- Paperback: 456 pages
- Publisher: Avon Books (P); Reissue edition (1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380758776
- ISBN-13: 978-0380758777
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier Paperback – 1991
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Top Customer Reviews
much information on the gestation of the series, the creator, Bruce Geller, the actors, directors, writers, producers and a list of every episode made, including the 1980's revival of the series. What is not apparent to the viewer but comes out in this history of the series, is that the series underwent a number of major crises, any one of which could have finished it off, yet it survived to last for seven seasons, while generally maintaining its quality. For example, not many know that creator Geller actually only wrote one episode, the pilot (the story of the nuclear bombs stored in the vault of a hotel in a Latin American country). Although he rode herd on the show for several seasons, he was finally forcibly ejected from the studio. Original star of the series, Steven Hill was forced to leave the show due to matters of concience.
During season three, when the finest episodes of the series were being
produced, the top writers got into a fiery dispute with Geller and quit in the middle of the season leaving no scripts ready to be filmed. Fortunately, Paul Playdon, possibly the best writer of all to work on the series was recruited at this crucial moment and saved the show. At the end of this same third season, stars Martin Landau and Barbara Bain both quit the show. In spite of all this, the show survived and more or less maintained its quality.
One of the best things in the book is that it lists the stuntmen-doubles who appeared in the show. In the first-season episode called "The Confession", there is one of the most amazing stunts I have ever seen on television....Read more ›
In short, it is a classy, intelligent book, for a classy, intelligent show. Every good TV show should have a book like this.
"We don't understand the show," one writer complained.
"Good, you're the perfect people to write it!" the producer replied.
Amazingly this went on for seven years and produced hours of television in the late 1960s and early 1970s still remembered today. White's "The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier" is a terrific reference book for "Mission: Impossible" fans and a nice read for everyone else. Many of the episodes may have been sweat-free affairs of undoing evildoers through intricate plans and misdirection plays, but behind the scenes nothing came easy.
There was the concept itself, which required lazy TV watchers to regulate bathroom breaks and beer runs or risk missing a key story element. There were the characters, who while mostly recurring roles gave you very little to go on. Finally, there was the many battles, over costs between CBS and Paramount, over control between producer-creator Bruce Geller and his writers and associates, and over salaries for the many stars who came and left.
White captures all this very well, offering solid examinations of each season and quick if comprehensive breakdowns of each show. The 1991 edition I own may no longer be complete; several hit movies based on the franchise have since been made; but any author who goes to the trouble of getting interviews from Arthur Ashe and Robert Altman in order to flesh out their tangential parts in the "Mission: Impossible" story is striving for thoroughness.Read more ›
The book begins each season with a segment on any changes made for that season such as cast changes, again with many quotes from the cast, writers and producers. With so many episodes making up the run of the series, you can imagine that most of the pages are devoted to the episode synopses.
Then comes the episode guide for the 168 episodes. Most every synopsis covers a page, to up to a page-and-a-half. Every episode outline includes the text of the recording that the IMF leader hears at the beginning of each show delineating the "impossible mission" he's being offered. Then comes the lengthy plot summary, followed by a list of the guest cast including the names of the characters they portray. Finally the synopsis ends with supplemental information on the making of the episode. These are the most comprehensive synopses I've ever seen for a TV show, but then the stories were quite complicated.
A fun addition, which is not mentioned on the contents page, is included in the last few pages which reprint the MAD Magazine parody of Mission Impossible, "Mission Ridiculous."
With a generous sprinkling of photos throughout the book, this is a very welcome addition to the library of any Mission Impossible fan.
Morris D. Sullivan
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For all IMF Fans - this is a must-have - i usually read the episode analysis AFTER watching it so as to not spoil the suspense. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J M Singapore
A great look at a classic TV series, which did a lot, at least for a few seasons, to make television a tad more intelligent. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rich M.
As a certified Mission: Impossible fanatic, I was very happy to find this book. I used it as I worked my way through all 171 episodes of M:! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Steve Circeo
This book is everything I hoped it would be. If you love "Mission Impossible" you will love this book.Published 23 months ago by Victoria
This book provides some great info on the undercover series which became known for its opening sequence with the brieifing and the montage of scenes from the program as a fuse... Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by James D. Crabtree
This is a great book. And a must have if you are a Mission Impossible fan.
It has everything you can think of from A-Z.
Get it before you go on your Mission.