Dr. Loveless imprisons Jim in an abandoned mining town that Loveless has "repopulated" with wax figures. There the evil scientist intends to surgically create a perfect duplicate of Jim, who will do his bidding. He plans to kill the original Jim West and use the duplicate to destroy the Secret Service and much of Washington, D.C. Written by
Moved from "outline" and expanded.
Dr. Loveless' Second Appearance is An Amusing, Sometimes Surprising Entry
McGarrett had Wo Fat on "Hawaii Five-O," and James West had Dr. Miguelito Loveless on "The Wild, Wild West" -- a formidable enemy whose repeated appearances gave the show a sense of continuing existence -- unlike many series, where every episode seems divorced from every other one. In his second appearance, Loveless and his giant assistant, Voltaire (Richard Kiel) -- even their names are interesting! -- have escaped from prison and Loveless sets about creating a double for West. In some ways, it's a plot that's been done many times before and since (an early episode of "Star Trek," made during the following television season, had an android playing Captain Kirk, for example) -- but here it brings some interesting twists and surprises.
The doppelganger gimmick, of course, must have created some headaches for the production staff, since West had to play both himself and his evil look-alike whenever they were on-camera together. There's one scene -- a leap from a building -- where they almost didn't pull it off; but the scene moves quickly, and given that it was created for mid-1960s television with fuzzier, over-the-air broadcasts and no way for viewers to record and then back-up to watch the scene, these moments are generally done well. And, as usual, Artemus Gordon provides the needed scientific counterpoint to Dr. Loveless' evil genius.
And as always, as played by the diminutive Michael Dunn, Dr. Loveless was never less than a fascinating character. He tells his assistant Antoinette (played by Dunn's real-life singing partner, Phoebe Dorin) how he abhors violence, and how shocked he was that West punched Voltaire while trying to escape, and then launches into song with her; and later, he reminds Voltaire, just before he intends to have Voltaire kill West, that the thing he *really* hates about violence is the noise -- because "it destroys conversation." Of course, he would have killed five thousand people with his high-tech explosives in his first appearance if West hadn't stopped him, and he's kidnapped Jim West (and at one point nearly electrocutes him) this time; but somehow, Loveless manages to overlook these details.
So, Loveless may have been an evil genius and a hypocrite . . . but he always had a sense of style. Any episode in which Dr. Loveless appears ranks high on the list of the best that this series had to offer.
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