Mission: Impossible (1969) – Illusion, and The Interrogator

Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF team go undercover in an Eastern European country, that looks like it gets its uniforms from the Nazis, in Illusion. Written by Laurence Heath, this episode first aired on 13 April, 1969.

The team are seeking to remove two political officers, who are scheming against each other for control of the country that will allow them to rule with an iron fist. They are to remove Kurt Lom (Kevin Hagen) and Emil Skarbeck (Fritz Weaver), paving the way for Paul Trock (Martin E. Brooks), a more democratically minded bureaucrat.

The key to removing them, is a night show that Cinnamon (Barbara Bain) and Rollin (Martin Landau) perform, as this will catch the eyes of both men, well, specifically, Cinnamon will catch their eye, with her smoky torch singer act. The rest of the team have their tasks, and go to work at putting all the pieces into place.

Cinnamon puts herself in harm’s way to draw Emil out, but how dangerous will the game get? And will she be safe? While she and Rollin work on Emil, Phelps goes to work on Lom, while Barney (Greg Morris) sneaks about doing his tech thing.

The team, of course, plays all sides against the middle, and despite it looking a little shaky a number of times, you know the team has all eventualities accounted for and are ready for Lom and Skarbeck to make their moves, which will bring about their downfall.

And at least this time, the episode doesn’t look like they are in California.

The final episode of season three, and the final appearance of both Cinnamon and Rollin (they were hoping to renegotiate their contracts for more money, and when it was denied, they left the show), is The Interrogator. It was written by Paul Playdon, and brought the season to a close on 20 April, 1969.

Henry Silva guest stars as Norvan Kruger, an enemy agent that knows the location of a nuclear submarine that may be on its way to attack the United States. Unfortunately, Kruger has been captured by another enemy government and is undergoing interrogation there.

Phelps and his team have to get Kruger out of his restraints, and conduct their own interrogation of him.

There is a ticking clock through the episode, as the attack is looming. They have two days. Can Phelps and the rest pull it off?

It’s a fairly fast-paced story that keeps the team moving throughout. It’s fun, hits all the usual notes you would expect from the show, but sadly, doesn’t actually give us a chance to say goodbye to Rollin and Cinnamon.

Next time, we start season four, and have a new (but familiar face) join the team as I take another assignment from Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray. Check it out, it’s available now from Paramount Canada!

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