Mission: Impossible (1968) – The Town, and The Killing

Paramount Pictures Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray continues to entertain as I delve into another pair of episodes this week. First up is The Town, written by Sy Salkowitz, it first debuted on 18 February, 1968. It’s also a but of a different episode, as there is no assignment for Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF team this week.

Instead, Phelps, who is on his way to meet Rollin (Martin Landau) stumbles upon a network of assassins in Middle America, during a gas stop. When the members of ‘the town’ realise Phelps has seen too much, they arrange for an accident, and keep him drugged and under their watch.

When Rollin comes looking for him, things start to happen quickly, as Phelps is able to signal Rollin to let him know he’s a prisoner, and Rollin is able to call in the rest of the team, posing as Phelps’ wife, Cinnamon (Barbara Bain), her driver, Barney (Greg Morris), and a truck driver, Willy (Peter Lupus).

Together they are able to rescue him, and learn what is going on; there is a plan to assassinate a defecting Eastern Bloc rocket scientist before he can help with the American space program.

The team, operating on their own, and without orders, work to stop the assassination, and disassemble the command structure of the town, and those who work there.

It makes for a different kind of episode, which is fun, I just think it took Rollin a little too long to pick up on Phelp’s signals, he should have been watching for them from the get go.

The Killing sees the team taking an assignment in an episode written by William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter. It was first broadcast on 25 February, 1968.

The team is going to take on Bert Gordon (Gerald S. O’Loughlin) who runs a variation on the Murder Inc. business model, but there is absolutely no physical evidence tying him to any crime. But learning he’s superstitious gives the team an angle to work.

With Phelps and Cinnamon posing as a bickering married couple, with Cinnamon hoping to hire Gordon to take care of Phelps, but there seems to be someone or something else in the home in which Phelps and Cinnamon pretend to live in. The team has it rigged for all manner of ghostly intrusions, and when Phelps appears to be dead, murdered, the dials get turned up as the team goes after Gordon with everything they’ve got, hoping to trap him in his breaking of the law.

It’s a fun, not quite spooky episode, because we know that everything is being down by the team, but it’s cool to watch as the story unfolds and they entrap Gordon once and for all.

We’re closing in on the end of season two, but there are plenty more assignments to come as I continue to take on Missions: Impossible as I explore The Complete Series on blu-ray available now from Paramount Canada.

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