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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  11:29:34  Show Profile
AKA Russian Revenge

So now we end as someone else quoted from T. S. Elliot The Hollow Man Not with a bang but a whimper. I do enjoy this episode. It has a wonderful forties actress Foch pronounced like "Gosh". She recently played the mother of David McCallum on NCIS a show that is a minor passion of mine. The show seems padded. It is one of the few episodes that involves religion perhaps the only one that has a bishop in it.

quote:
“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.”

Until Herr Ostropolyer mentioned how little Artie is in the episode I hadn’t noticed but after this was brought to my attention it stands out like a sore thumb. But Herr I must disagree that this was a fourth season addition. In Burning Diamond, Artie comments that Jim and he work together separately. It was one of the things that I liked best about the series. Ccb even had a quiz on it "We Always Do Work Together. Separately."

http://www.wildwildwest.org/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=31&SearchTerms=WQ br /
One of the best scenes is when Artie scares Jim a nice touch.
This episode reuses Arrow’s fall into a hole and of course the whole episode is a Wolf make over. It is quite obvious that Robert Conrad injured himself in the stunt going out the window but he didn’t quit the camera was rolling and he continued with the scene.

Mary

Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  14:59:10  Show Profile
Hey couldron!,

Excellent review as always! Wow! I can't believe that this is really it! The last show to be produced, and it isn't a proper way for the show to have ended. TNOT Cossacks is the third episode in which our series deals with ruthless Russians, and like the other two installments this one is nothing to write home about either!

TNOT Cossacks is over padded with an endless trek across country, a pointless dance number, many fights, and the reuse of the scene from TNOT Arrow. It also has so many different plot themes in it and it still is pretty dull.

I feel the plot itself was pretty dry so the producers threw an overabundence of plot themes at us, but as we all know many plots and overpadding do not a good Wild Wild West make. TNOT Cossacks on paper may seem interesting, however the episode feels very drawn out!


The many plot themes:
There are many different plot themes that are going on here, but we have seen them all before, thus they don't really help improve the episode instead they make the proceedings fall flat.

- There is the quest to get the Prince to the sacred icon safely through a long trek across country, which we have already seen done far better in TNOT Running Death.

- The saving the ungrateful kidnapped Princess Lina plot, seen in TNOT Raven, TNOT Firebrand, and recently in TNOT Plague.

- The threat of an imposing family for the claim of the icon plot, seen already in TNOT Wolf.

- The traitor in the family plot, done far better in TNOT Dancing Death.

- And the threat to West's life by Captain Zaboff once the mission is over plot has already been done this season in TNOT Tycoons.

RC and RM are excellent with what they have to work with. However, I don't really buy John Van Dreelen as the mad Count Balkovitch. Plus, the rest of the royal family, who we are supposed to care for come off as arogant and most of them overact. (See Nina Foch when she is crying over her late husband, or Guy Stockwell when he is drinking after the kidnappong of Lina). The biggest upset is that Princess Lina's kidnapping doesn't emotionally effect us one bit because she is so rude to Maria when she spills her tea and/or mocks Maria's dance so why should we care.

Overpadding

Cossacks suffers from overpadding. The story is filled with so many different plot themes that it drags, but we also have overpadding due to pointless fights, like West fighting Gregor's misinformed troops, the long trek to New Petersburg were nothing happens, (West stops Gregor from shooting buffalo (YAWN!), the pointless peasant girl dance that is ruined by Princess Lina, the ambush of Balkovitch's men and they STILL get away, Balkovitch's pointless truce so that his forces can drug the prince's guards, the off screen kidnapping of the Princess (Why Bother!), and the reuse of West falling into a sulphur pit from TNOT Arrow.), all so that Jim and Artie can give Balkovitch a false Icon that shoots ink so that they can save the undeserving Princess. (Snooze!)

TNOT Cossacks is so dull, that the first time I watched it I feel asleep. The writing was certainly on the wall. The writers are trying to entertain us by throwing plots that we have already seen at us. Artie shows up to tell off a lousy sheriff, scare Jim, and give Balkovitch a false Icon. (It feels like watching an Artieless Episode!) The actors and audience deserved better!

TNOT Cossacks is my least favorite episode of WWW! It is overpadded and boring, and worst yet I really don't care for the Royal family and feel that Jim and Artie are waisting there time. If the agents are waisting their time, I'm waisting mine! The series has done better!

1 star out of a possible 5 because it STILL is our favorite show!

Herr Ostropolyer

"You must be Hungarian!" -Duchess Sophia to Jim West in TNOT Cossacks.
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  15:10:24  Show Profile
Don't hold back, Herr Ostropolyer! Tell us how you really feel! Only kidding! It kind of makes you wonder if a 5th season was really plausible, with so many re-hashed plot-lines. Were the writers dry for new ideas, or what? Unfortunately, I have no season 3 or 4 (very few, anyway) to review. I sure hope Sue Kesler has some influence in getting these seasons released!
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  16:47:18  Show Profile
couldron: Ccb even had a quiz on it "We Always Do Work Together. Separately."

I'll review the last episode presently, but for now—Jiminy Crickets! Mary found a WQ that goes all the way back to #31! I didn't know those were any longer recoverable on this board!

I herewith authorize couldron to recycle any of her favorite WQs when the quizes go on hiatus this summer. If it was good enough for the original series to broadcast repeats, that's good enough for me!

And I've been doing this for over five years? Incredible!
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  17:42:16  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by ccb

couldron: Ccb even had a quiz on it "We Always Do Work Together. Separately."

I'll review the last episode presently, but for now—Jiminy Crickets! Mary found a WQ that goes all the way back to #31! I didn't know those were any longer recoverable on this board!

I herewith authorize couldron to recycle any of her favorite WQs when the quizes go on hiatus this summer. If it was good enough for the original series to broadcast repeats, that's good enough for me!

And I've been doing this for over five years? Incredible!



I was going to ask you if I could do just that great minds think alike

Mary
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  19:31:37  Show Profile
Since Herr O. has now put more into this episode than the producers did in making it, I think there's little more that needs saying. I'll add only this much:

1. Of the three Russian episodes, I think this one falls in the middle of quality, behind "The Tartar" (the best of the lot) and ahead of "The Iron Fist" (52 minutes of aimless wandering in Scrub, California).

2. What makes all three of them sing—pun intended—is Jack Pleis's music. Why no one at the Film Music Society has seen fit to reissue these and other terrific West soundtracks is one of life's great mysteries.

3. If, as in "The Plague," they were determined to cheap out and recycle third season footage, why couldn't they have gone to the trouble to dress Conrad in a matching shirt? Notice also that they didn't even care to match the rope from the old footage with the pulley line of the new. If the producers no longer gave a rip, why should we?

4. Finally—and what bumps up my score slightly—is that Conrad and Martin still cared. Last episode: RM gets out of his hospital bed; RC sails out the window, hurts himself badly. Doesn't matter that they had a weak script, $10 production back-up, zero network support. Those two just kept on swinging, right down to the finish line. That, friends, is how you exit professionally, and with style.

1/2
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  19:48:02  Show Profile
Well said, ccb. Which brings us to the question: Why was CBS going the cheap route with one of their more successful shows? Was it just plain greed? Seems to have been a lot of wrong-headed thinking goin' on there.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  20:49:01  Show Profile
Wildfan: Why was CBS going the cheap route with one of their more successful shows? Was it just plain greed? Seems to have been a lot of wrong-headed thinking goin' on there.

Remember that West was never what you'd call a runaway hit. It cracked into the Nielsen Top 25 only in its first season. Nevertheless, it always outdrew the competition in its time-slot, no matter what NBC or ABC threw up against it (and I choose my words carefully). But West never had the cachet of, say, Mission: Impossible or the advocacy of CBS Chairman Bill Paley, who simply refused to let Gunsmoke die in 1967. When Illinois Sentaor Pastore demanded an end to violence on television, West—which no one at the network except Ethel Winant ever understood anyway—was the scapegoat offered up on Capitol Hill.

On the other hand, I've never heard anyone complaining of genius at the networks, or in show biz generally, then or now.
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SordoTheBandit
SS 1st assignment - desk job

469 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  12:48:06  Show Profile
quote:

ccb wrote:
It cracked into the Nielsen Top 25 only in its first season.


I remember RC stating on Larry King once that it still got a 35-40 share back then. My oh my how television has changed.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  18:50:01  Show Profile
Sordo: I remember RC stating on Larry King once that it still got a 35-40 share back then. My oh my how television has changed.

It will stun the youngsters on this board, but remember that in 1965–69 there were exactly and only three television networks. Of them, ABC was the weak one that hardly counted. Even PBS was a glimmer in the FCC's eye.

Now there are hundreds of channels. And I can't find anything I really want to watch.
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  18:58:23  Show Profile
That's the sad truth, ccb.
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kitana
SS novice field agent

1578 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  19:19:11  Show Profile
So true ccb, I have 64 channels just basic cable and most of the time the TV is not even on, except to watch WWW on RTN and a couple hours on Friday night..... If I watch it is usually the shows I grew up with that I have on DVD.... They sure don't make them like they used too.

Artie, "Come one step closer and I'll misspell your name!"
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YankeeGal
SS novice field agent

1009 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  20:03:46  Show Profile
I have basic cable, and hardly watch anything except Turner Classic Movies and some baseball games played by that team in the Bronx, NY.

By the way, have you ever tried to explain to a twelve year old that once upon a time you had to get up out of your seat, walk over to the television set and turn a little knob EVERY time you wanted to change the channel?

Rhoda to Norbert Plank:
"And what if West comes back"?
*West crashes through window*
Jim: "I AM BACK".

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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  20:32:48  Show Profile
Since we're on the subject, I do enjoy "Lost" and "Jericho". Both shows have continuing story lines, keep you guessing as to what's gonna happen next, very entertaining with good acting. Different.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  21:10:55  Show Profile
YankeeGal: By the way, have you ever tried to explain to a twelve year old that once upon a time you had to get up out of your seat, walk over to the television set and turn a little knob EVERY time you wanted to change the channel?

Oh, don't get me started or I'll bore you to tears. Do the terms "rabbit ears" and "Tenna-Rotor" mean anything to anyone else out there? If you remember the first, do you also remember squeezing tin–foil on their ends to improve the picture?

And the VHS dial clicked, while the UHF dial spun around? And you have no idea what I'm talking about?

I feel ancient. If you live long enough, you will, too.

A friend of mine enjoys using an 1950s desk telephone with a rotary dial. No long ago he told me how much it baffled his very smart kid, who kept pressing his finger inside the holes and nothing happened.
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Boxy
SS novice field agent

USA
548 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  21:36:06  Show Profile  Visit Boxy's Homepage
Even when my family did have cable, all I'd watch was Kim Possible and lots of Turner Classic Movies. Now all I watch is RTN...there's no point in bothering with the rest of it.

"Artie, who's that girl?"
"WHERE?"
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Bonsai
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
387 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  06:23:57  Show Profile
Ccb----I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. We had huge rabbit ears on top of our TV, which, by the way, was one of those console models that left a bright dot in the center of the screen after you turned it off.

VHF worked pretty well most of the time, but our UHF channel always had a fainter "ghost image" of everything about one inch to the right of the clearer image. My brother knew the exact spot to stand in the room that would disrupt the picture----and, of course, he always did that during MY programs.

I still remember the loud sound of the channel dial turning-----:chnck, chnck, chcnk:. If I turned it too fast my dad would complain I was going to strip it.

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

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  08:12:23  Show Profile
Ah, yes, the "Tenna-Rotor". Ingenious piece of technology that was. Basically a box that sat on top of your TV, with a lever on it that you could push left or right, which would control by a wire that led to it, the position of the antenna on top of your house.
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kitana
SS novice field agent

1578 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  08:26:44  Show Profile
ccb, yes I remeber those and my Dad told me the same thing Bonsai, It was amazing how well the tin foil worked on those rabbit ears... we had one of the big consoel TV's and when it finally went out we used it to hold the new smaller TV....
Oh and ccb don't forget you had to switch where the rabbit ears were connected to get to the UHF channels....
I can rember standing in s certian spot holding the Rabbit ears just to watch a sat morning cartoon...
And I have tried explaining that there were three channels and four if you were lucky to my necies and nephews, and try to explain and 8 track....

ccb.. I too feel old.. but its a good thing

Artie, "Come one step closer and I'll misspell your name!"
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SordoTheBandit
SS 1st assignment - desk job

469 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  08:35:25  Show Profile
quote:

Originally posted by ccb
Oh, don't get me started or I'll bore you to tears. Do the terms "rabbit ears" and "Tenna-Rotor" mean anything to anyone else out there? If you remember the first, do you also remember squeezing tin–foil on their ends to improve the picture?


They mean everything to me. I remember tin foil and also shortwave wire, believe me, I tried everything. That old RCA Victor tube set was always warm in the 60's, and before that it was a Packard Bell and an old Setchell Carlson from the 50's. Those were the days.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  09:59:47  Show Profile
O frabjous day—the geezers unite!

Bonsai: I still remember the loud sound of the channel dial turning-----:chnck, chnck, chcnk:. If I turned it too fast my dad would complain I was going to strip it.

I did strip it. Multiple times. So we'd remove the knob, turn the handle with pliers, then replace the knob. Simple.

. . . one of those console models that left a bright dot in the center of the screen after you turned it off.

Ah, yes. The little dot of light that said "Good–night" to you, before fading away. Memories.
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JTW
SS novice field agent

USA
557 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  16:14:48  Show Profile
Ah, yes.....I still remember watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan on my Grandparent's Dumont b & w tv!!! And when we got our first COLOR tv in 1967!!!
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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  18:43:33  Show Profile
quote:
Why was CBS going the cheap route with one of their more successful shows? Was it just plain greed? Seems to have been a lot of wrong-headed thinking goin' on there.


The same could be said for Paramount and their views on how to distribute the dvds and what should be on them.

So many topics in this one thread. I, too remember all the TV terms of old. The Test pattern in the morning before Captain Kangaroo, the Tenn-Rotor, the rabbit ears, 3 channels. It was a great time, to be sure. I'm like Kitana. My TV viewing of late is Andy Griffith, D. Van Dyke, Gunsmoke. True TVLand fare. Plus our show, to be sure. CBS's whole lineup, with the exception of a couple of comedies that rely on sexual humor, revolves around death and disaster. I remember finding that only on the news with Uncle Walter.

Here's a little story to ponder. When my brother and I were little, my parents bought us two goldfish. We called them Gumby and Pokey and kept them on the TV. Gumby was a little bigger. One day Pokey died. So, we got another fish, small like Pokey, and renamed them Batman and Robin. Batman was the bigger one. One day, we woke up to find that Robin had bought the farm and we started wondering if maybe the bigger fish was killing them off. So, we didn't replace the second fish. We just kept the one and called him Killer. Then one day, Killer also died. It took a couple of decades to figure out that we had been COOKING them on the TV. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "TV Dinners."
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  18:52:52  Show Profile
Ecstasy,I agree. No extras? It's not like they didn't make money on season 1.
What were you referring to, regarding the distribution?
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:00:18  Show Profile
HeHe, this is a pretty schiziod thread. Seems like every post is talking about something different!
But, I'm enjoying it!
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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:04:44  Show Profile
I'm enjoying it, too, Wildfan. Me, too!

I was referring to the way they seemed to hem and haw about even putting out Season 2. For a while there, it seemed doubtful. Truth be told, they were probably just yanking our chains, which I can't stand.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:12:47  Show Profile
Ecstasy: It gives a whole new meaning to the term "TV Dinners."

To say nothing of tipping the fish-bowl and shorting out the sold-state RCA circuitry with your indoor Niagra Falls.

Yes, this has evolved into one schizy thread, but hey: It's more interesting than "The Night of the Cossacks." I doubt Herr O. will fall asleep reading this.
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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:14:48  Show Profile
I never thought of that, ccb. It's a good thing we never hit the TV with our dart guns!
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:18:58  Show Profile
Yeah, it's not like they have to build up a demand for each season, the fan base is obviously already there. They should know by now that they're gonna sell. That said, I'd like to see season 3 released by Christmas! Is everybody with me on this?
Yes, we are!
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blacksheepbrat64
SS novice field agent

USA
1798 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:23:33  Show Profile  Visit blacksheepbrat64's Homepage
I just had to reply about explaining that old tv technology. My 15 year old just can't believe we only had 3 tv channels & the 4th was PBS. Did anybody have any of those big antennas on the roof And also if the president was on...that's all you watched!!

BSB64
"If you want to keep that peaches and cream complexion, you'd better tell us how to open that elevator!"
Jim to Triste in TN Dr. Loveless Died

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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:25:07  Show Profile
Yes, Wildfan, at the latest. Including extras AND Robert's wonderful voice.
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