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 The Night of the Bottomless Pit
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2004 :  08:04:41  Show Profile
This is not an episode I like. It has an annoying villain, an insipid plot and RC bad hair days. The only thing that saves it is RM's performance when overcoming his competition. This is Devil's Island and they all speak English? The only accent is a British one. Jim was suppose to have been whipped so what happened to the makeup department? I still wonder why Le Cochon walks on by Mauvais??? This is all I am going to say about this yuck episode. I rate it one for Artie.

Redhead1617
SS novice field agent

USA
1393 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2004 :  14:44:22  Show Profile  Visit Redhead1617's Homepage
not on the bottom of my list, but not on the top either...

I like how Jim swaps with the prisoner in the beginning
Artie as Gespard is simply wonderful...as usual of RM's performances
Camille and Gustave are both quite annoying, got that darned right couldron
Mrs Grimes' disappearance bothers me to no end and makes me quite ill to think about it
Le Fou's pretty see-through
Another good point couldron...what is up with that ending?!?! I can see almost no rhyme or reason to why Le Cochon just passes Mauvais and walks into the water. No loyalty or hate is shown to his former boss & does he really think with that iron leg of his that he is going to catch the boat and not sink in the sand (or get eaten by a local sea animal?)

yet despite my harsh critism on the episode I still find it quite watchable for it's plotline of rescuing a fellow agent and RM's wonderful acting


(don't try to do the math for my rating, I'm a Liberal Arts person, not a mathmatician )

~Red

*sigh...where's MY Ross Martin?
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soulburst
SS spy school graduate

60 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2004 :  15:14:06  Show Profile

Be glad Artie didn't use his french accent he use in several episodes
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2004 :  17:28:18  Show Profile
Hey all,
Wow we are very harsh on TNOT Bottomless Pit aren't we. As I've stated before, their are no bad episodes of WWW period! Some may be "weaker" than others, but every episode has high points that redeem it from being "bad". The reason for the "weakness" of an episode is due to writing. Often our show tries to get as many great ingredients into a show that either work or don't. TNOT Bottomless Pit has a special place in my WWW favorites becuase of the shear bizareness of it. (It is not a fantasy, there is little or no sci/fi or horror, it does not take place in the west, there is no assassination attempt against Grant and it is extremely refreshing.) This episode predates many of the more popular James Bond cliches before they became cliches. Thus proving that our show was more than James Bond on horseback. For example:

-The episode takes us to an exotic/foreign place (any JB Movie)
-West Penetrates a jungle Island strong hold (Dr. No)
-West's villain is bald and eccentric in that he does not like to be touched or have anything to do with dirt and filth.
(Blofeld from You Only Live Twice 1967)
-Mauvais's assisstant/thug Cochon has a metal leg.
(Bond Villain Jaws with his metal teeth 1977)
-West & Gordon have to use a password in the form of a song.
(Bond in any number of his films)
-West is despised by Mauvais becuse he is physically appealing to his wife.
(Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies 1997)
-West after being whipped has no scars (All Bond's with the exception of Licence To Kill 1989 has a Bond that through the course of the very physical confrontations never has a scratch)
-The Villain's are killed off by each other in bizare ways.
(Kronstein by Merzeny in From Russia With Love)

Again, I enjoyed this episode because of the freshness of it. Mauvais is not a supervillain trying to take over the world (Loveless). This episode is not fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or western, instead we get a pure espionage episode that has a strong down to earth plot that finally gives are agents something to do in that they have to save a fellow agent. (Which is more refreshing than any Grant assassination attempt plot). I'm used to Tv shows where foreigners have American or English accents. This has never been a problem for me. That's why I'm used to shows like Dr. Who in which the entire universe has an English accent. I just feel that the characters are indeed French but for our benefit they speak fluent english alla "The Hunt for Red October". And Lastly, I can explain the demise of Mouvais and Cochon in that it is not stupid. Mouvais in the desperation of trying to save his own life demands that Cochon save him, but the Bloodthirsty Cochon who wants West (The only man to surivie the foot of doom) has only one task "Kill West at all costs". Mouvais feels that this is futile and traitoress and in his frustration (He is neck deep in filth while his only means of escape is seeking unrelentless revenge) and shoots him. The shot wounds thus cause him to get killed off by man eating sharks in one of WWW's most disturbing kills. (With a slight nod to Thunderball 1965). All in All, I love this episode it is not one of my favorites, The plot is a little hokey, but it does prove the point that our favorite show is nothing that it appears to be and it is truly a refreshing and entertaining hour.

Herr Ostropolyer

3 stars out of 5

ps. I suggest that you negative posters try to rewatch this episode with the James Bond parallels in mind and just like a James Bond movie the plot does not matter, after all the Bond ones are all pretty much the same, however it is what our favorite character(s) do in these slightly familiar situations that keeps us coming back time and time again. (Action, gadgets, espionage)
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Redhead1617
SS novice field agent

USA
1393 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2004 :  19:10:21  Show Profile  Visit Redhead1617's Homepage
never saw Bond, well... I think I saw part of it, but after watching WWW, I have to admit I just get so bored whenever it a Bond pops up on tv... *dodges*

it's not that I don't *like* the episode, like you said Herr O there are no 'bad' episodes, and it *is* quite refreshing, that's why I like it, like I said, don't try to do the math it's just a toughie to grade (perhaps I am working out my own frustration from the comments my professors make on my 'thought pieces' )

good explanation Herr O about the Mauvais/Le Cochon problem...

actually with all your parallels I might be convinced to watch Bond now but I still think West is more captivating for now

~Red

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

849 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2004 :  20:36:36  Show Profile
As a kid, I liked this episode alot. As an adult, I'm a little more picky, but it still has appeal. Bloopers first - the chains on Jim's legs keep changing length, and his boots are switched several times. Opening scene also has one. I thought it was mean they killed the old lady. Artie didn't even try to save her. I liked the fact that Jim was in a real pickle with the ants. Artie saved Jim's bacon that time. Ross Martin was excellent in this - I thought. I also was interested in how they sang one at a time, completing the song. I guess because RC had a singing career. Ross Martin had a good set of pipes too. I liked the fight scene with the exploding cane, and of course the chance to ogle Jim's abs. Always a treat. Change your shirt again, will ya? Please. Different for West and Gordon - and overall, I liked it.
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soulburst
SS spy school graduate

60 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2004 :  10:56:47  Show Profile

Was that the Gilligan's Island lagoon were le cochon got eaten by the shark?
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2004 :  13:13:09  Show Profile
quote:
Was that the Gilligan's Island lagoon were le cochon got eaten by the shark?


Yep
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AdorableBlue
SS novice field agent

948 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2004 :  22:31:05  Show Profile  Visit AdorableBlue's Homepage
Wow, Herr O. I watched every Bond movie (most of the time once only) and I do like them. But you are amazing! You remembered everyone of them that you were able to compare this eps against it. And the list is indeed long. Great!

AdorableBlue
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Desert Roger
SS novice field agent

4360 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2004 :  04:41:34  Show Profile  Visit Desert Roger's Homepage
Only ONE good thing about this annoying and corny cartoon-like episode: Artie's job interview for guard and him taking out his two competitors. The rest of the episode, like the leg of death thing was ridiculous. I will not watch this episode again if I ever see it on TV. Just not a serious episode.
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Elaine
SS 1st assignment - desk job

356 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2004 :  19:20:53  Show Profile
I'm a little surprised by the criticsm of this episode. I don't find it any more outrageous than some others. Seeing Jim and Artie operating outside U.S. borders to save one of their own is a nice idea. I agree with Herr O. that this ep is very Bondian in its influences.

I enjoyed Theo Marcuse as Commandant Gustave Mauvais and thought his performance was much more fun to watch than his first season appearance as Dr. Kirby in "TNOT Sudden Plague". I think it was perfect casting complimented by the white uniform, the white gloves, the cigarette holder and the bald Blofeld head. I definitely recall this peformance from my first-run viewing (as well as his performance in Star Trek's "Cat's Paw").

Joan Huntington, who made three appearances on WWW, is statuesque and beautiful. I'm guessing that she fell into the Diane MacBaine catagory - shot down camera wearing flats. Her character reminded me of a 19th century version of "Sex & the City"'s Samantha. Despite her obvious interest in Jim, I thought she seemed too old for him (like allot of us: older, but not too old to appreciate the view).

I also agree that the Mrs. Grimes Boutique was pretty funny. Who knew that Devil's Island had a gift shop? I did like Mrs. Grimes herself and the idea that she was an undercover agent. The musical time pieces were a nice touch.

And who of a certain age could forget Steven Franken (Le Fou)who played Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. on "Dobie Gillis"?

As others have noted, RM playing Artie playing Gaspard is probably the best part of this episode. The expression on his face during the interview with Mauvais is priceless. I love the whole "fight" scene. As an Artie-girl I must say that he looks like a charming scoundral and I am lost. When Mauvais describes Jim to Camille as "fine featured, hard muscled and that engaging touseled hair just made to run your fingers through", I wanted to say, "Wait just a minute there. That's Artie's hair you are describing!"

And as long as I am on the subject, this ep rates because Jim can't seem to keep his shirt on. When Le Cochon ordered Jim to "Take it off!" I'm sure women across America were jumping off the couch saying, "Wait! That's my line!" Yes, and the above mentioned fine features and hard muscles have everything to do with it. And yes, the makeup department seems to have been lax, but really, ladies, do we want whip marks to mar that? And the hair. Thankfully, reality gave way to good hair once Jim went down the pit. The man actually looked better after the whipping than he did before.

I feel much better now.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2004 :  08:39:12  Show Profile
I'm not sure I've more light to throw on this episode than has already been illuminated by my colleagues. But that's never stopped me before.

I don't agree that this is a "bizarre" episode. When you come down to it, the story is fairly plain. And it shows me too much I've seen before: the henchman with the iron leg (see Ironfoot from "The Night of the Glowing Corpse") and that same, recycled Republic Studios exterior fort/fortress/garrison (see "The Fatal Trap," "The Deadly Bed," "The Flaming Ghost," "The Bars of Hell," "The Freebooters," "Sudden Plague," ad infinitum). I guess the repetition irritates me most in this episode because, in the others, the set is only functional scenery. Here, Devil's Island itself is supposed to be what Mike Garrison called the show's "elephant." By now it's one tired pachyderm.

That said, "Bottomless Pit" is a change of pace, riddled with Henry Sharp's peculiar brand of comedy. Yes, there's a high hokum quotient here: the Devil's Island Gift Shop (nice going, Elaine), the silly names ("Mauvais" = "Bad"; "Le Fou" = "The Fool"; "Lime" = "Limey"; "Henri Couteau" = "Henry Sharp"), the silly tag, the silly junior villains: all those cutthroat guards with rifles, aimlessly wandering around while West clambers up a hill to seize Mr. BIg and threaten to wring his neck. Who knew that the French trained their meanest police at The Homer Simpson School of Guard-Duty. Doh.

All is not lost, however. This is the second of Theo Marcuse's three guest heavies; it's his best. Heschong and Molynuaeux give him lots of colorful scenery to chew. Joan Huntington's chiffoned seductress is a happy contrast to all those sweaty palms. (Come to think back on it, she gives me sweaty palms: "The Night of the Man-Eating Wife.") Harry Geller's music is gloomy and bouncy, as the visuals require. (Clever use of harpsichord and concertina.) Without a shred of make-up or goofy accent, "Pierre Gaspard" steals the show and is one of RM's most memorable rogues. And we're at the next-to-last of the series' colored sepia freeze-frames. Prepare to hear me sob next week when they depart forever.

Miscellaneous flummery:

The "real" Henri Couteau, who takes the plunge in the teaser, is Chuck O'Brien, RC's occasional stunt double who also played Janus in "Terror Stalked the Town."

What old movies did they raid for those establishing shots that open Act I? The second is truly weirdólooks like a cross between a jetty and a rickety ship's poop deck.

Anyone ever Google Tom Drake (Vincent Reed)? He's given a full credit card, as though he were a featured film star, but I can't remember him from any old movie I've ever seen (and I've seen quite a few).

Yes, that indeed is the Gilligan's Island lagoon, which was filming its third and final season as West was producing its second. Just sit right back and you'll see a shark.

The script for this episode is credited to Ken Kolb, even though in the Danny Biederman interview he disclaims it, attributing it to Henry Sharp. (It "reads" more like a Sharp episode.) Kolb claims that he wrote the story for the second season's last episode, "The Bogus Bandits," though it is credited to Sharp. Welcome to the world of agents and backstage deals.

Where was I? Oh, yes: "The Night of the Bottomless Pit." Think of it as the comic version of "The Night of the Red-Eyed Madman," turn off your brain, and enjoy the ride.



PS: It's a glorious autumn day here, it's been an awful week, and I'm tired of sitting at a keyboard. So I'm outta here. For those minding the store while I'm gone, enjoy Lily and Fifi.
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soulburst
SS spy school graduate

60 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2004 :  08:30:36  Show Profile

When West touches Mauvais and he goes ape like Jim had the plague.
That scene is worth watching the whole episode for.

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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2004 :  15:31:49  Show Profile
Thanks for the high complimants Adorableblue,
I've mentioned before that our show is more than James Bond on horseback, and many episodes either have ties, themes, and ideas that have been used throughout the entire history of Bond. If, you'd like more WWW James Bond comparisons, let me know and I'll Make a "James Bond" Post.

Herr Ostropolyer
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2004 :  18:42:19  Show Profile
quote:
If, you'd like more WWW James Bond comparisons, let me know and I'll Make a "James Bond" Post.




Pretty please more
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AdorableBlue
SS novice field agent

948 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2004 :  16:19:57  Show Profile  Visit AdorableBlue's Homepage
Yes, please Herr O. It would be an interesting comparison. I wonder if its possible to state who did it first. (probably by the year it was produced). I would love to see WWW being the lead.

AdorableBlue
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2004 :  16:57:17  Show Profile
Hey all,
I want to let you know I'm going to do the WWW/007 comparison post, but I'm not going to be able to post it til Saturday 11/13/04. I want some time to look over the 007 movies as well as go through the episodes to make a very thorough list. This does not mean that I'm going to watch all 104 episodes and the 20 007 movies, I'm going to try to refresh my memory by reading up on the episodes summaries, which usually jar my memeory and help compare them to the 007 plots. Thanks for your patience and get ready to be surprised.

Herr Ostropolyer
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