|This is the only season filmed in black and white.|
For the first few episodes of the season Jim and Artie were served by a butler named Tennyson.
The first several episodes were produced by Collier Young and built around more traditional western plots. When Fred Freiberger came on as executive producer, he remodeled the show around a then very new sensation: James Bond. Under Fred's direction, writers added stranger villains, stranger plots, more women and more gadgets. Freiberger's defining moment was working with writer John Kneubuhl to create Dr. Miguelito Loveless for the second episode Fred produced, "The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth." Loveless proved wildly popular and would serve as the first and greatest of a number of mad scientists with super-science gadgets of their own who would oppose West and Gordon.
Part of the variation in quality can be attributed to CBS' decision to dismiss series creator Michael Garrison's as executive producer (for political reasons) and then rehire him for the last third of the season. John Mantley succeeded Freiberger as producer and did a competent job, but was replaced by Gene L. Coon of Star Trek fame who ended the season by introducing more humor between Jim and Artie and making them more equal partners, which would continue into the second season.
Despite a rough start owing to producers playing musical chairs and Garrison's dismissal and return, by the last half of the first season the show had firmly established the format that would see it through the next three seasons: Jim and Artie as equal partners who shared jokes, colorful scientific villains, and bigger and wilder gadgets.