MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

 
Full Name: Impossible Mission Force
Codename: IMF
Nationality: American
Organization: Unknown Cabinet Department
Occupation Agency

Creator: Bruce Geller
Time Span: 1966 - 1991
ABOUT THE SERIES

       The Impossible Mission Force is a secret agency of American Intelligence.
       The basis behind the organization was that there were many assignments deemed so impossible which still needed to be attempted but since their likelihood of success was so small, the 'official' intelligence departments of the government were loathe to attempt them. If a band of unofficial agents, not connected to any branch of the government, were to try and fail, deniability would be available.
       Exactly to whom the members of this elite squad answered was never stated. The terms of each mission laid out in the taped briefings, clearly indicated that the 'Secretary' would disavow any caught or killed agent. This would leave out the CIA or NSA or FBI since they were run by Directors. Both the State Department and the Department of Defense are viable possibilities, especially since most of the missions were against enemies of a foreign nature. However, many of the later operations were against domestic enemies, particularly the 'Syndicate'.
       The procedure behind each mission was basically the same. The team leader would be directed somehow to a never-repeated location where the assignment would be given. A taped message which would self-destruct shortly after play concluded was accompanied by whatever documentation was needed, usually a small group of photographs. It was up to the team leader to devise a plan to accomplish the goal. Who his team members would be was up to him, chosen from a group of volunteers who were all highly skilled in one field or another. The leader would choose the team members, brief them on their assignments, and then go into action.
       While the team leader had a decent number of candidates from which to choose, and would on occasion use a new one, it became obvious that he had a trusted set that he went to over and over. Each of these people must have been very successful in their own right or highly compensated by the IMF team because they were pulled away for a dangerous mission at a moment's notice many times each year.

       The first twenty-plus documented missions were lead by Dan Briggs, a fairly plain looking, non-descript man who nevertheless possessed an incredible mind for planning incredible schemes and for being able to shift to equally ingenius plan-b's when things went wrong. Briggs was generally calm under any circumstance but on occasion he was not adverse to letting his feelings show, if only momentarily.
       As the series progressed, Briggs stopped leading the team and was no longer part of the action. It was never stated what the reason was and there was no indication that he had been disavowed in any way. He simply stopped running the team.
       He was replaced by a silver-haired man of equally impressive planning capability, the handsome and sophisticated Jim Phelps. Phelps' good looks and charm allowed him to mold himself effortlessly into any role. He could be a movie producer scouting a new location or an investment banker on the trail of a good buy. He could charm the ladies and back-slap the men with equal aplomb all the while keeping an eye on everything happening around him and listening via earplug to his teammates.
       Every good undercover team needs a gorgeous, seductive femme fatale to lure men to their doom, smooth-talk secrets from the shyest stranger, and on more than one occasion slip a mickey into a glass. For almost half of the documented adventures, that part was filled by the former model, Cinnamon Carter. She had a sultry look that could memorize the coldest dictator and a set of lips that begged to be kissed but which would only allow it if she got her way. As alluring as she definitely was, she showed on many occasions that she was as strong willed as any of her male colleagues and, when captured a time or two, she held up under very unpleasant circumstances. Upon her departure from the team, she was replaced with the raven-haired beauty known only as Tracey who worked a score of missions. After her there was golden-locked Lisa Casey and the ultra-sophisticated Mimi Davis.
       A good disguise is invaluable in an undercover case. The IMF team went far beyond the normal use of fake mustaches and wigs, however. Using the skills of true geniuses in the arts, they were able to create facial masks which were virtually undetectable unless extremely close-up. Added to that the skill to learn to mimic a person's voice and physical patterns and the team had someone who could not only sneak into the enemy camp, they could replace a key member with a look-alike to destroy from within. The quick-change artist known as the 'Man of a Million Faces', Rollin Hand, was the inside disguise man for many of the earlier missions. When he left the team, he was replaced the 'The Great Paris', a magician whose real name was never disclosed.
       Technology, always advancing at a fantastic pace, was constantly an intrical part of any of the plans. It was vital to easedrop or display a holographic image or turn the lights or heat on or off on cue from a distance. Smoke and mirrors were never enough; magnets and acoustics and light shows and much, much more were required. Handling all of that while squeezing through incredibly tight ventilation shafts and crawl spaces and drilling inside walls and so on was Barney Collier. Collier was not only a certifiable genius for the devices he understood and created, he was also an expert at forgery and could create documents good enough to fool virtually anyone.
       Finally, all the equipment that was used often weighed a ton and that meant someone strong had to be there to cart it into place and, when a suspect or a corpse needed hefting, it was the strongman's job to do it. Willy Armitage was that muscle for virtually every mission that Briggs and Phelps led. Generally a man of few, if any words, Armitage was a great man to have at your back with brawn was needed, whether it was lifting a great weight or punching a nose. It also fell to Armitage to help procure the many things needed for the job, not an easy task to do in foreign countries with little notice or support.

       The IMF team fought dictators, would-be world dominators, mad scientists, assassins, hitmen, gangland leaders, and the occasional dirty politician or law enforcement official. They did so without fanfare or recognition. They had to because they did not exist and could and would be disavowed in an instant.


       For many years, Jim Phelps was the leader of the IMF team which put down an incredible number of tyrants, mad scientists, underworld crime bosses, corrupt politicians and the odd assortment of crackpots and despots. Each time he received another mission, deemed impossible by the powers that be and strife with the likelihood of failure and disavowment for the actions, he came up with a plan and the right team to pull it off. As all plans go, they often needed adjustment when in the belly of the enemy and he was able to concoct a coherent viable Plan B.
       As all things must end, so did the time for the incredible group of operatives and their leader and retirement ended their escapades. Phelps handed to a successor the satchel filled with volunteers from which he chose the members for each mission. Who that new man was was never divulged as the saga of the IMF team found its finish. Almost a decade and a half would pass.
       The representative from the Secretary showed up on Phelps' doorstep with word that his replacement had, after many years of service, perished on a mission. There was no one ready or able to take his place. The IMF project would be put in mothballs unless Phelps came back and took control, at least as long as it took to train a new guy. Reluctantly the now aged silver-haired spymaster took command again, his first mission being to track down the one who killed the former leader.

       In the new IMF team the jobs to be performed remained much as they did in the first group.
       Nicholas Black was the master of disguise, able to create molded face masks so lifelike as to be almost undetectable. Adding in an incredible gift for mimicry and voice impersonation, he was able to be just about anyone he needed to be.
       The electronics and gadgetry that the IMF needed to use had increased tremendously over the years and keeping up with all that high-tech wizardry was Grant Collier, son of the original gadget-guy, Barney Collier. The younger man was not only great with doo-dads and behind the scene schenanigans but he also was quite a good actor so his role was heightened.
       The strong man needed to cart huge containers of whatever was needed was filled by Max Harte who added to his skill set with the fact that he was a very good pilot, useful for getting into and out of danger.
       Lastly, the femme fatale, so vital in virtually every mission to charm, distract, bedazzle, and bewilder, was handled by two different women. First was Casey Randall who handled her job remarkably until tragedy struck and she was killed, becoming the first member of a Phelps team to be disavowed. Her position was taken up by the equally capable and beautiful and intelligent Shannon Reed.

       The recorded number of the missions of this new team was considerably fewer than Phelps' first go-around but the world had changed quite a bit since he released the reins and Phelps found that he and his people had to think faster than before and be prepared to have everything change at a moment's notice. They were ready for it.

BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1969

       The amazing success of the television series, deemed almost immediately a hit, showed what a terrific idea the developers had and they knew they needed to maximize their rewards. In addition to a game or two and the usual lunch pail and other marketing merchandises, they knew that books had to be in the line-up.
       They needed an author who could do justice to the intellectual property and they turned to Walter Wager, a man who had under his pen-name of John Tiger already created several good selling spy novels in the I Spy franchise. He did not disappoint his readers. In fact, since creator Bruce Geller had been so reticent to reveal the back story for any of the characters, Wager took it upon himself to create some tidbits about Briggs and later Phelps himself.
       Another author, Max Walker, also had a hand in the television tie-in novels, drafting two of the four.

       As with most movie and television tie-ins, they were never expected to set the world on fire. They were just to please the more intense fan and generate more revenue. They definitely succeeded.

1 Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible
Written by John Tiger
Copyright: 1967

Dexon-9 is a nerve gas which attacks the brain cells, leaving the inhaling victim an imbecile, incapable of reasoning. The despot in charge of the northeast South American nation of Santilla wants to use the dangerous creation to further his power. Naturally, it is the IMF who must stop him. Dan Briggs leads.

2 Code Name: Judas Code Name: Judas
Written by Max Walker
Copyright: 1968

The Soviet agent codenamed Atlas, endowed with a fantastic memory, had prowled the inner regions of Red China and learned the facts behind a plan to invade the West. Now this agent, after a falling out with his bosses, has faked his own death in Switzerland. The IMF must get to him and extract the secret plans from his mind.

3 Code Name: Rapier Code Name: Rapier
Written by Max Walker
Copyright: 1968

A genius American scientist is the creator of a fantastically miniature computer capable of putting the U.S. technology years ahead of the Opposition. Naturally, the other side wants him desperately. When he has insists on attending a World Inventors' Conference on a Caribbean resort island, the IMF sent to keep him alive.

4 Code Name: Little Ivan Code Name: Little Ivan
Written by John Tiger
Copyright: 1969

The target is Little Ivan, a cute name for a very dangerous tank, said to be indestructible. The IMF must steal this tank so the West can acquire the new metal that makes up the armor, even though the tank is behind the Iron Curtain.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1968

1 Operation Skyhook Operation Skyhook
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1968

1st of 3 stories in Mission: Impossible Annual 1969. Plot unknown

2 So This Is The Cold War So This Is The Cold War
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1968

2nd of 3 stories in Mission: Impossible Annual 1969. Plot unknown

3 The Bullion Robbery The Bullion Robbery
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1968

3rd of 3 stories in Mission: Impossible Annual 1969. Plot unknown

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1971

1 Mission Impossible Annual 1969 Mission Impossible Annual 1969
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1968

Published by Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co. Ltd.
A collection of 3 short stories, 3 reprinted Dell comic book missions and 5 features as follows.
The Short Stories are;
1. Operation Skyhook
2. So This is the Cold War
3. The Bullion Robbery
The Dell Comic Story Reprints are:
1. The Lethal List (Dell #2)
2. The Invaders (Dell #2)
3. The Deadly Defector (Dell #1)
The Feature Articles are;
1. The Facts
2. The Figures
3. Spy in the Sky
4. Q-ships
5. Spy Items

2 The Priceless Particle The Priceless Particle
Written by Talmage Powell
Copyright: 1969

A genius scientist in a small Middle Eastern country has created a man-made protein that can help feed millions if perfected but the man has been thrown into prison protesting the dictatorship that controls his homeland. The IMF must get him out.

3 The Money Explosion The Money Explosion
Written by Talmage Powell
Copyright: 1969

The small Caribbean nation of Esperanza has a fledgling democratic government which the Communists are trying to disrupt by flooding their economy with counterfeit. The IMF must stop the plot.

4 Mission Impossible Annual 1970 Mission Impossible Annual 1970
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1969

Published by Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co. Ltd.

5 Mission Impossible Annual 1972 Mission Impossible Annual 1972
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1971

Published by World Distributors

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1968

1 Missing: Impossible Vs The Mob Missing: Impossible Vs The Mob
Director: Paul Stanley
Writers: Allan Balter, William Read Woodfield, Robert Towne
Actors: Peter Graves as Jim Phelps, Martin Landau as Rollin Hand, Barbara Bain as Cinnamon Carter, Greg Morris as Barney Collier
Released: 1968

Taken from Episodes 2-11 and 2-12. Released outside the US to movie theaters in the UK and other countries. Honest Businesses have been taken over by a criminal mastermind and it is up to the IMF team to stop him.

TELEVISION

Number of Episodes:171
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1973
Network:CBS (US)

REGULAR CAST
Steven HillDan Briggs [ 1 ]
Peter GravesJim Phelps [ 2-7 ]
Barbara BainCinnamon Carter [ 1-3 ]
Martin LandauRollin Hand [ 1-3 ]
Greg MorrisBarney Collier [ 1-7 ]
Peter LupusWilly Armitage [ 1-7 ]
Bob Johnson[voice] [ 1-7 ]

       From September, 1966 to March, 1973, on CBS, the IMF handled 171 hair-raising missions against a wide assortment of enemies, both foreign and domestic. The show, created by Bruce Geller, proved to be extremely popular prompting considerable satires on comedy shows.
       The premise is simple. There are many missions which are flat out impossible to accomplish - certain to fail. Since someone has to try anyway, that dirty task falls to the members of this elite group of volunteers.
       Each mission, the leader, be it Dan Briggs or his replacement Jim Phelps, would come up with a plan and select from his collection of volunteers those needed to carry this plan out. These volunteers came from a wide range of professions, each person good at their normal job be it modeling, engineering, acting, sports, or whatever. They had offered their talents to be called upon when the need arose. It was up to the leader to choose which volunteer was needed.
       The plans usually involved disguises, seduction, misdirection, gadgetry, and subterfuge. They were awesome stories! Often far-fetched, relying on the bad guys being far more gullible than would be assumed and the good guys have a ton more luck than anyone deserved, especially week after week. And yet it worked reliably for seven years and left the world with a super-catchy theme song, a image of a fuse burning that was unmistakable and a phrase that became part of the American lexicon, "this tape will self-destruct in ..".

       In the first season, the leader was Dan Briggs, played by Steven Hill. When shooting schedules put work on Saturdays, Mr. Hill elected on religious reasons to not return the next year and the handsome Peter Graves was pulled in for the role. He would remain in charge for the remaining six seasons and for second series as well.
       Other steady agents were Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain) and Rollin Hand (Martin Landau) for the first three seasons until contract negotiations well apart and they left. The role of primary female ingĂ©nue was somewhat in flux from then on with Lee Meriwether as Tracey in season 4, Lesley Ann Warren as Dana in season 5, and Lynda Day George as Lisa Casey in seasons 6-7.
       On all the jobs, fancy gadgetry, electrical wiring, bugging, and any other technical tricks were carried out by the highly resourceful and ever dependable Barney Collier, played admirably by Greg Morris. And the man who carried all of the heavy equipment and, on more than one occasion an unconscious body or two, was Willy Armitage, played by Peter Lupus.

       One tidbit floating about had the reason that there was virtually no character development and, except for a couple of episodes of a personal nature, little background on any of the characters was that Bruce Geller wished the emphasis to be on the mission, not the agents. Mr. Geller passed away at a very young age while engaging in his off-work passion, flying, so the idea remains unsettled.

1 Pilot
Episode 1-01, first aired 09/17/1966
Director: Bernard Kowalski
Writer: Bruce Geller
Guest Stars: Wally Cox as Terry Targo, Harry Davis as Alisio, Martin Landau as General Rio Dominguez

The island nation of Santa Costa has acquired two nuclear warheads and the leader intends to use them against the US>

2 Memory
Episode 1-02, first aired 09/24/1966
Director: Charles Rondeau
Writer: Robert Lewin
Guest Stars: Albert Paulsen as Joseph Baresh, Leonard Stone as Dimitri Soska, Gene Dynarski as Sergeant of the Guard, William Keen as Janos Karq

A memory expert is part of the IMF team to fool an Iron Curtain authority to arrest a major player. When the expert is captured, the rest of the team must rescue him.

3 Operation Rogosh
Episode 1-03, first aired 10/01/1966
Director: Leonard Horn
Writer: Jerome Ross
Guest Stars: Fritz Weaver as Imry Rogosh, Allen Joseph as Dr. Green, Charles Maxwell as Lazloff, James Lanphier as Klimi

Imry Rogosh is a killer paid by a foreign power to cause turmoil in the US. The IMF team must grab him and convince him that his employers are now in charge and angry with him, forcing him to reveal what his instructions were.

4 Old Man Out (1)
Episode 1-04, first aired 10/08/1966
Director: Charles Rondeau
Writer: Ellis Marcus
Guest Stars: Mary Ann Mobley as Crystal Walker, Cyril Delevanti as Cardinal Vossek, Joseph Ruskin as Colonel Scutari, Oscar Beregi as Colonel Kaverick, William Wintersole as The Captain, Monte Markham as Tosk

Part 1. The IMF team must find a way to free from a Iron Curtain prison an aging resistance leader.

5 Old Man Out (2)
Episode 1-05, first aired 10/15/1966
Director: Charles Rondeau
Writer: Ellis Marcus
Guest Stars: Mary Ann Mobley as Crystal Walker, Cyril Delevanti as Cardinal Vossek, Joseph Ruskin as Colonel Scutari, Oscar Beregi as Colonel Kaverick, William Wintersole as The Captain, Monte Markham as Tosk

Part 2 - The Cardinal has been moved to a different location but Rollin Hand, who allowed himself to be imprisoned, is trapped unless the rest of the team can free both men.

6 Odds on Evil
Episode 1-06, first aired 10/22/1966
Director: Charles Rondeau
Writers: William Read Woodfield, Allan Balter
Guest Stars: Nehemiah Persoff as Prince Kostas, Nico Minardos as Andre Malif, Vincent Van Lynn as Oliver Borgman, Lawrence Montaigne as Aide

The monies earned with his casino is allowing Prince Kostas to buy the armament needed to attack a neighboring country. The IMF must break the bank.

7 Wheels
Episode 1-07, first aired 10/29/1966


8 The Ransom
Episode 1-08, first aired 11/05/1966

-

9 A Spool There Was
Episode 1-09, first aired 11/12/1966


10 The Carriers
Episode 1-10, first aired 11/19/1966


11 Zubrovnik's Ghost
Episode 1-11, first aired 11/26/1966


12 Fakeout
Episode 1-12, first aired 12/03/1966


13 Elena
Episode 1-13, first aired 12/10/1966


14 The Short Tail Spy
Episode 1-14, first aired 12/17/1966


15 The Legacy
Episode 1-15, first aired 01/07/1967


16 The Reluctant Dragon
Episode 1-16, first aired 01/14/1967


17 The Frame
Episode 1-17, first aired 01/21/1967


18 The Trial
Episode 1-18, first aired 01/28/1967


19 The Diamond
Episode 1-19, first aired 02/04/1967


20 The Legend
Episode 1-20, first aired 02/11/1967


21 Snowball in Hell
Episode 1-21, first aired 02/18/1967


22 The Confession
Episode 1-22, first aired 02/25/1967


23 Action!
Episode 1-23, first aired 03/04/1967


24 The Train
Episode 1-24, first aired 03/18/1967


25 Shock
Episode 1-25, first aired 03/25/1967


26 A Cube of Sugar
Episode 1-26, first aired 04/01/1967


27 The Traitor
Episode 1-27, first aired 04/15/1967


28 The Psychic
Episode 1-28, first aired 04/22/1967


29 The Widow
Episode 2-01, first aired 09/10/1967


30 Trek
Episode 2-02, first aired 09/17/1967


31 The Survivors
Episode 2-03, first aired 09/24/1967


32 The Bank
Episode 2-04, first aired 10/01/1967


33 The Slave (1)
Episode 2-05, first aired 10/08/1967


34 The Slave (2)
Episode 2-06, first aired 10/15/1967


35 Operation Heart
Episode 2-07, first aired 10/22/1967


36 The Money Machine
Episode 2-08, first aired 10/29/1967


37 The Seal
Episode 2-09, first aired 11/05/1967


38 Charity
Episode 2-10, first aired 11/12/1967


39 The Council (1)
Episode 2-11, first aired 11/19/1967


40 The Council (2)
Episode 2-12, first aired 11/26/1967


41 The Astrologer
Episode 2-13, first aired 12/03/1967


42 Echo of Yesterday
Episode 2-14, first aired 12/10/1967


43 The Photographer
Episode 2-15, first aired 12/17/1967


44 The Spy
Episode 2-16, first aired 01/07/1968


45 A Game of Chess
Episode 2-17, first aired 01/14/1968


46 The Emerald
Episode 2-18, first aired 01/21/1968


47 The Condemned
Episode 2-19, first aired 01/28/1968


48 The Counterfeiter
Episode 2-20, first aired 02/04/1968


49 The Town
Episode 2-21, first aired 02/18/1968


50 The Killing
Episode 2-22, first aired 02/28/1968


51 The Phoenix
Episode 2-23, first aired 03/03/1968


52 Trial by Fury
Episode 2-24, first aired 03/10/1968


53 Recovery
Episode 2-25, first aired 03/17/1968


54 The Heir Apparent
Episode 3-01, first aired 09/29/1968


55 The Contenders (1)
Episode 3-02, first aired 10/06/1968


56 The Contenders (2)
Episode 3-03, first aired 10/13/1968


57 The Mercenaries
Episode 3-04, first aired 10/27/1968


58 The Execution
Episode 3-05, first aired 11/10/1968


59 The Cardinal
Episode 3-06, first aired 11/17/1968


60 The Elixir
Episode 3-07, first aired 11/24/1968


61 The Diplomat
Episode 3-08, first aired 12/01/1968


62 The Play
Episode 3-09, first aired 12/08/1968


63 The Bargain
Episode 3-10, first aired 12/15/1968


64 The Freeze
Episode 3-11, first aired 12/23/1968


65 The Exchange
Episode 3-12, first aired 01/04/1969


66 The Mind of Stefan Miklos
Episode 3-13, first aired 01/12/1969


67 The Test Case
Episode 3-14, first aired 01/19/1969


68 The System
Episode 3-15, first aired 01/26/1969


69 The Glass Cage
Episode 3-16, first aired 02/02/1969


70 Doomsday
Episode 3-17, first aired 02/16/1969


71 Live Bait
Episode 3-18, first aired 02/23/1969


72 The Bunker (1)
Episode 3-19, first aired 03/02/1969


73 The Bunker (2)
Episode 3-20, first aired 03/09/1969


74 Nitro
Episode 3-21, first aired 03/23/1969


75 Nicole
Episode 3-22, first aired 03/30/1969


76 The Vault
Episode 3-23, first aired 04/06/1969


77 Illusion
Episode 3-24, first aired 04/13/1969


78 The Interrogator
Episode 3-25, first aired 04/20/1969


79 The Code
Episode 4-01, first aired 09/28/1969


80 The Numbers Game (aka: The Key)
Episode 4-02, first aired 10/05/1969


81 The Controllers (1)
Episode 4-03, first aired 10/12/1969


82 The Controllers (2)
Episode 4-04, first aired 10/19/1969


83 Fool's Gold
Episode 4-05, first aired 10/26/1969


84 Commandante
Episode 4-06, first aired 11/02/1969


85 Mastermind
Episode 4-07, first aired 11/23/1969


86 Robot
Episode 4-08, first aired 11/30/1969


87 The Double Circle
Episode 4-09, first aired 12/07/1969


88 The Brothers
Episode 4-10, first aired 12/14/1969


89 Time Bomb
Episode 4-11, first aired 12/21/1969


90 The Amnesiac
Episode 4-12, first aired 12/28/1969


91 The Falcon (1)
Episode 4-13, first aired 01/04/1970


92 The Falcon (2)
Episode 4-14, first aired 01/11/1970


93 The Falcon (3)
Episode 4-15, first aired 01/18/1970


94 Submarine
Episode 4-16, first aired 01/16/1970


95 Chico
Episode 4-17, first aired 01/25/1970


96 Gitano (aka Toys)
Episode 4-18, first aired 02/01/1970


97 Phantoms
Episode 4-19, first aired 02/08/1970


98 Terror
Episode 4-20, first aired 02/15/1970


99 Lover's Knot
Episode 4-21, first aired 02/22/1970


100 Orpheus
Episode 4-22, first aired 03/01/1970


101 The Crane
Episode 4-23, first aired 03/08/1970


102 Death Squad
Episode 4-24, first aired 03/15/1970


103 The Choice
Episode 4-25, first aired 03/22/1970


104 The Martyr
Episode 4-26, first aired 03/29/1970


105 The Killer
Episode 5-01, first aired 09/19/1970


106 Flip Side
Episode 5-02, first aired 09/26/1970


107 The Innocent
Episode 5-03, first aired 10/03/1970


108 Homecoming
Episode 5-04, first aired 10/10/1970


109 Flight
Episode 5-05, first aired 10/17/1970


110 My Friend, My Enemy
Episode 5-06, first aired 10/25/1970


111 Butterfly (aka Poor Butterfly)
Episode 5-07, first aired 10/31/1970


112 Decoy
Episode 5-08, first aired 11/07/1970


113 The Amateur
Episode 5-09, first aired 11/14/1970


114 Hunted
Episode 5-10, first aired 11/21/1970


115 The Rebel
Episode 5-11, first aired 11/28/1970


116 Squeeze Play (aka Sicily)
Episode 5-12, first aired 12/12/1970


117 The Hostage
Episode 5-13, first aired 12/19/1970


118 Takeover
Episode 5-14, first aired 01/02/1971


119 Cat's Paw
Episode 5-15, first aired 01/09/1971


120 The Missile (aka Torpedo)
Episode 5-16, first aired 01/16/1971


121 The Field
Episode 5-17, first aired 01/23/1971


122 Blast
Episode 5-18, first aired 01/30/1971


123 The Catafalque
Episode 5-19, first aired 02/06/1971


124 Kitara (aka The Bigot)
Episode 5-20, first aired 02/20/1971


125 A Ghost Story
Episode 5-21, first aired 02/27/1971


126 The Party
Episode 5-22, first aired 03/06/1971


127 The Merchant
Episode 5-23, first aired 03/17/1971


128 Blind
Episode 6-01, first aired 09/18/1971


129 Encore
Episode 6-02, first aired 09/25/1971


130 The Tram
Episode 6-03, first aired 10/02/1971


131 Mindbend
Episode 6-04, first aired 10/09/1971


132 Shape-Up
Episode 6-05, first aired 10/16/1971


133 The Miracle
Episode 6-06, first aired 10/23/1971


134 Encounter
Episode 6-07, first aired 10/30/1971


135 Underwater
Episode 6-08, first aired 11/06/1971


136 Invasion
Episode 6-09, first aired 11/13/1971


137 Blues (aka Hard Rock)
Episode 6-10, first aired 11/20/1971


138 The Visitors
Episode 6-11, first aired 11/27/1971


139 Nerves
Episode 6-12, first aired 12/04/1971


140 Run for the Money
Episode 6-13, first aired 12/11/1971


141 The Connection
Episode 6-14, first aired 12/18/1971


142 The Bride
Episode 6-15, first aired 01/01/1972


143 Stone Pillow (aka Big House)
Episode 6-16, first aired 01/08/1972


144 Image
Episode 6-17, first aired 01/15/1972


145 Committed
Episode 6-18, first aired 01/22/1972


146 Bag Woman
Episode 6-19, first aired 01/29/1972


147 Double Dead
Episode 6-20, first aired 02/12/1972


148 Casino (aka Vacuum, Rumble)
Episode 6-21, first aired 02/19/1972


149 Trapped
Episode 6-22, first aired 02/26/1972


150 Break!
Episode 7-01, first aired 09/16/1972


151 Two Thousand
Episode 7-02, first aired 09/23/1972


152 The Deal
Episode 7-03, first aired 09/30/1972


153 Leona
Episode 7-04, first aired 10/07/1972


154 TOD-5 (aka The Carrier)
Episode 7-05, first aired 10/14/1972


155 Cocaine
Episode 7-06, first aired 10/21/1972


156 Underground
Episode 7-07, first aired 10/28/1972


157 Movie
Episode 7-08, first aired 11/04/1972


158 Hit
Episode 7-09, first aired 11/11/1972


159 Ultimatum
Episode 7-10, first aired 11/18/1972


160 Kidnap
Episode 7-11, first aired 12/02/1972


161 Crack-Up
Episode 7-12, first aired 12/09/1972


162 The Puppet
Episode 7-13, first aired 12/22/1972


163 Incarnate
Episode 7-14, first aired 01/05/1973


164 Boomerang
Episode 7-15, first aired 01/12/1973


165 The Question
Episode 7-16, first aired 01/19/1973


166 The Fountain
Episode 7-17, first aired 01/26/1973


167 The Fighter
Episode 7-18, first aired 02/09/1973


168 Speed
Episode 7-19, first aired 02/16/1973


169 The Pendulum
Episode 7-20, first aired 02/23/1973


170 The Western
Episode 7-21, first aired 03/02/1973


171 Imitation
Episode 7-22, first aired 03/30/1973


COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Issues:5
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1969

       The Dell Publishing Company had a branch which produced comic books from the late 20s up to the early 70s. During its heyday it sold as well as its more famous competitors (DC and Marvel) but with the passage of time, most of its output has been forgotten. It never achieved the blockbuster stage with characters like Superman and Batman on the DC side and Spiderman and Fantastic Four at Marvel. What it did have was a very large stable of titles that sold consistently and with its distribution prowess, those comics were in every drug store and five-and-dime.
       One of the specialties of the Dell Comics was the use of licensed material. If a television show looked at all promising, it would likely generate a comic-book tie-in. These were often short stories in graphic format, 12-18 pages each, sometimes two stories to an issue. Each issue was a standalone, readers were not expected to have read the one before. Unlike DC/Marvel who had monthly series, Dell was content with often quarterly periodicals. Since they did not need to produce a new issue of a title every month, they could produce many titles. This fed back into the standalone philosophy because while the other comic book companies, especially Marvel, might expect to hold a reader's excitement for a month, if the next installment of an ongoing story was not coming for three months, attention spans wavered.
       Since these subjects were licensed, the writers and artists were severely limited in what they could do with the stories. No significant character development was allowed as it could contradict something that came later in the property's main line. With the standalone concept, each story had to be wrapped up inside the covers of one issue which did not give much room for complex plots. This is seen clearly in the four issues of the Mission: Impossible comics.

       While five issues of the Mission: Impossible comic book were released, it was really only four. One year after the 4th issue, for whatever reason (possibly contractual) a fifth issue came out but instead of being new material, it was a complete re-issue of the first one, cover and all.

1 Mission Impossible #1 Mission Impossible #1
Published by Dell
Contributors: Paul S. Newman (writer), Jack Sparling (inker), Jack Sparling (penciler), Gaspar Saladino (letterer)
Copyright: 05/01/1967

Two missions involving Dan Briggs as the leader.
Target In The Sea (18 pages): A reconnaissance plane crashes into the sea just a few miles off a Communist Caribbean country. The IMF team must get the camera and destroy the rest of the plane.
The Deadly Defector (14 pages) - China's leading nuclear physicist wants to defect. He is attending a symposium in Europe and the IMF team heads there to get him but it feels like a trap. This story was reprinted in Mission: Impossible Annual 1969

2 Mission Impossible #2 Mission Impossible #2
Published by Dell
Contributors: Jack Sparling (penciler), Gaspar Saladino (letterer), Jack Sparling (inker), Paul S. Newman (writer)
Copyright: 09/01/1967

Two missions involving Dan Briggs as the leader.
The Lethal List (16 pages) - A Soviet agent inside the Third Reich had buried a list of other agents high up on a mountain top behind what is now the Iron Curtain. With others after it, the IMF team must get to it first.
The Invaders (16 pages) - A Caribbean dictator is sponsoring a bacteriological laboratory and is close to creating a dangerous weapon. The IMF team must sneak a scientist inside the lab to render the weapon useless.
Both were reprinted in Mission: Impossible Annual 1969

3 Mission Impossible #3 Mission Impossible #3
Published by Dell
Contributors: Paul S. Newman (writer), Jack Sparling (inker), Jack Sparling (penciler), Gaspar Saladino (letterer)
Copyright: 12/01/1967

Two missions involving Dan Briggs as the leader.
Security Check (16 pages) - An ultra-secure NATO missile bunker in Europe is the target for the IMF to see if they can break in. If they can, the enemy eventually might.
The Witness (16 pages) - An American diplomat and his assistant has been arrested behind the Iron Curtain and charged with spying. As they await a big trial, the assistant has been brainwashed to testify against his boss. The IMF team must break into prison and reverse the process.

4 Mission Impossible #4 Mission Impossible #4
Published by Dell
Contributors: Joe Gill (writer), Jack Sparling (inker), Jack Sparling (penciler), Gaspar Saladino (letterer)
Copyright: 10/01/1968

Two missions involving Jim Phelps as the leader, at least he looks like Phelps. He is called Dan in the text several times.
Race For Life (16 pages) - The wife of a major East German industrialist wants to defect and bring with her major documents. She is being watched constantly by a jealous husband making her leaving impossible.
Perfect Plot (16 pages) - A VIP diplomat for the West has shown up on an island ruled by a dictator. He is a prisoner but is going to be shown to be a defector to that land unless the IMF can free him. Their plan is to hijack a plane to get to the island.

5 Mission Impossible #5 Mission Impossible #5
Published by Dell
Contributors: Paul S. Newman (writer), Jack Sparling (inker), Jack Sparling (penciler), Gaspar Saladino (letterer)
Copyright: 10/01/1969

A reprint of Issue #1 with two missions involving Dan Briggs as the leader, Target In The Sea and The Deadly Defector. See above for details.

GAMES

Number of Games:2
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1969

1 Mission: Impossible Game Mission: Impossible Game
Board Game
Ideal
Copyright: 1966

A game for 2 to 4 players. The players start at the four corners of the board using the spinner to move 1 to 6 spaces. There are also Road Block and Mission Impossible Card that are used. Winner is the player that finishes his or her mission by getting to the center of the board. Appears to have been a game like Parcheesi or Sorry.

2 Mission: Impossible - 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T Mission: Impossible - 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T
Model Kit
MPC
Copyright: 1969

A 1/25 wild customized kit of the famed Open Roadster Convertible Car from the highly entertaining TV series. All parts were authentic reproduced so the car would be spot-on like the real car. Your mission is to build a version in tan, gold or blue.

COLLECTIBLES

Number of Collectibles:1
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1968

1 Mission: Impossible - Surveillance Van Mission: Impossible - Surveillance Van
Matchbox
Mattel
Copyright: 1998

The 6th vehicle of 6 in the Star Cars Collection Series 1. The van is built in 1:64 scale and is painted black with the "Mission: Impossible" logo on each side. It looks like a van used by a TV news crew. This series had vehicles for 1 movie and 5 TV series. The other 5 vehicles are as follows;
1. Grease - Grease Lightning (Movie Hot Rod)
2. Taxi - Sunshine Cab #804 (TV Series Car)
3. The Brady Bunch Wagon (TV Series Car)
4. Happy Days - '56 Ford Pick-Up (TV Series Truck)
5. M*A*S*H* 4077's Jeep (TV Series Jeep)
All vehicles were made of die-cast metal and as Special Edition with storage box to remember classic moments past.

REFERENCE BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1991
Last Appearance:1991

1 The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier
Written by Patrick J. White
Copyright: 1991

Recounts the history and origins of the famed popular television series. Discusses all contributions of the cast, the crew, the writers, the directors and producers. Also gives star bios, plot summaries for each of the episodes and some behind the scenes information as well. A terrific reference guide for all who might have a need for more Mission: Impossible. Reprinted in 1996 in the UK.

MY COMMENTS

       I doubt you could find anyone who has read any spy series who has not seen, or didn't know quite well, the Impossible Mission Force. It lasted longer on television than any other spy series and provided several icons to American culture: theme music, self-destructing tape, disavowal, and doing the impossible.
       It was terrific. I loved it! As a teenager I followed the adventures week after week and though even I at time marvelled at how dumb the bad guys could be at times, it never was onerous enough to keep me from enjoying the show and coming back next week.
       Though you never got to know the background on any of the characters to speak of, you got their basic essences right away. Briggs and Phelps would come up with some Plan B at a moment's notice if needed. Collier could fix any device with chewing gum and spit (this was before the wonders of duct tape became as known as they are now). Woe to any bad guy, no matter what size they were, who tried to get past Armitage when he was set as a blocker. Do not look deeply into Cinnamon's eyes (or Tracey or Casey) lest you lose your will power. And do not trust anyone because no matter how well or how long you know them, they could turn out to be Rollin Hand or the Great Paris in disguise.
       The series was made first and foremost for television and it worked best there. The books are enjoyable add-ons to the television show. By themselves, they would not have made it but since they were never intended to stand on their own, they work reasonably fine. The same could be said for the comic books. Neither medium allowed for anything other than the standard but since the tv show limited itself to that, no harm done.

       I was a huge, gigantic, unabashed fan of the original series. Many of the last few years' missions were missed by me while serving in the military but my memory of the show and my appreciation for it never sagged. For that reason, I was ecstatic when I learned that the IMF team was again working behind the scenes to keep us safe. And the fact that it was being led again by Jim Phelps, played so fantastically by Peter Graves, made me even more excited.
       The show tried its best and did entertain me but it did not do well enough to survive more than two years. It was considered by many to be a failure. I disagree. First, the climate in the television industry had changed to an only-the-top-survives attitude. In the race to be the best, shows that were only good were thrown out in the hopes that maybe, just maybe the next one coming along would be the One. For the show to have made it not only through a first season but also a second was impressive.
       Add to that the fact that the schedulers of the series moved it from Sunday night where the older generation who knew the original would see it to Saturday when nobody watched much. They did this half way through the first season so many fans lost track of where (or more accurately, when) it was. Then in the beginning of the second season, it was moved to Thursday but put it up against the blockbuster The Cosby Show, almost a death blow. When ratings dived even further, they moved it back to Saturday nights. Bouncing time slots can kill any show.
       But even a rabid fan such as myself had to admit that the revival did not have the same spark that the original did. It was good. Just not good enough.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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