President Grant wants to go to Gibsonville to dedicate the statue of an officer under his command during the Civil War. James West travels ahead to ensure it's safe for the President. West ... See full summary »
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President Grant wants to go to Gibsonville to dedicate the statue of an officer under his command during the Civil War. James West travels ahead to ensure it's safe for the President. West finds Gibsonville is now a ghost town and is experiencing an "epidemic" of broken necks. The few residents left are seeking buried gold -- and the number of bodies is rising. Written by
In the prologue, Grant mentions that he is on the way to a conference in San Francisco. In actuality, although Grant was a well-traveled man before and after his presidency, while in office he seldom traveled, and never went farther west than Colorado during his two terms in office. See more »
*Spoiler/plot- 1952, Agent West and Gordon secretly meet with President only to find out that he wants them to do him a favor in finding out what happened to a leading citizen of Gibsonville. They travel to the town only to find out the town is now closed but holding a golden secret. The agents proceed to explore and find out the secret meeting many odd townspeople hiding out and often dying by mysterious causes.
*Special Stars- Roy Engel, Robert Conrad, Ross Martin, Arthur Hunnicutt, Walker Edmiston, Jennifer Caine, Lee Bergere.
*Theme- Greed: each left citizens are killed one by one.
*Based on- Steam punk novels and secret agent craze of the early 60's.
*Trivia/location/goofs- The entire sequence of James West on his horse entering Gibsonville is all sound effects, because the artificial wind generated by giant studio fans would have made location sound recording impossible in the frontier town location. The horse is a sound effects clip, so the horse hooves don't quite match the action. Ross Martin's character's make-up and costume were personally designed by him to make them believable.
*Emotion- This is a fabulous episode, offering a classic and tight "whodunit" story structure and loads of atmosphere. I love the way it begins the spooky film noir takes over as Mr. Conrad enters the abandoned town of Gibsonville on his mission. Of course, this TV show is at it's best in ghost town mode, and this episode offers heaping servings of ambiance and atmosphere. I enjoyed that much of the tension and humor of the episode rests on the mystery and evasiveness of the characters. All the supporting cast is marvelous. Agent Gordon makes his appearance as an 'English' eccentric with the spiked whiskey. It's not one of Gordon's best disguises, but it plays nicely against the other characters. The humor is fine and as Martin can deliver. Gordon's later disguise as President Grant was much more successful moving the plot forward.
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