Mission: Impossible (1969) – The Bunker: Part 2, and Nitro

Paul Playdon delivers the second part to The Bunker. The conclusion to the fun and smart story first aired on 9 March, 1969. While Phelps (Peter Graves) is still undercover within the bunker, keeping an eye on the captured Rojak (Milton Selzer) and his forced work on a missile, the rest of the team move into position to pull off the final rescue and destruction of the weapon.

But they are going to have to deal with the undercover assassin who is posing as Captain Praedo (Jack Donner), who is there to kill Rojak for his own government. And he may be able to take out the IMF team, or slip amongst their members with disguises of his own.

Cinnamon (Barbara Bain) is disguised as Rojak’s wife (Lee Merriwether), while the real Mrs. Rojak has escaped via a smoky furnace with Willy (Peter Lupus).

And through it all, Barney (Greg Morris) is working in the van, keeping all the tech running.

But are things going to plan? Or will Praedo put a kink in their plans when he poses as Rollin (Martin Landau), who in turn is posing as a nuclear scientist? And will they escape? Will everyone escape the bunker if things are about to blow?

This one is convoluted, entertaining, and feels very much like the perfect combination of all the tropes of the series – and a prime example of how great the show can be. It’s a big, action-packed spy thriller, with all the twists, turns, masks, tech and moments you’d expect in a Mission: Impossible story.

Nitro was written by Laurence Heath and first debuted on 23 March, 1969. The IMF teams heads off to the Middle East (which like so many places around the world, looks like Southern California) to stop a terrorist plot headed by General Zek (Titos Vandis). It seems Zek opposes a peace treaty being proposed by some neighboring countries, and he is going to work to sabotage it by blowing up Government House in one of the countries.

The team has stop Zek once and for all.

We get a quick shot of the team selection, which we haven’t seen in a while, and the group goes into action, to put paid to Zek. But I was most delighted to see Mark Lenard show up as one of the co-conspirators.

The team goes to work on stealing the nitroglycerin that Zek plans to use for his plan, while also going undercover to con him, all of it culminates in the team making off, kind of, with the nitro in a remote controlled truck, which, of course, only stops in the nick of time.

And there seems to be a bit of a Bond reference in this episode, as it’s mentioned that Mr. Connery was specifically requested, but Barney says he’s unavailable and on another assignment.

It’s a solid episode, but coming quickly on the tails of The Bunker, which I think is going to be a series highlight, this one just doesn’t feel as strong.

There are more missions to come with the IMF as I continue to explore Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray now available from Paramount Canada!

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