The film featured several significant changes from the television series. For example, Dr. Loveless — as portrayed by Kenneth Branagh in the film — went from a dwarf to a man without legs and confined in a steam-powered wheelchair (similar to that employed by the villain in the episode "The Night of the Brain"); his first name was also changed from Miguelito to Arliss and was given the motive of a Southerner who sought the defeat of the North after the Civil War. Kevin Kline plays Gordon, whose character was similar to the original version portrayed by Ross Martin except that he was much more competitive with Jim West besides being much more egotistical. The film's script had Kline's Gordon create more ridiculous, humorous and implausible inventions than those created by Martin's Gordon in the television series, as well as having an aggressive rivalry with West whereas in the television series he and West had a very close friendship and trusted each other with their lives. While Gordon did indeed impersonate Grant in the series ("The Night of the Steel Assassin", "The Night of the Colonel's Ghost" and "The Night of the Big Blackmail"), they were not played by the same actor. Additionally, on the TV series West was portrayed by Robert Conrad, a Caucasian rather than an African American — which serves a critical plot point as West's parents were among the victims of Loveless's massacre at New Liberty.