The Wild Wild West (1965–1969)
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The Night of the Steel Assassin 

Jim and Arte must stop Torres-a man more metal than flesh, with superhuman strength and a taste for revenge-from killing President Grant.



(teleplay) (as Calvin Clements), (story) | 1 more credit »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Sue Ane Langdon ...
Nina Gilbert
Dr. Meyer
Sara Taft ...
R.L. Gilbert
S. John Launer ...
Saloon Girl
Roy Engel ...


Jim and Arte must stop Torres-a man more metal than flesh, with superhuman strength and a taste for revenge-from killing President Grant.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

7 January 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Torres uses wireless remote control to control his lethal rockets. While this is one of those fun anachronisms of the series, it is interesting to note that while wireless remote control was a capability in the 1960s, it wasn't widely used. Outside of radio controlled toys and novelties, wireless mechanical control isn't even widely used today. Hardwired and not wireless electromechanical controls remain the most common and economical technology to mechanically control devices. See more »


The burn rate of the fuses together with their length and distance from the rockets is such that it would be impossible for Torres and West to have such a lengthy conversation without the rockets igniting. As a result, the same footage of the burning fuses is looped over and over again between shots - the fuses never ending up any closer to the rockets during their conversation. Later when West is psyching out the henchman left to guard him, new footage of the fuses is inserted. Now the fuses can be seen clearly reaching the rockets, but they do not ignite because that footage is looped a few times until the henchman flees the room and West makes his move. See more »


Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (uncredited)
Played on the soundtrack whilst Nina Gilbert approaches Mr. Torres' mansion.
See more »

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User Reviews

Tin Soldier
19 September 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Col. Torres' shattered body is surgically repaired and reinforced with metal parts. Now endowed with super strength, the vengeful cyborg embarks on a quest to punish those from his regiment he holds responsible for his injuries. Among the names on his hit-list is President Ulysses S. Grant.

Technically quite superior for the time it was filmed, "The Night Of The Steel Assassin" features some outstanding makeup work including one particularly impressive shot in which Col. Torres receives a bullet to the face. Shockingly, the projectile tears a strip of flesh right off his forehead revealing nothing but metal beneath. Another effective touch is the weird electronic echo in Torres' voice that makes him sound as if he were speaking through a gramophone.

Col. Torres (played to grim perfection by John Dehner) plans to kill the visiting President Grant using guided missiles made to look like fourth of July sky rockets. West, despite being bound and hung from the ceiling, manages to divert the missiles' aim causing both rockets to spectacularly sail into the room where he is being held.

Though generally well directed by Lee H. Katzin, "...Steel Assassin" does at times suffer from an uneven sense of pace as in one plodding scene in which a miscast Sue Ann Langdon undergoes an all too lengthy hypnosis session, and a dance hall sequence also becomes rather tedious to watch. Still, the action sequences are very exciting; Col. Torres is both a menacing villain as well as a genuinely interesting character (sort of like a Dr. Loveless played without the humour); Richard Markowitz's music is superb and the episode's extensive model work, while not always completely convincing, is nevertheless always fun to inspect.

As first season episodes go, this one is, indeed, nicely forged.

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