Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF team are back out in the field this week as I dive into another pair of assignments in Paramount Canada’s Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray. The Phoenix written by John D.F. Black from a story he created alongside Edward DeBlasio is first up, originally broadcast on 3 March, 1968, the team are, once again, in the Eastern Bloc practicing convoluted spycraft.
This time around, a recently demoted minister, Prohosh (Alj Kjellin) has found himself made the new Minister of Art and Culture, but has a chance to reclaim his power and more, with the arrival of a sculpture from a foreign power. There is an experimental alloy secretly contained in the sculputre, which Prohosh will claim, and sell, climbing back into control.
To stop Prohosh, the team organises and apparent attempt on his life, cleverly executed by Rollin (Martin Landau) and Cinnamon (Barbara Bain), while Phelps, Barney (Greg Morris), and Willy (Peter Lupus) pay the investigative team from Security, the Minister’s former department.
But that simply allows them toget inside the museum, where Barney and Willy go to work on the sculpture, maing sure Prohosh doesn’t get his hands on the alloy, while Phelps, Rollin and Cinnamon work as distractions, and setting him up to remove him from being a threat once and for all.
It’s a solid and entertaining episode as the team works to keep the world safe, and the Eastern Bloc in check. Still, it’s pretty interesting how easily the team gets around the world and in and out of ‘enemy’ countries so smoothly.
Trial By Fury is the penultimate episode of the season. Written by Sy Salkowitz it first hit the airwaves on 10 March, 1968.
The team find themselves on assignment in an Latin America country, a country that is ruled by a totalitarian regime. The ruling party has imprisoned the leader of the opposition party, Manuel Delgado (Ernest Sarrachino). In order to get his message out, one of his associates, Cardoza (Michael Tolan) allows himself to be arrested where he can work as a trustee to keep Delgado’s goals alive.
Unfortunately, some of the prisoners (including Paul Winfield and Sid Haig!), who support Delgado believe Cardoza to be a traitor and an informer, the IMF has to go in keep both men alive and flush out the real informer (I wonder if its the aforementioned guest stars?). So Barney and Phelps get arrested to end up in the prison (a redress of the Hogan’s Heroe’s set), Rollin moves into position as a guard, and Cinnamon is a Red Cross nurse, who is able to ferry in supplies for the mission.
It’s not an easy mission, course, it’s called Mission: Impossible for a reason, but unlike most episodes, the team doesn’t slip out at the end of the episode as per usual, no this time, they’ll have to fight their way out.
Next week we finish Season Two and begin the assignments of Season 3 as I explore more of Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray, available now from Paramount Pictures.