MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: THE ORIGINAL TV SERIES (Blu-ray Review)
Review by Cuddles, the Couch Potato😺
While Tom Cruise was running around in training pants, Mission: Impossible was a weekly staple in my house (and millions of others). We had one TV - a giant console capable of picking-up all three channels - so with the exception of Saturday mornings, Dad pretty-much dictated the family’s viewing habits. Hence, we spent many evenings watching the exploits of the IMF.
Now on Blu-ray for the first time, this meaty boxed set includes all seven seasons, 171 episodes on 46 discs. Unfortunately, there are no bonus features, but the show has been nicely remastered and has never looked or sounded better, not even during its first run. Revisiting the series after all these decades brings back a flood of fond memories, as well as a revelation or two.
Being way too young to understand the relatively complex storylines, most of my memories are of the show’s format, which it adhered for a majority of the episodes, such as the self-destructing tape laying-out the mission, should Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) choose to accept it. I seem to recall asking Dad what would happen if Phelps didn’t accept a mission; he replied “I don’t know,” but I’m pretty sure he meant “Shut up, kid.”
|"I think that goes there."
Other than some aesthetics reflective of the era, the episodes themselves hold up pretty well, with smart writing, grounded performances and intricate plots, which are a lot more engaging now that I’m old enough to understand them. The stronger ones tend to be those featuring the threat of mass destruction and arrogant, megalomaniacal villains, of which there are many. To my surprise, it turns out the INF was repeatedly saving the world long before anyone ever heard of Ethan Hunt.
|"Well, that's like, you're opinion, man.""
Another surprise was the number of guest stars who appeared on the show, sometimes more than once, to play various antagonists. Such famous faces as William Shatner, Robert Conrad, Fritz Weaver, Lloyd Bridges, Edmond O’Brien, Braford Dillman, Sugar Ray Robinson, Fernando Lamas, Christopher George, Darrin McGavin and Ricardo Montalban (amusingly similar to his iconic turn as Khan in Star Trek) show up as the villain-of-the-week. Half the fun of plowing through this set is seeing who pops-up to get their bad guy groove on.