Mission: Impossible (1967) – The Slave: Part 1, and Part 2

William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter pen a two-parter that sees Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF team heading to the Middle East to breakup a slave trading operation. The first part debuted on 8 October, 1967.

Phelps, Rollin (Martin Landau), Cinnamon (Barbara Bain), Barney (Greg Morris) and Willy (Peter Lupus) head out with a plan that will involve disguises, gadgets and more. Barney is captured to allow for an inside look at the cells, and promptly escapes, Phelps poses as a trafficker with people to sell, including Cinnamon, in an attempt to set up the man responsible for the slave ring in the country, King Borca (Joseph Ruskin).

As usual, the team has plans within plans and this one includes abducting the King’s brother’s wife, Amara (Antoinette Bower) which you know will lead her husband, Akim (Steve Franken) to discovering what is going on.

There’s a lot going on in the first episode, and most of it is setup for what we know is going to come in the second part when things start paying off.

The gadgets are pretty cool in this one, Barney has a camera that looks like a pistol, so that it can appear to be one when he escapes the prison, and Rollin has one as well, in addition to a number of disguises.

The episode comes to its conclusion with Amara captured by the IMF team, and put in a cell created by the IMF to look like the one Barney escaped from. She pleads for her release, and Phelps, advises Barney to make her as at ease as possible; she’s just an asset that will pay off in the second part.

Part 2 aired on 15 October, 1967, and sees Rollin posing as Borca in front of Amara to set the real Borca up. The episode races along, and sees Cinnamon’s part of the plan really coming into action, as she will deliver the final piece that will show Borca to be the criminal they know he is, expose him to his family, and allow them to oust him from power, outlawing slavery.

There’s lots going on in this one, and the team seems to be ready for every eventuality that plays out. This time around, they know their target, and they are determined to bring him down.

Everyone seems to get their moment, except for maybe Willy, although he may have had more dialogue in the past episode than he had in the entire previous season, though it was just variations on the same sales pitch over and over – he was selling robes in the market place.

So far Season Two of Mission: Impossible has been really entertaining, and it feels like the production has really raised their game, it just feels more vibrant and exciting than the first season. But we’ll see what happens next week when I accept another assignment as I continue my exploration of Paramount Canada’s Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray, now available!

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