Sep 17, 2011

Upcoming Spy DVDs: More Mission: Impossible!

Upcoming Spy DVDs: More Mission: Impossible!

Yes! I'm so happy to report this news! According to TV Shows On DVD, Paramount will release the first season of the late Eighties Mission: Impossible revival series this fall, just in time for the new Tom Cruise movie to hit theaters. I was really hoping that the only reason for the delay between Mission: Impossible - The Final TV Season (the seventh and last season of the original Sixties and Seventies series) and Mission: Impossible - The '88 TV Season (as they're calling this release) was because Paramount was waiting to time the release with the next movie. And I'm so glad that was the case! So here it comes, just in time to quell the burning need for more Mission: Impossible that's been percolating in my heart since watching the original show's finale. (Prilosec simply doesn't do the trick for that burn. And that reminds me! I really need to post that Season 7 review I wrote more than a year ago...) This release also holds a certain nostalgic value for me, as it was through the 1988-90 revival that I was first introduced to Jim Phelps and the IMF. Yes, the series was created solely as a way for ABC to get around a writer's strike by remaking existing scripts from the original series and shooting cheaply in Australia, and no, the episodes aren't nearly as good as they were the first time around. (Fortunately they didn't have to stick to episode remakes for very long, as the strike ended.) But it's still got that unforgettable Lalo Schifrin theme music (along with surprisingly good incidental music by John E. Davis), it's still got that distinctive burning fuse, and, most importantly... it's still got Peter Graves. And any Mission: Impossible with Peter Graves (even old Peter Graves) is infinitely preferable to Mission: Impossible without Peter Graves. (Oh, don't look so hurt, Steven Hill. My slight is directed more in the direction of Jon Voight and Tom Cruise.)

Graves reprises his role as Jim Phelps, who the studio's copy very accurately describes as "the brilliant and charismatic leader of the Impossible Missions Force." Emerging from retirement to avenge the death of his friend and protege, Phelps puts together a new IMF team including Grant Collier, the son of original IMF agent Barney Collier, played by Phil Morris, the real-life son of original series star Greg Morris. (The elder Morris also turns up as Barney in one episode this season, and another two the following season.) It also includes several rough corollaries for the original team members, like a master of disguise, a tough guy (the term "strongman" wasn't so much in favor by the late Eighties) and a lady. (The lady actually changed part way through the series, and in a fairly spectacular fashion.) Besides Greg Morris, other notable guest stars included Lynda Day George, reprising her role as Casey from the later years of the original series, two-time Bond Girl Maud Adams, and John de Lancie.

Mission: Impossible - The '88 TV Season, a 5-disc set (in different, slimmer packaging from the original series seasons), will be available on November 29th, retailing for just $39.98. It can already be pre-ordered for considerably less than that, however, on Amazon. I, for one, can't wait!

Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Sixth TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Fifth TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Fourth TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Third TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Second TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The First TV Season here.

4 comments:

Aconitum-Napellus said...

This is excellent news! They're rerunning this on tv in the UK at the moment, and I was despairing of them releasing it on dvd! I'd like to see some of the episodes that don't have reused scripts! More Peter Graves can only be a good thing :-)

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

"This release also holds a certain nostalgic value for me, as it was through the 1988-90 revival that I was first introduced to Jim Phelps and the IMF."

My own introduction came in early 1985* when a local station aired M:I late nights, so by the time the revival showed up, I was already a crusty veteran. LOL

Anyway, I'm pleased to learn that Greg Morris did more than the one episode and for that reason alone I should get this and the next season.

And Tanner, please post that S7 review; it's my favorite season of the original!

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Oh! The asterisk was supposed to denote that I had sen a few M:I episodes in 1978 at age 7, when Barbara Bain's...comportment got my attention...even then.

Tanner said...

Hm, be sure to keep your eyes peeled next week, CK...

I wish I'd seen the original M:I in syndication at some point, but somehow it eluded me until an oldies cable station ran some in the 2000s. But right around then the DVDs started coming out, and that's really how I got to see most of the originals for the first time... and I couldn't be more grateful for that!