Mission: Impossible (1967) – Operation ‘Heart,’ and The Money Machine

Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF team attempt to flush out a villain intent on assassinating a head of state, Rurich (Pernell Roberts) so that his country’s Western flavoured government will fall and give way to a rule under his name. To take him down, Phelps, Rollin (Martin Landau), Cinnamon (Barbara Bain), Barney (Greg Morris) and Willy (Peter Lupus) will make use of a hospital, frame an ill archaeologist as a spy, all to reel in Gomalk (Micheal Strong) and expose his scheme.

Operation ‘Heart’ was written by John O’Dea and Arthur Rowe and first debuted on 22 October, 1967. The team plants the idea in Rurich’s mind, that an ill (and mostly unconscious) archaeologist, Levya (Micheal Fox) is actually an agent on a mission.Cinnamon poses as his wife, who allows herself to be caught with a drug that would kill him, suggesting that she’s an agent as well, there to stop Levya from talking about ‘Anniversary,’ Gomalk’s plan to assassinate Rurich.

Using the hospital to its full extent, and Barney’s technological skill and innovation, the team is more than ready to take Gomalk down while protecting both Rurich and Levya. In fact, it seems a little more convoluted than it needs to be, but it’s an engaging plan that lets each Phelps, Rollin and Cinnamon shine.

I quite like the makeup job Rollin pulls off in this episode, and the accents he trots out. Honestly, it must have been a fairly fun role to play and an enjoyable series to be involved in, as long as they didn’t take it too seriously.

The Money Machine gives us Brock Peters as the guest star and villain of the piece in this episode written by Richard M. Sakal and was first broadcast on 29 October, 1967.

Phelps doesn’t even bring Willy along this time, it’s just him, Cinnamon, Barney (who spends a lengthy amount of the episode inside the machine) and Rollin. The team heads to the African country of Ghalea to take on a counterfeiting ring that is attempting to destabilize the country’s market, and allow Peters’ DuBruis, seize more power.

To beat a counterfeiting ring, Phelps has to show that he can create more counterfeit cash faster than the man DuBruis’ man can, so they create a ‘computer’ that will so just that. It’s basically Barney in a box moving paper and cash around. But it seems to mostly work.

I love that Brock Peters in this episode, such a great actor, and I love that they didn’t even try to shoehorn Willy into this one. He barely had four lines in the previous episode. I really want to see a Barney-centric episode though.

There’s plenty of assignments still to come, and I will take them all as I work my way through Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray, available now from Paramount Canada!

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