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Mission: Impossible - The Third TV Season

4.8 out of 5 stars 322 customer reviews

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(Nov 20, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The head of the "Impossible Missions Force," a top-secret government group of operatives, starts a tape recorder and finds out about his latest assignment. Throughout most of the series, they would have to stop some petty dictator or powerful bad guy from whatever evil plot they had against the U.S. or Democracy in general. The elaborate use of electronic gadgetry, masters of disguise and detailed plans that require split-second timing made this tv show an "on the edge of your seater"!


Season 3, should you decide to accept it (and you definitely should), was Mission's most accomplished. It garnered six Emmy nominations, and an Emmy for Barbara Bain, her third consecutive win, probably for "The Exchange," one of her finest hours, in which, breaking series format, her character is captured and psychologically tortured to discover for whom she works. As always, the first five minutes of any Mission: Impossible episode are the coolest: the lit fuse signaling Lalo Schifrin's indelible theme song, the opening-credits montage teasing the action in the upcoming episode, and Jim Phelps (Peter Graves), in some nondescript location, receiving his covert mission (usually to some nonexistent, but real-sounding country as Povia or Costa Mateo), on that self-destructing tape. It always seemed a waste of time for Phelps to go through the dossiers of possible Impossible Missions Force agents for each mission (and he does that less this season) as he invariably chose the same ones: model beauty Cinnamon (Bain), master of disguise Rollin Hand (Martin Landau), electricians expert Barney Collier (Greg Morris), and strongman Willie Armitage (Peter Lupus).

Mission: Impossible didn't delve into the team members' private lives: it was all about the mission, and together, the IMF foils any number of domestic and international villains. Some missions (foil a coup, rescue a dissident) have more at stake than others (restore boxing's good name), but there's that great moment in almost every episode when the team's target discovers that he or she has been royally IMF'd. "Don't you see?" the warden of a so-called escape-proof automated prison protests in "The Glass Cage," "they thought of everything!" He's not kidding. Not even "Q" on his best day would have come up with that faux briefcase that secretly dispenses exact replicas of the prison's towels. Mission: Impossible today does seem a little low-tech, especially when compared to the special effects-laden feature films. And for anyone who has seen Airplane, it may be difficult initially to keep a straight face whenever Peter "Do you like gladiator movies?" Graves is onscreen. But with its clever and complex stories, impeccable ensemble, and fun-to-spot guest stars (that's John "Dean Wormer" Vernon torturing Cinnamon in "The Exchange"), Mission is impossible to resist. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • 25 third season episodes on 7-discs

Product Details

  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 1254 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UX6TJI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,265 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mission: Impossible - The Third TV Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It was in season 3 that the show reached it peak. One outstanding episode after another. And what is really remarkable was that this was in the midst of a major behind-the-scenes power struggle that could have destroyed the series. The original pair that wrote many of the scripts and basically determined which ideas would be used were William Read Woodfield and Alan Balter. However, in the middle of the filming of the third season, they got into a major confrontation with series creator Bruce Geller and abruptly left the show which was in the midst of production without any scripts for upcoming shows. In a panic, the writer Paul Playdon, a young writer only in his 20's came on board and cranked out a series of really outstanding stories and supervised others which were written by other writers. Playdon's stories often (but not always) use a lot of fancy gadgetry which I like. This is seen in episodes like "The Bunker" and "The Glass Cage". On the other hand, his most cerebral episode, "The Mind of Stefan Miklos", has no action and no gadgetry and yet is one of the finest hours of television ever produced with some outstanding acting by Martin Landau and guest star Steve Ihnat. In this one, the viewer is challenged to pay especially close attention to the plot and to understand what is going on.
"The Glass Cage" has a political prisoner locked in a glass cage which is surrounded 24 hours a day by guards, television monitors, an electric floor and alarms, but the IMF has to get this prisoner out. As you watch it, the viewer keeps asking himself "how the heck are they going to pull this one off!".
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Well, here we are again with the third installment from the original Mission Impossible. This is the final season for Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. They will be replaced with Leonard Nimoy in the fourth season.

Lots of good episodes here, including my favorite, "The Execution". The theme is the same as for the previous seasons. Jim gets a secret mission, selects and briefs his team (although we don't get every detail so there are always surprises), and then they go out and roust the bad guy. Most of these are credible and believable. Once in a while there is an episode which stretches reality. All are entertaining to watch, and the hour-long show is just about right, time wise.

This set will be out in November and I'm looking forward to it with great anticipation. To date there are no extras on the DVD's and I imagine this one will follow suite. Still, the picture is sharp and clear and the audio track is reasonable (remember, these are from the 60's).

Once again, if you've never seen one of the television episodes and only know Mission Impossible from the Tom Cruise movies, do yourself a great favor and buy or rent one of the sets. All are good. Many, many evenings of entertainment value for the whole family here.

For those who want an episode list .....
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This particular season 3 is a peak from a creative standpoint (scripts, film-making, actings) but later seasons still contain fine episodes: don't miss them, especially those with Leonard Nimoy (season 4 and 5) and Lynda Day George (season 6 and 7). Season 3 is chaotic because of producers' changes: William Read Woodfield/Allan Balter keep the spirit of Gantman's season 1 and 2, Robert H. Thompson and Stanley Kallis--Kallis will continue until season 4. Martin Landau deliver his finest performances in a masochist and pathological trilogy: as an agonizing death row convict in "The Execution" (produced and written by William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter), as a guinea pig simulating death by suffocation in "The Test Case" and as a hysterical political prisoner tortured to reveal informations in "The Interrogator". Season 3 features some top television directors: Sutton Roley, Stuart Hagmann, John Moxey, Resa S. Badiyi. Writer Laurence Heath fashions three of his best offerings: "The Mercenaries" (guest starring Pernell Roberts) which highlights the most impressive gold heist of the entire series, "The Exchange" (guest starring John Vernon) that explore Cinnamon's hidden phobia (claustrophobia) and "Illusion" (guest starring Fritz Weaver) in which Cinnamon performs three songs a la Marlene Dietrich in an East German cabaret. But above all, one man revolutionizes the series: young writer/story consultant Paul Playdon who concocts the ultimate masterpiece in cerebral games: "The Mind of Stefan Miklos" guest starring the late Steve Ihnat in the title role playing USSR's finest secret agent which has a photographic memory. Playdon also introduce Rollin's greatest nemesis: master of disguises Alexander Ventlos in the two parter "The Bunker", and Playdon rewrite "Live Bait": another seminal episode guest starring Anthony Zerbe and Martin Sheen.
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