Great TV villains: The Wild Wild West introduces Dr. Miguelito Quixote Loveless

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/28/great-tv-villains-the-wild-wi.html

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That show was in daytime re-runs when I was a kid and I used to love it. Dr. Loveless was amazing.

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Michael Dunn found a great balance between portraying genius and madness in the character. I’m sure that’s why Dr. Loveless always scared me when I was a kid watching the re-runs.

Dunn himself also had a fascinating and full but regrettably short life.

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All the more so when you realize Michael Dunn’s primary profession was nightclub singer. The beautiful woman Dr. Loveless sometimes sang duets with was Dunn’s stage partner.

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Dunn was a wonderful actor - and I always considered the Wild West episodes featuring him to be among the very best. He had quite a career on screen and stage.

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Michael Dunn was a fine actor. Can you imagine what it would be like to have Michael Dunn and Peter Dinklage acting together in the same production?

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I always liked him in Get Smart. And Star Trek.

Of course, it was the actor in those shows, not Dr. Loveless.
And in Get Smart, it was the pilot/first episode, which was the only B&W episode, but when aired in syndication here the ad featured that episode. I never knew till much later that it was black and white.

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A great actor bringing a great character to life.

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The bad guy seems fun, but the leading man really drives home how much money TV wasted on male leads in those days, when they could have hired a mahogany armoire for the same job.

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I watched the show on its first run, and it was full of unexpected delights, like the great Dr. Loveless, my favorite villain, as well.

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Eh, he was more lively in other scenes. As I recall, Conrad tended to play these in-the-villains-clutches scenes kind of subdued. I look at it as him trying to get them off their guard.

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Like James Bond, West was one of those male leads that served largely as a blank template for the (mostly young male) audience to imagine themselves filling. So his job wasn’t to demonstrate a full-fledged personality, it was to exhibit cool confidence while he punched the bad guys and kissed the ladies and escaped diabolical traps.

That’s why boys spent years pretending to be the Lone Ranger or Indiana Jones or Tarzan, but almost nobody ever pretended to be Hercule Poirot or Jonathan Harker or Adrian Monk. The more specific the personality quirks, the harder it is to imagine oneself filling the role.

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But some of us did.

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That was a fun clip and Michael Dunn did an impressive job of acting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the show; either it wasn’t played in syndication in Detroit when I was a kid or I was watching something else on another channel when it was.

Also, it’s kind of depressing that he was only a few years older than my dad and died when I was seven.

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He did a lot of his own stunts, and the fight scenes were much better compared to what else was on TV (or in movies) at the time. I like Shatner and Adam West, for who they are, but Conrad’s fight scenes are an order of magnitude better. He could also touch his toes the hard way, starting hanging upside down, then doing a sit-up to get at his ankles to untie himself.

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Is that a young Richard Kiel sitting next to the harp?

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Yes it is.

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It was faux Western steampunk genre TV before that was a thing. It’s not really that much of a thing now. If for whatever reason you find yourself indoors a lot, might be worth a sampling, if not a binge. A group of friends used to RPG in a campaign loosely based on the milieu. For the life of me, can’t remember which gaming system we used.

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