Mission: Impossible (1968) – Recovery, and The Heir Apparent

It’s time for another Mission: Impossible, as I come to the end of season two in my exploration of The Complete Series on blu-ray, now available from Paramount Pictures. The final episode of season two, Recovery, was written by William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter, and it first aired on 17 March, 1968.

Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF team go undercover behind the Iron Curtain in an effort to recover material from a crashed U.S. bomber, unfrotunately, it’s fail-safe didn’t go off, and if the scientists working on it can open it without setting it off, it will give them a better understanding of the United States defense systems.

The work is overseen by an American defector, Paul Shipherd (Bradford Dillman) and he’s not above delivering threats as he works on the device.

So Phelps, with a dye job, goes in as the captured pilot, Rollin (Martin Landau) and Cinammon (Barabara Bain) go under as a pair of married scientists, Barney (Greg Morris) and Willy (Peter Lupus) assist throughout. Their mission is to get away with the device without setting it off, and kidnap Shipherd back to the States.

There are disguises, sneakiness, and plans within plans, all culminating in safety for the Western world.

If the episode had been made today, it would have been bigger, ended on a cliffhanger setting up the series return in season three, and it would have seemed truly Impossible.

But the team, despite some minor obstacles, overcomes the odds, and charts up one more succesful mission.

The third season of Mission: Impossible got underway on 29 September, 1968 with The Heir Apparent, which was written by Robert E. Thompson. Starting a couple of episodes back, there has been a change to the opening sequence, Phelps still gets assigned the mission, but we no longer see him picking his team through the IMF files, instead, his team is already assembled, and the main title comes up as the mission gets underway.

This time the team is going undercover in a European country that has a constituional monarchy, that must have a new monarch decided before General Qaisette (Charles Aidman) stages a bloody coup and installs himself as a military dictator.

Cinammon poses as a presumed dead princess to thwart Qaisette, while the rest of the team sneak into the country and execute their parts of the plan, which has a number of layers, even as Qaisette penetrates some of them, but is that part of the plan?

Barney and Willy are working together, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard Willy say so much!

Of course things ork out for the free world, and democracy is maintained, as the team brings down Qaisette.

The episode is just a continuiation of the series, it’s not an extra-big season opener, it’s just another mission for the IMF, but I’ll be back for more of them next week as I continue to explore Paramount Canada’s Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray!

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