This is the first episode in the entire series filmed without Ross Martin as Artemus Gordon. He had suffered a heart attack, so Charles Aidman replaced him as Jeremy Pike. Dialogue reveals that Artemus is busy in Washington. See more »
Opium smuggling, the basis for the plot, is not plausible, as the events were probably before there were any legal restrictions at all on opium sale or use. In 1875 (probably after the events in this episode occurred), San Francisco passed an ordinance making opium parlors illegal but did not otherwise restrict its sale or use (and was motivated more by anti-Chinese than anti-drug sentiments). In 1897, the state of California passed a law requiring warning labels on narcotics and that purchases be registered. In 1907, opium was further restricted to prescription sales and was finally outlawed altogether (along with opium pipes) in 1909. See more »
No doubt the illness of Ross Martin shows here and in a lot of the rest of season 4. Charles Aidman does his first turn as Jeremy Pike. Aidman turns out to be the best of the attempts to replace Martin on the show. This episode looks to take advantage with guest star Pat Paulsen.
About this time, Paulsen is appearing on the Smothers Brothers Comedy hour. He is running his TV campaign for President. While the script here makes every effort to take advantage Pat because of his popularity from the Smothers. The script doesn't quite bring Pat to life but it does have some moments. Overall this is OK, but not the strongest of episodes.
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