“Good Morning Mr Phelps. Your Mission, should you wish to accept it …”
Yet another spy series, Mission Impossible, but possibly the longest lived of the genre on television, with 171 episodes being produced during it’s original run. The I.M.F. (No, not the International Monetary Fund, but the Impossible Missions Force) lead by at first Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) and then later on by the most well-known of the I.M.F operatives Jim Phelps (Peter Graves), would each week face a seemingly impossible task, relayed to them by various means, the most popular being self-destructing tapes, though other methods were used, including on one occasion a self-destructing 78rpm record.
Many of these missions would take place in unspecified eastern block countries, and included discrediting corrupt government officials, assisting defecting diplomats – basically any dirty job the US government wanted doing, but did not wish to be associated with. In effect the IMF were “freelancers”, acting independently of the US government, who would be able to deny or “disavow” any knowledge of their actions. The series was revived for a short period in the mid-eighties with Peter Graves reprising his role, and more recently there has been a series of blockbuster movies starring Tom Cruise. Mission Impossible was probably one of the most inventive series about at the time, but unlike its competitors very little merchandise was released in connection with it.
“This listing will self-destruct after five seconds.”