Mission: Impossible (1972) – Stone Pillow, and Image

Former private detective, Larry Edison (Bradford Dillman), has found himself on the other side of the law, heading to prison, and blackmailing a mobster – Edison has a film proving Vochek (Robert Ellenstein) committed murder. He’s hidden that film and the IMF wants it.

Stone Pillow was penned by Howard Browne and first debuted on 8 January, 1972.

To convince Edison to lead them to the hidden film, Barney (Greg Morris) poses as the new prison warden, Phelps (Peter Graves) is his cellmate, and he has a plan to escape. Eventually, the plan leads them to Casey (Lynda Day George) who is posing (thanks to some mask work) as Edison’s girlfriend.

Each angle and eventuality is accounted for and planned for, and the team will not only be able to recover the film but take care of Edison and Vochek permanently.

It’s fun, fairly fast-paced, and puts Phelps right into the middle of the action for a change. Unfortunately, that means Barney and Willy (Peter Lupus) are pushed to the side. Still, Phelps and Casey seem up to the job, and by the end of the episode, when chases are finished, and shots have been fired, they are able to resolve everything perfectly and walk off into the sunset as usual.

I rather enjoyed how this one played out, and actually enjoyed it more than some of the episodes of late. Phelps in prison is almost camp, it almost feels like an episode of 1966’s Batman series, but it’s a lot of fun because of it.

Image was written by Samuel Roeca and James L. Henderson. It was first broadcast on 15 January, 1972.

The IMF once again have their eye set on the criminal underworld. This time, it’s crime boss Emil Gadsen (George Voskovec). Gadsen is getting ready to leave the country with a list of corrupt politicians and law enforcement, leaving his number one guy, Thor Coffin (Warren Stevens), in charge.

Barney plays the role of a mystic who is being consulted by Gadsen, but meets some interference from Gadsen’s son, Tony (Daniel J. Travanti) who is not a believer. Barney is able to plant a warning of someone who will be a threat to him, almost like a brother. Enter Casey, and another member of the IMF who appears to be a long-lost (and unknown) identical twin brother.

Meanwhile, Phelps and Barney are working at infiltrating Coffin’s compound, using his love of stamp collecting as a way in.

And so begins a long game to drive the two men apart, and recover the list before anyone can exploit it.

This now, once again, was a lot of fun, but I’m starting to miss the days when the IMF took on other spies, and foreign governments and worked to stop global problems instead of just going after everyday criminals.

More assignments next week as I explore more of Paramount Canada’s Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu-ray.

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