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Wild Wild West

Night of the Big Blast, #6604

Sinister Dr. Faustina (actress/writer/director Ida Lupino) and her servant Miklos create a clone, designed to look like West, out of a corpse and send it on a mission to kill members of the U.S. President's Cabinet, who will attend a New Orleans meeting during Mardi Gras. The duplicate West is rigged with a bomb that will detonate, killing the officials and destroying any sign of the robot.

On vacation, Gordon reunites with an old classmate, Lily Fortune, and sweeps her off her feet. Meanwhile, the pseudo-West carries out its assignment perfectly, claiming the lives of four key officials and blowing itself up in the process. When Gordon is notified, he knows that the real West was not responsible for the murders and is still alive -- somewhere.

Gordon and Lily set out to find West, but in the process, Gordon is captured and taken to Dr. Faustina's lab, where she ties him up and proceeds to make a clone of him too. The Dr. plans on sending the Gordon double to kill the President -- part of her elaborate plot to avenge the government's refusal to fund her experiments.

Night of the Big Blast marks one of the few episodes in which Ross Martin plays the romantic lead and hero. Writer Kolb remembers his unique approach to the Artemus Gordon character in this episode. "I tended to (put a lot of Gordon in it) because Ross Martin was so much better an actor than Bob. If you had something that required a lot of plot line, then Ross ended up with the lines because you knew people would be able to follow the story. Whereas Bob was not really into the plot; I doubt if he knew what the plot was, most of the time, because he was, essentially, a great stuntman. He could do quick reactions and nobody ever asked him, 'Why don't you try to carry the story?'"

An excellent fencer, Martin was the man behind the rapier during most of the masquerade ball scene. For the more complicated stunts, Dave Sharp, who also doubled for Martin in The Great Race, stood in.

Lily: Mala Powers
Dr. Faustina: Ida Lupino
Peters: Robert Miller Driscoll
Prudence: Patsy Kelly
Miklos: Michael McCloud
Carmen: Rita D'Amico
Attorney General: Melville Ruick
Directed by Ralph Senensky, Written by Ken Kolb

* The above information was compiled from The Wild Wild West: The Series by Susan E. Kesler (Arnett Press), "Michael Garrison's Wild Wild West," an article by Robert Alan Crick in Epi-Log Journal #11 and other sources.
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