While the costumes, sets and scenery of ''Series/TheWildWildWest'' are as vibrant as a late 1960's viewer with a new, state-of-the-art television set could wish for, the most colorful thing about the show is, undoubtedly, its characters.
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!Protagonists

!!James West
!!!Actor: Robert Conrad
[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Jim_1_2376.jpg]]

If you could seduce any woman, defeat any man in a fair fight and keep your cool no matter what elaborate death trap you found yourself in... you ''still'' wouldn't be a patch on James T. West. He not only does all of that, he does it effortlessly, shirtlessly and in pants a few sizes too small. He's equally at home whether he's taking on seven goons at once or snarking the BigBad as he (or she) reveals the villainous plan of the week. Nigh-on indestructible, imperturbable and with a mind as quick as his flashing fists, it's no wonder that James West is regarded as the United States' best Secret Service agent.

!! Tropes:
* ActionHero: Jim usually gets at least one show-stopping fight sequence per episode.
* {{Badass}}: Full stop, no qualifiers.
* BashBrothers: West is formidable enough in a fight on his own, but when Gordon is by his side they're well-nigh unbeatable.
* BerserkButton: Want to make an enemy of Jim West real fast? Go ahead, threaten to harm or actually hurt his partner Artemus Gordon.
* TheBigGuy: A rare case where the big guy... isn't. That doesn't stop him from approaching OneManArmy levels of kickassery.
* CaptainErsatz: James West to Franchise/JamesBond.
* CasualDangerDialog: Speaks it fluently.
* TheCharmer: For men, the fist; for women, the kiss. Both are rather effective.
* FastestGunInTheWest: Dr. Loveless hires the fastest gun in the west to kill Jim. Turns out he was only the fastest until Jim arrived...
* GentlemanSnarker: If he's ''not'' making cutting remarks at the villain's expense, things must be serious indeed.
* GorgeousPeriodDress: Jim is usually seen in blue suits, though he also has gray ones, a red smoking jacket and standard black-and-white formal wear.
* HardHead: The author of [[http://fanficdepot.com/writerguide.html A Writer's Guide to "The Wild Wild West"]] has calculated that in 95 episodes, Jim was knocked unconscious by blows to the head 46 times.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Artemus Gordon.
* HollywoodHealing: One of Jim's specialties.
* HonorBeforeReason[=/=]IGaveMyWord: Played straight and nearly word for word in "The Night of the Raven," when Dr. Loveless extracts a promise not to escape from Jim and Jim keeps his promise.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Among other feats of marksmanship, Jim hits the edge-on blade of an axe from across a room.
* InSeriesNickname: "Jim." Artie also likes to address him as "James, my boy."
* {{Leitmotif}}: Established in the first season and used until the fourth.
* LimitedWardrobe: In deliberate contrast to Artie's UnlimitedWardrobe, Jim only seems to own two suits (one royal blue, one baby blue).
* MacGyvering: Jim is adept at this, as seen, for instance, with the pepper cannon in "The Night of the Returning Dead."
* NervesOfSteel: Very little fazes him.
* NiceHat: Jim typically wears a black ''sombrero cordobés''.
* OvertOperative: Jim West, from top to bottom.
* PaintedOnPants: So tight that Robert Conrad often split them during fight sequences (see "The Night of the Pistoleros" for on-camera evidence).
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: With Artie; Jim is the latter half.
* SharpDressedMan: He rarely fails to be dressed to the nines.
* StreetSmart: Jim is extraordinarily adept at assessing situations, thinking on his feet and keeping cool under fire, all of which have saved his life on numerous occasions.
* WaistcoatOfStyle: An inevitable part of the GorgeousPeriodDress.
* WeDoTheImpossible: With Artie's help. It's given a bit of lampshading in "The Night of the Legion of Death."
* XMeetsY: James West is Franchise/JamesBond meets JohnWayne.

!!Artemus Gordon
!!!Actor: Ross Martin
[[quoteright:133:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Artie_1_1656.jpg]]

Guile. Cunning. Trickery. Add a brilliant scientific mind and you have the primary tools of Artemus Gordon's trade. Though he can hold his own in a fight when necessary, he much prefers to use his wits to achieve his ends. As an actor turned Secret Service agent, he makes full use of his genius for languages, disguise, spell-binding oratory and scientific innovation. He's also fond of the finer things in life - art, wine, gourmet cuisine and, last but certainly not least, beautiful women. He's liable to turn up anywhere and as any''one''... but always [[JustInTime in the nick of time]].

!! Tropes:
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Ross Martin was a Jew who was born in Poland. (He grew up in a non-English speaking household.) Though the only hints on the show are his knowledge of Eastern European languages, a scene where he explains the Hebrew meaning of a young woman's name and the episode "The Night of the Vicious Valentine" where he disguises himself as a Jewish tailor using a perfect Yiddish accent, Artie's Jewishness is {{Fanon}}.
* BashBrothers: With James West.
* CasualDangerDialog: His standard reaction to peril of any kind.
* CatchPhrase: "As my great aunt Maude used to say... " and "Great jumping balls of St. Elmo's fire."
* TheCharmer: The ladies find it hard to resist his sly smile and silver tongue.
* ConMan: A rare example of a law-abiding citizen who runs cons on criminals.
* ConMenHateGuns: Artie has shades of this in his stance that using violence is "cheating." However, he still carries a gun and is more than willing to use it when necessary (such as in "The Night of Fire and Brimstone").
* ConsummateLiar: Whether they're off the cuff or pre-rehearsed, Artie's lies are works of art.
* CulturedBadass: Recites Shakespeare. Plays the violin. Is an expert on art, wine, gemstones and fine cuisine. Has impeccable manners. Kills people.
* DemolitionsExpert: Usually of the creatively blowing things up variety, but on at least one occasion ("The Night of the Bars of Hell") he's called upon instead to defuse a situation.
* {{Deuteragonist}}: He gradually becomes this over the course of the second season.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: In "The Night of the Big Blast," Artie proposes marriage to his old flame, Lily Fortune. She turns him down because she "can't lead [his] kind of life."
* DoingResearch: This is one of Artie's responsibilities. He's the one who dives into the books - sometimes ''piles'' of them - in order to dig out and correlate any relevant bits of data. He's also usually the one who gets in touch with the "research department" and other sources of information back in Washington, D. C.
* DreadfulMusician: Though Artie claims to be able to play any musical instrument and backs up his claim rather well, in the past he was apparently not quite so skilled. He tells Jim in "The Night of the Colonel's Ghost" that he once played the organ on a showboat and was so bad that he had to give it up after the patrons threatened to kill him.
** And in the tag scene for "The Night of the Cut-throats," Jim tells Artie that anyone who'd hire him as a piano player (as the week's BigBad did) would have to be nasty.
* EncyclopaedicKnowledge: Jim very accurately calls Artie a "walking encyclopedia."
* GadgeteerGenius: Almost every gadget (and there are many) used by the heroes is stated or implied to be Artie's invention.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: He is an expert in multiple fields of study, but also a cheerful, outgoing ladies' man.
* GentlemanSnarker: Artie rarely loses an opportunity to make a quip, even when in the heat of battle.
* GorgeousPeriodDress: The man owns a collection of suits, jackets and such in almost every color of the rainbow, plus brown and black.
* GuileHero: His stated philosophy is: "When you cannot confound the enemy, then you have lost to him."
* HardHead: The author of [[http://fanficdepot.com/writerguide.html A Writer's Guide to "The Wild Wild West"]] has calculated that in 95 episodes, Artemus was knocked unconscious by blows to the head 29 times.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With James West.
* HoldingTheFloor: One of Artie's specialties.
* InSeriesNickname: "Artie."
* JustInTime: He has a real knack for showing up just as the evil plan of the week is entering its final stage and/or the villain is about to kill a helpless James West.
* {{Leitmotif}}: A cheerful little tune with some martial undertones.
* MacGyvering: Another of his skills.
* MasterOfDisguise: In many episodes Gordon appears in at least one elaborate disguise, one of the more memorable being Robert E. Lee.
* MeaningfulName: "Artie" is a rather appropriate nickname for Artemus, given his artful (in all senses of the word) nature.
* MonaLisaSmile: Artie is described as having one.
* MrExposition: Since Artie is the character who most often [[DoingResearch does any required research]], Ross Martin most often gets the thankless task of trying to make an [[{{Infodump}} infodump]] interesting.
* NiceHat: He tends toward white or brown Stetsons.
* {{Omniglot}}: Artie is shown to speak and/or comprehend, at least to some degree, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese and Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs). He is unfamiliar with Hawaiian but recognizes it as a Polynesian language when he hears it.
* PsychicPowers: Implied in "The Night of the Man-Eating House" and the tag from "The Night of Miguelito's Revenge."
* PurpleProse: Artie likes to break into this from time to time.
* RenaissanceMan: Actor, scientist, master of disguise, musician, art expert, pastry chef, etc., etc.
* RomanticRunnerUp: Originally, despite saving the day or having an equal part in saving the day as Jim, he rarely got the girl; many episodes in the first season end with him looking on forlornly as Jim kisses the DamselInDistress GirlOfTheWeek (although even then there were exceptions - both Jim and Artie get lucky in "The Night of the Torture Chamber," "The Night of the Whirring Death" and "The Night of the Glowing Corpse," and "The Night of Sudden Death" is a rare example where ''Jim'' is the RomanticRunnerUp as Artie literally walks away with '''two''' ladies!). From season two onwards neither agent was lacking in female companionship.
* ScienceHero: His gadgets often save the day while his scientific analysis of available evidence frequently helps point to the solution of a mystery.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: With Jim; Artie is the former.
* SharpDressedMan: Unless necessary for a disguise, that is.
* ShorterMeansSmarter: Inverted. Artie is actually a few inches taller than Jim.
* [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare Shout Out To Shakespeare]]: Artie, a former actor, loves to throw out lines from the Bard.
* {{Sidekick}}: To Jim in the first season or so.
* TheSmartGuy: Though Jim is no slouch intellectually, Artie is an out-and-out genius.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: On at least two occasions, Artie is shown playing chess... against himself.
* StreetSmart: Very much so. He wouldn't last long as a professional undercover man if he ''wasn't''.
* TeamChef: Though he claims in one episode that he "can't cook," this is belied by his ability to prepare everything from simple but delicious camp food to much more elaborate multi-course meals (not to mention his disguise as a chef in "The Night of the Infernal Machine" and "The Night of the Big Blackmail"). He's also a professional-level pastry chef.
* {{Technobabble}}: He is occasionally known to spout this.
* TheTrickster: Misdirection is his stock in trade.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: Artie's closet on the Wanderer must be bigger inside than outside, otherwise it would occupy an entire car. Every new disguise comes complete with a new outfit.
* {{Ventriloquism}}: Something of a ChekhovsHobby in "The Night of the Sedgewick Curse," except we do see him demonstrate his proficiency at the beginning and end of the episode.
* VoiceChangeling: He does an ''exact'' imitation of the villain's voice in "Night of the Casual Killer."
* WaistcoatOfStyle: Lovely examples in blue, red and mixed brown and gold.
* WeDoTheImpossible: With Jim's help. Lampshaded slightly in "The Night of the Legion of Death."
* XMeetsY: Ross Martin once described Artemus Gordon as "a spellbinder, ''Theatre/TheMusicMan'' and ''Theatre/TheRainmaker'', rolled into one."

!Antagonists

!!Dr. Miguelito Quixote Loveless
!!!Actor: Michael Dunn
[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Loveless_7712.jpg]]

Though possessed of a towering intellect, Dr. Loveless can't reconcile himself to the small body in which he finds himself confined and, at some point, turned to evil. After repeated defeats by West and Gordon he develops a personal grudge against the pair, particularly West, though, at the same time, he learns great respect for their talent and resourcefulness. West himself admits at one point when Loveless has apparently died: "I'll miss him, that little man with the giant rage against the whole universe."

!! Tropes:
* BreakoutVillain: Dr. Miguelito Loveless debuted in the third episode, where he was caught (as he was in his second episode - from his third episode onward he was never captured again). But he was so popular (and Dunn was a good friend of Robert Conrad's in RealLife), that he returned several times a year for the rest of the series.
* CutLexLuthorACheck: His less fantastic/silly inventions are decades ahead of their time, although before his first appearance he apparently did make a fortune from some of them.
* DepravedDwarf: His small stature seems to be the main origin of his hatred for, well, everything.
* DiabolicalMastermind: He's usually in the midst of running one dastardly operation or another with a group of minions at hand.
* DirtyCoward: Dr. Loveless always either runs away or grabs a HumanShield when he doesn't have the upper hand.
* DrinkOrder: Dr. Loveless rarely goes an episode without drinking cognac.
* FauxAffablyEvil: He could be singing and laughing while ordering a massacre or trying to lobotomize West.
* GadgeteerGenius: Some of his scientific advances are really remarkable (not to mention [[ArtisticLicensePhysics downright impossible]]).
* GigglingVillain: Loveless prefers to giggle his way through situations calling for evil laughter. It's still quite effective.
* JokerImmunity: Loveless is either captured or (apparently) killed in many of his appearances, but he always manages to reappear.
* KingpinInHisGym: Loveless is sparring with his minions when West first meets him. As a dwarf he's not a physical match, but he seems to specialize in a martial art involving his walking stick and makes short work of them. This seems to be nothing but a bit of entertaining exercise, since he never even attempts direct combat any other time.
* {{Leitmotif}}: He came back so often that he got his own theme music.
* MadScientist: He's brilliant but, sadly, as mad as a march hare.
* MotiveDecay: In his first appearance his goal was to force recognition of his family claim to land amounting to half of California and make it a paradise with his other inventions, and to prevent mass production and military use of an explosive he helped invent. By his second appearance these were secondary goals to revenge on West, which was planned to at least forward them, and after that he'd totally lost it.
* TheNapoleon: While Loveless likes to think of himself as a logical, calm, rational being, he is pretty much the exact opposite, given to rages, tantrums and vindictiveness.
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: In "The Night of the Surreal [=McCoy=]," Dr. Loveless claims that it would be uncivilized to kill West before sitting down to dinner with him.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Dr. Loveless feels this way about West. In "The Night of the Surreal [=McCoy=]," when a rebellious minion tries to just come right out and shoot West, Loveless attacks him with a blowgun.
* PsychopathicManchild: He can go from GigglingVillain to TantrumThrowing in seconds.
* ShadowArchetype: Why is a genius like Loveless so obsessed with a lowly Secret Service Agent like West, to the point of including him in all his schemes? It's a case of NotSoDifferent: both of them are intelligent (though Loveless is at genius level), both of them are handsome, and both of them have a lot of success with the GirlOfTheWeek. Furthermore, West is almost always ''the shortest guy'' in the TV show (not counting Loveless) and yet he is ''perfectly happy and wants to help others''. Loveless will never accept that his TakeOverTheWorld schemes would result, for him, in a AndThenWhat situation... he would still be the same bitter man. Destroying West, the man who reminds Loveless that [[ShadowArchetype being shorter than anyone else is not an obstacle to happiness]], is his true dream.
* SharpDressedMan: Loveless may be evil but he has a great tailor.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: The motivation behind almost every evil, twisted scheme of Loveless' is to create a better world - though only better by ''his'' standards, of course.

!!Count Manzeppi
!!!Actor: Victor Buono
[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Manzeppi_1850.jpg]]

A man of mystery. It's never made clear what powers Manzeppi has, if any, but he is capable of seemingly inexplicable feats of "magic." He is suave, sophisticated, intelligent, cold-blooded and completely self-serving.

!! Tropes:
* AffablyEvil: He may try to kill you, but he'll be very friendly and polite about it.
* DeadpanSnarker: He has a razor-sharp wit and he's not afraid to use it.
* FatBastard: He's about three times Loveless' size by volume and just as evil.
* FriendlyEnemy: Count Manzeppi treats West and Gordon this way, although the sentiment is not mutual.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Count Manzeppi ''appears'' to have magical powers, but it's never made clear how much is appearance and how much is reality.
* PsychicPowers: A possible explanation for his apparent feats of magic.
* VillainExitStageLeft: Count Manzeppi always gets away.
* WickedCultured: Although some of his high-falutin' quotes are clearly made up for comedic effect.
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