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As always, should you or any member of your IM Force be caught or killed,
the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

As Iíve stated elsewhere, I am of the opinion that MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE was and is the best spy/espionage/thriller series ever produced for the television medium. I grew up watching MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE in syndication and the show kept me riveted to my television set for an hour at a time. Originally running for a total of seven seasons on CBS, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE remains the high water mark by which series of a similar ilk will always be judged. On a weekly basis, a shadowy government agency known as the Impossible Mission Force would either gather intelligence by deception and coercion, assist in defections or the escape of political prisoners, help to topple corrupt regimes, take on mobsters that regular law enforcement agencies cannot touch, or even set in motion events that lead to the assassination of a dictator or warmonger.

The season one cast of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE features Steven Hill as team leader Daniel Briggs, Martin Landau as master of disguise Rollin Hand, Barbara Bain (in her three time Emmy Award winning role) as fashion model cum seductress Cinnamon Carter, Greg Morris as electronics expert Barney Collier and Peter Lupus as the team's muscle and all around utility guy Willy Armitage.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE- THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($50) comes to DVD in a seven-disc set that features the twenty-eight episodes that were aired in the showís freshman year. The twenty-eight featured episodes are as follows: Pilot, Memory, Operation Rogosh, Old Man Out Part 1, Old Man Out Part 2, Odds On Evil, Wheels, The Ransom, A Spool There Was, The Carriers, Zubrovnik's Ghost, Fakeout, Elena, The Short Tail Spy, The Legacy, The Reluctant Dragon, The Frame, The Trial, The Diamond, The Legend, Snowball In Hell, The Confession, Action!, The Train, Shock, A Cube Of Sugar, The Traitor and The Psychic.

CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment has made all twenty-eight episodes that comprise MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE- THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in the proper full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. These forty-year-old episodes really look terrific on DVD; I would venture to guess that this is the absolute best these shows have ever looked. Sharpness and detail are top flight for a film-based program from the 1960s. Colors are strongly rendered, although makeup does become a bit more obvious. Blacks are accurately rendered and the whites are completely stable. Contrast is a good, but the photography is geared towards broadcast limitations. Grain is noticeable in places, but isnít excessive. Digital compression artifacts are always well contained.

All the episodes that comprise MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE- THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON come with upgraded Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. Considering that the show was originally monaural, these new 5.1 channel remixes sound really sweet. Channel separations are more than respectable, with the outlying channels seeing a decent amount of activity. As expected, the forward soundstage is dominant, while the rears add modest reinforcement. Most of the age related background hiss and other audible anomalies have been cleaned up in the mastering process, leaving the track with a respectable sonic quality. Lalo Schifrinís legendary theme music sounds pretty darn good, but the fidelity is limited due to the recording technology available four decades ago. Dialogue is well reproduced and maintains complete intelligibility. No other language tracks or subtitle options have been included on the DVD. Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard episode selection feature, but no supplemental content has been provided.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE is a true television classic that remains completely entertaining, even after four decades. CBS/Paramountís presentations of the episodes are absolutely first rate. If you love classic television, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE- THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is a must have. Highly recommended.



Mission Impossible - The Complete First Season (1966)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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