tek's rating:

The Wild Wild West Revisited, on CBS
IMDb; Wikia; Wikipedia

This is a 1979 TV movie based on the 1960s series The Wild Wild West. Of course I didn't see it when it first aired, but I did see it probably sometime in the mid to late 80s (or maybe the early 90s), which must have been before I ever saw any reruns of the original series. Anyway, this movie and More Wild Wild West were released as a double feature DVD in 2017, which is when I'm writing this review.

In 1885, former U.S. Secret Service agents Jim West and Artemus Gordon are called out of retirement to deal with a new threat to the security of the entire world. The new head of the Secret Service is Robert T. Malone (Harry Morgan), who sends his nephew (by marriage), Hugo Kaufman, to deliver the message to West. (Hugo would rather be given West and Gordon's mission himself... or any mission, really... but Malone doesn't like him.) And then West is sent to get Gordon involved in the mission. It seems as if- possibly- President Cleveland (Wilford Brimley), Queen Victoria of England, Tsar Nicholas of Russia, and King Alphonso of Spain, have all been replaced by look-alikes. And the person suspected of staging this is Miguelito Loveless, Jr. (Paul Williams), the son of one of West and Gordon's greatest enemies, from the old series. When West and Gordon travel to the last town in which he was seen, they're soon captured, and learn of his plan. Mainly, he seems to have invented atomic bombs, which I'd say is pretty damned impressive. And he claims to have planted one in each of the cities from which he's kidnapped the various countries' rulers. (He's also created bionic limbs for a pair of "$600 people" named Alan and Sonia, which is a kind of cute allusion to "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman," though I'm fairly sure that even in 1885, $600 wouldn't have been anywhere near the 1979 equivalent of six million dollars.)

Anyway... after being given a demonstration of Loveless's bomb, West and Gordon are sent back to Washington, D.C., to deliver letters from the real leaders demanding surrender to Loveless. But the two agents are soon captured by a British intelligence agent named Penelope, who delivers them to her superior, Captain Sir David Edney (Rene Auberjonois), who is rather condescending toward the American agents. (The thing I always remembered most clearly about this movie was his response to Gordon's saying they'd won the war in 1776: "Britain was occupied elsewhere in 1776." And incidentally, the biggest reason I can't be sure when I first saw this movie is because I can't remember whether or not I was already familiar with Auberjonois from Deep Space Nine when I saw it. I feel like I probably was... but on the other hand, I also feel like I saw this before that show premiered. So, I dunno.) Anyway, West and Gordon soon escape from the British agents, and start heading back to the town where Loveless is. Along the way, they're briefly detained by Russian intelligence agents, led by a woman named Nadia. I feel kind of bad that she didn't end up having a larger role in the plot. But I kind of feel even worse that none of the Spanish folks were introduced at all in the story (though we did see some). And... West is eventually approached by Miguelito Jr.'s sister, Carmelita, who claims to be afraid of her brother, and wants to defect to Jim's side.

And... I guess I don't want to say any more. I mean, obviously the good guys win, in the end. And it was a fun and amusing movie, somewhat more farcical than the original series (though I never saw much of that). And of course the women were all quite easy on the eyes. And... I'm just really glad to have finally gotten the chance to see the movie again.

TV movies index