I'm about to see Pioneers of Television:The Westerns. It looks like one of the featured shows is Wild, Wild West. Now I never really seen this series but I know it had a LOT of fantastic aspects and gimmicks. So do you consider it a Western first or a Sci-Fi show set in the Wild West?

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I consider it a Western myself. I didn't get into the series until my late teens (18 or 19 I know I was in college), and boy did I get into it! I would stay up until 3-4 AM (it didn't seem to have a set time) to watch it on local TV.

I never put any thought into it. I guess I'd call it a western first, sci-fi second. Keep in mind that I haven't watched it in a long time.


The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., on the other hand, I have seen recently and consider to be sci-fi first and western second. 


Anybody besides me remember the TV series Legend? It starred Richard Dean Anderson and John de Lancie. It was very much sci-fi first and western second. It was also wonderful.

I never thought about it much, but I guess it's science fiction to the same extent that any James Bond movie is science fiction.


On the other hand, in my personal library, I have The Best of Science Fiction TV*, and author John Javna and his panel of experts ranks The Wild Wild West as No. 8 in the top 15.


* Companion books in the set: The Best of TV Sitcoms, and The Best of Crime and Detective TV, co-written with Max Allan Collins.

I have two of those books. The amazing thing is that Lost In Space, a focal point in the Sci-Fi episode was ranked #6 in the Worst Sci-Fi show list! But then it was published in 1987(!!) so opinions may have changed!

Of special note here, Doctor Who, with only seven Doctors at this point, was #5 Best Sci-Fi TV!

Wonder what the rankings would be now? 

I think it depends on the definition of "Best" and "Worst."  A show can be god-awful sci-fi (or whatever the genre is) and still be fondly remembered and embraced by fans.  Lost in Space started off as half-way decent sci-fi but slid down the slope into camp pretty quickly.  That didn't stop me from buying the DVDs.  Bill Mumy, the Robot and Jonathan Harris going over the top are, to my mind, far more entertaining than the "how can we (realistically) survive on an alien world" plots.
If you consider steampunk as a science fiction sub-genre, and the Wild, Wild West may be the godfather of steampunk, then the show could be classified as science fiction. I always thought of  WWW as part of the mid-sixties spy boom along with I Spy, Man From UNCLE, Mission Impossible etc. Most of the secret agent shows had a few sci fi elements, The Wild, Wild West just happened to be set in post Civil War America rather than modern day like the others.

I didn't discover the series until high school, but do love it and have all but the last season on DVD now.

The Wild, Wild West was as much a product and reflection of its time as Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; etc.

It is a fond remembrance of the past and I would classify it as a western because none of the gadgets on the show were as far fetched as you might think. Granted, no one back when the series was supposed to have taken place actually thought of such devices, but everything was technically possible, given the science of the day.

I have the first season on DVD and it is obvious the creative team was trying to find the proper direction to take the series. A couple of the early episodes are fairly straightforward westerns in approach while others focus on espionage or crazed villains. In the commentary for one episode, Robert Conrad mentions the point when they realized it was the villains with the wild weapons that made the show click and the series had found it's groove.

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