Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wild Wild West
There are many television programs that have, accidentally or not, been very insightful about the true nature of quantum spacetime, and how it interacts with us today and our culture. Star Trek and Lost are notable examples. But for a Steampunk's particular fetish with the Victorian Age, there's no better program than The Wild Wild West. The show ran from 1965 to 1969 on CBS, starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin, then was made into a feature film in 1999 starring Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek, and the great Will Smith.
The show takes place in the years 1869-1877, with the adventures of two Secret Service agents who actually take more of a CIA-type active role, following secret missions given to them by President Ulysses S. Grant. The show is filled with deliberate anachronisms, postulating a reality where greater technology was secretly in use for espionage purposes during the "Wild West" days than history books would have us believe.
Besides the Steampunk angle, one of the best things about The Wild Wild West is its stellar casting. Over the years the show aired, it featured top-notch TV actors like Suzanne Pleshette, James Gregory, Victor Buono, Robert Loggia, Martin Landau, Burgess Meredith, Sigrid Valdis, Richard Kiel, Keenan Wynn, Rhys Williams, Boris Karloff, Ida Lupino, Carroll O'Connor, Ricardo Montalban, Agnes Moorehead, John Astin, Lana Wood, Khigh Dhiegh, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Duvall, Ted Knight, Ed Asner, Harvey Korman, Mickey Hargitay, etc.
Interestingly, the show also had an extremely high quotient of actors who had also done Star Trek.