May 5, 1968: The Wild Wild West debuts on UK TV

The_Wild_Wild_West-1968The Wild Wild West is an American television series that ran on the CBS television network for four seasons (104 episodes) from September 17, 1965 to April 4, 1969. Two television movies were made with the original cast in 1979 and 1980, and the series was adapted for a motion picture in 1999.

Developed at a time when the television western was losing ground to the spy genre, this show was conceived by its creator, Michael Garrison, as “James Bond on horseback.”[1] Set during the administration of President Ulysses Grant (1869–77), the series followed Secret Service agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) as they solved crimes, protected the President, and foiled the plans of megalomaniacal villains to take over all or part of the United States.

The show featured a number of fantasy elements, such as the technologically advancedTV-UK-05-05-1968 devices used by the agents and their adversaries. The combination of the Victorian era time-frame and the use of Verne-esque technology has inspired some to give the show credit as being one of the more “visible” origins of the steampunk subculture. These elements were accentuated even more in the 1999 movie adaptation.

Despite high ratings, the series was cancelled near the end of its fourth season as a concession to Congress over television violence.

Watch the original intro on the Fabricio Jimenez YouTube channel.

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