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Old January 31 2014, 05:19 PM   #145
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Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
I watched the first episode on YouTube, and you know, even though as you say it's pure cheese, I found it pretty good 80's action fun.
Even though it was a remake of a 1970 episode of the original series.

On the regular series: I thought the first two parter was a bit drawn out myself, with less endless shots of the female guest agent of the week twirling about on her trapeze in a skimpy costume they could have probably done it in an hour.
Oh, but those are the best parts!

Just watched the Ransom episode, a nice tense variation from the formula that felt like Hill had found his groove a bit more. Nice to see Mr. Lesley on the team as well (I think he was also in the pilot), doing some fantastic non-speaking extra emphatic nodding.
Given that his role in "The Ransom" was literally to be a stand-in, and that his name wasn't spoken in dialogue, I like to think that Eddie Paskey was playing himself there. Although he was given a different name in the script.

I think, allowing that I don't think they let you have a good look at his Briggs face in the first episode (and he still had Landau's voice in his brief speaking bit) that this was the first time the man of a 1000 faces has successfully impersonated a real person who isn't someone who by amazing coincidence looks like Martin Landau in a wig and make up.
Actually they gave up the conceit of Landau only impersonating near-lookalikes after about episode 7. From then on, he and Paris and anyone else who wore a mask was able to perfectly impersonate anyone of the same general body type and sometimes even a quite distinct one. The pilot was more realistic in that Rollin in the Briggs mask hid his eyes and used his own voice; in a few shots it was actually Steven Hill with Landau's voice dubbed over, but in a few others it was actually Landau in a Hill mask. But the realism suffers because when the mask is removed, it's a complete face mask complete with rubber eyes and mouth.

Although on three different occasions, they cast Paul Stevens, who looks a lot like Landau, to play characters that Rollin had to impersonate. And once or twice they used Leonard Nimoy's stand-in Frank Vinci as someone Paris switched identities with.
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