Mission: Impossible (1967) – Snowball in Hell, and The Confession

Ricardo Montalban (!) guest stars in Snowball in Hell, the first mission I accept this week as I continue my exploration of Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray, available now!

Written by Judith and Robert Guy Barrows, this episode first debuted on 18 February, 1967, and featured new IMF photos for both Barney (Greg Morris) and Willy (Peter Lupus). Dan (Steven Hill) also recruits Rollin (Martin Landau) and Cinnamon (Barbara Bain) as they go after a former penal colony commander, Gerard Sefra (Montalban) who is cruel, sadistic and also has a sample (and a memorised formula) that will enable the cheap and easy production of nuclear weapons. And may leave Barney at Serfa’s mercies, as the man is led to believe that Barney was one of the colony’s prisoners.

Rollin and Barney deal directly with Serfa, posing as photojournalist and model, respectively, while the rest of the team work to trick Serfa out of his sample, and perhaps take care of the memorised formula once and for all.

Usually, the IMF team will wait and let the authorities handle the matters of justice, but this time, the team resolves the issue themselves, one of the few times when they actively take a life.

I quite like this episode, I like how it’s put together, and Montalban, as always, is charismatic and dangerous on screen. Wonderfully menacing, and you know the team are going to have their hands full, and Barney is placed directly in harm’s way in this episode.

But it’s all for the good of the mission, and the team proves successful once again.

Man, am I loving seeing some of these guest stars and how the series continues to grow in its storytelling and confidence.

The Confession first aired on 25 February, 1967 and was written by William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter. The IMF draws an unusual assignment. An American senator has been assassinated. He was killed by Andreas Solowiechek (David Sheiner), there’s no question of that. But the team has to prove that Solowiechek wasn’t working under orders of his government or the Cold War will heat up.

The IMF believes that Solowiechek was working freelance, and took an assignment from the senator’s primary backer, R.J. McMillian (Pat Hingle), who is using the assassination as a chance to tout is as an international incident and a prelude to war.

Dan and his team have to elicit a confession from Andreas, with Rolling posing as a fellow prisoner in the prison where he is being held, while Cinnamon and the rest work on McMillian.

The plan moves along just the way the team wants, even as the world tumbles towards the cusp of war. Will the team get the evidence and the confession they need? Will Willy have more than a line or two of dialogue?

There are more missions to come, and I will continue to choose to accept them as I work my way through The Complete Series on blu-ray, now available from Paramount Canada!

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