This episode is a must-own for The Wild, Wild West fans as well as TV buffs who collect pilot shows. Robert Conrad stars as West, James West, a frontier 007, and according to President Grant (James Gregory), "the finest underground intelligence officer we have." Posing as "the dandiest dude that ever crossed the Mississippi," he embarks on his first assignment: to find Juan Manolo, a madman bent on starting a revolution ("The whole world will know my name!"). Suzanne Pleshette also stars as Lydia, an old flame who still burns hot. "I waited on that hard bed alone for eight hours until the police came," she provocatively scolds West upon their reunion. The late, great Victor Buono (King Tut on Batman) also appears as the inscrutable Wing Fat ("Would you care for a pipe?" he offers. "It is filled with joy"). Ross Martin costars as master of disguise Artemus Gordon, who also provides West with his gadgets, such as a pool cue that doubles as a gun barrel, a breakaway Derringer West that can hide in his boot heels, and a belt buckle that dispenses bullets. This episode was directed by Richard Sarafian, whose estimable credits include Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, I Spy, and Batman. This program is also available in a three-volume boxed set. --Donald Liebenson
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