[[quoteright:264:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Duality2_9802.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:264:In black and white (season one only) and [[GorgeousPeriodDress living color]].]]
A 1960's TV series which combined two then-popular genres: TheWestern and the SpyDrama, following the anachronistic adventures of two Secret Service agents roaming the western United States during the UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant administration. James West (Robert Conrad) was a borderline [[TheAce Ace]], the ladykilling man of action, while his partner Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) was a GadgeteerGenius and MasterOfDisguise. (Based on his work in this series, Martin the actor easily qualifies as a ''RealLife'' example of the latter.) The duo battled a wild assortment of [[MadScientist mad scientists]] and criminal masterminds, their most persistent foe being the evil-genius dwarf Dr. Miguelito Loveless (Michael Dunn). Depending on how exacting a person's definition of "{{Steampunk}}" is, this series could be said to be the highest-profile example of the genre ever to appear on American live-action TV. It is the UrExample of CattlePunk.

Following the show's cancellation, two [[ReunionShow reunion movies]] were produced in the early 1980's. In 1999 a big-budgeted [[TheFilmOfTheSeries feature film]] was released starring WillSmith as West and Kevin Kline as Gordon (see ''Film/WildWildWest''). If you are a fan of this series, and you want to maintain ''any'' kind of a relationship with other fans of this series, it's a good idea to just not mention the film. [[FandomBerserkButton Seriously... don't.]]

In November 2010, Creator/{{CBS}} announced plans for a {{revival}} to be helmed by Ronald Moore (''Franchise/StarTrek'', ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'') and Naren Shankar (''Series/{{CSI}}'').

The series now has a [[Recap/TheWildWildWest recap page]].
----
!!Tropes:
* AndStarring: Ross Martin got this on the pilot and every season one episode... and on some season four episodes, due to the fact that [[RealLifeWritesThePlot he was sidelined by a heart attack for several shows]]; as a result, those episodes produced/aired after the attack in which he appears (such as "The Night of the Diva") include an "And" above his credit, while the ones in which he doesn't (such as "The Night of Miguelito's Revenge"), don't.
* AnimatedCreditsOpening: The episodes are introduced by a short, stylized cartoon which portrays a gunslinger foiling various evildoers, followed by the actual credits superimposed over drawings of the Wanderer.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: If Artie has any kind of college degree, it's probably in this. He and the various villains come up with endless variations.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Most of the English-speaking foreigners who appear in the series.
* ATeamFiring: Averted. The bad guys rarely come out of gunfights unscathed and even the good guys get hit on occasion (this happened most often in the third season - see "The Night of the Amnesiac," "The Night of Jack O'Diamonds" and "The Night of the Death Masks").
* BloodlessCarnage: Of the "small amount of blood" variety.
* BondVillainStupidity: Almost every villain in the series puts Jim and/or Artemus into a death trap... and leaves the room.
* CanonDiscontinuity: Three different versions of a tank turn up over the course of the series - two invented by villains, one by Artie. The agents don't seem to retain any memory of the previous times such a device appeared.
* TheCastShowoff: Robert Conrad really (and often literally) threw himself into the fight scenes, so much so that he was prone to splitting his pants (something not always fixed in the editing room - see "The Night of the Pistoleros"). Ross Martin actually called his own role "a showoff's showcase."
* CattlePunk: More or less invented the genre.
* CharacterAgedWithTheActor: In the reunion movies.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Due partially to EarlyInstallmentWeirdness and partially to behind-the-scenes drama, the first season is noticeably different from the others in terms of Artie's characterization and the relationship between the agents.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome:
** Jim's valet, Tennyson, disappears after three episodes as suddenly and mysteriously as he arrived.
** Also Loveless's ladyfriend Antoinette (unlike Tennyson, she at least gets replaced. Three times).
* ComicBookAdaptation: A series of comic books based on the series were released by [[Creator/GoldKeyComics Gold Key]]. In 1990-1991, a small publisher called Millennium produced a second series based on the show.
* CoolTrain: The Wanderer, West and Gordon's mobile headquarters.
* CostumeDrama: Very much so, especially after the series went to color in the second season.
* CreateYourOwnVillain: The first reunion movie features a young man seeking revenge on James West for killing his father.
* DeathTrap: Most episodes, especially in season one, from the classic DescendingCeiling to a glass box specially rigged to become a GasChamber if escape was attempted.
* DisguisedInDrag: Artie in the first reunion movie.
* EasyEvangelism: If the villain has a beautiful female assistant (and they almost always do), Jim can usually get them to switch sides with five minutes of heartfelt conversation or less, regardless of how fanatically loyal they previously were. (Exceptions: Astarte in "The Night of the Druid's Blood," Antoinette in the first five Loveless episodes, Elaine in "The Night of the Vicious Valentine.")
* {{Fanservice}}: For those who like guys, a frequently shirtless Robert Conrad and his penchant for sporting ''very'' tight pants. For those who like ladies, see GirlOfTheWeek.
* FauxFluency: Averted for the most part, at least in Ross Martin's case. He really could speak most of the languages Artemus Gordon uses.
* {{Flynning}}: Jim and Artie both get to indulge in this from time to time.
* GadgeteerGenius: Both heroes and villains fall into this category.
** Interestingly, occasionally the heroes's gadgets don't work properly, notably in "The Night of the Deadly Bubble" [[spoiler: when Jim and the GirlOfTheWeek are trapped in a room filling with steam; the explosives Jim tries to use to get out won't light because the matches are too damp. You'll just have to watch the episode to see how they escape...]]
* GenreBusting: An oddball combination of the western and the spy drama with occasional forays into sci-fi and the supernatural. It is the UrExample of CattlePunk.
* GirlOfTheWeek: The series ''is'' inspired by the Franchise/JamesBond franchise, after all. Almost every episode features a beautiful young woman for the hero(es) to romance - often ''more'' than one.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: And how; Conrad has been quoted as saying it's perhaps just as well the show was canceled when it was, as making it was so physically taxing for him and the stunt crew.
** Plus, unlike many TV stars of that time (and this time), it's clearly Conrad doing most of his own stunts.
* GorgeousPeriodDress: There is a great deal of finery to be seen on the main characters and the guest stars alike.
* GrapplingHookPistol: Jim's pistol can be converted into one.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Allows the heroes to escape from imprisonment numerous times.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Presidents Grant and Juárez.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every episode title begins with "The Night..." (although technically season one's "Night of the Casual Killer" is the only exception).
* IdiosyncraticWipes: The last shot of every act was freeze-framed into either a textured picture (season 1 post-pilot), a tinted still (early season 2) or a drawing (in the pilot, and from mid-season 2) that took its place among the series's title design. This led to some painfully obvious posed shots (such as act 1 of "The Night of the Torture Chamber") and a tendency to advertise the upcoming freezeframes by a rapid zoom in (see "The Night of the Arrow," "The Night of the Undead" and any episode directed by Irving J. Moore - which is pretty easy, as he helmed more episodes than anyone else).
* IdiotBall: Loveless's genius is demonstrated enough times for it to not be an InformedAbility, but after having encountered Artie in disguise several times and still never seeing through them... especially considering Count Manzeppi, in only his second (and last) episode, ''immediately'' realises "Uncle Hansi" is actually Artie:
--> '''Count Manzeppi''': Don't "shlip" going up the "shtairs," "Mishter" Gordon.
* ImprovisedWeapon: In a pinch, the agents will often resort to any weapon-like item available - a chair, a bottle, a frying pan...
* TheInfiltration: One of Artie's primary weapons, though Jim also tries his hand at it on occasion. An infiltration of some kind seems to be required in every other episode.
* InstantMessengerPigeon: At least four of them - Henry, Henrietta, Annabella and Arabella.
* InstantSedation: Artie's bright red knockout gas. Also any such gas used on the agents.
* [[DistressedDude James West Bondage]]: The agents end up in this situation with rather astonishing frequency.
* KarmicDeath: The fate of many a VillainOfTheWeek.
* LargeHam: Quite a few. Many of Artemus Gordon's assumed identities fall into this category as well.
* LighterAndSofter: The reunion movies are very much comedies, to the point of {{camp}}, while the original series is a drama.
* MadScientist: Many of the villains.
* TheMainCharactersDoEverything: James and Artemus are Secret Service agents employed by the Department of the Treasury. Technically, their job is to track down and stop counterfeiters (which they actually ''do'' sometimes - see "The Night of Sudden Death" and "The Night of the Circus of Death")... and that's it. In reality they act much more like U. S. Marshals.
* MixAndMatch: TheWestern + SpyDrama + a bit of ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' for good measure.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: Any weapon wielded by a villain far in advance of real late 19th century technology will be this, to explain why nobody ever heard of it again after Jim and Artie destroy it and kill its owner.
* {{Novelization}}: "The Night Of the Double-Edged Knife" was turned into a paperback novel, simply titled ''The Wild Wild West'', by Richard Wormser.
* PunnyName[=/=]EpunymousTitle: The Wild Wild...James West?
* RecurringCharacter: Colonel Richmond, played by Douglas Henderson, and Roy Engel as President Grant.
* RecycledINSPACE: It's Franchise/JamesBond IN {{THE WILD WEST}}!
* RecycledPremise: A number of episodes involve threats against President Grant (admittedly TruthInTelevision, given how prone Presidents are to death threats).
* RecycledSoundtrack: Episodes used music from ''Series/{{Gunsmoke}}'' (like "The Night of the Running Death") and, believe it or not, ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' (see "The Night of the Bleak Island" and "The Night of the Winged Terror, Part 2"). Even more bizarrely, the latter show returned the favour - the episode "Face of the Dragon" borrows music written for "The Night of the Sedgewick Curse"!
* RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear: The vast majority of the audience isn't fluent in Morse code, so when a message comes in over a telegraph it will often get a running translation into spoken English for no apparent reason.
* ReunionShow: The TV Movies ''The Wild Wild West Revisited'' and ''More Wild Wild West''.
* RoguesGallery: Dr. Miguelito Loveless and Count Manzeppi are the only recurring main villains. But there's also Loveless' loyal assistants Antoinette and Voltaire - although Antoinette vanishes during season 2 and Voltaire never appears after season 1 (unlike his portrayer Richard Kiel, who returns in another role in "The Night of the Simian Terror").
* RubeGoldbergHatesYourGuts: Many of the death traps on the series, allowing time for the hero(es) to escape.
* ShirtlessScene: Jim West gets a lot of these.
* ShoePhone: The show features exploding billiard balls, cigars that play a variety of tricks and deadly pool cues, among other things.
* SlippingAMickey: Besides a good conk on the head, the most frequent method used to incapacitate one or both agents.
* {{Steampunk}}: Between steam and various kinds of AppliedPhlebotinum, the characters manage to invent devices many, many years ahead of their time.
* SteampunkGadgeteers: One of the heroes and about half of the villains.
* StuntDouble: Not for Conrad so much as his opponents.
* SurprisinglyGoodForeignLanguage: Not ''quite'' so surprising once you learn how many languages Ross Martin actually spoke.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute:
** When Artie is temporarily assigned to Washington (to cover for Ross Martin's absence while he recovered from a heart attack), Jim gets a new partner, Jeremy Pike, who also happens to be a MasterOfDisguise and a dab hand with gadgets.
** Pike was himself briefly replaced by Frank Harper, who was basically Jeremy Pike with a different actor.
** Averted with Ned Brown, probably West's only partner who doesn't go in for disguises or gadgetry. Also averted with Sir Nigel Scott [[spoiler: (not least with his being TheMole)]].
* TechnicolorScience: Used lavishly once the series went to color.
* TemporarySubstitute: Jeremy Pike, Frank Harper, Ned Brown and Sir Nigel Scott pinch-hitting for Artie in season four.
* ThemeTuneCameo:
** In the second TV movie, Artemus Gordon hums the main theme from the show while getting ready in front of a mirror.
** Not a ''theme'' tune cameo, but at the end of "The Night of the Sabitini Death," we get a clip of the music typically played during the first scene of a ''GilligansIsland'' episode. See ActorAllusion on the trivia page.
* WakingUpElsewhere: Very frequent occurrence.
* WigDressAccent: Artemus Gordon's disguises are generally of this variety.
* TheWildWest: So wild they had to say it twice!
* Mohs/WorldOfPhlebotinum: A new [[AppliedPhlebotinum gimmick]] seems to pop up in almost every episode, usually courtesy of Artemus Gordon.
* WouldHitAGirl: Seen in the opening credits sequence during three of the four seasons.
* WrittenInAbsence: Ross Martin's health problems forced him to sit out a few episodes, which led to several [[TemporarySubstitute substitutes]].
* YouLookFamiliar: Rampant throughout the series, e.g. Joan Huntington being the GirlOfTheWeek on three separate occasions ("The Night of the Red-Eyed Madmen" (with Toian Matchinga, who also appears in three episodes), "The Night of the Bottomless Pit" and "The Night of the Circus of Death"). Most striking example: when Dimas appears in "The Night of the Simian Terror," neither of our heroes notices how much he looks like Dr. Loveless's assistant Voltaire.
----