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Mission: Impossible: The Original TV Series Blu-ray Review

A mission worth accepting.

Before becoming a big screen franchise, “Mission: Impossible” started on the small screen back in 1966. Over the course of 7 seasons and 171 episodes, viewers embarked on missions with the Impossible Missions Force team (or IMF for short) comprised of Dan Briggs (season 1), Cinnamon Carter (first 3 seasons), Barney Collier, Willy Armitage, Jim Phelps (season 2 on), Rollin Hand (first 3 seasons), Paris (seasons 4 and 4), Dana Lambert (season 5), Dr. Robert (season 5), Lisa Casey (seasons 6 and 7) and Mimi Davis (season 7). Their secret missions involved stopping dictators and killers, dangerous weapons, rescue missions, recovering recordings, IMF agents, preventing assassins and Nazis from carrying out evil deeds, politicians, drugs, artifacts, counterfeits, money, viruses, microfilm, criminals and racketeers, sports corruption, scientists, code breaking, enemy agents, impersonations, personal and off book missions, criminal and terrorist organizations, etc. Of course, since this is a TV series, there are plenty of guest stars throughout the show’s run such as Fritz Weaver, Robert Conrad, William Shatner, George Takei, Carroll O’Connor, Eartha Kitt, Darren McGavin, Sugar Ray Robinson, Martin Sheen, Ed Asner, Sal Mineo, Billy Dee Williams, Roddy McDowall, Dean Stockwell, and many others. 

Despite being clearly influenced by James Bond, “Mission: Impossible” became its own franchise and developed into a pop culture icon that continues to endure to this day. Looking back at the show now, it’s not hard to see why it became such a hit. In fact, the early (and best seasons) are peak vintage TV. Not only was the series ahead of its time in many regards, but Bruce Geller’s high stakes stylish series was filled with danger and excitement. Time was always of the essence in this show and, as such, there is no wasted screentime here. Plus, who can resist the ultra cool theme songs, first rate TV direction and editing, and a secret world filled with elaborate missions, gadgets, spies, undercover operations and self-destructing messages?

As I mentioned above, the first few seasons (especially 1 through 3) are the best here primarily because of Rollin Hand (Martin Landau) and Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain) who both departed after season 3. These two characters stole the show and managed to provide some top notch acting as they essentially get to play numerous characters in most every episode.  Although Steven Hill was solid as Dan in the debut season, Peter Graves also deserves a lot of credit for making Jim Phelps a household name and making the show even more popular.

The early seasons also feature the best episodes such as the “Pilot,” “Operation Rogosh,” “The Mind Of Stefan Miklos,” “The Seal,” “The Execution,” “Fool’s Gold,” among others. Later seasons (namely six and seven) suffer a drop in quality as the missions became more derivative, less international and more Syndicate heavy. The loss of other characters from earlier seasons also put a dent in the show’s appeal as well.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3 1080p. How do the episodes look? The episodes look crystal clear in hi-def. Fans will be wowed by the results here.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do the episodes sound? These episodes get high quality audio treatment and they have never sounded better.

No extras

November 28, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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