Genre: TV series, Spy, Drama
Country: United States
Starring: Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, Bob Johnson, Peter Graves, Leonard Nimoy, Sam Elliott, Lee Meriwether
Guest stars: Barry Williams, Barry Atwater, John Aniston, Diane Baker, Sid Haig
Creator: Bruce Geller
Run time: 20 hours plus
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
Related reviews: TV sets: Action Packed, Mission: Impossible Season Six, Mission: Impossible Season Five
When I was a kid, after a long game of tennis, I saw an episode of Mission: Impossible at my friend Oliver’s house. I loved this show! It was one of the best things I had ever seen on TV! It had everything – espionage, international bad guys, gadgets, and missions! And that theme music! So distinctive, so cool! However, Oliver had some channels that I did not, and I never saw the show again until today. When I grabbed Season Four of Mission: Impossible from Paramount Home Entertainment on May 13th, I wondered if it would be as good as I remembered. After all, my favourite programs growing up were MacGyver and The A-Team, and I can’t watch those now without laughing at what an idiot I must have been to have enjoyed such crap.
As it turns out, however, Mission: Impossible really does hold up over the years. Of course, over those years it has been the source of some of the worst pop culture has to offer. Those three horrible movies with Tom Cruise. The music has been used as background for the irritating Scientology video, also starring Tom Cruise. The phrase “your mission, should you choose to accept it” has been overused ad nauseum, and the self-destructing message has been a concept taken to asinine proportions. By the way, I DID watch Inspector Gadget as a child, and I could never understand the self-destructing message. The chief would always pop up in a garbage can, a dryer, a potted plant, and hand Inspector Gadget the message. Then, he would be told that the message would self-destruct. And Gadget would throw the message right into where the chief was hiding, and it would blow up the chief. Every time. Every time, it happened! And I would always wonder, as a child – if the chief was so adept at finding these hiding places for himself, in order to give Gadget his mission, why wouldn’t he just pop out of the dishwasher and tell Gadget the message, rather than having to hand him paper and wait while he read it? That always bothered me.
Season 4 of Mission Impossible is yet another example of when network TV used to be good. It’s like the A-Team, only without the terrible writing, the ridiculous gunfights and the lame acting. It’s like Counterstrike, only less slick and less Canadian. And it is far, far better than those absolutely idiotic Tom Cruise-John Woo movies.