Mission Impossible - Season 1

Overview

Back in the laserdisc era, Bruce Geller's series Mission: Impossible showed up on a very limited basis, six episodes on three discs if memory serves. Paramount has now released the entire first season of the series, 28 episodes, in a seven-DVD set, packaged in four narrow cases in a slipcase. Each single-sided disc is programmed with four episodes. Each show has been given a half-dozen chapter-markers corresponding with the main sections of the program, plus the opening and closing credits. The programs ...
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Overview

Back in the laserdisc era, Bruce Geller's series Mission: Impossible showed up on a very limited basis, six episodes on three discs if memory serves. Paramount has now released the entire first season of the series, 28 episodes, in a seven-DVD set, packaged in four narrow cases in a slipcase. Each single-sided disc is programmed with four episodes. Each show has been given a half-dozen chapter-markers corresponding with the main sections of the program, plus the opening and closing credits. The programs themselves were among the most interesting in the long run of the series, because they were still working out the basic formula of the series and its variations, and figuring out what would and could work within a television series budget of the period and yielding amazing results. Additionally, the casting was triply intriguing -- not just for having Steven Hill, a much more interesting actor than Peter Graves, who succeeded him, as the team leader, but also the unusually strong guest stars for the period, working in uncharacteristic roles. The pilot featured Wally Cox then one of the top actors on television in an Emmy-caliber performance as a safe-cracker required for the mission at hand, while the episode offers Albert Paulsen -- who most often portrayed villains -- in a sympathetic and totally neurotic role, as a failed performer who gets a chance at redemption through the mission at hand; these characterizations are all somewhat more complex than viewers would find in later seasons of the series, in which it slipped into its formula a little too easily and smoothly for anything too creative on a performing level. The series itself was extremely important in the history of Desilu Studios, where it was produced. The latter organization had proved itself with half-hour sitcoms and become extremely profitable specializing in that area. But when Desilu went into producing hour-long programs in color, starting with Star Trek and then Mission: Impossible, no one believed they could pull it off, and they did, creating a pair of the most enduring "franchise" series in the history of the medium, although ironically, at the time Mission: Impossible was considered a far more successful and important series. They were successful enough to attract the attention of Paramount, which bought out Desilu midway through the run of both series and ended up reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in rewards -- just from those two series -- from the purchase. The film-to-video transfers are brilliant -- every pore on the characters' faces resolves in the close-ups, and everyone and everything looks razor sharp. The full-screen 1.33-to-1 image is beautifully balanced in terms of color and contrast, and the sound is high in volume and well detailed. It's also a tribute to Barbara Bain's beauty and performing skills that placed under such close visual scrutiny, she is 100 percent convincing in her part she was feared to be the weak link in the cast when the series was going into production, most notably by Lucille Ball, who owned Desilu Studios, where the series was produced. One heartily wishes that there were some extras to top off the excellence of the presentation here -- Bain, her ex-husband Martin Landau, Steven Hill, and Peter Lupus were all still with us at the time of this release, and were all still active. But just having these episodes -- which, because of the different casting, have been shown far less often in syndication than the later seasons' shows were -- is gift enough. Each disc opens automatically to an easy-to-use multi-layered menu that is surprisingly simple to maneuver through.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Although it provided fodder for dozens of comedy sketches and eventually became a parody of itself, this high-adventure series got off to a good start with gripping, surprisingly complex yarns of Cold War intrigue. Mission: Impossible premiered in 1966 with a largely unknown cast but, by virtue of its unusually clever scripts and exotic settings, became an early example of "destination TV": a show around which people actually arranged their schedules. Steven Hill portrayed Dan Briggs, head of the IMF Impossible Missions Taskforce, a top-secret private agency engaged by the government to carry out dangerous assignments too hot to be handled by American military or law-enforcement agencies. His team -- chosen at the beginning of each adventure in a little ritual that became one of the show's trademarks -- included actor and makeup genius Rollin Hand Martin Landau, actress Cinnamon Carter Barbara Bain, then Landau's real-life wife, technical wizard Barney Collier Greg Morris, and strongman Willy Armitage Peter Lupus. The IMF's various missions taxed the ingenuity of the writers, who almost always rose to the challenge of providing exhaustively detailed capers that kept home viewers riveted to their seats. Among the best shows of the 28-episode first season are "A Spool There Was," a Landau-Bain tour de force that finds Rollin and Cinnamon going it alone to recover a crucially important wire recording; "The Traitor," in which the IMF discredits an American defector and whisks him out of enemy territory before he can impart top-secret information; and "Action!," which finds Dan and the team sabotaging the efforts of an Iron Curtain filmmaker who has been manipulating footage of American troops in his movie about wartime atrocities.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/5/2006
  • UPC: 097360384529
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 23:24:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steven Hill
Greg Morris Barney Collier
Peter Lupus Willy Armitage
Barbara Bain Cinnamon Carter
Martin Landau Rollin Hand
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season, Disc 1
   Pilot
   Memory
   Operation Rogosh
   Old Man Out Part 1
   Play All
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio Options: English Mono
   Previews
Disc #2 -- Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season, Disc 2
   Old Man Out Part 2
   Odds on Evil
   Wheels
   The Ransom
   Play All
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio Options: English Mono
Disc #3 -- Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season, Disc 3
   A Spool There Was
   The Carriers
   Zubrovnik's Ghost
   Fakeout
   Play All
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio Options: English Mono
Disc #4 -- Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season, Disc 4
   Elena
   The Short Tail Spy
   The Legacy
   The Reluctant Dragon
   Play All
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio Options: English Mono
Disc #5 -- Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season, Disc 5
   The Frame
   The Trial
   The Diamond
   The Legend
   Play All
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio Options: English Mono
Disc #6 -- Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season, Disc 6
   Snowball in Hell
   The Confession
   Action!
   The Train
   Play All
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio Options: English Mono
Disc #7 -- Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season, Disc 7
   Shock
   A Cube of Sugar
   The Traitor
   The Psychic
   Play All
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio Options: English Mono
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic show

    This is a great set! The show is very well-done, with intelligent plots and loads of suspense and action. Networks could raise their ratings re-broadcasting these. I can’t wait for the rest of the series to be available.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Finally!

    For long-time fans of the show such as myself, this is not a set, but an event. In my opinion, the first season with Stephen Hill is the best, as we're seeing the characters develop, and the scripts are the freshest. Regretfully, there are no introductions from cast members or commentaries, etc. Just the bare bones. This almost led me to give this a four. However, the stories are SO good!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I have waited years for this...

    We have been waiting years for the production company to put these classics on DVD, I have this collection on VHS and love watching them. Finally, I get my wish.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Long Overdue!

    Best of the ' weekly ' spy series! I have been waitng years for this show and season one of Man from U.N.C.L.E. It's about time. Excellent writing,complex plots! Well crafted and enjoyable exploits of I.M.F. squad! A sure winner! Bring on season Two! - Ron Larocque,Ottawa,Canada.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Intellegent Thriller

    I have seen this series years ago and since the release of Mission Impossible (Movie), I have always missed the whole crew of the TV Series. Mind blowing suspense and surprizing situations have always made this series as very SPECIAL.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    missionimpossiblelover

    Thank Heavens, they have finally come out with the series. These story lines are so well written that you can't anticipate what the next move will be. Beats the movie versions hands down!!! Can't wait for the rest of the series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews