I’ve become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of “Mission: Impossible” DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to clean up their bedrooms. I’m talking about the complete first season of the 1960s secret-agent TV show, “Mission: Impossible.”
Even you younger readers probably capeesh the whole “Mission: Impossible” vibe, thanks to the major money-making “M:I” motion pictures featuring Nicole Kidman’s ex-husband.
But the “Mission: Impossible” TV show was nothing like the movies. I watched this show regularly as a child, always tautly tense as the Impossible Missions Force maneuvered through adventures fraught with tense tautness.
Watching the shows today, I realize my threshold for excitement was when I was a kid was very looooow. Call me jaded, but these adventures generate precious little tautness. Well, except for some of the clothes agent Cinnamon Carter wore.
I suppose those who didn’t spend Saturday nights in the late ‘60s in states of taut tension might need an introduction to Cinnamon, and her fellow members of the Impossible Missions Force. Let’s start with Dan Briggs, as in “Good morning, Mr. Briggs.”
That’s right. Really avid “M:I” fans – and until I got the DVDs, I wasn’t one of them – know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout: During the first season, the guy who received the IMF team’s orders was not Peter Graves as “Jim Phelps,” but “Briggs,” played by Steven Hill. You may know Hill from his decade-long role on “Law & Order: Not A Spinoff, But The Actual ORIGINAL One.”
Note: I submitted this column with several long and hilarious paragraphs, placed right about here, describing the stock opening scene, where the impossible mission was revealed. Unfortunately, Republican editor Aaron Kirchoff tells me that five seconds after going to press, these paragraphs self-destructed. Hmmm.