Mission: Impossible (1966) – A Spool There Was, and The Carriers

Ellis Marcus spins a story for Rollin (Martin Landau) and Cinnamon (Barbara Bain) this week with A Spool There Was. First airing on 12 November, 1966, Dan (Steven Hill) recruits the pair to head to an island country in an effort to recover a wire recording that was hidden by an agent that was being pursued.

Dan advises them to work in instinct and look for possibilities outside of the box, as the agent would have had to. But they won’t be the only ones there. There will be enemy agents, as well as the local security forces working to recover the wire so that it doesn’t get out.

Cinnamon poses as a fashion photographer who has a bit of a romantic past with Rollin’s boat captain. The two create a cover that allows Rollin to hunt for the wire recording, and much as suspected, it’s out in the open.

But in the effort to recover it, the wire ends up in the hands of a young boy, and the pair must work to protect him, while keeping he and his family oblivious, and leading the enemy away from the target.

It’s a fun little adventure, and it’s great to see Bain and Landau sharing some screen time together. Sure, I miss Barney (Greg Morris) this time around, he remains my favourite of the team, but it’s a simple spy story that plays straightforward and enjoyably.

There are some fun little action beats, and a boat theft by the end of the episode, as well as some fun distractions to keep the baddies guessing.

The Carriers adds another Star Trek guest star (and a set) to the Mission: Impossible world… George Takei guest stars, and one of the corridors of the Enterprise is redressed as part of a corridor of a subterranean lab. The episode was written by William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter, and debuted on 19 November, 1966.

Dan sends Barney, Rollin, Cinnamon, Willy (Peter Lupus) and Roger (Takei) behind the Iron Curtain and into a training town designed to look like an American city. This is where spies are trained to pass as American citizens before taking their assignment aboard.

But this town is a little different, Roger learns, and proves that the water is infected with plague to turn everyone in the city to carriers, who, when they are put on assignment in America, will infect thousands, if not millions, and then die themselves.

The team’s mission is to stop the infection, the carriers, and expose the plan and the villain… but what happens if they get caught? Or infected? Or have they accounted for that as well?

There are more missions next week, should I choose to accept them, as I explore more of Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray, now available from Paramount Pictures.

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