Review: ‘Mission: Impossible’ Season 6

Robert Greenberger

Robert Greenberger is best known to comics fans as the editor of Who's Who In The DC Universe, Suicide Squad, and Doom Patrol. He's written and edited several Star Trek novels and is the author of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. He's known for his work as an editor for Comics Scene, Starlog, and Weekly World News, as well as holding executive positions at both Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

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2 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    You have got to be kidding me? You think the storytelling is better today than back then? Hardly. I will take the shows of the 60's, 70's and 80's over most of the crap we have on today.

  2. aldanoli says:

    I come down in between the positions expressed by Mr. Greenberger and Brian. Comparing "Mission" with the shows on television today is an apples-to-oranges contrast if ever there was one. There were other, far more conventional dramas on television in the 1960…s and '70s — "The Defenders," for instance, which went off the air just before "Mission" came on; it and other shows of that era featured characterization as much as any show today. This was, after all, the era when Rod Serling, Reginald Rose, and Paddy Chayefsky were doing their best work.What made "Mission" different not only from shows today but also its contemporaries was its peculiar structure — tape scene, dossier scene, and apartment scene — and its jettisoning of characterization entirely for the heavy emphasis on plot and gadgetry. It also had a unique fractured structure, with disparate plot threads coming together in a clever way by the end of each episode. The problem with the sixth season was really that, by that time in the show's history, the three men most responsible for its early development — creator Bruce Geller, and the writing (and later producing) team of William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter — were long gone, the latter two fired at the beginning of Season 3 by Geller, and Geller himself banned from the Paramount lot by the end of Season 4 because he refused to abide by the new management's budgetary restrictions.Because of the emphasis on plot, there were certain conventions built into the show — such as the team members' unquestioning loyalty to one another (and it was the violation of that premise in the first "Mission" movie that caused so many people who loved the original show — including cast member Greg Morris — to protest so loudly about it). Even the original version itself, though, lost some of those premises by Season 6, which had all but one episode set in the United States, and only one ("Invasion") opposing something besides organized crime — losing the international intrigue that, ironically, had given birth to the series.