProducerLeonard Katzman
CastingAl Onorato
Unit Production ManagerSam Manners
Music SupervisorMartin L. Klein  |  Morton Stevens
Make-upKen Chase
Set DecoratorRaymond Molyneaux
Director of PhotographyEdward R. Plante
Art DirectorWilliam Craig Smith
Assistant ProducerJoe Kirby
Film EditorByron Chudnow
Assistant DirectorGordon A. Webb
Story ConsultantHenry Sharp
CostumesVou Lee Giokaris  |  Jack Muhs
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