Mission Impossible

1966 | United States

"Your mission, Jim, should you accept it..." So began each adventure for the Impossible Missions Force, an elite group of secret agents under the leadership of Jim Phelps (Peter Graves, brother of Gunsmoke's James Arness). 

Their weekly tasks usually involved the rescue of a foreign diplomat held prisoner by a fictitious communist country, or the recovery of secret documents. Each member of the IMF had their own particular specialist talent, Rollin Hand (Martin Landau) was a master of disguise, Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain, real-life wife of Landau), was the female seductress, muscle was supplied by Willy Armitage (Peter Lupus), and Barney Collier (Greg Morris) was the electronics wizard. Gadgetry of the James Bond type featured heavily in the series, which won Emmys for Outstanding Dramatic Series in 1967 and 1968, and Bain picked up Best Actress Emmy's in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Leonard Nimmoy joined the cast as Paris straight from his stint as Star Trek's Spock and Lalo Shifrin's Mission Impossible title theme was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The series sold to no less than 70 countries worldwide and the first in a series of all action Hollywood blockbuster's was released in 1996 starring Tom Cruise. The movie series kept Shifrin's distinctive theme tune.

Published on January 6th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.