Mission: Impossible (original series)...

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Warped9, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I've watched the whole series all the way thru over the last couple of years (every Sunday over lunch). So many great memories, so many hot female guest stars (I'd forgotten how gorgeous the afor-mentioned Mary Anne Mobely was in her day!), so many Trek alumni.

    It's interesting that they never once use a real country as the bad guys. It was always "a Latin American Dictatorship" or "an Eastern Bloc Country," often with a made up name, sometimes without.

    My high school super-8 version (never filmed) featured the following opening scene:
    "Good morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission, whether you accept it or not, is..." Then after the brief: "This tape will self destruct in one second." Phelps has time for a double take before the massive explosion.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, Phil Morris appeared in the '88 revival as Grant Collier, the son of Barney Collier. Greg Morris returned as Barney in 2-3 episodes of the revival.



    Hasn't IMDb fixed its page on Jamil Walker-Smith yet? He is not Phil Morris's son. There is no relation at all. I've seen JWS debunk that himself on video.



    Yeah, she was stunning.


    Yup, they didn't want to offend anybody or do anything politically controversial. Although early on, they did use real countries once or twice. In the second episode, "Memory," the villain was called "the Butcher of the Balkans," and a list of spies in Eastern Europe listed real country names (in their native languages).
     
  3. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Most sites stick with Jamil as his son. I think in the video he was joking.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Most sites just copy what IMDb says without bothering to check their facts, because most of the Internet is shamefully ignorant of the most basic principles of editorial quality control. IMDb itself is fraught with mistakes and is far from an ironclad source. Walker-Smith was obviously not joking and obviously irritated by the misconception.
     
  5. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Originally, Phil Morris was cast to play Barney Collier for the revival, which was initially conceived as a straight-forward remake. Same with the rest of the cast, i.e Thaao Penghlis as Rollin Hand and Terry Markwell as Cinnamon Carter. The only one from the original to be in this remake was Peter Graves as Jim Phelps.

    In fact, the first handful of episodes, such as "The Legacy", were the same scripts from the 60s series but rewritten slightly. This was ABC's solution to get around the 1988 Writer's Guild Strike, much in the same way TNG used the Phase II script "The Child" for season two.

    But the strike ended and it was decided that the series should be a sequel to the original. The first episode, "The Killer," a season 5 script from the 60s show, was rewritten to change the names and add Phelps coming out of retirement and helping former members of his team, such as Lisa Casey (Lynda Day George).

    So Rollin Hand becomes Nicholas Black. Cinnamon becomes Casey Randall. Barney Collier becomes his son Grant. And so forth.

    Source: "The Complete Mission Impossible Dossier."

    (which is an excellent book and includes some nice tidbits, including an interview with Robert Justman, who was the associate producer on the pilot.)


    While I enjoyed the first and third M:I movies, and secretly like the second, the movies really aren't M:I. A movie that is more akin to the original "Mission: Impossible" is the 2001 remake of "Ocean's Eleven", which was a big con much as the original "Mission" was conceived as.

    In fact, the Clooney movie hits much the same beats as an episode of the 60s show. There's the mission (break into three vaults if you choose to accept it), dossier scene of sorts with the gathering of the operatives (or cons), the mission briefing (in the hotel room) where the plan is revealed, the methodical putting it together, then the actual mission which doesn't go according to plan and the team has to improvise.

    It is very similar to the pilot of "Mission: Impossible" when you think about it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yup. M:I was basically modelled on the heist picture Topkapi. It was essentially a series about a team of con artists pulling scams, but to make them heroic, they were presented as government operatives targeting enemies of the United States. The M:I movies are more generic spy-thriller films, having little in common with the show beyond the name. Although the Vatican caper in M:I:III was pretty close to the sort of thing they'd do on the show.

    I've heard that the current series Leverage is a lot like M:I, but I haven't gotten around to checking it out yet.
     
  7. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    If you've never seen the original series, and only "a bit" of the sequel series, how can you possibly have such an attachment to Jim Phelps to gripe about him being the bad guy in the movie? That's like someone raging about Kirk's portrayal in Star Trek '09 and saying it's not true to the character ... and doing so without ever having seen the original series or any of the other movies.
     
  8. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I loved this show as a kid. It was a Tuesday evening treat to stay up and watch it. Naturally I hadn't a clue what the hell was happening, but that didn't matter! :lol: Still enjoy the show and had a bit of a watching marathon a few years back. My favourite episode is there one where Cinamon is kidnapped or captured and Jim has to work out how to rescue her on the hoof.
     
  9. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Over the years I've read enough about Desi Arnez to realize that the man was a television genius. It would stand to reason that a company he started would continue to be innovative.
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    An interesting experience was to watch (for the first time) an episode of Alias over lunch every Saturday, and one (for the first time in 40 years) of M:I Sunday.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't have to see the show to know who Jim Phelps is.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The irony is, if you'd watched the whole six seasons he starred in, you'd hardly know a thing about who Jim Phelps was. There was virtually no exploration of the characters in their own identities, because it was felt that the focus should be on the roles they played in their capers. Although they did do the occasional one-time Very Special Episode that let us explore a character's past and then was never mentioned again, like the one where Phelps returned to his hometown just in time to stumble upon a series of serial killings, or the one where Barney's reporter brother was killed and the team helped Barney bring the killer to justice, or the one where a villain used a trauma in Paris's past to brainwash him into killing Phelps. (And I think the revival series explored him a bit more, but I haven't seen it in over two decades so I can't be sure.)

    Looked at that way, it's not necessarily out of character that Phelps could've ended up going bad like in the movie, since we hardly knew what Phelps's character was in the first place. But that's not the point, is it? Jim Phelps may not have been a well-drawn character, but he was a cultural icon, one known even by those who didn't watch the show. So what offended people about the movie's Phelps going bad wasn't so much a matter of mischaracterization as one of a beloved icon being torn down.
     
  13. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Jim Phelps was at the very least seen as an uncorruptable leader something you could see in the first ep. of the sequel series as had to retrain himself from attacking the assassin who killed his protege. And the movie itself made Peter Graves leave the theater in disgust.
     
  14. AJBryant

    AJBryant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have to disagree on Phelps EVER going rogue. That was one of the things about the MI series that pissed me off more than anything, and why I will never watch another one. Phelps was a solid good guy, and would never do that kaka.

    Also, that line Cruise had: "They knew we were coming!" -- bogus. They NEVER knew the IMF was coming. :)
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, see, that's what I'm saying. He had no actual personality, by design, but his role was "staunch, dependable good guy," and that's the iconic view of him. And that's why M:I fans reacted poorly to the decision in the movie.

    But you really shouldn't judge the other films based on the first one. Like I said, they're a series in name only. Yes, they all star Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames, they all borrow M:I gimmicks like the self-destructing mission briefing, but aside from that, they are three totally unconnected spy films. They're not an M:I trilogy, they're a Brian DePalma film, a John Woo film, and a J.J. Abrams film that just happen to share a title and a couple of actors. They're three wildly different and idiosyncratic interpretations of the same very loose premise, as different as their directors are from each other.

    And it's possible the upcoming fourth film, Ghost Protocol, will be similarly distinct, since Brad Bird is directing it; I'm hoping it'll be like a live-action The Incredibles. On the other hand, Abrams is producing it and it's written by a couple of Alias veterans, so I expect it would have an Abrams flavor, tying it more closely to the third film (which really is the only good one of the bunch so far, though I can't imagine a Brad Bird film not being worthwhile).


    Occasionally they did. There was a first-season episode where a mobster who knew about Dan Briggs somehow came to him and forced him to do a job by abducting the daughter of a friend of his. There was another, much later episode in which a bad guy Phelps's team had busted the previous season came back and kidnapped Phelps to get revenge.
     
  16. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    Who gives a shit? It's not like the film series ever paid more than lip service to the concept of the television show; rather, each movie took the concept in its own direction.

    I like Mission: Impossible, both the original series and the '80s sequel, and I still enjoy the first and third movies. The name of a character means nothing to me.
     
  17. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So why bother to start out the film series by making the lead character of the TV series a villain in the first place? They could have just as easily named Cruise's character "Jim Phelps" or not even had a "Jim Phelps" if the films are that divorced from the show

    Fine. But you really need to stop and consider that, for most people who are fans of a series, they expect the lead characters in that series to behave more or less consistently, even in a movie adaptation.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, for a director like DePalma, who thrives on misdirection and surprise twists, the answer to that question is obvious: because Phelps is the last person anyone would expect to be the bad guy, and therefore it's bound to be a shocking surprise. The problem is, that's a different set of priorities than the fans have. They're looking more for their nostalgia to be satisfied than subverted for the sake of a shock twist.
     
  19. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    DiPalma also directed the movie version of the Untouchables. I guess we should count ourselves lucky he was able to do so without making Eliot Ness the secret mastermind behind the Capone empire. ;)

    But, seriously, I don't think it's fair to accuse the fans of simply wanting their "nostalgia" satisfied. As I said before, generally characters are expected to behave consistently. There was nothing in DiPalma's version that gave us a good reason for Phelps to turn traitor other than "shock" and is shock for shock's sake really good writing?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What????? Why do you think I'm "accusing" anyone? What is it about the Internet that makes so many people so defensive that they read even the most neutral comment as some kind of attack? Where does that come from? I never once said I was criticizing or condemning the fans' reaction. On the contrary, damn it, I was defending it! I agree that it was a mistake to make Phelps the bad guy. Hell, haven't I made it clear enough by now that I didn't think DePalma's M:I was a good film?

    Yes, I can understand why DePalma probably thought it was a good idea, but it's possible to understand another person's decisions and still disagree with them. That's what I'm saying: that he made a decision that he thought was a good idea because it served his priorities as a filmmaker, but he failed to consider the negative reaction it would provoke from the character's fans, and thus in the final analysis it was a poor decision, one of several that undermined the film and kept it from being a creative success.


    I never once said a single word to suggest I thought it was.