Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Mission: Impossible – The Complete First TV Season”

(CBS/Paramount. Color. 1966-67. 7 discs, 28 episodes. Not rated. 23 hours, 24 minutes. Various directors.) Steven Hill, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus. Theme music by Lalo Schifrin.

I was a devotee of this series during my misspent childhood. It’s great to have it on DVD, the theme music is still the best ever, and I hope all of the seven seasons will be released, primarily because in this first year all the elements haven’t quite gelled. The rather taciturn Hill (best known today for his 10 years on Law & Order), as team leader Dan Briggs, was replaced in the second season by Peter Graves: Good morning, Mr. Phelps. Things are more up to speed by then, as in this first season the pacing of many of the episodes is pretty slow. Still, it’s fun to see the old gang in the full flower of the Cold War; the clever plot twists; and many ’60s TV actors as guest stars (hello, Wally Cox). Best of all: no Tom Cruise (the Secretary has disavowed any knowledge of his actions). As seems to be Paramount’s habit, absolutely no extras. It would have been nice to hear from cast members, all of whom are still with us except Greg Morris, who died of cancer in 1996.

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