The Wild Wild West series --- will MORE be released??

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jeff#, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    In 2003 and 2004, CBS Video duplicated the entire first season (28 episodes) of
    The Wild Wild West on DVD, as well as 3 episodes from the second season: "The Night of the Golden Cobra" (first episode filmed in color, and guest-starring Boris Karloff and Audrey Dalton), "The Night of the Raven" (dwarf actor Michael Dunn returns for the fifth time as Dr. Migeulito Loveless, who shrinks West down to 6 inches in height!), and what CBS originally aired as the 1966 season premiere "The Night of the Eccentrics" (first of 2 appearances of Victor Buono as magician Count Manzeppi).

    Columbia House released 10 volumes, most of which have only 3 episodes. Volume 9, however, has 4 episodes. Last fall I purchased all of them in 3 lots for $19.95 for the first volume and $11.97 + postage for the others that I purchased in each shipment. While it's unfortunate that there are no extras and no interviews with Robert Conrad on these discs, there was a definitive book on The Wild Wild West that came out in the 1980s.

    By purposely merging the genres of western, fantasy, and spy drama, the excellence of this series is undisputed. Although the special FX and filming techniques are dated, the aspect of 20th century technology being utilized in the 19th century, remains as fresh as ever! In the early 1990s FOX unsuccessfully tried to rework this concept with The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.. Yet the original WWW is in a class by itself. The disasterous big-screen remake with Will Smith insulted even Robert Conrad, who made his feelings clear in a 1999 magazine interview.

    The film and transfer quality are pristine. I don't like that the packaging features the exact same B & W photos of Conrad & Martin on ALL of the sets (front and back sides of the nearly paper thin disc boxes). The only ways to tell them apart are by the episode titles and airdates on the reverse sides. The Volume numbers on the edge are irrelevant.

    I find it unusual that CBS Video puts entire box sets of
    Have Gun, Will Travel for sale in stores, but not WWW or even other classic CBS westerns that have long been available on home video through Columbia House by mail: such as GUNSMOKE (also on DVD) and Rawhide.

    Nearly a third of the 104 episodes of the series are on disc, but CBS Video apparently hasn't released any additional WWW DVD's in at least a year.
     
  2. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Paramount Home Video is the distributor for CBS product.

    They seem to sometimes "test the waters" with Columbia House exclusive releases. The fact that PHV's retail release of "Have Gun Will Travel" will se a second season's release - along with some "Gunsmoke" movie releases - bodes well for future classic TV content from Paramount.

    Add to this a very public announcement from Paramount's new chief, Brad Grey, about the need for the studio to increase its catalog output, and I think chances are pretty good we'll see more releases like the content you're looking for.

    There hasn't been any official announcement on these titles, but I think it's only a matter of time.
     
  3. James Landau

    James Landau Stunt Coordinator

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    You may want to contact Columbia House and find out why they've stopped sending you discs. They are still being released. I personally decided not to pay Columbia House's exorbitant prices and am holding out for CBS/Paramount to do proper season sets. But I do know a subscriber who just received volume 13 in November and volume 14 in December. As far as I know, he joined late and is actually trailing two or three volumes behind.

    As for potential extras, any Conrad interviews may have to be compiled from archive footage. At the current time, I don't foresee him doing any new interviews or recording any commentaries. While his legal problems appear to have been settled, he still has ongoing health issues and probably wishes to concentrate on his continued recovery.
     
  4. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Does Paramount plan to release a box set of Wild Wild West?

    And do you know if Wild Wild West Revisited from 1979 and More Wild Wild West from 1980 are on DVD yet?

    I'm probably going to buy Twilight Zone -- Definitive Collection 1 and KOJAK Volume One before I get back to WWW

    Thanks for the reply. [​IMG]
     
  5. James Landau

    James Landau Stunt Coordinator

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    No, Paramount is not currently planning a WWW set--or it's in such early stages of planning that those plans are only known internally. But as Scott mentioned, it's really only a matter of time before they release season sets. It would be pretty foolish not to. After Star Trek, WWW is one of their bigger properties. I can afford to wait them out and have plenty of other series on DVD to watch in the interim. For people who want the series sooner rather than later and don't mind paying a bit more for the privilege, CH is certainly a viable option.

    Neither of the made-for-TV reunion movies are available as yet. I really don't expect them to be released until after all four seasons are out.
     
  6. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Well, I did have a standard DVD Club membership, James. You know the kind -- buy the first 5 classic or modern movies for 49 cents + shipping (came to $2 and change) with the promise to buy 6 more titles at full price in the next 2 years. 4 of those 6 I bought were Wild Wild West volumes, so I still am obligated to buy two more DVDs of any kind (feature films and / or television series) before 2006. However, if I buy a hox set that way, that purchase doesn't apply. Each must be at $19.95 retail.

    The other 6 volumes of WWW I got at 40% off, so actually that means I bought them in four lots of discs. I did that over a period of about two months last year. One of the volumes was out of stock so they send that separately, but I was not charged shipping on it as a result. IF it weren't for that I would have gotten them in 3 shipments as planned.

    Years ago I actually did have a Columbia House mail order subscription. I bought the first 15 (there are 45) VHS volumes of GUNSMOKE. I think they were $14.95 each even in the mid 1990s. At first I had a tape sent to me each month. I didn't buy tapes for several months, purposely setting a long interval in order to save money. Then I called up and ordered 5 tapes in one shot, telling the rep the specific volumes / episode titles of the GUNSMOKEs I wanted. So jumping ahead and skipping certain volumes is allowed. Months after that I had let my long idle subscription run out. I would have had to re-order to start it up again, and I wasn't going to get the pilot and 3 episodes a second time so I didn't renew.


    JEFF
     
  7. James Landau

    James Landau Stunt Coordinator

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    Update:

    Jeff, another volume is now available. My acquaintance just received volume 15 containing the episodes The Night of the Tottering Tontine, The Night of the Feathered Fury and The Night of the Gypsy Peril.
     
  8. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    That's good news, James! It's also good that I can resist the temptation to buy more since I have the first 10 of the 15 already and can't afford to buy that many new DVDs now, particularly Columbia House. "The Night of the Gypsy Peril" was one of the weakest shows, but I still want them all. [​IMG]
     
  9. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    As much as I love this show. I was burnt too many time spending way too much for episodes from Columbia House. I will wait and hope that Paramount is just giving them a window to sell these without competition and then release the show in season sets.
     

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