Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mr. Peepers, your mission if you should decide to accept it.

I'm in the process of revisiting the old television espionage thriller, Mission Impossible, that I used to love as a kid. Steven Hill played the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team leader Daniel Briggs before Peter Graves took over as Jim Phelps. We associate the show with Peter Graves character, but to me, Steven Hill was better suited for the roll. Steven left the show because he was an Orthodox Jew and he wouldn't let the production work schedule force him to work on the Jewish Sabbath. I can respect that.

One surprising actor to pop up in the show's original pilot is Wally Cox. I was surprised to see Cox in a mission impossible role as a team member.  Cox was a comedian who played off his frail looking physique.  Don't let him fool you though, Wally Cox was rather athletic fellow as well an Army veteran. He gained notoriety through his Mr. Peepers television show in the 1950's.  Who knew this guy could could pull of a roll as an IMF team member who specialized in cracking-safes.

It really surprises me that the series didn't hire on Wally for the duration. His presence seems so harmless and unassuming that he could've been a great infiltrator, assassin. Cox had become frustrated with his career, always typecast as the prim, polite bookworm. He said in real life, he was nothing like Mr. Peepers. If any role came close to his real life, it might very well have been that one episode he played Mission Impossible as Terry Targo. Heck, you could've made the entire show around this unassuming athletic fellow.

This blog will self-destruct in five seconds...

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