Mission: Impossible (1971) – The Field, and Blast

The IMF team, led by Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) has a tough assignment this time with The Field. Written by Wesley Lau from a story by Lau and Judy Burns, it first aired on 23 January, 1971.

An enemy nation has control of an island in the Adriatic, and they have turned it into a launch point for their orbital nuclear weapons platform. It also serves as the platform’s control center. And since this country could pose a threat to to the world, and especially the United States, Phelps and his selected team are going to go in and take the control center down.

Barney (Greg Morris) will be required to infiltrate the island, and find his way through a dangerous mind field so that he can replace a circuit board that will sabotage the platform, Paris (Leonard Nimoy) goes undercover on the base as the man who designed the mine field (which will allow Barney to get across it), Phelps gathers information, Dana (Lesley Ann Warren) looks great in uniform, and Doug (Sam Elliott) is around in case they need him, helping with odds and ends.

I like this one. It plays fairly straightforward, and our team has to work together to deal with the problem, and keep the world safe. And honestly, anytime Barney is given cool things to do, I call that a win.

The story throws some fun curveballs at the team, when it’s discovered the man Paris is replacing actually murdered a security agent, whose body gets discovered, and leads to Paris being arrested, leaving Barney marooned in the field.

How will they save themselves and the day?

Blast was written by James L. Henderson and and Samuel Roeca. It first debuted on 30 January, 1971.

The team are going after Greg Tolan (Henry Darrow) and his unseen boss, who is using a gang of bank robbers to help finance anti-American activity around the globe. So, what’s the best way to stop him? Send Dana and Jim undercover as new members of the crime ring, and bring Tolan down from the inside.

The pair feed into the conflicts that begin to naturally arise between the members of the ring, even as they prepare for a huge haul which will help finance some very large actions.

Doug has been replaced by Willy (Peter Lupus) this episode, though he doesn’t have much more to do than Doug did in the previous tale.

it is fun to see the IMF taking on standard criminals from the inside, which is all the story is really about, the anti-American trappings just gives the IMF their in. It’s pretty basic, works with the tropes we already know for the series, and doesn’t do anything particularly wow-worthy. We’ve seen it before, and know what to expect.

But it’s fun.

There are still more assignments to come as I explore more of Paramount Canada’s Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray, available now!

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