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Old May 9 2014, 11:40 AM   #16
JarodRussell
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

I like both shows. One thing about the original that at some point began to irk me a bit was: they were too perfect. Maybe I missed the episodes where things go wrong, but I've only seen episodes where everything go exactly according to plan. After a while, that became a bit lame.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:16 PM   #17
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I like both shows. One thing about the original that at some point began to irk me a bit was: they were too perfect. Maybe I missed the episodes where things go wrong, but I've only seen episodes where everything go exactly according to plan. After a while, that became a bit lame.
That's one of my big problems with most of M:I -- the way the plans usually went off without a hitch, beyond things like a guard possibly discovering Barney 15 seconds before a commercial and then not noticing him and walking away 15 seconds after the commercial. It took all the suspense out of it, and sometimes you kind of felt sorry for the bad guys because they were so overwhelmingly outmatched and never had a chance.

That's why my favorite seasons are the first and fifth -- they're the ones that vary the formula the most, that tend to have the plan going wrong and the team having to improvise a way to fix the problem (as well as making the most effort to develop the characters rather than keeping them as interchangeable ciphers). The multi-parters in season 4 are pretty good in that regard too. And a number of episodes in the '88 revival have done that as well.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:46 PM   #18
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

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Christopher, the 3rd season of Man From UNCLE made me stop my rewatch for several months. It's roughly the same dramatic quality as the 60s Batman show. It even had similar music by Nelson Riddle himself! pretty much unbearable.
The '60s Batman show was awesome (at least in season 1-2), and Riddle's music was one of the most awesome parts of it. And "dramatic" doesn't come into it -- it was one of the most innovative sitcoms of an era full of innovative sitcoms.

I know that season 3 went for camp to emulate Batman, but camp is a genre, not a level of quality. Camp can be done well, like Batman, or terribly, like seasons 2-3 of Lost in Space (which was also trying to copy Batman).
Fair enough, then let's say UNCLE fell into the bad camp camp. The ep that made me stop was the same one that Vaughn quotes when disparaging the season. It involved Africa, a cliche jungle girl, a guy in a gorilla suit, and a scene where Napolean danced the watusi with the gorilla in a treehouse. Probably the lowest low in the series, IMHO.

And hey, I loved Batman too, but that style was not what a spy show should have been.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:50 PM   #19
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, I'd been curious about whether I wanted to check out the original Hawaii Five-O, but now I'm less inclined to try.
Oh please don't let that stop you. As the show progressed they stopped doing the yellowface so batantly, especially when it moved into the 70s. And it is simply an awesome show.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:53 PM   #20
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

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Well, I'd been curious about whether I wanted to check out the original Hawaii Five-O, but now I'm less inclined to try.
Oh please don't let that stop you. As the show progressed they stopped doing the yellowface so batantly, especially when it moved into the 70s. And it is simply an awesome show.
...until James MacArthur left. Then it kinda fell apart. The "new guys" in the last season were crap.
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Old May 9 2014, 02:18 PM   #21
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

By the way, I find it interesting that every generation of M:I has a lot of people in common with Star Trek. Not surprising, since they're both from Paramount (formerly Desilu) and were sister shows to begin with, but the ties continued in the revivals.

The original had tons of Trek actors in it, mainly Nimoy as a regular, but also Shatner, Takei, Lee Meriwether, Barbara Anderson, John Colicos, Michael Strong, etc. etc. -- and some of the same people doing voiceover work, like Vic Perrin and Walker Edmiston. Also people in common behind the scenes, notably composer Gerald Fried as well as writers, directors, and people in the art department, casting department, and so on.

The revival series, in turn, began a year after TNG and has several familiar TNG actors playing villains in its first few episodes, namely John DeLancie, James Sloyan, and Judson Scott (plus series regular Phil Morris had been in "Miri" and The Search for Spock and would go on to do several more appearances in DS9 and VGR). And it had production staffers in common, notably composer Ron Jones and directors like Cliff Bole and Mike Vejar.

And there are connections in the movies too. The second movie's story was by the TNG writing team of Ron Moore and Brannon Braga. J.J. Abrams and Kurtzman/Orci got the job reinventing Trek because of their success with M:I:III, and have used Simon Pegg, composer Michael Giacchino, production designer Scott Chambliss, and others in both franchises.
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Old May 9 2014, 04:58 PM   #22
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Actually Lesley Ann Warren (or Lesley Warren, as she was billed) never impressed me that much in her time on M:I. She was not bad and not unattractive, but didn't wow me either in looks or talent. Actually I thought her acting was reasonably good at first, but there was a certain sameness to it as the season went on.

Although she was certainly better than Terry Markwell, the first female lead of the revival series. I remember that when I watched the revival in first run back in '88-'89, I found her quite stunning, but this time around her looks aren't impressing me quite as much (though she has her moments) and her acting isn't impressing me much at all. Although there haven't been many episodes where she's really been given anything to do. In at least half of the eight episodes I've seen so far, she's just sort of hovering in the background rather than playing a central role. Though she's done an adequate job when she has been given something significant to do, like in "The Killer" (the series premiere) and "The Cattle King." But I'm not surprised that they


Although I'm also rather unimpressed with Thaao Penghlis, who's filling the Martin Landau/Leonard Nimoy role. He's demonstrated a total inability to alter his voice or accent, relying entirely on other actors' voices dubbed over his. It was a very odd choice to cast someone so lacking in versatility in the "master of disguise" role. Ironically, Tony Hamilton, who was cast to fill Peter Lupus's strongman role, has proven to be a better actor and roleplayer than either Penghlis or Markwell.
Because it was filmed in Australia, the MI remake did tend to get a bit of press coverage.

Can remember the reports of Markwell's departure being due to a falling out with the producers (probably due to not having that much to do.

Btw is she the only time we've ever seen and IMF agent disavowed?

On the subject of Pengalitis, not sure if lead to his MI casting but not long before he'd given a good performance as a terrorist badguy in a mini-series and was tending to get recognized more for that than Mission: Impossible when it was airing.
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Old May 9 2014, 05:03 PM   #23
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Christopher wrote: View Post
That's why my favorite seasons are the first and fifth -- they're the ones that vary the formula the most, that tend to have the plan going wrong and the team having to improvise a way to fix the problem (as well as making the most effort to develop the characters rather than keeping them as interchangeable ciphers). The multi-parters in season 4 are pretty good in that regard too. And a number of episodes in the '88 revival have done that as well.
Very much in agreement here. Even the series pilot had an operative (Wally Cox) get injured on the job, necessitating Briggs stepping in to fill his role.

****

Edit: Because of this thread, I looked up the intro to the 80s revival. Its tone and use of graphics (computer screens and graphics, tech shots, dossiers, a screen flipping through the cast) looks a lot like the intro for the 1996 movie, so I'd like to think that the producers were inspired by the revival as much as the original (which was primarily a montage of the episode's events) for their title sequence. In a way then, the revival also got to contribute to the movie franchise.
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Old May 9 2014, 05:15 PM   #24
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Marc wrote: View Post
Btw is she the only time we've ever seen and IMF agent disavowed?
On TV, yes; IIRC, the entire team was disavowed in Ghost Protocol, though it didn't last.

There is a third-season episode, "The Exchange," where Cinnamon is captured by the enemy and the team must get her out on their own, but there's no explicit mention of a risk of disavowal. The original show never made any use of that concept beyond the tape narrations.
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Old May 9 2014, 05:36 PM   #25
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

I seem to recall Cinnamon getting captured once. I know the team spared no expense to rescue her, but I presume "the secretary" disavowed her when she was caught. I don't recall if it was mentioned in the ep, though.
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Old May 9 2014, 08:22 PM   #26
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

^That was "The Exchange." As I said already, there was no mention of disavowal or the Secretary at all. Just that she'd been captured and the team needed to figure out a way to get her back. We can infer that they didn't contact HQ for orders because they knew she'd be disavowed and hung out to dry, but it definitely was not stated.
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Old May 9 2014, 08:42 PM   #27
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Forbin wrote: View Post
Fair enough, then let's say UNCLE fell into the bad camp camp. The ep that made me stop was the same one that Vaughn quotes when disparaging the season. It involved Africa, a cliche jungle girl, a guy in a gorilla suit, and a scene where Napoleon danced the Watusi with the gorilla in a tree house. Probably the lowest low in the series, IMHO.
No, the real low was the episode where Ilya is riding a stink bomb between his legs, trying to stop it from hitting Las Vegas! When one of the writers saw it on TV, he told his wife, 'Honey, stop expecting and cashing the checks; this show's finished.' For that and the above-mentioned Africa episodes of Man and Girl, I've avoided renting the third season of Man and won't waste my time with Girl at all.

And hey, I loved Batman too, but that style was not what a spy show should have been.
The '60s Batman is good in small doses (I'd say about a tiny drop like that of a dribble from the mouth) but not much more than that. Kids should be watching BTAS, Batman Beyond, The Batman, Batman: Brave & Bold and Beware The Batman instead.
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Old May 9 2014, 10:12 PM   #28
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Ahh, but Batman '66 wasn't just for kids. Like its contemporary Rocky and Bullwinkle, it operated on two levels. The kids took it as a straight adventure show, and the adults could see the satirical subtext, topical and political references, and sexual innuendoes beneath the surface. That was its brilliance. Indeed, shows like Justice League and The Brave and the Bold operate on the same double level. The TB&TB episode "The Mask of Matches Malone!" had a song that was so laden with sexual innuendoes that Cartoon Network refused to air it. I only just saw the full episode for the first time yesterday, now that Netflix has the full series available for streaming.

Indeed, it's odd to endorse B:TB&TB and dismiss Batman '66 in the same sentence, because B:TB&TB is heavily influenced by the '66 show and makes constant allusions to it, to the point that it could almost be considered a direct sequel, or at least a spiritual successor. And both shows are faithful homages to the Silver Age of Batman and DC comics, although TB&TB is a more affectionate tribute while '66 was more mocking.
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Old May 10 2014, 02:13 AM   #29
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Forbin wrote: View Post
I seem to recall Cinnamon getting captured once. I know the team spared no expense to rescue her, but I presume "the secretary" disavowed her when she was caught. I don't recall if it was mentioned in the ep, though.
In the 5th season episode "My Friend, My Enemy," Paris is captured by villains and is programmed to kill Jim Phelps. Like what was mentioned with "The Exchange," the IMF probably didn't contact HQ for Paris to get disavowed. However, Paris does voice that he probably thinks he would, since he disappeared for sometime with no memory of what happened to him.
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Old May 10 2014, 07:34 PM   #30
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Re: Classic Mission: Impossible and 1988 Sequel Series...

Christopher wrote: View Post
The TB&TB episode "The Mask of Matches Malone!" had a song that was so laden with sexual innuendoes that Cartoon Network refused to air it.

Ah, love walksout the door when money comes innuendo .

Christopher wrote: View Post
Indeed, it's odd to endorse B:TB&TB and dismiss Batman '66 in the same sentence, although TB&TB is a more affectionate tribute while '66 was more mocking.
It's also the only depiction of Aquaman that was in any way cool.
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