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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2004 :  16:21:38  Show Profile
The Night of the Raven


This is the first episode of Dr. Miguelito Loveless in color. We saw him last sinking in a boat. He tells Jim and Artie that he just changed a rule to fit himself what goes down must come up. The Dr. is in as Jim says a cat and mouse game although I don’t think he realizes that he is going to be a mouse to a real cat. I very much like the banter in this episode and the bonding of friendship is most evident. We no longer have Artie as an underling to Jim but as a partners who care about each other.
We do not have the typical woman for the series. I believe it is the first time but not the last that we have a woman (Phyllis Newman) who is not the least interested in the boys because she is engaged. The boys admire her spirit. It is ironic to me that she has done make-up because I found her make-up in this episode horrible. What white woman much less an Indian would have that much eye make-up and that dress( Mary shakes her head). Despite that I think Phyllis gives a good performance.
The episode always has disappointed me in the run down the wall. I never felt that Jim was in trouble from the spider or the mouse trap. No he never was really behind that eight ball.

There are some goofs in this episode. After Jim gives his promise not to escape, Artie is released from his chains but later Artie is in chains again as he sleeps and Jim and Wanakee talk.

When Jim burns his chains not only does he not burn his pants but he pulls the chains that he has just put a torch to without burning his hands.

TV Tome asks If you're a mad genius, bent on conquering the world by shrinking everyone, why make an antidote? And why make it accessible to Artemus Gordon? I thought about this and they don’t take into consideration Loveless enormous ego. Also he is a scientists with a huge curiosity. Wouldn’t it have been dumb of him not to have an antidote if he had accidentally got it on him or Antoinette? Of course, he had a back up plan to escape using his formula so it would have been really stupid not to have an antidote.

I think it has been mentioned before that Jim and Princess Wanakee both regain their normal size along with their cloths.
The remark of Loveless about making Jim a ten pin made me curious about bowling. It was in the 1870's that bowling became a ten pin game in order to get around the law that banned nine pin bowling.

I do enjoy this episode
out of five I give this a three

Desert Roger
SS novice field agent

4358 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2004 :  06:54:57  Show Profile  Visit Desert Roger's Homepage
Good morning, couldron, and the other Wild Westers.

This episode has a couple of funny lines and scenes. I like when Jim is shrunk and they are all eating dinner and Jim says something to Artie about not taking a cigar from Loveless if he offers one.

Yes, the amazing un-shrinking clothes is pretty funny. Jim should of ripped those tiny clothes up as he got back up to normal size and fought the badguys in the nude. Whoa!
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Desert Roger
SS novice field agent

4358 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2004 :  10:47:44  Show Profile  Visit Desert Roger's Homepage
And oh, yeah...

it is funny when Jim lifts that butter and offers some. That thing would weigh so much to dimunitive Jim, but he lifted it up so easily.
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K Mills
SS novice field agent

849 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2004 :  10:51:52  Show Profile
fought the badguys in the nude. Whoa

My tongue is lying on the desk. Now that would have been something. I wonder what happened to that cute little suit of clothes. Talk about an ebay item. I liked this episode tremendously. Dr. Loveless and Artemus bantering over the angle of his hat is priceless. And it was refreshing for the woman to tell Jim he wasn't much and especially not to her. Yes, her makeup is awful, but her acting was pretty good. My kids love this ep, but run out of the room when the big spider appears! I give it four -
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Elaine
SS 1st assignment - desk job

356 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2004 :  15:50:42  Show Profile
I always liked this episode. I think it made a big impression on me as a child because of the part where Jim is doll-size. (Remember Land of the Giants, 1968-70?) I don't care how hokey the trip through the mouse hole is, I loved that sequence, especially when Jim fights the kitty with the lock pick.

Kesler's book says that Michael Garrison wanted Sonny and Cher to play the Indian couple. That would have been great. I always thought Phyllis Newman was an odd choice to cast as Wanakee. I suppose that is because I remember her mostly for her comic work as a panelist on What's My Line and To Tell the Truth during the '60's. Actually she is an accomplished Tony Award winning actress. She was married to songwriter Adolph Green (writing partner of Betty Comden) and founded the Women's Health Initiative through the Actors' Fund of America following her successful battle with breast cancer.

As for Dr. Loveless' style. We get a good glimpse of this in his first color episode. In addition to the sheriff outfit, his suits are color coordinated - the vest can be worn with two different coats and cravats. Antoinette wears three different, and very pretty, dresses. Even his china pattern caught my eye. If I'm not mistaken, it's Biltmore by Royal Doulton. And don't forget those dancing Venus Fly Traps in the "garden room".

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soulburst
SS spy school graduate

60 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  13:42:43  Show Profile


Good scene when Jim tell Artie that they have to burn throught the lock and proceeds to pull a blow torch out of his heel.
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2004 :  08:17:38  Show Profile
Hello all,
This is a very definitive episode of WWW in that it is truly one of the "Wildest" nights in the show's history, no longer is Dr. Loveless trying to recapture his rights to the ownership of California as originally seen in the 1st three Dr. Loveless entres. Dr. Loveless is now out soley for revenge against the world in his next three appearences. In TNOT Murderous Spring, the drug that makes man go mad is one of the truly creepiest plots that the good Dr. has ever thought up and that was ever seen in the shows long history. In TNOT Raven, the very imaginative plot against the world is to make humanity smaller than the good Dr, thus giving him a "god" complex. This plot is truly effective in giving the DR. great menace. He know has the power to look down upon all humanity, instead of them looking down on him. The special effects are groundbreaking for their time. However, I agree that the traps posed against West are not as shocking as they once where. I blame this more on repeated viewings of this episode than anything else. I still enjoy the gladiator arena against the cat (priceless). Artie defeniently saves the day here. He takes on three guys at once while giving Jim the formula, thus getting truly pummeled in the process.
I don't like the character of Wanakee because she at first is very ungreatful "You'll never join our fan club." This might have been done intentionally for comedic purposes, or to give the audience a new spin on the damsel in distress. I also did not like the choice of Phyllis Newman, because she tends to play over the top "camp" characters like the Arabian princess she plays in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Arabian Affair". Not a far stretch from Wanakee, she plays a spoiled, ungreatful princess that captures Illya soley for his fair colored hair. Yuck! I understand the small thread that the US' relations hangs upon with the Native Americans, but I feel that because of her ungreatfulness, our boys should let her fend for herself, while they try to escape. I always loved the concept of "West's Word", especially in today's times it is very difficult to accept anyone's merrits by their word. However, it gives Jim a character boost in that everyone from the Native Americans to Dr. Lovless respect this man and his integrety that his word alone makes him truly an honest and honorable hero. I tend to look at this episode with rose colored glasses thus ignoring its flaws (Loveless' comment of this being their 4th meeting and Jim and Wanakee's clothes after they have grown). It was the first episode of WWW that I had ever seen and I know that its special effects are out of date and the plot relys alot upon fantasy and science fiction, but its a very entertaining hour in which Loveless has returned in all his mastervillain glory, but I feel that his greatest and most threatening plot against the world is in his next appearance TNOT Green Terror after that his plots will be mere revenge plans against our Heroes with the exception of the fantasy filled TNOT Surreal McCoy.

Herr Ostropolyer

I give this episode 4 out of 5 stars
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2004 :  15:23:46  Show Profile
This I find a better than average episode, though I'm ambivalent about how highly to rate it.

On the downside, "The Raven" makes no pretense for credibility: It's one of the most outrageously outlandish shows the series ever gave us. (Maybe that's an upside; more on that presently.) James West as Tom Thumb, in his magically elastic wardrobe, is about as fantastic as you can get. Ross Martin is given little to do beyond delivering wisecracks: some droll, others lame. Phyllis Newman is a good actress given little to do (or perhaps not good enough to make something special of her role. I agree with others about "The Trials of Little Jim": Accept the absurdity of the premise, and the end of Act III and most of Act IV could have been thrilling. But Irving Moore couldn't coax a convincing performance out of Robert Conrad to save both their lives. Creepy as it is, even the spider disappoints: It's obviously a clip from some wide-screen horror flick ("The Fly," perhaps?), the image scrunched to fit a smaller aspect-ratio.

On the plus side, this is one of West's few westerns that deserves its doubled Wild. When we arrive at some of the third season's gimpy oaters, shows like "The Raven" shine by comparison. While the story-line is fairly basic, it does carry poetic justice: If Loveless couldn't destroy the world, it follows that he would remake it into one where he loomed as a giant. The special effects—blue screen photography, props huge and small—must have cost CBS a small fortune for a weekly series. Dunn and Dorin are in top form; except for "Terror Stalked the Town," no other episode better displayed their affectionate relationship. Richard Markowitz gives us here one of his best, most orchestrally interesting scores—the last, sad to say, in which the Loveless signature theme would be prominently used. From War Eagle's headress to the nifty acetylene torch in West's boot-heel to the doctor's wine-red smoking jacket (first seen—but only in monochrome—in "The Wizard Shook the Earth")—the production design and wardrobe are colorful and lavish, like all of the shows Mike Garrison produced in the second season.

The episode's idea is somewhat better than its execution. I also think we have here a triumph of style over substance. Still, there are far worse ways to suspend one's imagination and while away an hour.

1/2
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2004 :  19:44:25  Show Profile
I don't know why it's been bothering me, but I think I shortchanged this episode's smileys. I'm revising my award to .

Elaine: Kesler's book says that Michael Garrison wanted Sonny and Cher to play the Indian couple. That would have been great.

I'd bet the reason it never happened was Cher's height. Sonny may not have minded acting short straight man to her, but we all know that Bob Conrad felt differently!
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  13:18:58  Show Profile
TNOT Raven

“Oh he’s not dead Mr. Gordon... but he’ll wish he were.”
-Dr. Loveless

Airdate: 30 September 1966


It doesn’t have anything to do with Edgar Allen Poe but this is the series at its comic book best and it is a pinnacle of sorts in the Loveless saga. I’ve heard the series described as “a living comic book” and if any one episode lives up to that description it’s this one.

It all starts innocently enough aboard the Wanderer, where we are introduced to the plot device that takes us on this adventure. Native American Indian Princess Wanakee (tribe: unknown) has been kidnapped and the ransom note specifically requests Jim West to report to “Grave’s Town” or the princess will die. Chawtaw and War Eagle the princess’ fiancée and father respectively, vow to start a blood bath with the white population. While it appears that the battle would not end favorably for Chawtaw and War Eagle hundreds or thousands may be killed and that’s enough for Jim and Artie to act and for us to accept the cursory problem.

On Jim and Artie’s arrival the threat of war is quickly overshadowed by the appearance of Dr. Loveless, much to the surprise of the agents who last observed him sinking into a lake with Antoinette and Kitten Twitty. Loveless seems particularly delighted this time and laughingly announces that he had to reverse a law of physics to escape, it’s not the only scientific law he’s going to break this hour. However it’s going to be awhile before we get to that. The build up to the shrinking powder takes two full acts, a nice build up with some entertaining pieces to keep us occupied. The slow build up is also a shrewd move budget wise since there is a relatively small amount of time (and money) spent in the shrunken world.

After capturing the agent Loveless makes them sit on the floor to listen to his typical boasting. After the usual “I will rule the world” bit Loveless locks Jim and Artie into a cell. The guys escape with ease, perhaps too much ease. They spot Loveless’ (seemingly) run down house and a window on the second floor has been conveniently left open just a crack. “Said the spider to the fly” Artie warns, however both agree that they must locate the princess despite the obvious trap. When Jim climbs through the window a metal plate seals it with the words “Welcome Mr. West” painted on, that scene sends chills through me since there is no question that Dr. Loveless is in charge and manipulating every step. The situation looks hopeless and it will only deteriorate through the episode.

Inside, the house is decorated in a beautiful Victorian style, and we see that Loveless has created a kind of virtual wilderness for the princess. The princess is a very independent woman and is not impressed by Jim or Artie who, from her point of view, have done nothing but get themselves captured by Loveless. Phyllis Newman is a good choice for the princess. Even though she doesn’t have much to do as Princess Wanakee (basically she’s the “McGuffin” of the piece) Newman projects an air of strength and independence. I found interesting bit of trivia about Newman: she was the first woman to sub for Johnny Carson on the “Tonight Show”; I counted at least 18 appearances from 1970 to 1972. More recently she had a recurring role in the short lived but critically acclaimed drama “100 Centre Street” She does get some nice conversation time with Jim and we get to know a little more about her character, being a fiancée she doesn’t fall into the role of “love interest” for Jim which is a nice change of pace from the usual swooning female guest. This is a trend that continues throughout the color episodes Jim still gets to have plenty of girlfriends but we also have a good amount of Dr. Pringles or (on the dark side) Carlotta from TNOT Bubbling Death, or Cluny from the first season, women who seem impervious to Jim’s charms. Personally I like that approach better than having the woman melt in Jim’s arms every week at just the right moment. A couple times a season is okay but not all the time.

Artemus “deus ex machina” Gordon also doesn’t have much to do but make wise cracks. He is also there to throw the restoring potion to Jim which ruins all of Loveless’ plans. Of course the good doctor gets away on the wings of a raven.

The nonsense with the cat in the ring was a hoot, the special effects are what was available to television at the time, but I’ve got to admit it’s better than the giant cat effect in that “Star Trek” episode (with Antoinette Bower), you know, the one with the giant cat. There really are very little blue or green screen effects; most of the illusion is pulled off by the use of a few oversized props and close-ups. A spider tries to attack from another film but Jim gets away.

Loveless’ shrinking potion is pretty cool but when you think about his plan for world conquest I don’t think it’s going to last. What happens when you shrink hundreds of millions of people? Loveless looks like he might have about a dozen men. Even at six inches tall millions of people can be pretty overwhelming. Has he ever read Gulliver’s Travels? I don’t think he’s thought this one through.


The commercial break art is in the sepia tintype style: Loveless gloating for Act I, “the cigar” in close up for Act II, Jim looking “worried” about that spider, and the guys with a fully restored Princess to close it all out

Overall enjoyable just don’t think about it too much. I give it three prosthetic noses out of four.


Mr. Phelps
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2004 :  09:01:54  Show Profile
Great Review Mr. Phelps,
I'm an avid Star Trek the Original Series fan. The Episode in which you speak of is Trek trying to do a Halloween tale. The episode is "Catspaw", which also starred Recurring WWW actor Theo Marcuse as the other alien opposit Antionetter Bower (The Giant Cat).

Herr Ostropolyer
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2004 :  19:51:03  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Herr Ostropolyer

Great Review Mr. Phelps,
I'm an avid Star Trek the Original Series fan. The Episode in which you speak of is Trek trying to do a Halloween tale. The episode is "Catspaw", which also starred Recurring WWW actor Theo Marcuse as the other alien opposit Antionetter Bower (The Giant Cat).

Herr Ostropolyer


I was just trying to be funny. I actually watched “Catspaw” this past Halloween as I do every year, along with “Star Trek: Voyager’s” Halloween episode “Scientific Method”

Mr. Phelps
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