Friday, September 24, 2010

Wild Wild West--"The Night Dr. Loveless Died"

Michael Dunn makes his ninth of ten appearances as Dr. Miguelito Loveless. This is the only episode to feature Loveless in the third season and the final time he will encounter Artie. His final appearance will take place during the period of time Ross martin was recovering from a heart attack. Jeremy Pike, the most popular of Artie’s replacements, will serve as Jim’s partner for that one.

If you have not already guessed, Loveless fakes his own death and arranges for Jim and Artie to go on an inadvertent quest to eliminate some of Loveless’ cheated accomplices so e can have a fresh start with his schemes. The plan works beautifully as loveless poses as his on German neuroscientist uncle during the adventure. The uncle cannot quite help but release his anger periodically over his nephew’s “persecution” by Jim. Nevertheless, Jim never catches onto the doctor’s true identity until it is too late.

Loveless thanks Jim by locking him in a sanitarium and preparing to perform a lobotomy. What an ingrate. Jim is rescued from the operating table by rtie posing as a French surgeon. Loveless, of course, escapes. He seemingly dies for real as the sanitarium burns down, but we know better than that.

A couple poit of note. First, Loveless’ uncle introduces himself as Dr. Liebknich. I German, that literally translates to “love not,” although it would not be spelled with a “k” in German. Second, Susan Oliver, who played Vina in the original Star Trek pilot, portrays the femme fatale. Oliver was a fascinating woman. Aside from acting, she was a licensed pilot who once attempted to be the first woman to fly from New York to Moscow. She was a noted expert on the history of baseball. In her later years, she became an acclaimed director. She won a Tony award for the only play she ever starred in. she managed to reach the pinnacle of several careers in one lifetime, no?

“The Night Dr. Loveless Died” is one of the better Loveless episodes because of how long the demented dwarf manipulates Jim and Artie into his bidding. The plot and execution are some of the most clever of Loveless’ non-would be conqueror plans. Susan Oliver is one of the loveliest ladies from the series, too. A definite highlight of the season.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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