The Wild Wild West: Season 2, Episode 21

The Night of the Brain (17 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 45 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)
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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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

17 February 1967 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A newspaper is shown, dating the beginning of this episode as July 11, 1872. See more »


One of the world leaders Braine planned to substitute was "Archduke Maximilian of France." France has never had a system of Archdukes. There was a famous Archduke Maximilian of Austria (and Emperor of Mexico), but he was killed by firing squad in 1867 (an event previously used as a backstory in The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Eccentrics), and this episode takes place in 1872. See more »

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User Reviews

14 July 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

A madman tips off West to a series of impending assassinations so perfectly planned that they occur right in front of the Secret Service agent without his being able to prevent them.

The veteran character actor Edward Andrews plays the calculating evil genius of the week, Mr. Braine. Andrews was a familiar face in comedies from the 1960's including the Disney classics "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "Son Of Flubber", so it's quite a switch to see this guy, usually cast as lovably befuddled types, playing a demento so mean he kills a henchman for missing a button on his uniform. The prerequisite scene in which Braine explains his grand scheme for world domination features Andrews doing some powerful scenery-chewing, followed up by a globe bursting into flames to accentuate his point. Frankly, with his feathery haircut and excessive use of eyebrow pencil, Andrews looks kind of silly here. However, in an episode filled with gadgets (one scene includes both a trap door & an ejector seat), Andrew's Mr. Braine gets the coolest prop of all: a nifty self-propelled wheelchair equipped with rockets and nasty triangular blades for people-gutting.

As stated above, "The Night Of The Brain" has quite a high gadget (and action) content, which is fine as these are certainly among the main attractions to this kind of escapist entertainment. At the same time, there are nagging little aspects that do stick out and bother a fan. For example:

-employing knockout gas is all well and good, but relying on it three times in the same episode may be over doing it a bit.

-West takes on a trio of guards, one of whom apparently misses his mark and blocks the camera before stepping out of the shot. Odder still is how Artie simply watches from the sidelines instead of helping West take them out.

-Mr. Braine pursuing West with his steam-powered wheelchair is fairly exciting and well shot- that is, until the end when unimaginative staging doesn't show West using any kind of cleverness to get himself out of trouble. He just suddenly jumps on board the armored conveyance and sends Mr. Braine rolling to his doom.

-Also stretching it a bit (so to speak): Gordon's "double identity" is a tad unbelievable as it would imply Artie carries on him the means to whip up full facial appliances in little more time than it would take to read the front page of a newspaper.

Interestingly, "The Night Of The Brain" is helmed by Larry Peerce, who over the years made terrific films like "Goodbye Columbus", and directed everyone from Henry Fonda & Elizabeth Taylor in "Ash Wednesday" to Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch in "The Ghost Busters" for Saturday morning TV. Hm, considering a career as varied as his, perhaps he was particularly in his element for this good, if uneven episode.

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