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Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Jim's protege is killed by an assassin who is difficult to catch due to his changing tactics. Jim puts together a new IMF team and catches up with the assassin in England where they convince him that his paymaster is trying to kill him. The killer then confronts his boss in San Francisco and they kill each other.
It's over. Tom Copperfield's job is finished. ~Phelps
It's over. Tom Copperfield's job is finished. ~Phelps
Everything involving the fake hotel was very clever, including the taped-on street signs, the secret door behind the desk, and their quick room number switcheroo.
The death scene in the beginning was strange when the victim saw his arms appearing to light on fire and then inexplicably threw himself off the side of a building. It would have been less ridiculous if he had just keeled over.
Welcome to the first edition of the Mission Impossible Project! I plan on watching and reviewing the two seasons from the late 80's revival and also the 5 Tom Cruise movies. I don't remember much about the tv show other than we watched it as a family: seven year-old me, my two older sisters, and my parents all in the family room. Most of the time I had no clue what was going on, and my sisters didn't fare much better -- my poor parents probably just wanted to watch the show in peace but instead got peppered with questions throughout. The four things I can hazily remember from the show are:
- a chess episode where Nick pretends to be a grandmaster and has a ring that tells him what move to make
- an episode where Nick goes bad (and I vaguely remember a lion being involved?)
- Casey climbing up a fence and being chased by dogs in her last episode (won't spoil what happens next)
- Shannon floating away into space and Grant saying, "Stay calm."
That's pretty much all I remember. I also had a Mission Impossible video game for the original Nintendo, and the game was based on the show (you could switch between Max, Grant, and Nick). The game was hard as hell, and I remember one part in particular where there were these moving robot-type things that would set off a jarring alarm if they saw you and then would send out some fighters that would beat you to a pulp.
I thought this would be a fun show to watch since it's one I've seen before and is right up my alley with all the spycraft. And while my main focus is the tv show, I thought it would be fun to cover the movies also (certainly no shortage of talking points when Tom Cruise is involved).
Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
- I noticed on IMDB that the episode writer died in 1980, eight years before this episode aired. Huh? Well, turns out that this episode is a remake of a 1970 episode also called "The Killer" from Season 5 of the original Mission Impossible (which aired from 1966 to 1973). During the Hollywood Writers Strike of 1988, the networks were looking for already written material that they had ownership over, so ABC decided to reboot Mission Impossible and reuse the 1970 script (with adaptations) as the series premiere.
- Another interesting thing I read online is that the series was filmed in Australia (unusual for an American network show) in order to save money. Series regulars Thaao Penghlis and Tony Hamilton in fact were Aussies.
- Speaking of Penghlis, I remember his was my favorite character as a kid. After all, "Nick" is a great name, but I also enjoyed his master of disguise persona. I also remember thinking that Thaad Penghlis was an awesome name (I learned later that it's actually "Thaao" instead of "Thaad," but still a great name).
- Grant Collier (played by Phil Morris) is the son of original IMF agent Barney Collier (played by Morris's real-life father Greg Morris).
- This episode was directed by Cliff Bole who directed 15 episodes of MacGyver (and he'll go on to do two more Mission Impossibles).
- And like MacGyver, it's an ABC/Paramount Studios production.
- Whoa, it's a John de Lancie sighting as Drake the villain! He's appeared many times on this blog, first as Brother Brian in MacGyver's The Escape, and later as Bartok the scientist in my twelve episode review of Legend.
- "Vengeful" and "Peter Graves" (a seemingly calm, stoic guy) don't belong in the same sentence, and it's amusing to see him try to act like he's seething beneath the surface at various points in this episode.
- What a theme song! It's gotta be a top-5 all time tv theme, right?
- And notice how long the theme is. If they rebooted it today, they'd cut the theme in order to have more time for advertisers. Just look what they did to the MacGyver theme in the reboot. The lesson here, as always: the execs running tv today don't know s*** from shinola.
- I love the look of the black thing that Phelps gets in the beginning of each episode. Too bad it has to self destruct each time, though that is admittedly pretty cool.
- They did a nice job making the streets feel like England, though it probably helps that they're in Australia. But when Max pulls Nick over, he says "miles" instead of "kilometers" which seems like a faux pas.
- Risky move letting Drake shoot Casey (in what I'm assuming was a bulletproof vest).
That was fun! It wasn't the most thrilling or memorable thing I've ever seen, but not bad for a pilot episode and for a recycled script from 18 years ago. I like the format and all the members of the team and am excited to see more.