The Wild Wild West (1965–1969)
3 user 1 critic

The Night of the Tottering Tontine 

Jim and Arte must protect a key member of a wealthy investment group whose surviving member stands to inherit the group's sizable assets.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Raven
Martin Grevely
Martin Dexter (as Michael Road)
Archduke Maurice
Edward Baring
Steve Gravers ...
Harry Stimson
Gunther Pearse
Lisa Pera ...
Amelia Maitland


Jim and Arte must protect a key member of a wealthy investment group whose surviving member stands to inherit the group's sizable assets.

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Release Date:

6 January 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tontines were an investment instrument that used to be popular before 1900. People got together and pooled money, which was then invested to provide the promised dividends to the surviving investor(s). No dividends were paid until the end of the policy period, which might be anywhere from 10 to 25 years. Contrary to what is implied in the story, tontines did not automatically last until the last surviving member claimed the proceeds. They first gained popularity in Europe, where many governments used them to raise money without having to resort to more unpopular choices like raising taxes. After the late 1800's they fell out of favor, and are now outlawed in many countries. See more »


One of the murder devices used in the episode is a bomb connected by a cable to an electric detonator. Detonators of this kind did not exist in this historical period. See more »


Maurice: As a novelist, I should think you would enjoy the gothic atmosphere here.
Edward Baring: Let me tell you something, Maurice. I have written a whole bookshelf full of books about characters whose lives are about to be dramatically or suddenly snuffed out. But I do not relish finding myself in a position where I do not know when or where death is suddenly to appear. Through the upholstery of a chair? Or from the depths of a crystal ball? Or yes, even from a wine glass.
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Spoofs And Then There Were None (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Pyrotechnics Light Up The Screen
2 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is very strong in the special effects area. The sled to nowhere powered by rockets to the secret passageways are quite effective. The sequence with the whirring sharp blades coming from the ceiling down is more deadly looking than Poe's Pit & The Pendulum though it is definitely is inspired by the story.

This episode has a lot of entertaining sequences including Artie's panic after the rocket sled release only to have Jim show up. Where were you Jim? Just working on the railroad Artie.

Overall an effective and imaginative episode with a sharp ending. While the sequences are a bit choppy, they are good enough that it does not spoil the overall action on this episode.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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