The Wild Wild West: Season 2, Episode 21

The Night of the Brain (17 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 49 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Jim and Arte investigate the early predictions of a friend's death. Before they can warn the next victim, they discover a plot underway to murder all the world leaders and replace them with look-alike.


(as Lawrence Peerce)


(as Calvin Clements) , (creator)
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Title: The Night of the Brain (17 Feb 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Brioni Farrell ...
John Warburton ...
Col. Royce Arnette
Phil Arnold ...
Jay Jostyn ...
Don Rizzan ...


Jim and Arte investigate the early predictions of a friend's death. Before they can warn the next victim, they discover a plot underway to murder all the world leaders and replace them with look-alike.

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Release Date:

17 February 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The miniature West figure is a 12" GIjOE action figure introduced by Hasbro in 1964. It appears to have been modified with addition of life like hair. Life like hair would itself become a feature of G.I. Joe action figures beginning in 1970. See more »


Artie distracts the guards into looking through a viewer (possibly a stereoscope) at a picture of Lillian Russell. A newspaper shown earlier in the show dates the beginning of this adventure as July 11, 1872 (see Trivia), at which time Lillian Russell was five months shy of her eleventh birthday. Her stage career did not begin until she was eighteen, in 1879. After spending some years in England, her career and fame in the US did not flourish until her return to New York in 1885. See more »

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User Reviews

The Steam driven "Wheel Chair"
1 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed watching THE WILD WILD WEST because of the crazy 19th Century versions of 20th Century devices that were constantly being thought up. 19th Century technology was nothing to sneeze at, with steam driven railroads, ocean liners, telegraphs, telephones, electric lights, and phonographs. Yet THE WILD WILD WEST takes place during the two administrations (March 4, 1869 - March 4, 1877) of President Ulysses S. Grant. The gramophone of Thomas Edison Edison first appeared in 1877, after Grant left office, but it is frequently used in the show. Steam powered missiles, and huge weapons that were impossible to imagine in 1871 or 1875 pop up. It was curious to see these - but they were never on the drawing boards of that day.

Also, the villains tended to be vindictive or power hungry madmen, using their abilities to get back at enemies or to get into positions of authority. Ed Begley Sr. as a corrupt Federal Judge hoping to massacre the Supreme Court so he can get a seat (after he was rejected). Or John Dehner as a man who was left for dead in a Mexican War incident by soldiers including then Captain U.S. Grant, and who has been repaired with steel and wire so that he can't be shot - now he wants to kill Grant. Or, best of the lot, diminutive in size if not talent Michael Dunn as Dr. Miguelito Lovelace, who keeps trying to take over first California, then the U.S (and later the world) and rebuild it according to his ideas of a future (which would include smaller sized people).

This episode illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of the series.

Somebody is killing off various friends of West (Robert Conrad) and his partner Artemas Gordon (Ross Martin). These include West's old military commander (Col. Arnette - John Warburton), who is killed while West is momentarily paralyzed by a drink that has been targeted, and a comedian friend of West and Gordon killed by a bomb on stage while they are watching. It turns out, after they are summoned, that the perpetrator is one Braine, a super genius and megalomaniac (played by Edward Andrews) who rides around in a wheel chair driven by a steam engine. He has plans for taking over the globe (naturally), involving replacing Grant, and several other world leaders with doubles who will do his bidding - here to cause universal warfare.

Whoever did the research got somethings close to right - but not quite. One of the leaders is Archduke Maximillian of Austria. In 1869 - 1877, Maximillian would not have been much use anywhere - he was dead by a Mexican firing squad in 1867 after Juarez finally defeated the Austrian archduke/ would-be Mexican Emperor at Querataro. Braine would have had some problems convincing anyone to support a dead Archduke.

The episode of course would follow how James West and Artemus Gordon would defeat Braine and his plan (eventurally hurtling the madman towards the doubles, so that the steam driven wheel chair becomes a weapon of mass destruction (another anachronism, but this one from me)).

I liked the technological goofs, and Ross Martin's impersonations (mostly for laughs). But for logical plots, you did not watch this type of escapism.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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