Dr. Loveless

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Michael Dunn as Dr. Loveless in "The Night of Miguelito's Revenge"

Dr. Miguelito Quixote Loveless is a fictional character, a villain who appeared in 10 episodes of the 1960s television series The Wild Wild West. He is a brilliant (though insane) character born with dwarfism, portrayed by character actor Michael Dunn.[1] As a mad scientist, Dr. Loveless conceived numerous plots which were always foiled by Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon, though he always escaped 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 irretrively 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. In "The Night of the Bogus Bandits" Loveless greatest fear is not death, but the fact that once deceased, Loveless cannot continue his plans of revenge against society which he hates so much.

Loveless was known as a technological genius, producing gadgets far ahead of his time-which his enemy James West acknowledges {"The Night Dr Loveless died"}.Dr Loveless is addicted to the very rare Napoleon Brandy Le Grande {"The Night of Miguelito's Revenge"}. In the series' first season, his inventions were more practical, anticipating the cathode-ray tube, airplane 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"}

According to the 1979 TV movie 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. (Michael Dunn died in 1973.) As a result, Loveless' son Michelito (played by Paul Williams) subsequently seeks revenge on the agents.[2]

Appearances[edit]

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 sixth). Loveless became an immediate hit and Dunn appeared in ten episodes over four seasons, Kneubuhl writing five of them.

Michael Dunn as Dr. Loveless and Richard Kiel as Voltaire, 1966."The Night of the Whirling Death"
  • "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

Accomplices[edit]

Dr. Loveless initially had two companions: the hulking 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 rather than an adaptation of the TV program scripted by Mark Ellis with art by Darryl Banks, included both characters.

Other versions[edit]

Loveless was adapted for the 1999 feature film Wild Wild West as Dr. Arliss Loveless, played by Kenneth Branagh.[3] Branagh's version 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 and similar innovative contraptions. Loveless was incensed at the South's surrender and sought to dismember the United States and distribute its territory amongst the Native American tribes and its original European colonizers (while keeping the Northern Plains for himself). He also has a personal history 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).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cast of The Wild Wild West at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ The Wild Wild West Revisited at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Wild Wild West (1999) at the Internet Movie Database