James West (Conrad) was a Union Army vet. He’s the kind of act first think about it later kind of guy. Artemus Gordon (Ross) was a typical con man. He could create the most convincing disguises and was also a master of sleight of hand. Together they worked for the Secret Service in the days of the western frontier. The two of them were the prototype of the future spy. They would use incredible inventions and Bond-like gadgets, along with their own skills at trickery, to investigate major Federal crimes, often plots against the
As complete series go, this one is a good candidate for the treatment. The problem lies in the set itself. On the surface it is a rather attractive set. The box looks like a leather case, and inside are two holster compartments that house the discs. Here is where the real problem is. The discs are merely stacked in these holsters and can’t help but become damaged. My set contained several damaged discs. In the unlikely event you can get a set of pristine discs, I highly recommend you remove them immediately and place them in a more protective environment. The set contains the exact discs from the individual season sets with the addition of one bonus disc. This disc contains the two reunion television films from 1979 and 1980 respectively. There is no indication that these films will be made available separately. I’m not sure they are worth the cost of rebuying the entire series, particularly when the packaging is so horribly deficient.
Each Wild Wild West episode is presented in its original television full frame format. We’re talking about a 40 year old television show, and your expectations should be adjusted accordingly. Overall the transfers are remarkably solid. While colors are a bit soft, the picture itself is rather clean. Print defects are minimal when you consider the age, but they are there. Black levels are about average on the whole.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track does what it needs to do, nothing less, nothing more. The sound does have some trouble. I did hear some warble in a few episodes. Everything is very mid heavy and is sometimes a little muted. You do hear the dialog fairly well, and that might be just about all we can justifiably expect from this mix.
Wild Wild West Revisited: This television reunion aired in 1979 and finds our two heroes brought out of their comfortable retirement to stop the son of their arch-nemesis, Loveless. Here Loveless, Jr. is played by Paul Williams. The boys have to stop him from using his latest invention: an atomic bomb.
More Wild Wild West: This 1980 final television film again brought the duo together for one last mission. Victor Buono stars as the marvelously mad Henry Messenger. Any relation to the famous former secretary of state is totally intentional. It’s typical Wild Wild West stuff. Another mad scientist. Another cache of ingenious weapons ahead of their time. Another plot to take over the world. All in a day’s work for our pioneer heroes.