RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 141,543
Posts: 5,513,277
Members: 25,143
Currently online: 501
Newest member: JackieM

TrekToday headlines

Two New Starships Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Dec 26

Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions
By: T'Bonz on Dec 25

Trek Paper Clips
By: T'Bonz on Dec 24

Sargent Passes
By: T'Bonz on Dec 23

QMx Trek Insignia Badges
By: T'Bonz on Dec 23

And The New Director Of Star Trek 3 Is…
By: T'Bonz on Dec 23

TV Alert: Pine On Tonight Show
By: T'Bonz on Dec 22

Retro Review: The Emperor’s New Cloak
By: Michelle on Dec 20

Star Trek Opera
By: T'Bonz on Dec 19

New Abrams Project
By: T'Bonz on Dec 18


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 29 2014, 11:55 PM   #136
Andrew_Kearley
Captain
 
Andrew_Kearley's Avatar
 
Location: Moonbase Alpha
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Mission: Impossible is my favourite American tv show. (Perhaps along with The Fugitive and Star Trek.) Just top-notch stuff, and so expensive-looking for its day. And very unusual, with lengthy sequences in most episodes containing no dialogue. I love the format, I think it lends a great sense of structure to the thing. (Fifth season is the weakest as a result, because it departs from the format too often, and ends up seeming just like everything else.) As preposterous as the plots can be, I think the show's style comes from not telegraphing what they're going to do - so we, the audience, see the plot unfolding as it actually happens. The way that it all snaps togther in the best episodes is an absolute wonder to behold - and to see when the villains realize that they've been had, fantastic. The cast playing it dead straight really helps to keep it all grounded too.
__________________
Blog: Anderthon Follow my journey through the worlds of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson

Doctor Who - The Complete Adventures
Andrew_Kearley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30 2014, 12:28 AM   #137
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
I love the format, I think it lends a great sense of structure to the thing. (Fifth season is the weakest as a result, because it departs from the format too often, and ends up seeming just like everything else.)
Wow, I couldn't disagree more. To me, the fifth season is by far the best, because it so often deconstructs the formula, delves into the characters' personalities, has missions actually go wrong and genuinely challenge the characters, etc. I felt it also just generally had the strongest writing of any season overall. There isn't a single fifth-season episode that I'd call bad, though there are a couple of mediocre ones.


The way that it all snaps togther in the best episodes is an absolute wonder to behold - and to see when the villains realize that they've been had, fantastic. The cast playing it dead straight really helps to keep it all grounded too.
But too often it just played out like clockwork without any risk of failure; the only disruptions happened less than 30 seconds before a commercial break and were resolved less than 30 seconds after the break. I prefer the episodes where the plan goes wrong and the characters have to improvise. One of the standard rules of story structure is that there should be a midpoint reversal, a point where things suddenly diverge from the intended plan and the heroes suffer a series of setbacks, so that there's more at stake as things build toward the climax. M:I rarely had that except in the first and fifth seasons. Everything just played out exactly according to plan, so there was essentially no suspense.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30 2014, 12:30 AM   #138
Shaka Zulu
Fleet Captain
 
Location: Bulawayo Military Krral
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

ATimson wrote: View Post
Mostly just Hunt and Mrs. Phelps.
Shaka Zulu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30 2014, 04:45 AM   #139
Forbin
Admiral
 
Forbin's Avatar
 
Location: I said out, dammit!
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

I've also got the 1980s revival series on DVD. Despite some 80s cheese, it's a reasonably satisfying continuation. Peter Graves is there, leading a new younger cast (including Gregg Morris' son!).
Forbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 01:55 PM   #140
Andrew_Kearley
Captain
 
Andrew_Kearley's Avatar
 
Location: Moonbase Alpha
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Wow, I couldn't disagree more.
Excellent.

I guess we get different things from the show. Its lack of conventional storytelling and characterization is what appeals to me. The characters are cyphers - it's not who they are, it's the roles they're playing in this week's con. The plot is all. The suspense comes, not from the characters being in jeopardy, but in seeing how it's going to come together - how that daft gadget Barney demonstrated in the teaser is going to come into play - how the villain is sucked into the con. Like watching a jigsaw puzzle being put together. Obviously I wouldn't want all shows to be like this. This is the exception.
__________________
Blog: Anderthon Follow my journey through the worlds of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson

Doctor Who - The Complete Adventures
Andrew_Kearley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 02:13 PM   #141
Forbin
Admiral
 
Forbin's Avatar
 
Location: I said out, dammit!
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Barney is drilling into a safe (or breaking into an office, or...) with an elaborate device that took several minutes to set up, when he hears a guard turning the doorknob and about to catch him! Music sting, Fade out to commercial.

Fade up from commercial: The door opens! The guard steps in, looks around. We see no one. The guard shrugs and leaves. Cut to Barney and his equipment - he's somehow managed to get into the overhead air duct with everything, without making a sound, in the time it took the guard to turn the knob and open the door.

Forbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 03:50 PM   #142
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
I guess we get different things from the show. Its lack of conventional storytelling and characterization is what appeals to me. The characters are cyphers - it's not who they are, it's the roles they're playing in this week's con. The plot is all. The suspense comes, not from the characters being in jeopardy, but in seeing how it's going to come together - how that daft gadget Barney demonstrated in the teaser is going to come into play - how the villain is sucked into the con. Like watching a jigsaw puzzle being put together. Obviously I wouldn't want all shows to be like this. This is the exception.
But the problem is that there is no real suspense, beyond those fakeout act-break cliffhangers. Even if the characters' only goal in the story is to complete the plan, there should be some jeopardy to the success of that plan. A story is about characters pursuing a goal, but it's not dramatic unless there are obstacles to that goal, unless there's a risk of failure. It doesn't have to be a risk to their lives or their emotions, but the conflict in a story comes from the prospect that the heroes won't achieve their defining goal. In most M:I episodes, there's never any real risk of that. The team is so completely in control of everything that happens that it's all just going through the motions and the outcome is never in doubt. Indeed, sometimes I feel sorry for the bad guys because they're so totally outmatched and trapped into failure from the moment the caper starts.

There are a lot of movies like Topkapi or The Sting or Ocean's Eleven where the focus of the story is on the execution of a meticulous scam or heist. But in such movies, there's always something that goes wrong with the plan, a reversal of fortune that disrupts the plan and forces the heroes to improvise and snatch a last-minute victory from the jaws of defeat. That creates suspense and makes their success more dramatic and satisfying. Early first-season M:I episodes did the same, with the plan usually going awry and forcing an adaptation. In the pilot, the plan went awry when their safecracker's fingers were crushed. In episode 2, Rollin wasn't even brought in until their original plan failed and the guest agent ended up in prison, requiring them to launch an entirely new plan to rescue him. And so on. Season 5 also routinely had the plans go wrong and require improvisation, as did most of the big 2- and 3-parters they did. And that's a large part of why I found them more interesting than the run-of-the-mill formula episodes where the plans went off without a hitch.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 04:13 PM   #143
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Of course for many of us on this side of the pond we would have watched MI without commericals when it aired on BBC2 @ 18:00 on Wednesday or was it Thursday's?
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 05:02 PM   #144
inflatabledalek
Captain
 
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Forbin wrote: View Post
I've also got the 1980s revival series on DVD. Despite some 80s cheese, it's a reasonably satisfying continuation. Peter Graves is there, leading a new younger cast (including Gregg Morris' son!).
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.

It also shows how good an actor John DeLancie really is, with Q it's effectively easy to be a scene stealer, but here he was playing a part that was much more generically written than even the worst Q episode but he still managed to run off with the entire episode and did a hell of a lot with every arched eyebrow.

Also, considering it was a clearly cheap American show filmed in Australia, it actually didn't do too badly at faking central London, especially if you allow them not cutting down every palm tree in the city they filmed in just for one episode. I think DeLancie may well have been the first character in an American show to go into a "London" phonebox that isn't one of the old big red ones, it even looked as if it had the right BT logo for the time on it (though of course, there are red phone boxes and black cabs and red buses everywhere else, but that is London for you).

The main failure was having every other extra carry a big John Steed umbrella despite the great (almost Australian) weather London seems to be having and even if they're wearing a denim jacket and a baseball cap.

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.

Fantastically poor doubling for Landau when he's trying to escape from the prison made up for it though.

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.

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.
__________________
TRANSFORMATION: GIRLS RULE THE WORLD
It's women vs robots in my look at issue 137!
inflatabledalek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 05:19 PM   #145
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
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.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 05:32 PM   #146
Forbin
Admiral
 
Forbin's Avatar
 
Location: I said out, dammit!
Re: Mission: Impossible (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.
Mary Anne Mobley? I could watch her on that trapeze all day! DAMN she was pretty!
Forbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 05:48 PM   #147
inflatabledalek
Captain
 
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
It'll be interesting when I get that far to see how close it is to the original, which I gather isn't set in London. If it's a The Child situation it presumably could well be quite heavily reworked despite the strike.


Oh, but those are the best parts!

Mary Anne Mobley? I could watch her on that trapeze all day! DAMN she was pretty!
Well, now we know what you two were watching for!

I really like that Eddie Paskey idea, it absolutely tickles me.
__________________
TRANSFORMATION: GIRLS RULE THE WORLD
It's women vs robots in my look at issue 137!
inflatabledalek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31 2014, 06:50 PM   #148
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
It'll be interesting when I get that far to see how close it is to the original, which I gather isn't set in London.
It was set in a US city -- I think it was either LA or NYC.


If it's a The Child situation it presumably could well be quite heavily reworked despite the strike.
The strike was actually resolved early enough in pre-production that they were able to do rewrites, change character names, and so forth. That's also true of "The Child." Reusing old scripts really just streamlined the initial development/outline process, so that by the time the strike ended, they had ready-made stories to put into the scripting/revision phase, rather than needing to start from scratch with new proposals and lose a lot of time.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21 2014, 08:37 PM   #149
inflatabledalek
Captain
 
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Slowly working through the first season, and I have to say I think the episode with Lloyd Bridges was the best yet, mainly thanks to a really good performance from the main guest star.

The episode with George Takei was pretty good as well, but perhaps had a bit much going on in it with the virus as well, you could have done an entire episode about the fake western town for spy training in and of itself (as indeed Danger Man did do a couple of years earlier with it's proto-Prisoner episode).

Even though I don't even think I'm halfway through the season at this point, I've got the worrying feeling that the number of episodes where Briggs is either sidelined or just in a supporting role are starting to outnumber the ones where he's front and centre as the main character.
__________________
TRANSFORMATION: GIRLS RULE THE WORLD
It's women vs robots in my look at issue 137!
inflatabledalek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21 2014, 10:50 PM   #150
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Mission: Impossible (original series)...

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
Even though I don't even think I'm halfway through the season at this point, I've got the worrying feeling that the number of episodes where Briggs is either sidelined or just in a supporting role are starting to outnumber the ones where he's front and centre as the main character.
By my count, there are 20 episodes where Dan is part of the mission team, 7 where he just briefs/supervises the team from home, and one where he's completely absent. The latest episode you mention having seen, the Lloyd Bridges episode ("Fakeout"), is episode 12 in broadcast/DVD order; of the remaining 16 after that, Dan is on the team in 11. I'm not sure how central he is in those, though. There is one episode ("Shock") where he's the central team member but spends most of the episode in a mask and is therefore played by James Daly instead of Arthur Hill.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
mission: impossible

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:50 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.