Although the name of the territory in which this episode takes place is never mentioned, Colorado was the only state admitted to the union during Grant's presidency, with the proclamation being signed on 2 August 1876. The next states to be admitted were North and South Dakota, on 2 November 1889, twelve years after Grant left office (and four years after his death). It's unlikely that politicians in Dakota Territory would be anticipating statehood that far in advance. The last territorial governor of Colorado was John Long Routt, appointed by President Grant on 29 March 1875; he also served as the first state governor until 14 January 1879. See more »
West's hairstyle varies from scene to scene, between the usual erect style and Robert Conrad's own shorter natural style. See more »
You're not the Governor. You're a wonderfully endowed face, a commanding presence, a bell-like silver voice. You're a hollow tin-plated fraud, Brubaker! I am the Governor. I made you. I put you into office. I created your Black Legion. I write your speeches for you, tell you what to say, what to think, what to reach for, who to reward, who to execute. You're a Greek mask that I speak through. Don't ever forget that.
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A Wild Wild West episode that speaks the truth about politics
This is another great episode from Season 3 of The Wild, Wild West which is by far the greatest season of the show. It was a season that threw out clichés of the first two seasons of West continuously being held captured by the enemy and involving some far out plot. Season 3 of the show is where stories were the most important aspect of the show and the Legion of Death is one of those episodes of Season 3 with a great story. The episodes title is misleading, because the Legion of Death which is a militia run military group isn't the focus of this episode. The episodes primary focus is about politics. The episode speaks the truth on how politics work, especially in this day and age. The episode deals with a dictatorial governor who runs a territory in the USA, that wants to declare statehood and also this governor wants to run for President of the United States. The governor played by Kent Smith is the shining face that the people love and respect. One problem though, their shining face isn't the great leader they think he is. He's a puppet who's run by someone else who stays in shadow's because he doesn't have that great face or charisma like the governor. This man is nerdy, ugly, and has a scarred face and he is the one that runs the show and the Legion. This man in the shadows is played with perfection by a very young Anthony Zerbe.
The episode ends with a surprising climax of not action, but of the truth about politics. A rally is being held for the governor by it's people, but the governor has finally broken down and can't play the part anymore of their shining face, so the man in the shadows steps out of the shadows and reveals himself as the man who's really runs this territory. As soon as the townsfolk's realize this they leave the rally and it completely dies while Zerbe's character goes mad and loses his mind that the people won't rally for him. While he breaks down all West and Gordon can do is look at the man with pity and remorse. One interesting aspect of this episode is when Zerbe's character is pleading for people to unite with him, a picture of the governor with his smooth face is hung in the background. In this instant you can see that the people don't care for the ugliness and the political ambition of this man, but prefer the smooth shining face of the fraudulent governor who knows nothing about politics. This is very true today in our world of politics in the United States.
In all this is a terrific episode of The Wild, Wild West and I can say that the first two seasons wouldn't come close to writing something this realistic or great. This episode also features many great fights and stunts and Robert Conrad looks like he's having lots of fun in this episode. I too, was having lots of fun watching this episode and it was sure one hell of a wild, wild ride.
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