Mission: Impossible (1966) – Operation Rogosh, and Old Man Out: Part 1

Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to join me as I explore another two episodes of the classic Mission: Impossible series as I explore The Complete Series on blu-ray, available now from Paramount Pictures.

The first mission up this week is Operation Rogosh. Written by Jerome Ross, it first aired on 1 October, 1966. Fritz Weaver guest stars as the villainous Rogosh, a terrorist who has something disastrous plan for his visit to Los Angeles.

The IMF team led by Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) receives the assignment, and he recruits his usual team, Cinnamon (Barbara Bain), Barney (Greg Morris), Willy (Peter Lupus) and Rollin Hand (Martin Landau) to deal with the problem.

And they do so in a very unique way (though it’s shown up in the films since), they arrange for Rogosh to be involved in an accident, and then when he wakes, he appears to be in a prison in his home country some three years later.

He’s on trial for treason, and he must prove he was loyal. So through interrogation, manipulation, and sheer luck, they get Rogosh to reveal his plans.

But Rogosh’s associates are looking for him! Will they bring it all down around the IMF team before they can learn Rogosh’s plan?

A great episode, and features a lot of unique camera work to add to Rogosh’s disorientation, and solid use of a guest star. I also like the fact that the episode takes its time with its story, and doesn’t rush it, letting things build to a satisfying climax.

Old Man Out: Part 1 brings us our first two-parter.

Old Man Out: Part 1 brings us our first two-parter. Written by Ellis Morris this episode first debuted on 8 October, 1996, and like the previous episode, takes its time with its story, weaving an engaging tale that served as bit of a nod to Cardinal Josef Mindszenty who was imprisoned in the Eastern Bloc.

Dan and his IMF team, including a trapeze artist, Crystal (Mary Ann Mobley) that has a thing for him. The usual team heads to the Eastern Bloc, perhaps Hungary, perhaps somewhere completely fictional. And while the main unit poses as a travelling circus, Rollin gets himself arrested so that he can be put into an inescapable prison, to bust out Cardinal Vossek (Cyril Delevanti).

Conveniently enough, the circus is performing near the prison, this is essential because Rollin uses the timing of the calliope to execute his plan; they took his watch, and everything seems like it’s going to go well, and the team members all know their roles.

The story takes its time, and as Rollin races to reach the Cardinal for their escape, we are delivered a To Be Continued, when Rollin finds the cell empty!!!

We’ll find out what happens next week when I accept the mission to continue my time with the IMF as I explore Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray, now available from Paramount Canada.

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