Mission: Impossible (original series)...

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nope, that revival episode was the only time we saw a team member disavowed. There were episodes such as "The Exchange" (discussed earlier in the thread) where a team member was captured, but there was no disavowal; instead, the team worked to rescue them.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe, but don't know and don't care. The previous films turned me off the film franchise just as the Brosnan era turned me off Bond at the time. Maybe someday down the road M:I will be rebooted on film without Cruise and the current approach and I'll come back. Until then I'll just stick to the original series.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, like I said before, there is no single approach to the M:I films. Despite having the same name and the same lead actor, they have essentially nothing in common with one another, and no continuity among them besides the reuse of a couple of character names. They're not really a cohesive film series, they're three separate films reflecting the wildly different styles and sensibilities of their respective directors. So each one essentially is a reboot.

    True, since Abrams is producing Ghost Protocol, and since it's being written by veterans of his Alias staff (though different ones this time, Josh Applebaum & Andre Nemec rather than Orci & Kurtzman), it should probably feel like a continuation of M:I:III, which would make it the first M:I movie to really have any creative, stylistic, or story continuity with its predecessor. But since M:I:III was the only one of the three highly disparate films to date that was actually worthwhile, I'm fine with that.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Abrams hasn't done one thing I've ever cared for. His name alone turns me off.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, to each his own. But, again, he's only producing this time; Brad Bird is directing. And the tradition of this film series is that each installment has been very much defined by its own director's voice. And Brad Bird has never yet directed a feature film that wasn't spectacularly good (although admittedly he's only directed three before this one, and never a live-action film). So my optimism remains.

    And since this is a thread about the original series, not the movies, we should leave it at that.
     
  6. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    I'm just hoping the new film doesn't have an IMF agent as a traitor. That's been part of the first three movies.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I've been working my way through Season 4 and I'm about mid way through it. It's okay, but something feels off. I don't feel it's as good as the first three seasons.

    Seeing a young Nimoy so soon after Star Trek is also a little weird. I also have to say that while he's serviceable I don't find him as effective or as entertaining as Martin Landau.
     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    This
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    It was oddly disturbing to me when he spoke his first line to Phelps, and addressed him as Jim. If you closed your eyes and heard it out of context, it could have been a line from a Trek episode. :)
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    True.
     
  11. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A big necro-bump rather than starting a new thread:

    Having bought the big dynamite complete series boxset on pretty much a whim (I love 60's spy stuff, so the odds were good I'd like it).

    Coming to the end of the second disc, I'm mostly enjoying it, the plots are sharp and fun, the directions good and there is very much the feeling things like everyone in the world speaking English in a silly accent is intentionally absurd rather than just a bit rubbish.

    The only real problem at this point are the cast. I know this isn't a character driven show and have no problem with that, but for a series like this where you don't delve into their personalities in any depth the actors need bags of charisma to make up for it. Greg Morris and especially Martin Landau (who seems to be having an absolute blast, I don't know if it's because he's not a proper regular yet but he doesn't seem to be taking any of it remotely seriously and is much more fun for it) manage that, the others less so. There's the muscley one who hardly talks, the sultry woman (I'm genuinely surprised Bain won an Emmy for every year she was on the show, there's nothing you can point at as wrong with her performance but it really doesn't jump off the screen in the way Landau does) and...

    Well, regardless of his behind the scenes problems Hill is just extremely stiff and wooden. Hopefully Graves will add that missing factor when he joins, Airplane certainly suggest he could potentially do that Adam West "Deadpan in the face of every ludicrous situation" thing down pat.

    I was actually surprised how quickly the first episode to sideline Briggs came up, just the sixth in the set. He's there at the start and then vanishes completely in what seems to be a very last second decision as the "Special Guest Agent" doesn't have any unique skills of their own and just seems to be there for the parts of the script where Hill's lines couldn't just be given to Landau or Morris.

    Otherwise though, a decent show. If the rest of the cast and Graves when he arrives can settle into being a bit more relaxed and fun it'll really kick off.
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Initially show producer Brice Geller liked Steven Hill for what he thought was an appealing odd quality to him. But that didn't save the character as Hill simply became difficult to work with. Peter Graves makes an immediate onscreen difference from the get-go. He's just simply more persoanble and animated with genuine screen presence.
     
  13. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    I always wondered if Hill was a dancer. There were times when he moved very gracefully. Odd observation, I guess, but it's something I noticed.
     
  14. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That was a sign (for me) that the show was on for too long, and should have ended with the 1969-1970 season. Either that, or give the IMF a recurring enemy similar to SPECTRE, HYDRA, or THRUSH to fight.

    Rebooted just like the original TV show? Don't bet or count on
    it. What would be the point? If you want to see that, then it would have to come back as a TV show again, and that won't ever happen, I think.

    There is a show just like M:I, called Leverage that just recently concluded.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I said, though, the public had soured on spy stories by that point due to real-world scandals. I've just been watching The Six Million Dollar Man, and even though Steve Austin is nominally a government agent (and the second and third pilot movies are blatant Bond pastiches), I'm struck by how much the show downplays the spy angle. In the second season, fewer than half the episodes involve Steve on government missions, with the rest involving either scientific research projects, personal crises, or situations that Steve stumbles into while on vacation. (Seriously, there's a stretch where he takes three vacations in four episodes.)
     
  16. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.


    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.
     
  18. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mostly just Hunt and Mrs. Phelps.
     
  19. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    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!).
     
  20. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    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.
     

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