Why did Leonard Nimoy left Mission Lmpossible?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Keith1701, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Leonard Nimoy only did 49 episodes from 1969-1971 after the 3rd year and finial year of Star Trek was canceled. Does any one know why he didn't continue to do more episodes? He only did seasons 4 &5 of Mission Imposible. He played the part of Paris.
     
  2. 23skidoo

    23skidoo Admiral Admiral

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    According to the book The Mission Impossible Dossier, he grew bored with the role in its second year and felt he had nowhere to go with it. Part of the problem was Year 5 was a pretty crowded year for the series as they'd added Sam Elliot and Lesley Warren to the show and as a result Nimoy felt he had less to do. Paraphrasing Nimoy being quoted in the book, he said he felt he'd done what he'd set out to do and felt he was just "cashing in" by staying put.

    Alex
     
  3. Kronos

    Kronos Admiral Admiral

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    Mission has also changed producers 3 times and was changing from what he had signed on for into a run of the mill cop show.
     
  4. 23skidoo

    23skidoo Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, as I recall he'd signed up assuming that Bruce Geller, the show's creator, would still be involved, but then Geller was basically ousted and new people were brought in. Although often listed as the longest-running American spy series (before 24 came along) and the only one of the classic 1960s era to survive well into the 1970s, in truth of fact it ceased to be a full out spy series around the time Nimoy left and became more an IMF vs. the Mob type of show.

    Alex
     
  5. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

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    As I said once, Mission: Impossible went on WAY TOO LONG, so much so that the show lost it's primary villains in the Eastern Bloc. They should have ended in 1970, or found better villains in the form of a technological cartel similar to A.I.M., SPECTRE, or THRUSH that they would fight. Either that, or some terrorists similar to the KKK, The Bader-Meinhof Gang, RAF (Red Army Faction), or if they wanted to go after a criminal cartel, something similar to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Imagine Nimoy disguised as an outlaw biker, bringing down something like the Hells!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  6. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He was recalled by the Vulcan Embassy. :vulcan:
     
  7. twilitezoner

    twilitezoner Ensign Newbie

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    That is basically what he said in I Am Spock. He felt that he was treading water and basically had explored the character to his fullest.
     
  8. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sam Elliot was on Mission Impossible?
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    How so? There was still plenty of East-West tension and espionage in the '70s and '80s; the USSR and the Warsaw Pact didn't begin to unravel until about '89. That would've been during the time of the M:I revival series, but not the original. There were certainly plenty of spy movies and shows well into the '80s. Especially during the Reagan era, when tensions were particularly high (Reagan even going so far as to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and joke about bombing Moscow).

    A while back I was discussing M:I on another board, and one poster suggested that events in the early '70s such as Vietnam and Watergate undermined Americans' trust in their government, so a premise about American spies conducting devious, often illegal ultrasecret missions against foreign governments -- many of which were essentially indirect assassinations -- wasn't as palatable to viewers as it had been in the early years of the series. Hence the reorientation toward a more domestic focus.


    I've often thought it would be cool if they occasionally came up against an enemy equivalent of the IMF, a recurring foreign team employing the same tactics.
     
  10. Kronos

    Kronos Admiral Admiral

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    Very briefly and forgettable.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    He played a doctor who was a recurring team member in, I believe, the fifth season. They were thinking of phasing out Peter Lupus (Willy, the strongman of the team) and intended Elliott's character Doug to be his replacement, but audiences wanted Willy back so they were both intermittent members of the team for the last half or so of the season.

    And the young Sam Elliott looked strikingly like Scott Bakula.
     
  12. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sam Elliott, forgettable? Now THAT'S impossible!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Man, all these decades and I never made the connection!!!!:eek:
     
  14. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nimoy actually had a cool name for his character: Paris.

    I may give my son that name: Paris Kirk... :lol:

    Waitaminute....there is a 'Paris' Hilton isn't there....?


    :(
     
  15. Steve67

    Steve67 Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm paraphrasing Leonard's comments from the aforementioned Mission: Impossible Dossier-

    In the period of time after Mission, Nimoy did some small-scale stage work, appeared in a small budget film, and pursued his love of photography. He considered that time after M:I some of the best-spent time of his career and considered it fulfilling. He was glad to have the money he earned on M:I so he could do those things, but it was more important to try other satisfying projects after the five-year grind of a TV show, as he went from three years on Star Trek to two years on Mission: Impossible--and with characters named "Jim" as his boss in both shows...;)
     
  16. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've read I Am Spock and it occurs to me that basically, as an actor, he was spoilt by his experience on Star Trek. I don't mean that in a derogatory fashion. Just that he got to play one of the greatest characters in all time in that show, a fascinating (no pun intended), rounded character who continues to appeal 40 years later. Spock was as fully-fleshed out as any character you may think of in today's perhaps more sophisticated tv series (your Sopranos, BSGs, Mad Men etc).

    Little wonder that playing a character who was little more than a sipher - and to be fair to the writers of MI, most tv characters were at that level in the 1960s - was boring after his Spock years (or ears).
     
  17. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

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    I suspect that is probably true of many actors with similarly iconic and memorable roles. Often typecasting is blamed for the lack of standout followup roles for them. But maybe as often its dissatisfaction with the scripts they are offered.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually M:I was worse in that regard. Look at the very early episodes, the first half or so of the first season, and you'll see the characters have more personality. We see more of them being themselves, either during mission prep or when the mission goes wrong and they have to break character. We see them trading banter and dialogue that gives them personality. We sometimes see them having doubts about their ability to pull off the mission. In "Old Man Out," we actually see Dan Briggs (Jim Phelps' predecessor) trying to convince a reluctant old flame to help him on the mission, the one time we ever saw the recruitment process. Sometimes we even saw conflict within the team, as in "Memory" where the other team members doubted the ability of an alcoholic team specialist to do his part, or in "The Short Tail Spy" where Dan suspected Cinnamon of losing her objectivity and falling for an enemy agent. At that point, it was about on a par with the level of characterization you'd typically get in a '60s show. You didn't get deep into their innermost souls, but at least you had a sense of who they were when they weren't roleplaying, and they had a texture and humanity to them.

    But by the second season, and arguably the end of the first, all that had been quashed. Bruce Geller decided he wanted to focus solely on the missions, and almost never had the characters break character outside the apartment briefing scene. That's when they became ciphers, far more so than was typical for the era.

    I suspect Nimoy was drawn to the role because it let him play a different character every week, since Paris was always pretending to be someone else. He probably welcomed the opportunity to stretch his acting and emoting muscles after three years learning to be as reserved and internalized as possible. But maybe eventually he got tired of the fact that Paris had no personality of his own, or maybe he just came to find the stories too formulaic and repetitive despite the chance to play different characters.
     
  19. payndz201

    payndz201 Commodore Commodore

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    I've had exactly the same thought. The closest they got was 'The Mind Of Stefan Miklos', but actually showing a full-on Iron Curtain IMF - or even breaking series format and showing events from the black hats' point of view as they try (and fail, obviously) to bring down the IMF - would have been fantastic. After all, considering the number of times Jim and co appeared in the media all over the world as part of their covers, somebody on the other side should have noticed the same white-haired guy constantly popping up under different names...

    Also, no thread involving Leonard Nimoy and Mission: Impossible would be complete without this. :D
     
  20. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

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