The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 1, Episode 28 - The Night of the Sudden Plague - full transcript

As Jim West and Artemus Gordon ride into the mysteriously quiet town of Willow Springs, they notice that the citizens are all paralyzed and the bank has been robbed. When they visit a nearby town to investigate this bizarre occurrence, the agents discover a mad professor breeding bacteria for a serum that causes temporary paralysis.

One thing I love
is a warm welcome.

Yeah, so do I.

Where do you think
we can find one?

Let's try the saloon.

I like the way you think.

I've heard of
people being stoned,

but this is ridiculous.

Everything's in
place, except the bets.

There's no money. Yeah.

You'd better go check the till.


Completely cleaned out.

Not a thing in it.

On the house?

Well, thank you.

Don't mind if I do.

Maybe it's some
new kind of poison.

I just remembered I don't drink.

Same story in there.

Customer, storekeeper,
and the money's gone.

And the same in the
blacksmith's shop,

only with a hammer. Ugh!

Safe's blown wide open.

An expert job, too.

Jim, this man's eyes are moving.

Don't touch him.

He's alive.

Maybe they're all alive.

It's very difficult to
explain, Governor.

The paralysis comes
on quite suddenly,

and the whole
body becomes rigid.

The effects last
for about 48 hours.

Do we know what causes it?

No, sir, we don't.

It could be a new poison.

A colorless gas, for instance.

My partner's working on it now.

Well, what are the aftereffects?

Ow! Be careful, you idiot.

All the people seem
to have recovered.

The entire town of Willow
Springs was paralyzed,

yet there was just one
fatality, an older man.

It could have been
from some other cause.

I suppose I'll
have to investigate.

Oh, we've already done that.

We hope the autopsy will
show us what sort of problem

we're up against.

What about the missing money?

Not a trace.

Not a clue.

If there were any tracks,
the wind took care of that

long before we got there.

All right, Roscoe.

You've practiced
enough for today.

Now get back to
the butcher shop.

You seem to be taking
this rather calmly, sir.

Before you come
tomorrow, Roscoe,

do sharpen that razor.

You must have been
chopping kindling with it.

You're quite wrong, Mr. West.

I'm not at all calm about this.

But, uh, just because I live
among savages doesn't mean

I have to act like one.

Do you know how
I became governor

of this territory?

It beats me.

Well, apparently,

I offended some rather
powerful political figures.

This is my punishment.

This office is my prison cell.

A bird in a gilded cage.

But I intend to make fools
of my persecutors, Mr. West.

I intend to do such
an outstanding job

that I will return to
Washington in triumph.

Best of luck.

I understand you are a man
of many accomplishments,

many skills, Mr. West.

I know how to shave myself.

I don't mind
impertinence, Mr. West.

It shows spirit.

And you're going
to need lots of it.

This is a wire
from the President,

instructing me to keep you
and Mr. Gordon on this case

until the looting of
Willow Springs is solved

and the money returned.

We were expecting that.

Possibly you were.

But, as it happens,

the President
contacted me, not you.

So, as your superior,

let me tell you one
thing, Mr. West.

Unless I get prompt action
on this case, immediate action,

I will nail your brilliant and
accomplished reputation

to the wall.

What is it, Hobson?

Sorry to bother you, Governor,

but we just received
an incomplete request

for help from Sand Hills.

We can't seem to raise
the telegraph agent there.

Can't raise the agent?

Did you hear that, West?

Do you think there's
any connection?

Well, answer me.


he's already gone.

About your teeth...


Oh, Dr. Kirby!

Well, I'm certainly
glad to see you, sir.

I'm happy to be of help.

The, uh,

federal authorities
are really quite grateful

to you for having
volunteered, sir.

Well, from what
I'd heard about this,

I couldn't afford to pass it up.

Now, let me see.


What is it, Doctor?

Oh, it's exciting.

It's a real challenge.

I've, I've, I've never seen
anything like this before.

What's the matter?

I don't know.

Not... not enough rest probably.

I've been up all night looking
at these medical books,

trying, trying, trying to
make some sense out of this.


Have you any theories so far?

Yes, I have. Here, look.

In there? Yes.

This slide is a bit of tissue

taken from the victim.

It's been stained to
show the nerve endings.

Oh, is that what those
little blue dots are?

Mm-hmm. Th-That shows

that the nerves
have been attacked

by some... some toxic substance.

What's wrong, Doctor?



What can I do?

Tell me what to do to help you.

I must have been
infected in the autopsy.

I need an injection.

Where is it?
I'll get it for you.

In the bag...

under the table.


Our new technique sure
makes our work a lot easier

these days, don't it, Lafe?

Hey, looky here.

It would be just like
shooting clay ducks at the fair.

Hold it.

You know the orders.

I used to think you
ran this gang, Coley.

That's why I joined up with you.

Anytime you think different,

you can try me.

All right.

Time to ride.

Six, 37, 38...

39, 40,


Not bad for a small-town bank.

Not bad. Look at that.

All right, where's that sack
from the Express Office?

There it is there.

Sweet, sweet
money. I love it. Mmm.

All that money.

Know what I'm
gonna do with this?


A lousy 300!

That's all?

Who cleaned out
the Express Office?

I did.


Now, Frank, it would
certainly pain me

if I thought you were going
into business for yourself.

Say what you mean, Coley.

Spit it out!

I'm saying maybe

you put all the small
bills in the sack for us

and all the big ones
in your own pocket.

That's a lie.

Only one way to find out.

Hand over your wallet, Frank.

Frank, your wallet.

What's the matter
with all of us?

Do we have to let him ride
up and down our backs?

Hey, now, Coley,

Frank wouldn't
do nothin' like that.

Maybe that express
agent was down at the bank

for a deposit or something.

Hey, come on.

Let's have a drink

and be pals. Forget
about it. Come on.

Up to you, Frank.

Get his wallet!

O... Over a thousand
dollars, you liar, you!

Oh, please!

You... you are not one of them.

That's what all
the trouble's about.

What do you want?

Out. Which way?

The desert is too open.

They'll see you if you run.

They'll see me if I stay.

Come. I hide you.

No one will search the
tower. They are afraid.


Those men don't frighten easily.

By the way, what
are you doing here?

Check the tower, Lafe.

Not me. I'm not
going up in there.

I'll do it myself.

Quickly, inside.

I know how you feel.

We're in the same fix.

We can't find him anywhere.

Not a sign of him.

All right.

Lafe, you and Whitey
patrol outside the wall.

Sam, Jeff, you help the
men on the sentry post.

Whoever he is, I
don't think he got away.

He's bound to make a
break for it before sunup,

and that gives him one hour.

Think maybe it's about
time we moved our hideout?

Move? What are
you talking about?

This place is perfect.

Besides, we've got
all our equipment here.

It wouldn't be so easy to move.

Yeah, well, we've
been talking about that.

Maybe it's about time
we got ourselves clear

of the doc and his...

ooh, his bugs.

You'd rather go back

to shooting it out on every job?

You never had it so easy.

Besides, we've hardly
scratched the surface.

We're going to clean
out this whole territory.

Look, Coley, we made a
couple of real good scores,

but the truth is, the boys and I

are just plain scared
of that crazy doc.

Nobody... nobody... knows
what that guy's gonna do next.

You leave the doc to me.

All any of you gotta
do is take orders,

unless there's
somebody else here

who wants to go into
business for himself.

All right, boys, you heard him.

Let's do what he says.

Now, please, I
know you're hungry.

Please eat.

Mr., um...


My name's James West.

Do you do this
for all the strangers

that happen to wander in?

I, uh, I need help.

I'll do anything.

Well, that gives us
something in common.

I must get my
father out of here,

away from the gang, and
the killer who runs them.

I think you'd better tell me
everything about your father

and his experiments.

You believe me?

How could you
possibly lie to me?

My father was a student
of the great Dr. Lister,

the man who followed Pasteur

in proving that many disease
are caused by tiny bacteria.

You understand?

The germ theory.

I've heard of it.

After his studies with Lister,

my father went to China
as a medical missionary.

It was there he met my
mother and I was born.

He was the great hero
with my people there.

He helped heal many hundreds.

What went wrong?

There was a plague.

Thousands of people were ill,

including the wife of
the ruler of the province.

My father treated her...

but she died.

The ruler blamed him.

As punishment...

he killed my mother.

He drove us out.

Destroyed my
father's reputation.

Took away his license
to practice medicine.

That was his life.

So, now he breeds
new types of bacteria.

He has developed a
germ that can paralyze.

Well, why does he let the gang

use this germ for
their own purposes?

He doesn't know what
they're doing with it.

He's their prisoner.

They are putting it in
the main water supply

of the towns they loot.


When do they plan the next job?

I don't know exactly.

I only know that it is soon,

and that they intend

to kill everyone
in San Francisco

if they have to.

You be extra careful.

I'll be back as soon
as I spread the warning.

♪ ♪

Hey, Coley, we caught him.


We got him.

Governor, I'd like you

to issue an immediate warning

to all the towns
in the territory.

Watch the sideburns, Roscoe.

All water supply should
be guarded 24 hours a day,

and no new shipments of food
should be used until further notice.

Easy! Don't just hack at me.

Governor, I think

you should request
federal troops

to quarantine all
outbreaks of illness.

Governor, do you
hear what I'm saying?

Shout, Mr. West.

How could I not hear you?

I'm telling you

that you have a
full-scale emergency.

And unless you act quickly,

millions of innocent
people could die.

Yes, yes, and on the
strength of what some...

Stop it while I'm talking.

On the strength

of what some idiotic
hysterical girl told you,

you want me to create a panic
throughout the whole territory

and make a fool of
myself in Washington.

Just because of some
wild story about germs.

What did Artemus and the
doctor learn from the autopsy?

Learn? Nothing.

The doctor, if there
was one, vanished.

And, uh, Gordon turned
up with a concussion.

What? Where is he now?

I have no idea.

He staggered out of bed

to go and search for you

around Sand Hills.

Oh, it's been a
comedy of errors,

and in my opinion,

you've both have been
totally incompetent.

Roscoe, you're here to shave me.

Now, Governor,

you and I are going
to have a serious talk.

Do you believe I
tracked the gang

from Sand Hills
to their hideout?

I believe you tracked the gang

from Sand Hills
to their hideout.

And do you also believe
that they have a germ culture

that causes a paralysis
in the towns that they loot?

Paralysis in the
towns they loot.

And I'm sure you believe

that they have a new
and deadlier germ

which not only
paralyzes, but kills.

Yes, but kills.

What are you going to
do about that, Governor?

Do just what you said.

Issue a warning to guard
all water and food supplies.

Do just what you said.

Now you're making sense.

I'm going back to the fort,

get Arty, the girl,
and her father.

I could send some men with you.

No, no, we can't
attack in force.

They'd kill Artemus
before I got to him.

I'm going alone.

Whatever you say.

Now we understand
each other, Governor.

You do exactly as I said,
or when I come back,

I'm going to give you
a much closer shave

than that.

I brought you some playmates.

I figured they might
help you to talk.

Well, thank you.

It's right friendly of you.

Yeah, and they're hungry.

Very hungry.

Now, you see this?


They love it.

They won't be able to tell you

from the real thing.

You know, my memory's
starting to come back.

What was it you wanted to know?

What brings you out here.

Nothing, I told you.

Just stumbled onto the place.

It's on the way to nowhere.

Just where I was headed.

You know, there's one thing

you ought to know
about these pets.

They're not feeling so good.


Nothing serious, I hope.


May be fatal.

You see, they got
the germ yesterday.

They should be
loaded with it by now.

You sure are a persuasive man.

So, let's hear the truth.

All right, I was headed here.

To hide out.

I got into a scrape
in Virginia City.

Shot a man.

The law took out after me.

What about the other man?

The one who ran?

I didn't see anybody else.

I was walking over to the fort
when everything busted loose.


You know, there's one thing

I know for sure
about you, friend.


That you're a rotten liar.

Stop it!

What are you doing?

You know the
doctor forbids anyone

to take his animals.

Well, I wouldn't let
them eat enough

to hurt him.

Turn this man loose.

Ah, you take care of your pets.

I'll handle this character.

Care to watch?


You staged that whole autopsy.

Of course I did.

The moment I learned
there was to be an inquiry,

I made myself available.

You hear that?

Ah, it's just a coyote howling.

Are you going to bet?

Yeah, I'm going to
bet it's not a coyote.

Come on.

Aw, every time I
get a good hand.

Oh, yes, I see them now.

Little stick shape
things, wiggling.

Not really very pretty.

If you knew the
scientific genius

that goes into
breeding a new strain

of bacteria, Mr. Gordon.

You're the second
person in the world

to see that germ.

That's very flattering.

Why should the honor fall to me?

Because you have a brain.


Even if it is in a rudimentary
state of development.

Not like those
cattle down below.

I see. You want
somebody to brag to.

All right, tell me about
that, uh, new bug of yours.

What's so good about it?

That is the most
dangerous bacteria

the world has ever known.


I'm going to call it,
Bacillus Kirbyensis.

It'll make my name
immortal in medical circles.

If that's fame, Dr. Kirby,

I'd rather die unknown.

Well, it is fame, Mr. Gordon.

Many great researchers have
given their names to diseases.

Yes, but they were
working for mankind,

not against it.

Yes. I spent, uh...

I spent years trying
to save mankind.

And what was my reward?

They killed my wife.

They robbed me of my profession.

And so now I'm
going to give them

what they understand.



So scum like Coley Rodman

and his gang can loot the world?

No, no.

No, no. They...

They think they're using me.

They are, Dr. Kirby.

You're nothing but a
weapon in Rodman's hand.

Well, we shall see.

I, uh... I have certain plans.


What was that?

The natives are restless.

Stop it.

Not in the lab.

Hold it!

Get... Get out of here!

Get out!

What are you doing in here?

I've warned you.

You are not to come
in the laboratory.

I've told you a hundred times.

You're not to be here...


You know him?


Yes, Father.

Who is he?

Where did he come from?

He-he's a friend.

He wants to help me,

help us.

Help us into prison, maybe.

He's the spy that
was here before.

Now I know how he
managed to stay out of sight.


No, you wouldn't
do such a thing.

Anna, t-tell me
you didn't hide him.

You will inject these men

with my new culture.

Hey, Coley,

why don't we just shoot
'em and get it over with?

No, if the doc's new
germ's all he says it is,

they'll be dead by morning.

Kind of worth
waiting to find out.

Come on. Let's go.

Arte, can you move?

I don't want to try. I'd
hate to be disappointed.

I'm glad Anna didn't really
stick us with that needle.

Yeah, well, she's a nice girl.

I can't say much for her father.

Well, so this is where they keep
the rest of the menagerie, eh?


Show a little respect, you know?

I could be your uncle.

Who had the picnic?

Oh, that's the food Anna
brought me last night.

Oh, you stay here often?

Mm, maybe once too often.

Hey, Jim, I just thought...

what do you suppose'll happen
when we don't die on schedule?

I imagine they'll
give us some help.

Just give me the stuff,
and let's get moving.

No, I told you that's
no longer the plan.

Look, Doc, maybe it hasn't
sunk in yet, but that's the plan.

The town's waiting
to be knocked over,

and me and my friends... we
just happen to be businessmen.

You know, you're like some
little termite gnawing at the bark...

when, with one swoop,
you could fell the entire tree.

I'm not trying to get rid
of the whole human race.

I figure if we knock off
$40,000, $50,000 a week,

we're going all right.

Money, money, money!

That's all you think about.

And all you think
about is killing!

I don't mind
shooting a man, but...

I don't... I don't see the sense

in wiping out
hundreds at a time.



Hundreds of thousands.

You know, Doc, I-I
think you're getting

a little near the edge,

you know what I mean?

I'll take that new
bacillus to San Francisco.

In three days, I'll wipe
out that entire city...

and then you can loot
till your greed chokes you.

You mean that...

the germ will... kill
everybody that fast?

In the morning,
you'll have proof.

The experiment will be complete.

Mr. West and
Mr. Gordon will, uh,

no longer be among the living.

It's solid.

Don't move!

I don't remember
ordering a new suit.

Ah, it's a portrait.

Wonderful way to
spend an afternoon.

Well, it's very nice,

but I don't think you've
captured the real me.


Just a pinch of salt.

Ah, yes.

Now that's the real me.

A regular Rubens.

That'll cost you ten.

I've about had it
with that loony doc.

I'll see that and raise you.

It's time to get rid of him.

Yeah, I guess
so. It's about time.

Yeah, good, good.

We've been thinking

we can't stick
around here forever.

Somebody's bound to come looking

for those two guys
sooner or later.

All right, then,
we'll clear out,

then we'll hit Silver
City on our way south.

Yeah, and what about the doc?

Will he give us the
stuff to fix up the town?

Don't worry about
Doc. I'll take care of him.

And the girl? I've
got plans for her too.

All right, come on.
Let's pack up the loot.

Whitey, you go up
to the storage room

and take care of the two men.

All right. All right,
come on. Let's move.

Lafe, now.

Aw, Coley, every time
I get a good hand...

You get Anna.
I'll get the doctor.

It's impossible.

You're dead by now.

I'm afraid your little bug's

fallen down on the job, Doctor.

No, I...

I checked them...


You failed, Doctor.

Now come with me.

I only want to help you.

Help me?


I know some good doctors.

They're the ones
that'll help you.

They'll help me?

No, no.

They sent you here.

They want to see me destroyed.

They want to see
my work destroyed.

They're jealous of me!

I wonder what
happened to Whitey.

If you don't care about yourself,
what about your daughter?

No! My work!

You'll ruin everything! Stop it!

I'll kill

all of you!

Okay... okay, don't shoot.

You pick up Kirby's body
and carry him outside.


You, get up and help.

According to the
public health service,

there's no further
danger of an epidemic.

Then both Willow
Springs and Sand Hill

will be back to normal.

Thank Heaven for that.

Yes, your father's discovery
was quite an accomplishment.

Oh, it, uh, may
prove useful someday,

maybe as an anesthetic.

I'd like to think
some good came of it.

Poor Father.

He started out
wanting to help people.

Maybe in the end, he did.

I hope so.

Now it's time to think about you

and a new life in San Francisco.

San Francisco!

Wonderful town, San Francisco.

You'll love it there.

As a matter of fact,
once we get there,

I'd like to hang around
just to make sure you do.

Oh, you're very kind.

John and I'll be glad
to have you join us.

John? My fiancé, John Chang.

When he heard what
happened to my father,

he-he wired to meet
him in San Francisco.

He is wonderful.

Oh, wonderful. Mm, marvelous.

But, of course, we
can be good friends.

Friends. Friends.

What's that for?

John Chang.

Oh, of course, John Chang.

How could I forget John Chang?

Hmm? Cheers.


Of course.