The more I think about it, the more I think the Opponent is the key to your story. If you’ve got a superb person for the hero to struggle against, the more interesting it is for the reader and for you, the writer. And, after all, the interest for you the writer is a lot of the deal.
I am, as you know, only twenty seven years old. Maybe thirty two. Not sure. My birth certificate was burned in a tragic mineshaft fire when I was but a child. So, the fact that I am such a devotee of “The Wild Wild West” is sort of amazing. Nevertheless, I am. And, of all the bad guys that Jim West and Artemus Gordon faced off against, the only one that springs to mind is, no doubt, the finest one.
Dr. Miguelito Loveless. Perhaps the finest villain in all of television. My personal favorite, anyway.
One of the things I keep stressing to my clients is that you have to have a well rounded Opponent. One who is bad and good at the same time. One who is human, to some degree, despite his badness. It makes it more interesting to write, and of course, more interesting to read.
Here is Dr. Loveless being bad.
Such a fascinating villain. That Dr. Loveless could threaten big strong Jim West is fascinating, but he did. He absolutely did. Of all the Opponents on all the television shows from the past, he was the Big Champ Daddy of Bad Guys…
And here is Dr. Loveless being not so bad.
What an inventive set of writers came up with him! I’ve never forgotten Dr. Loveless… and what’s amazing, is that he wasn’t really in that many episodes. What’s even more amazing is that, when I watched “The Wild Wild West”, I had to watch it at a friend’s house, because my parents didn’t own a television.
So I saw Dr. Loveless even less than you might imagine.
But I’ve never forgotten him.