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Wild Wild West special features?


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#1 of 35 Jeff Swindoll

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Posted May 15 2006 - 01:55 PM

I put this in the wrong forum before, maybe those interested will find it better here. Mea culpa.

I'm eagerly awaiting this show and was somewhat dissappointed to not be hearing of any notable extras on the set. I recently got a $10 reward points coupon for Circuit Shitty and was checking on what their price might be (too soon I know) and found the following under special features.

Robert Conrad Audio Intros
Lost Original Opening
Network Promos
Audio Commentary by Robert Conrad
Ross Martin Sketch
Theme Scoring Sessions
Photo Gallery

If this holds up (not sure if I trust CC's specs) this sounds like a pretty good set. Hopefully it's more than one commentary.

Cheers.
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#2 of 35 Jeff#

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Posted May 15 2006 - 04:06 PM

I'm glad there are few extras on this set, because I already purchased the first 31 episodes of The Wild Wild West series on DVD from Columbia House in 2004 and 2005, and they complete and look great. The original CBS Video releases that I own also have biographies, trivia bits, and episode descriptions. My only complaint is that they all of the disc cover photos were completely identical. At least they were in thin plastic cases, but the only way to tell them apart is by Volume number.

As for these new releases, who the hell needs commentaries and intros by Robert Conrad anyway? Posted Image

#3 of 35 Brent Avery

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Posted May 26 2006 - 08:14 PM

Received a set today and a look inside the slipcase reveals 4 slim cases, three have 2 discs each and the fourth one disc. That's a total of 7 discs - four episodes on each one. Disc 1 has an audio interview with John Kneubuhl ( Writer:Created Dr. Loveless ) and Ethel Winant ( Castings ). Disc 2 also includes an audio interview with Fred Freiberger ( Producer ). On disc 3 another audio interview with Mr. Kneubuhl as well as a spot on a talk show " Every Day " ( 1978 ) with Robert Conrad and Ross Martin, run time 8 min. 22 sec. Robert Conrad gives a short audio intro to each of the 28 episodes.

Disc 5 continues with an audio interview with Tim Smyth ( Special Effects ) and Disc 6 has Mr. Kneubuhl giving some more comments. Finally Disc 7 again features Mr. Kneubuhl and Richard Markowitz ( Music ), Photo Gallery, Theme Scoring Sessions, and an Eveready battery commercial (!). These are all accesssed on each main menu as special features. The main menu uses the color episodes intro for its background and that theme is reproduced on each disc ( in blue ) with a different piece of the artwork reproduced on a black background along with the Wild Wild West logo. Each slipcase has a different color photo on the cover and the backside has a strip that alternates either a b&w photo(s) or a section(s) from the opening episode background ( the multi panelled artwork shown with the opening theme music ). Included is each episode title, its airdate and a brief description.All in all well put together but its too bad Paramount could not include some interviews on video as well. Otherwise the episodes themselves look very nice - clean and sharp. Great to revisit them after all these years!

#4 of 35 RickER

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Posted May 27 2006 - 03:07 AM

I heard this was going to be a DVD 18 set. Is it, or are they 1 sided discs?

#5 of 35 Brent Avery

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Posted May 27 2006 - 05:29 AM

They are one sided - I was trying to describe the artwork on each disc, but at least you will not have those less desirable DVD 18s.

#6 of 35 RickER

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Posted May 27 2006 - 06:45 AM

Thanks Brent, i will be all over it then. I had only gotten the first 3 vol. of the Columbia House DVDs and stopped. Time to unload those for the new set.

#7 of 35 Jeff Swindoll

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Posted June 06 2006 - 09:11 AM

Did anyone else notice the "Dedicated to the memory of Ethel Winant" on the back. She was the casting director of WWW. Nice touch I thought.
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#8 of 35 Michael_Sim

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Posted June 06 2006 - 12:02 PM

I've not seen The Wild Wild West in decades, so I can't really remember the details of the episodes, but I must say the Robert Conrad intros are a little spoilerish (to me). They either give away who the villain is (no big problem; they are all pretty obvious) or reveal details of the the strange contraptions and plots (which is a problem, since it lessens whatever mild surprises there are in the story).

Fortunately, you can skip his intros. Alas, I had at least four episodes spoiled in this way before I decided to skip them entirely.

Odd note - in the WWW cartoon credit sequence, when the central figure (Jim West) kisses the woman, who then draws out a knife, I seem to remember when I first saw the show on TV, that Jim actually punches her. But in these episodes, that doesn't happen. Instead she swoons after the kiss. Curiously, the animated menu page actually shows the punching!

Did the producers change the credit sequence during the series' run?

Michael

#9 of 35 Bert Greene

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Posted June 06 2006 - 12:51 PM

I was just noticing that "WWW" is at no.4 on Amazon's top-sellers list right now (today, being the day of its release). As to the significance of that list, I've never been too sure how much importance to place on it, but at very least it would seem the dvd-set is being warmly received. I picked my copy up this morning, and I'm looking forward to revisiting the series.

#10 of 35 Jeff Swindoll

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Posted June 06 2006 - 01:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Greene
I was just noticing that "WWW" is at no.4 on Amazon's top-sellers list right now (today, being the day of its release). As to the significance of that list, I've never been too sure how much importance to place on it, but at very least it would seem the dvd-set is being warmly received. I picked my copy up this morning, and I'm looking forward to revisiting the series.

Well, a resources "importance" never stopped a PR person from using it Posted Image. I say that if it gets Paramount to get out Seasons 2-4, forward them the information Posted Image.

"Sadly", I have to view the John Wayne/John Ford set before sitting down to watch WWW. Crocodile tears.
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#11 of 35 Ken Ranke

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Posted June 06 2006 - 01:09 PM

[Odd note - in the WWW cartoon credit sequence, when the central figure (Jim West) kisses the woman, who then draws out a knife, I seem to remember when I first saw the show on TV, that Jim actually punches her. But in these episodes, that doesn't happen. Instead she swoons after the kiss. Curiously, the animated menu page actually shows the punching!

Did the producers change the credit sequence during the series' run?

Michael[/quote]

Yes- The title sequence was changed in Season Two to reflect the punch.

#12 of 35 Brent Avery

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Posted June 06 2006 - 01:12 PM

Michael - I know that the "punching scene" was in the color episodes but whether the change was from the first color season or not I'm not sure of - but it's there at some point.

#13 of 35 Doug Wallen

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Posted June 06 2006 - 02:18 PM

I remember that the first season had the "Lover" attitude where one kiss from Jim is all it took to disarm them. When the shows second season began, I believe is when the punch was added in the credits.
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#14 of 35 Doug^Ch

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Posted June 08 2006 - 02:00 AM

Watched the first four episodes last night. I could not be more impressed with the video quality of these shows. I have not seen this show in probably 30 years or more and used to watch it in syndication in the afternoon with snowy reception. My first impression is that a lot of care went into this season set, and I am hopeful that the other seasons will soon follow. In what season, did the show switch to color?

#15 of 35 Bob Hug

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Posted June 08 2006 - 02:12 AM

I was in my local Wal-Mart last night and almost bought it. On the plus side, I noticed that Paul Brownstein was the DVD producer; you know that virtually any project that he's associated with is going to be done well and judging by the extras included on this set and listed elsewhere in this thread, Brownstein has extended his streak of great TV-on-DVD releases. The downside for me was that I noticed a little "Discs assembled in Mexico" sticker on the back which always scares me (Universal's numerous 2005 pressings from Mexico were plagued with quality control problems). Are these discs playing OK? Has anyone experienced any problems with the set or are the discs playing fine? I'd appreciate hearing comments from those who purchased this set.

#16 of 35 Randy Korstick

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Posted June 08 2006 - 02:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug^Ch
Watched the first four episodes last night. I could not be more impressed with the video quality of these shows. I have not seen this show in probably 30 years or more and used to watch it in syndication in the afternoon with snowy reception. My first impression is that a lot of care went into this season set, and I am hopeful that the other seasons will soon follow. In what season, did the show switch to color?

Doug WWW went to color in its 2nd season and ran for 4 seasons total.
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#17 of 35 Doug^Ch

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Posted June 08 2006 - 02:26 AM

Thanks Randy

#18 of 35 Jeff Swindoll

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Posted June 08 2006 - 02:54 PM

Quote:
On the plus side, I noticed that Paul Brownstein was the DVD producer

Also notice that the co-producer is Sue Kesler who wrote (if I'm not mistaken) the WWW: the series book from 1988. That would appear where alot of the vintage audio bits come from, from her book research.
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#19 of 35 Jeff#

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Posted June 08 2006 - 11:36 PM

What's tragic is the story behind creator / Executive Producer Michael Garrison. The first thing that happened was after the pilot he was removed from actively participating, and a series of other producers during much of the first season handled the show. They included Collier Young, who only did about 4 episodes -- none of which were "wild" enough, as they were more conventional westerns. The next was Fred Freiberger, who did some of the best stories, and Fred was instrumental in the creation of Dr. Miguelito Loveless. Since CBS aired these out of order, some of the Young episodes didn't air until much later in the season.

Freiberger left to be replaced by Philip Leacock and John Mantley, who along with their associate Albert Heshcong and a few others were all doing double duty on GUNSMOKE at the time. The network didn't feel they were right for the show either, and at that point Mike Garrison was reinstated as Executive Producer. He chose Gene L. Coon as his producer for the last 8 shows of the first season.

When the show started filming (in color) for the 2nd season, Michael Garrison became the sole producer. The real tradgedy happened after the first half dozen or so episodes were produced. In October 1966, Garrison fell down the stairs in his home. The accident was fatal. CBS replaced him with Bruce Lansbury for the remainder of the series.

#20 of 35 Gary W. Graley

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Posted June 10 2006 - 03:44 AM

Just got the set last night, very cleanly done, Conrad sounds tired
in his commentaries but it's good to have some extras on there!
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