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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  12:30:45  Show Profile
The Night the Dragon Screamed

Doe anyone have an idea as to the meaning of this episodes title?

In an another thread, I have dealt with the anachronisms in this episode.
Artie has a particular rough time in this episode. His life is constantly at risk in this episode first by a gattling gun in the teaser, then by a knife hanging over him and finally being steamed like a lobster. RM does a good job in portraying an Oriental. I think it is a nice twist that he is rescued by the villain. This episode abounds with villains. Wang Chung (Richard Loo) threatens Artie’s life and his rival Allenby-Smythe (Ben Wright) who wishes to rule through the puppet Princess Ching (Pilar Seurat). We cannot forget the loveable hatchet man (Paul Hing) that is perhaps the biggest threat to the agents. Jim is forced into helping the tong to save Artie. The task proves daunting because not everything is, as it seems. A nice decoy is used in protecting the Princess Ching.
When you think that James has rescued The Hatchet Man and himself, oops he is sent into the water. This episode sees the return of the billiard table. It will not return for long. This is a good episode and viewing it again, I have come to a new appreciation.

AdorableBlue
SS novice field agent

948 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  16:49:32  Show Profile  Visit AdorableBlue's Homepage
Oh, I like this eps very much! The scenes with Jim and Artie are great! The opening scene with Artie in danger and Jim is there to ensure his partner gets away in time - things didn't go as they planned, but Jim was quick to improvise and got them out of the situation.

The scene with the Princess in disguise and Artie as a chinese - that's really amazing! Truly, the skills of the behind-the-scene guys who came up with all this make-up/disguises. The lobster dialogue is one of those I love! And the way Artie asked Jim "who was that" (referring to the hatchet man) - he's envious Jim found a new friend without telling him? That pose of James West after being stunned by the good guy's drug........(RC does make good poses!) An eps with lots of action ....and long kisses!

Artie wondering what to do next when asked to ***** Jim - priceless expression! Relieved on his face when the princess intervened. Truly an eps for those who like WWW because of the relationship of Jim and Artie!

As for the Dragon Screamed title - I was wondering, too, but after watching many times, one of the gang is dragon-related, right? So, probably why the "dragon" appears.........though, why its screaming there, I dunno.






AdorableBlue
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Redhead1617
SS novice field agent

USA
1393 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  17:27:13  Show Profile  Visit Redhead1617's Homepage
The opening gang was the Order of the Crimson Dragon, but I don't know either why it screamed, maybe cause it didn't get what it wanted?

A truely wonderful first season episode. I loved the opening scene also, it might be my favorite scene of the episode when the gatling gun is unveiled and Jim dives at Artie to save his partner. And also as Blue said, where Artie was supposed to ***** Jim, the partnership and friendship between Jim & Artie in this episode really shines. When Artie speaks in Chinese (or whatever) is really impressive, and the writers did a really good job by making the old man only speaking Cantonese so the audience can understand what's being said at the time without having Artie tell Jim or just leave the audience in the dark or something. Artie as a Chinese is great! He does such a wonderful job with the costume, makeup, talking, and acting. Round of applause for RM, the costume department, and the script writers!

The first episode I am awarding the full

~Redhead 'Red'
Dean of Launguages & Literature

*sigh...where's MY Ross Martin?
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  17:57:09  Show Profile
I forgot to mention one scene that I thought was good. The fight scene where Jim has just lit the exposives is probably the best of the series
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Elaine
SS 1st assignment - desk job

356 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  18:44:40  Show Profile
I'm going to give this one a try. My Anabella has made me bold.

This episode is one of my favorites. It has a lot of atmosphere. I always think the episodes set in San Francisco, with Asian themes, are well done. The set decorators do a great job.

The suspenseful opening has us on the edge of our seats. Will Artie be discovered? Even Artie looks nervous, but them he speaks Chinese and has the tattoo on his arm. You can’t tell by the way the lady is eyeing him if she thinks he is suspicious or just rather attractive. However, she is all business in the end, requiring Jim to save the day. This gets the episode off to a good start.

It is an episode with a lot going for it: action, good dialogue, and many wonderful special touches.

Action: There are enough fights, potentially deadly traps and escapes to fill more than one episode! The ep is fast moving and never boring.

Good dialogue: There are good Artie/Jim scenes – on the train and again in the lobster pit. Artie has some good lines with himself (about not answering the door, etc.) I like the speech pattern written for the Chinese. It has a very nice rhythm and even including an “unworthy” here and an “uneducated” there, they all are written to sound very well spoken. (By the way, Red mentioned in her post how the old man explained to Artie that he didn’t understand him because he only spoke Cantonese and some English, so they switched to English and then we could all understand them. Well, that happened to me in real life. My son’s girlfriend is Chinese. Her family speaks Cantonese. Our families went to eat at a restaurant owned by a family that speaks Mandarin. My son’s girlfriend ended up ordering in English!)

Special touches: I liked many elements in this ep. The way the old man’s bodyguard crushes the pool balls, the way the birdcage (full of live birds) descends so that Wang Chung can feed the birds as he addresses Jim; the logical and well timed use of the poison darts; the elaborate contraption to skewer Artie.

I must mention what appears to be a very real rapport between RC and Pilar Seurat. I once read an interview where RC said that during all four years of the WWW and from all the women guest stars that passed through the set, there was only one (and she remained unnamed) who meant something more to him. I would put my money on Pilar. When she smiled at him and looked in his eyes, it was so genuine. He seemed very relaxed in his scenes with her as well. We spot them under the dragon in the parade because they are holding hands – a nice touch.

Finally, I have to mention that I liked the way this ep was filmed. Many shots are set up like paintings, with the characters positioned just so within the frame. This is especially obvious when Jim enters the Tong’s headquarters to get the princess. The man smoking the pipe frames Jim’s entrance. Then, the Tong members are arranged around the table as if they were sitting for a guild portrait. Jim stands in the center. Very nice.

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AdorableBlue
SS novice field agent

948 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  19:57:31  Show Profile  Visit AdorableBlue's Homepage
quote:
I must mention what appears to be a very real rapport between RC and Pilar Seurat. I once read an interview where RC said that during all four years of the WWW and from all the women guest stars that passed through the set, there was only one (and she remained unnamed) who meant something more to him. I would put my money on Pilar. When she smiled at him and looked in his eyes, it was so genuine. He seemed very relaxed in his scenes with her as well. We spot them under the dragon in the parade because they are holding hands – a nice touch.
Ever since reading that same interview, Elaine, each time I watched WWW eps, I was paying much attention to the female leads and RC trying to figure out which one it was! Yes, he does seemed comfy with Pilar. But all this while I was thinking that "unnamed" gal could have been Lana Wood (TNOT Firebrand and TNOT Plague).

AdorableBlue
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n/a
deleted

101 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  20:11:17  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by AdorableBlue

[quote]Ever since reading that same interview, Elaine, each time I watched WWW eps, I was paying much attention to the female leads and RC trying to figure out which one it was! Yes, he does seemed comfy with Pilar. But all this while I was thinking that "unnamed" gal could have been Lana Wood (TNOT Firebrand and TNOT Plague).

AdorableBlue



I have to chime in on this one... I have never read the article you guys are referring to; however, I have always thought that the scenes with Pilar were different. My money's on her.....



"Things Artemus, are not always what they appear to be."
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Redhead1617
SS novice field agent

USA
1393 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  20:16:15  Show Profile  Visit Redhead1617's Homepage
hey Mike, that's an article to find for your site (there's never an angel smily when you need one ) lol

~Redhead 'Red'
Dean of Launguages & Literature

*sigh...where's MY Ross Martin?
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Elaine
SS 1st assignment - desk job

356 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  20:53:05  Show Profile
Mike & friends: You can read the interview by going to the link found on the Main Page of this site, at the bottom - The Wildest Home Page in the West. Look for "Kris' Interview with RC"

And while I've got your attention,MM, where's the rest of that story?


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n/a
deleted

101 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2003 :  20:35:43  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Elaine

Mike & friends: You can read the interview by going to the link found on the Main Page of this site, at the bottom - The Wildest Home Page in the West. Look for "Kris' Interview with RC"

And while I've got your attention,MM, where's the rest of that story?






Thanks for the link advice, E, I will have to go read it. As to the story, that's a good question, and the answer is simply that I haven't written it. LOL. Just call me lazy, and you'd be right...

MM



"Things Artemus, are not always what they appear to be."
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Elaine
SS 1st assignment - desk job

356 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2003 :  21:29:18  Show Profile
quote:
Just call me lazy


I hate to call you lazy in public, but you leave me no choice!

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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2003 :  10:24:53  Show Profile
I'm not going to wade into murky waters swirling about Mike's indolence, or whether Piler Seurat was The One. I'm going to stay "on message," as they say in Washington. I will reply to Mary's opening question: (1) The Dragon screams when murdered by the Stalking Tiger, and (2) the first season episodes were typically fresh and exciting. Lights howl, druids bleed, bars are forged in hell, wizards shake the earth.

If, when we had started these weekly reviews, you had asked me if I'd give "The Dragon Screamed" a perfect score, my eyebrows would have headed north. In fact, however, I've watched this episode again and, honestly, cannot find a flaw in it. This is the first West that throws our heroes into encounter with a very different culture, and I think the series never did that better than right here. Lister's casting call for this one must have been an Asian character actors' dream: almost every one you're ever seen from movies and TV of the period have all been gathered here in a Buddhist temple picnic. Yet not one of them plays The Type: each offers us a very nice cameo with wry twists: Ms. Seurat as demure yet sofly hip princess; Richard Loo as a lascivious Confucius; Beulah Quo, one mean Dragon Lady; Benson Fong, the hatchet-man with an inferiority complex. Amidst all these wonderful turns, Ben Wright almost gets lost, but he underplays his villainy nicely, proving that you don't have to chew scenery to be a heavy on The Wild Wild West. Conrad is finally relaxing into his part; Martin is just wonderful. (All those hours in Schoenfeld's make-up chair paid off.) As others have noted, the scenes are well staged, thanks to Irving Moore, whose own direction in the series hadn't yet become clichéd. Elaine's comment about feeding the birds during the L - O - N - G scene at Wah Chung's (Act II) is a case in point: Probably no scene in any episode has so much backstory exposition (and international politics, to boot!)—so much that the producers were obviously nervous, putting into Conrad's mouth the line, "There's a point here somewhere." But Loo was a gifted actor; we're distracted by the birds (those in the cage and on either side of the wheelchair); and the scene ends with a nice surprise (Artie's personal deathtrap). In fact, there is so much plot in this script that one almost needs to see it at least twice to keep straight all its characters, on- and off-screen. But I'll not call that a flaw, especially since so many episodes down our road have so little plot to thread four acts together.

Last but not least: This is another first season episode with wonderful production values, all done on a shoestring. Voigtlander shoots all those night scenes with high-key lights, deep shadows, swirling fog. (This is one of many first-season episodes that would have been hurt by color photography.) Heschong and Molyneaux worked overtime on all the Oriental design and bric-a-brac. Harry Geller so creatively tailors his and Markowitz's music to this episode that it could be recycled for only very few other, later episodes. Grant Smith's editing is seamless. The life-saving gimmicks are clever but understated; the stunts range from delightful (West's escape from certain death—at the top of Act II, no less—anticipating the divot-and-slide gag that would become tiresome by Season Four) to delightfully absurd (Conrad thrashes twelve stunt men in twenty seconds of the final reel).

In all: "The Dragon Screamed" is a delightful change of pace, a ninety-minute Charlie Chan flick, compressed into fifty-two while thoroughly Westernized. This most unworthy reviewer humbly suggests that it be given, perhaps, .
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2003 :  11:36:46  Show Profile
quote:
If, when we had started these weekly reviews, you had asked me if I'd give "The Dragon Screamed" a perfect score, my eyebrows would have headed north. In fact, however, I've watched this episode again and, honestly, cannot find a flaw in it.


I agree with you ccb. I had thought when I started the review it would be way down but to my surprise I found what you found. One of the things that has come out of these reviews is a more careful watching of the episodes and with that a better appreciation.
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2003 :  13:02:15  Show Profile
from ccb:In fact, there is so much plot in this script that one almost needs to see it at least twice to keep straight all its characters....

How true! I thought I could crank out a review after one sitting but I can't do it justice. This particular story is a bit more complicated and sutble. I didn't appreciate it as much when I was a kid. Now it's a labor of love to screen it again.
See you in a few days with a review

Mr. Phelps
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2003 :  12:27:25  Show Profile
I apologize for such a late entry but my laptop was away for repairs and I had no access to the internet. However, I am back and currently working on the next episode.TNOT Grand Emir.



TNT Dragon Screamed

Thank God for black and white film (or monochrome as they say in the UK). I know it’s a cliché to say it about this episode but it really does have the look and feel of a 1940’s film noir and I happen to love film noir.

It begins ominously enough with a late night smuggling in of coolies and opium at the docks. As we look down the line of arriving coolies we see non other than… Artie! I believe this is the first time since the pilot that Artie is already in disguise in the teaser. The pleasant surprise doesn’t last long as the evil tong woman Mai Li, suspects something is up: there are a baker’s dozen coolies instead of the usual twelve. Tension builds as she goes down the line questioning each one harshly in Mandarin, presumably asking them their affiliation and to see their membership tattoo. It looks like Artie’s had it but what do you know: he also speaks Mandarin and has the tattoo. The tong mistress in a take no prisoners’ attitude orders the lot of the coolies executed since one of them must be a fake. Luckily, Jim’s been watching everything from a safe spot and is there with a smoke bomb and well aimed leap to get Artie out of danger. A great pre-credits sequence which sets the mood of the entire episode: literally as well as figuratively dark, mysterious, and foggy.

Act I has a great, lush, oriental theme play over the episode credits as the camera focuses on a close up of the dragon symbol from the tong the guys just narrowly escaped from. Scene I of Act I provides us with some of the necessary exposition, although it becomes clear that even our agents don’t knew exactly what’s going on. Act I fills us in on what Jim and Artie know at the moment: A tong is smuggling opium and coolies on to the west coast. The opium is obviously to raise money, but what are the men being used for? Artie will, naturally, go undercover, (this is the only scene with RM out of disguise) while Jim follows a clue from a fortune cookie to an opium den. I’m sure it has already been addressed here that fortune cookies weren’t around until the 20th Century, and many drugs such as opium, cocaine, and marijuana were perfectly legal in the 19th Century and the promoters of each substance (snake oil salesmen) claimed it could cure every ill. However, such minor anachronisms do not deter for a first rate episode.

Jim’s investigation at the opium parlor is short lived as an attempt is quickly made on his life by hatchet-man Mo-Ti (the wonderful Benson Fong). He’s not very effective, and he barely escapes from a death trap which almost gets Jim as well. Jim’s inescapable position at the end of Act I is one of my favorites, things look hopeless and the mood is captured perfectly on Jim’s face (what a frown!)on the storyboard.

We finally learn what this is all about in Act II, and it is a refreshing change of pace from what would become the standard “mad scientist/ex-army officer/industrialist tries to take over America and/or the world” scheme. Nobody’s trying to take over the USA but the perfectly evil Allenby-Smyth does want to take over a portion of China. In an episode that’s filled with so many familiar character actors the excellent Ben Wright almost slips under our radar. As Allenby-Smyth, Wright embodies all the negative stereotypes of European colonial expansion; he does not see an ancient culture of millions with traditions to be respected, only manpower and resources to be abused in order to gain power.

This episode is a treat for Artie fans as the character continues to evolve out of second-banana status. Both of his disguises, particularly “Captain Sumetra”, must have taken hours in the make-up chair, which probably explains why there is only one scene with RM as the undisguised Artie. However, RM delivers as always whether it’s humming a tune while touching up his make-up or some well delivered lines “One of these days I’ve got to stop answering that door.” or “I can un… I can’t understand it!” after he is thrown into the pit with Jim, he cracks me up every time. Speaking of the pit, the friendly banter between the guys is a good indication that RC and RM were beginning to grow into their respective roles and becoming more comfortable with each other.

Pilar Surat makes a wonderful heroine for this story, as a Chinese princess with Yankee sensibilities, she is compassionate, independent and comes across as a three dimensional character. I don’t know anything about behind the scenes gossip but regardless Surat has great chemistry with RC she definitely goes on the top ten list as far a Jim’s “girlfriends” are concerned. Her amusing suggestion to dine at an Italian restaurant in the tag rounds out her character nicely.
Commercial break art is again great. I already mentioned Jim for the Act I break, we have the main villain Allenby-Smyth for the end of Act II, a great one for Act III with Artie about to… strike and it end with a personal favorite: the placid Buddha while our heroes leave for a late dinner.

A great episode! Three and a half prosthetic noses out of four.




Mr. Phelps
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n/a
deleted

243 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2003 :  17:40:15  Show Profile
quote:
As we look down the line of arriving coolies we see non other than… Artie! I believe this is the first time since the pilot that Artie is already in disguise in the teaser. The pleasant surprise doesn’t last long as the evil tong woman Mai Li, suspects something is up: there are a baker’s dozen coolies instead of the usual twelve. Tension builds as she goes down the line questioning each one harshly in Mandarin, presumably asking them their affiliation and to see their membership tattoo. It looks like Artie’s had it but what do you know: he also speaks Mandarin and has the tattoo. The tong mistress in a take no prisoners’ attitude orders the lot of the coolies executed since one of them must be a fake. Luckily, Jim’s been watching everything from a safe spot and is there with a smoke bomb and well aimed leap to get Artie out of danger. A great pre-credits sequence which sets the mood of the entire episode



A great summary of a great pre-credits sequence! Applause for Mr. Phelps. As well as for couldron who had this great idea.
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