Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wild Wild West--"The Night of the Pelican"

Assuming no further mishaps, we should be able to finish the remaining episodes of The Wild Wild West. Please try to contain your joy. Containing your joy should not be difficult to with “The Night of the Pelican.” Not only is it a Jeremy Pike rather than Artemus Gordon episode, but it is an implausible story, told at a glacial pace, with bits of plot elements taken from other episodes.

Jim and Jeremy are in San Francisco to investigate the robbery of an armory. They are supposed to meet an informant at a Chinese restaurant, but she is mortally wounded right in front of them. She can only get out the word pelican They capture her killer. He turns out to be an escaped inmate from Ft. Alcatraz. Since Alcatraz is the Spanish word for pelican, they surmise something is up at the prison.

Jim goes undercover as a prisoner for a good look around, while Jeremy visits Chinese puppet theaters in a Charlie Chan get up to find out if anyone knows the girl. Get used to these two plot points. They drag on for about 45 minutes without adding anything to the story. It is only in the final fifteen we learn a gang of Chinese have taken over the fort with some local, Caucasian muscle. They plan to fire rockets towards incoming ships. When the navy begins bombarding the island, they will attack the Presidio and make away with a fortune. Hopefully, they did not spend more than a couple minutes coming up with that plan. We do not even find out what the plan was until Jeremy explains it to the women he and Jim are entertaining for the evening. It feels that tacked on.

I am under whelmed by “The Night of the Pelican.” It feels like the script was thrown together from elements of past episodes without anything innovative to make it unique. One wonders if the script had to be put together in a hurry because of the absence of ailing costar Ross Martin. For whatever the reason, “The Night of the Pelican” is still nothing to write home about. Skip it with a clear conscience.

Rating: * (out of 5)

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