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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

'twas the night before Christmas and all through the house--

...I'm watching Mission: Impossible and contemplating something I noticed last night, while I was watching I Spy. (It could be worse. I have the first season of Airwolf right here. Now that is disreputable. This is quality TV. Well, with really bad fake Russian accents. You ever wonder who that one girl is whose picture Dan always flicks aside with such disregard? Also, I had forgotten that in first season, the characters still had personalities. Barney keeps flirting with Cinnamon! He's funny!)

Anyway, the thing I was noticing is that the plots of TV thrillers have not changed in 40 years. [I just watched a bioterrorism episode of Mission:Impossible that had more or less exactly the same plot as the bioterrorism episode of Criminal Minds from this season. The schtick of how they tricked the prisoner was different, of course. TV is all about the schtick.] However, the differences are telling.

Back in the '60's, if your guys were on a mission across enemy lines in Cambodia, they had the option of calling in an illegal B-52 strike. These days, of course, the airstrike would be in Afghanistan....



I don't know what it was about Mission:Impossible, but I found it nearly impossible to watch that show without ending up with a pounding heart. I mean, sweating and short of breath just watching it. That was some show.

*g* it's the theme music and the ticking clocks and the withheld information.

The movies are just ass.

First season is a whole different animal--no Peter Graves, for one thing. And the team still made mistakes. There wasn't the sense of the well-oiled machine.

*g* it's such a good show.
True. But they were so good at it, even when you know they were manipulating your emotions, you can't help but react. Or maybe that's just me.

I recall seeing some of the Peter Graves-less episodes in reruns, and they just weren't the same.
But that's just it...the Peter Graves-less episodes came first. Graves is the wannabe :-) Steven Hill, playing Daniel Briggs, is the original.

Hill left among other things over disputes about scheduling. He's an Orthodox Jew, and the taping schedule kept running overtime, requiring taping on the Sabbath, which he could not do.

Apparently, Dick Wolf, producer of Law and Order didn't have the same issues. Hill played the DA on that show for almost a decade. He's hard to recognise from his M:I days, though, as he hasn't aged all that well!
No way! Now I know why I keep thinking the DA looks awfully familiar.

And I know Peter Graves came first. I wasn't watching M:I when the first season played. I had to catch those eps in reruns, which often showed during the late 60s and into the 70s.

In fact, IIRC, Peter Graves lived in NYC not too far from where I lived, back when M:I was on. I remember trying to spot him on the street. Sure, NY was only a few hundred thousand souls back then -- a veritable small town! ;-)

Now that I have demonstrated just how old I am, I'm going to drown my sorrows in a glass of nog.
No, you have it backwards. *g* Steven Hill was first. Peter Graves was his replacement.

As Leonard Nimoy was Martin Landau's replacement, later on.
D'OH! I meant to say, I knew that Peter Graves was NOT first. I only saw him first, as I missed the earliest eps.

I had too much egg nog. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

egg nog.
I like the Briggs episodes a great deal.
I'm looking forward to seeing them again once I can get hold of the DVDs. It's been a while.
Mission: Impossible being out on DVD was one of the happiest bits of entertainment news I'd heard in a while. Sometime soon, when retail is safe again, I'm definitely picking it up.

I saw the first movie. It made me unhappy. I haven't gone back to watch the others. I don't feel like I've missed a thing.
Oh, thank god. I thought I was the only one who owned that on DVD. I"m debating whether my inner geek can take the pain of owning seasons 2 & 3 (take a drink every time Caitlyn says something irritatingly perky, or JMV flubs a line because he's drunk).

Actually I might skip those seasons and just move on to the USA Season 4, which had horrible amounts of stock footage but at least featured Geraint Wynn Davies.
Yeah, whoa.

The first season was kind of neat, in an elaborate mythological way. But man, I cannot imagine the special hell of working on it as it spiralled into the ground....
I distinctly remember an article in TV Guide, interviewing the actress who playted Caitlyn, trying do her level best to keep up a brave face while everyone in the crew cooled their heels waiting for JMV to sober up in his trailer. The mind boggles. In the end the only thing the show had going for it was the theme song and Andy Probert's beautiful designs
You know that helicopter was retired as an air ambulance, and eventually crashed and killed all aboard? In Germany, I think....

The design work was stunning, though, absolutely.
Yes, I'd heard about that. Fortunately it lives on, or at least a mockup does, in an aircraft museum in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Wonder how that compares to prose thrillers?