Mission: Impossible (1967/1968) – The Photographer, and The Spy

I explore more of Paramount Pictures’ fantastic blu-ray edition of Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series this week with another pair of well-crafted episodes featuring some familiar looking guest stars.

Anthony Zerbe plays the titular photographer of the episode’s title, in this story penned by William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter. It first aired on 17 December, 1967 and sees Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF team going after Zerbe’s David Redding who has been routing spies into the country, and sending classified information to the Eastern Bloc.

Unfortunately, Redding is communicating in an unbreakable code, something the team will have to break, if they are going to stop him.

Phelps poses as Cinnamon’s (Barabar Bain) husband, while she plays a variation on herself, a model, and a biochemist, who ‘inadvertently reveals’ some information in front of Redding which he plans to exploit.

While Phelps and Cinnamon work to distract Redding, the rest of the team works to infiltrate Redding’s compound, and set up the final act to confuse, confound, and capture Redding.

Barney (Greg Morris) gets to set up and play with lots of tech, while Rollin (Martin Landau) and Willy (Peter Lupus) pose as law enforcement, who arrive just in time for Barney to unleash a firestorm of technical knowhow to fool Redding, and allow the team to pull off their mission (which includes making Redding think there’s a massive attack on the country).

It’s a great episode, entertaining, and it’s always a delight watching the IMF pull the wool over the baddies’ eyes.

The Spy was written by Barney Slater, and first aired on 7 January, 1968. This time the gloves come off as Phelps goes undercover, risking his life by allowing himself to be caught by the devious Captain Cherno (Joseph Campanella) and grilled for information about part of a missing map that serves as a NATO defense plan, while Rollin takes on a lovely female spy, Felicia Vabar (Katherine Woodville) who has the first part of the two part map.

While she and Rollin attempt to come to an accord, all so they can make a slew of money, so she believes, but so that the IMF can actually recover the plans and reveal the dastardly natures of both Cherno and Vabar, who are working together.

Barney and Cinnamon pop up on occasion through the story, and Willy is glimpsed, but this mainly a Phelps and Rollin story, as they both go head to head with their enemies, all of it culminating in a violent conclusion which has proven to be the exception and not the rule for the series so far.

In fact Rollin handles a gun easily, and deals with a number of threats through the course of the episode. But there is still many more threats to world peace as I explore more of Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray available now!!

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