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|Dr. Miguelito Quixote Loveless|
Michael Dunn as Dr. Loveless (left).
|First appearance||"The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth"|
|Last appearance||"The Night of Miguelito's Revenge"|
Wild Wild West
|Created by||John Kneubuhl|
S. S. Wilson
Peter S. Seaman
|Portrayed by||Michael Dunn (1965-1969)|
Kenneth Branagh (Wild Wild West)
Dr. Miguelito Quixote Loveless is a fictional character who appeared as the primary antagonist of ten episodes of the 1960s western action television series The Wild Wild West. He is a brilliant-yet-insane mad scientist born with dwarfism, portrayed by Michael Dunn. Throughout the television series, Dr. Loveless conceived numerous plots which were always foiled by Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon; the first two episodes showed him being caught and going to jail, although after the third episode he always escapes capture.
Loveless' family had received a valuable land grant in California from the Spanish Viceroy of Mexico. Their land was taken back by the Spanish Crown; and then irretrievably lost however, when California became part of the United States. His original goal was to recover his family's property and create a haven where the disadvantaged (presumably financially and, like himself, physically) could live without torment from society. As the series progressed, however, he became more and more megalomaniacal. West is able to defeat Loveless by using Loveless' own ego against him. In "The Night of the Bogus Bandits", it is revealed that Loveless' greatest fear is not death, but the fact that once deceased, he cannot continue his plans of revenge against a society which he hates so much.
Loveless was known as a technological genius that produced gadgets far ahead of his time-which his archenemy James West acknowledges ("The Night Dr. Loveless Died"). In the series' first season, his inventions were more practical, anticipating the cathode-ray tube, the airplane, penicillin; automobile ("The Night the Wizard shook the Earth") and a synthesized LSD-like hallucinogen. In the second season, the inventions became more fantastic and included a powder that shrank Jim West to one-twelfth his original size and a device that allowed people to enter paintings. Perhaps the most phantasmagorical of his methods for avoiding capture was when he and his lovely assistant Antoinette (Phoebe Dorin) escaped West and Gordon by shrinking themselves and flying away on the back of a swan ("The Night of the Raven"). In one episode Dunn did a parody of a fanatic over-detailed film director while he "rehearsed" crimes. ("The Night of the Bogus bandits"). In the last episode which he appeared, Dr Loveless (who is addicted to the very rare Napoleon Brandy Le Grande) escaped by using a circus cannon to shoot him into space; the only trace of him is his circus ringmasters uniform on the ground along with a recording promising West that they will meet again ("The Night of Miguelito's Revenge").
According to the 1979 television film The Wild Wild West Revisited, in 1880, Loveless eventually died of ulcers resulting from anger and frustration at having his plans consistently ruined by West and Gordon, while in reality his actor, Michael Dunn, died in 1973. As a result, his son Michelito (played by Paul Williams) subsequently seeks revenge on the agents.
Loveless was created by writer John Kneubuhl after he read a magazine article about Dunn. The character was introduced in the 1965 episode "The Night the Wizard Shook The Earth," which was the show's third televised episode (although it was produced as the sixth). Loveless became an immediate hit and Dunn appeared in ten episodes over four seasons, with Kneubuhl writing five of them.
- "The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth" - Episode #3
- "The Night That Terror Stalked the Town" - Episode #10
- "The Night of the Whirring Death" - Episode #20
- "The Night of the Murderous Spring" - Episode #27
- "The Night of the Raven" - Episode #31
- "The Night of the Green Terror" - Episode #38
- "The Night of the Surreal McCoy" - Episode #51
- "The Night of the Bogus Bandits" - Episode #56
- "The Night Dr. Loveless Died" - Episode #60
- "The Night of Miguelito's Revenge" - Episode #92
Dr. Loveless initially had two companions: the hulking mute Voltaire (played by real-life giant Richard Kiel) and the beautiful songstress Antoinette (portrayed by Dunn's nightclub-act singing partner Phoebe Dorin). Voltaire disappeared after the doctor's third encounter with the agents; Antoinette, after the sixth. However, they each left such an indelible impression on fans that the 1990 comic book miniseries from Millennium Publications, a sequel to the TV series scripted by Mark Ellis with art by Darryl Banks, included both characters.
Arliss Loveless appeared in the 1999 film adaptation Wild Wild West, played by Kenneth Branagh and featuring several major changes from his original television counterpart. For instance, Branagh's Loveless was a former Confederate military engineer who had lost most of his lower body in an accidental explosion. As a double amputee, he used a steam-powered wheelchair in order to move around and created similar innovative contraptions. Loveless was incensed at the South's surrender and sought to dismember the United States and distribute its territory among the Native American tribes and its original European colonizers (while keeping the Northern Plains for himself, which he would rename it "Loveless Land"). He also has a personal history/feud with Jim West; an early tank he designed massacred the population of a freed slave colony, including West's parents (in the film, West, portrayed by Will Smith, is African-American as opposed to being Caucasian in the original television series).