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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  12:48:54  Show Profile
This episode has turned out to be a wealth of information. The title is the Diva AKA the Return of Artemus Gordon. Ross Martin is a delight handling a Diva and what a resourceful, funny and entertaining way that he finds to handle her. So who is the diva, what is a diva?
quote:
A diva is a female opera singer, but now the term also refers to a popular female performer of non-operatic works. The term was originally used to describe a woman of rare, outstanding talent. The term derives from an ancient Italian word meaning "goddess", which, in turn derives from the feminine form of a Latin word divus, meaning "divine one."The term sometimes is misused to imply a negative connotation, implying that a pop star who labels herself a "diva" is arrogant, difficult to work with, high-maintenance, or demanding.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diva
It is funny, I always think of Rosa Montebello as being the Diva of title, She especially fits the negative connotation. Watching it again it last night I realize just how much more Caroline Mason fits the title.
The plot is a twist on The Phantom of the Opera. I was surprised to learn that the Opera Lucia is real and they accurately speak of it. At least, as far as I know. Opera is something I like listening to but know little about. I have never seen an opera but after this show I would love to see Lucia di Lammermoor performed.
http://www.wbopera.org/0405/Lucia/story/index.html
We have Robert Conrad singing Buffalo Gal that leads into a fight with a cute ending.
quote:
This song was published in 1844 with the title Lubly Fan. It was written by one of the first black-faced minstrels, Cool White (John Hodges). Allen and John Lomax believe it was a traditional tune, known before Cool White published the music.

http://www.contemplator.com/america/buffgals.html
Did you notice that the swing he makes at the singer misses by the proverbial mile? Does Jim speak Italian? He does translate the Italian on the ring.
I noticed a lot of familiar sets. The Barkley staircase, the square from the Tottering Tontine and I believe that I saw the set from Burning Diamond that Jim and Artie accessed the second story room not to sure if it is the same though. The corridors are the same as Winged Terror, among other, including the tunnel that West crawls through. The sets are familiar friends by now. Unfortunately, this will be the last time for that staircase. Usually they dress it up a bit but it looks like they just took it as it was including that grandfather clock.
Would someone explain to me why Jim crashed through the wall? It was unexpected but silly.
Ellen at the end says that a quote if from Oliver Goldsmith Good Nature Man Vol 1 1755 but it was written in 1868.
Oliver Goldsmith (November 10, 1730 or 1728 – April 4, 1774) was an Irish writer and physician known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770) (written in memory of his brother), and his plays The Good-natur'd Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1771, first performed in 1773). (He is also thought to have written the classic children's tale, The History of Little Goody Two Shoes, giving the world that familiar phrase.)
Jim answer with a quote from From John Keats' epic poem, Endymion, 1818:
quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Goldsmith



As I said, this was a very informative episode.
Artie was back and all was right with the world what more could we have wanted from this episode?



Mary

MaudeB
SS novice field agent

582 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  14:14:43  Show Profile

I have always enjoyed this episode, particularly because of, but not limited to, the return of Artemus Gordon. (I've worked way too long in a legal office.)

I had been to operas before but jumped at the chance to see Lucia di Lammermoor (sp?)because of this episode of www. It was fantastic - some melodramatic parts but it is a little older than Saving Private Ryan. But some arias just make you tingle all over like fresh pecan pie and coffee. Good choice for Carolyn Mason, who also went nuts.

In TNOT Diva, Jim and Artie was suberb, back together as they should be. If only they had found a different barber.

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MaudeB
SS novice field agent

582 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  14:20:49  Show Profile
Now I'm starting to reply to my own replies, but I was shocked to see that I had written "Jim and Artie was suberb" - YIKES!!

In this Notice of Errata (more legal jargon)it should, of course, read "Jim and Artie were superb, fabulous, sexy, handsome, witty, clever,hunky, daring, brilliant and adorable".

Sorry!
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  15:32:10  Show Profile
Heralded with welcome new footage of the beloved INYO (AKA "The Wanderer"), "The Return of Artemus Gordon" in this episode's teaser is a happy affair. I like the way director Herb Wallerstein (Rowe's brother, alernating AD in the second half of Season One) conceals Ross Martin until after Rosa Montabello's tirade and exit. If you watch the shows in their original broadcast sequence, however, the surprise is spoiled by the fact that "The Pistoleros," with Artie very much present, had been shown the week before, having been produced early in the season but held back for broadcast when its subject matter (Gordon's apparent death) could be tastefully presented.

This is an unusually good fourth season episode, in several ways.
  • Its literate premise. Not only is the show a haircut on The Phantom decades before Andrew Lloyd Webber laid hands on it; its premise also revolves around real opera (Donizetti), which probaby some idiots at CBS would have thought too high–falutin' for Mr. and Mrs. Middle America.
  • The supporting cast—Beverly Todd, Patrick Horgan, Patricia Dunne, Martin Kosleck—are very good.
  • There are four well-choreographed fights, one for each act: this in a season where they had sharply curtailed the "violence." Maybe by this time the producers knew the series would be canceled anyway, so they just let 'er rip.
  • Even if Ken Pettus's script is a bit predictable, Alf Harris's story is a good one. I always thought it a nice, subtle touch that Max's "brother" assumed the name "Karl," which is a masculine equivalent for "Caroline." The more you think about it, the racier the subject–matter becomes: the mad diva stays married to her husband, while cross-dressing. Maybe the censors weren't thinking, or were convinced by the producers that Mr. and Mrs. M. A. wouldn't think about that after the last-act unmasking.
  • By their interaction with Miss Collingwood, West and Artemus return to form and remind us that they know how to treat a lady. As attractive as she is, befitting one of Colonel Exposition's assistants, you'll notice that, while the agents are obviously atrracted to her, neither makes an ungentlemanly pass. That's what bothered me about West's needlessly sexist remarks to Kyra and Amelia in "The Tycoons": not that they reflected the mores of the 1870s or 1960s, but that they were so much out of character as the character had been established.

This isn't a perfect episode. While Patrice Munsel was a genuine opera star, her acting doesn't seem to me equal to her voice. Unfortunately, we don't get to hear enough of the latter, which is lovely. The usual, fourth–season carelessness bedevils "The Diva": thus, Ross Martin can't decide whether his assistant's name is Miss "Collingwood" or "Collingswood" or "Collingsworth." (They chose not to reshoot; in another season they would have.) Too much use is made of Robert Prince's awful music from "The Doomsday Formula"; Martin Klein should have recycled more from that other Robert, Drasnin. And perhaps as a minority of one, I think West's trail costume should be kept in the closet when he isn't on the trail.

While it doesn't recapture for me the magic of shows from the series' first two seasons, I enjoy "The Diva" and think it one of the highlights of Season Four. Surely it's the best of the few remaining episodes that saw Ross Martin's return after his heart attack. We can all be grateful that the series ended with West and Artemus reunited. Ross Martin never looked better, even if some may have wished he'd returned to his other barber (and Conrad's on AWOL could have been located). The early scene of the agents' reunion seems to radiate the actors' affection for each other. It may be their best interplay on the train since "The Night of the Two–Legged Buffalo," way back in 1966.

1/2
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
959 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  16:05:57  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage
This episode is one of the better fourth season ones for our series; at least the premise harkens back to the original concept of the show, rather than another tiresome western story that seemed to permeate this last season. The twist on the "Phantom" story is enjoyable and fitting our WWW view of the world and its baddies.

As ccb has mentioned, we see a new (for the series) film clip of the Wanderer pulling into the station, courtesy of stock footage from the Kirk Douglas western "Last Train From Gun Hill". Also noticed that when West enters the car and encounters Artemus, the latter is seated in a high-backed (for a dramatic reveal) wing chair that was not a regular part of the varnish car decor. Occasionally different pieces of furniture would appear on the private car set- such as in both Count Manzeppi episodes TNOT Eccentrics and Feathered Fury, where the set decorator substituted the originalgreen velvet sofa from the first season varnish car set in place of the twin gold setees.


"Let's get this train on the road!"-Artemus Gordon
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  18:51:23  Show Profile
In matters locomotive orrin, as usual, is correct about the varnish set interior. In his downtime—if he has any—maybe we can persuade him to inventory all the furniture and accessories of the varnish, including such items as appear and disappear.

I assume that the reason they used a high–backed chair in "The Diva"'s teaser was precisely to conceal its user's identity until the camera pulled back to reveal. You'll notice that the chair is gone for the rest of the show, a number of whose scenes take place in the varnish. The wingback also looks to me like one of the set decorations from Professor Montague's living room in "The Night of the Janus."
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
959 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  19:37:27  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by ccb

In matters locomotive orrin, as usual, is correct about the varnish set interior. In his downtime—if he has any—maybe we can persuade him to inventory all the furniture and accessories of the varnish, including such items as appear and disappear.

I assume that the reason they used a high–backed chair in "The Diva"'s teaser was precisely to conceal its user's identity until the camera pulled back to reveal. You'll notice that the chair is gone for the rest of the show, a number of whose scenes take place in the varnish. The wingback also looks to me like one of the set decorations from Professor Montague's living room in "The Night of the Janus."



I guess I'll have to take you up on that sometime, ccb. While we are on the subject of furniture, notice that many of the furniture and set dressings from the varnish car migrate over to other sets to help with the decor. The first season varnish car sofa and side chairs dressed up two ship cabins, TNT Wizard Shook The Earth and the TNOT Watery Death. And the red shaded student lamp from the desk has popped up on many a table and desk through the run of the series. With tight shooting schedules and budget you sometimes rob Reter to pay Paul.

"Let's get this train on the road!"-Artemus Gordon
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Boxy
SS novice field agent

USA
548 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  22:03:32  Show Profile  Visit Boxy's Homepage
I've noticed that as well. So many things migrate sets it's hilarious. The beginning of TNOT Eccentrics was a walk through WWW's store room: the toy clown from TNOT Whirring Death, the cage from TNOT Wizard Shook the Earth (IIRC), and the tiki statue from TNOT Two Legged Buffalo.

"Artie, who's that girl?"
"WHERE?"
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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2007 :  17:59:23  Show Profile
Of course, the best part about this episode is the return of Artemus Gordon (like no one else has said this before!) I love the beginning, wondering, though we don't really have to, just who Rosa Montebello is skewering. When this show originally aired, was it known that Ross would be appearing? Finding Artemus thoroughly engrossed in a book, enjoying a drink and oblivious to the ranting and raving, is pure genius. Add to that the ingenious, and oh-so-Artemus way of dealing with her, and his duty, and you've got a winner. Other highlights for me, Jim singing, the wonderful fights, the spooky storyline, complete with mystery character, and the echo of the chamber in which the kidnapped divas are being held. I'm not a fan of opera, myself. I am a lover of words and languages. I have studied six languages and it is an automatic response for me to start translating. Unfortunately, I also get caught up with cognates and philological questions, and before you know it, I'm way behind in translation and completely exhausted and frustrated. I won't put myself through that for money, so it's a cinch I won't be doing it for free. Final note: Caroline Mason was very lucky to have died cradled in Jim's arms. What a way to go.....!
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Bonsai
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
387 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2007 :  18:26:27  Show Profile
I know how you feel Ecstasy----I've studied German, French, and Spanish and I always find myself translating or trying to read signs in the background, etc. Usually I enjoy it, but I have to admit I nearly groaned aloud when they called the villian in TNOT Bottomless Pit "Monsieur Mauvais." For those who don't know French, "mauvais" means "bad" or "evil." Otherwise, it was a good episode!

"Mr. West, you couldn't think that of me! Why you're positively ghoulish!"--Dr. Miguelito Loveless
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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2007 :  18:33:53  Show Profile
Yeah, that bothered me, too, like he was supposed to be some allegorical character. It made me want to soil him with my grubby, little hands!
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2007 :  18:52:30  Show Profile
E. La Joie: I have studied six languages and it is an automatic response for me to start translating.

Ill-a-fif you-la-fou ca-la-fan re-la-fead thi-li-fis, you-la-fou know-la-fo tur-la-furkey lal-a-fatin!
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SordoTheBandit
SS 1st assignment - desk job

469 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2007 :  21:18:45  Show Profile
Good episode, good music, good singing, good fun. Too bad the footprints were left on the chair. Welcome back Arte'.

4 STARS
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2007 :  08:11:44  Show Profile
Hey all,

Great reviews as always! Of course I would have to be late for a review of TNOT Diva aka The Return of Artemus Gordon. What can I say that hasn't already been so eloquently said by the members of this forum? TNOT Diva is a very good 4th season episode and the last great outting for our Duo in their last remaining episodes.

I know! I'll tell you my own experiences about this episode. When I taped TNOT Diva way back in 1999 my cable compnay was having a problem during the teaser sequence, so sadly I never saw the reunion of our heroes. My episode starts with the laughing phantom. From what I've heard, I can only imagine the great surprise there was once it was revealed that the mysterious figure sitting in the chair was Artie. (Hopefully CBS paramount will release seasons 3 and 4 so I can see it!)

RM looks excellent, except for his awful new hairdo, but Jim suffered the same fate due to the fact that they probably ditched the hairstylests to save on the ever dwindling budget. I'm very happy that RM had alot to do in this episode because in his last outtings he really doesn't do alot. TNOT Plauge revolves around Jim, and Artie doesn't show up until about the 3rd act of TNOT Cossacks.

I get a little weary though because Jim and Artie go their seperate ways instantly. Jim watches Rosa Montebello while Artie keeps a date. (Probably not to give RM such a strenuous work load) Jim is already in the Phantom's cluthes when Artie and Collingwood are captured. I know now by season 4 the agents would solve a case by following two seperate leads, but I wish for this very special episode they kept the agents together as much as possible. It would be like the good old days where Jim did all the fighting while Artie stayed by the sidelines protecting the damsel or holding off the villianous one.

I too agree that TNOT Diva does not harken back to the days of the 2nd season, but it is a very decent story that allows for RM's recovery. (Sneaking about the Mansion, and being gassed while sitting in a stage coach.)

The acting is superb by everyone involved, RC and RM are up to par, the fights are excellent, and I even like it when RC sings! It is an excellent interpretaion of the Phantom of the Opera, our show is no stranger for interpretations because TNOT Big Blast is certainly an adaptaion of Frankenstein, however I think some critics (no one on this board) are a little too quick to judge this as the best adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera since the silent film. It is decent yes, but there is no way that WWW would have the budget to give us the necessary grottos and devilish traps that the Phantom story demands.

Also, I cannot forget the fiendishly clever way in which Artie wins Rosa's heart by being evan more snobby than she is! Boy, is she in for a surprise if she ever find's out the true identity of count De Raja!

Alas, for the last great outting for our heroes before the disappointing Plaugue, Cossacks, and TV reunion movies TNOT Diva earns 4 out of a possible 5 stars!

Herr Ostropolyer

"Yes, this would make a very nice summer cottage."- Artie as the very snobby Count De Raja talking about the Crenshaw Mansion in TNOT Diva.
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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2007 :  10:08:00  Show Profile
To ccb: I've never heard of Turkey Latin! Thanks! It's good to keep the ol' brain box free of cobwebs. Veni, vidi, vici!
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6500 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2007 :  18:34:00  Show Profile
I just pulled out my Columbia House VHS tape to watch Diva and did like most of it very much. Couple of dull scenes but the fights were terrific, Ross Martin made a great comeback, and the story itself was very entertaining.

stars for me on this one.

Now there are a couple of lame ones coming up followed by the 2 reunion movies. I was just thinking about what kind of reviews can there be after that? Gonna start over with new reviews for Night of the Inferno and the rest? I like reading these so I want it to continue just like the reruns!
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Cindylover1969
SS novice field agent

United Kingdom
1267 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2007 :  19:49:37  Show Profile  Visit Cindylover1969's Homepage
I do wonder though just why Rosa hated Artie so much...

"Make them both as uncomfortable as possible." - Marquis de la Mer, "The Night of the Watery Death"
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