Monday, August 22, 2011

to dream the impossible mission


Mission Impossible (1966-1973) was a pretty impressive television series for it's day.  It had a great cast and great writing.  The show had lots of special effects, but didn't try to rely on the gimmicks and gadgets to fill time.  Everyone from my generation remembers the intro of the show - the match being lit and that awesome score that always pulled us into the story.  I never got tired of it.  We also remember how the show always started with the team leader getting his mission instructions via a tape recorder rigged for self-destruction.

Steven Hill played the Mission Impossible Force (IMF) team leader Mr. Dan Hill in the first season.  He was replaced by Peter Graves as Mr. Jim Phelps.  Steven was released because of scheduling problems because of his faith and because he refused to perform a stunt.
According to Wikipedia:

" As one of the few Orthodox Jewish actors working in Hollywood, he made it clear in advance of production that he was not able to work on the Sabbath (i.e., sundown Friday to dusk Saturday), and that he would be leaving the set every Friday before sundown. However, despite Hill's advance warnings, the show's producers were unprepared for his rigid adherence to the Sabbath, and on at least one occasion Hill left the set while an episode was still in the midst of filming."

Peter Graves came into the show and the pace never slacked.  I like this spy show because the IMF was a team effort.  Most spy television shows of that time were based on one or two agents taking on insurmountable odds.  The members of the IMF synchronized each of their efforts to pull of their mission.  Jim Phelps was the only full time IMF member, and specialist would be pulled in to complete each mission.  Greg Morris, Peter Lupus and Barbara Bain played special agents that were regularly recruited for IMF missions.  Actors Sam Elliot and Leonard Nemoy (and others) also had reoccurring roles in Mission Impossible.  My favorite agent aside from Peter Grave's character was Martin Landau.

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