|Peter Graves as Jim Phelps|
If you are of a younger generation and only familiar with the Mission Impossible movies starring Tom Cruise, here's some information about the original television series from Wikipedia:
[The series] chronicles the missions of a team of secret government agents known as the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). In the first season, the team is led by Dan Briggs, played by Steven Hill... Jim Phelps, played by Peter Graves, takes charge for the remaining seasons. A hallmark of the series shows Briggs or Phelps receiving his instructions on a recording that then self-destructs, followed by the theme music composed by Lalo Schifrin. [Click here to hear it!] Mission Impossible aired on the CBS network from 1966 to 1973. The series was reprised in 1988 for two seasons on ABC, retaining only Graves in the cast.
The series follows the exploits of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF), a small team of secret agents used for covert missions against dictators, evil organizations and (primarily in later episodes) crime lords. On occasion, the IMF also mounts unsanctioned, private missions on behalf of its members. The identities of the organization that oversees the IMF and the government it works for are never revealed. Only rare cryptic bits of information are ever provided during the life of the series.
The leader of the IMF is initially Dan Briggs, played by Steven Hill... Hill was replaced without explanation to the audience after the first season by Peter Graves playing the role of Jim Phelps, who remained the leader for the remainder of the original series and in the 1988–1990 revival.In theory, Briggs and Phelps are the only full-time members of the IMF.
As the series was originally conceived, they would form teams made up of part-time agents who came from a variety of professions, choosing their operatives based on the particular skills necessary for the mission. In practice, however (especially after the first season), Briggs and especially Phelps would choose the same core group of three or four agents for every single mission, leading these regulars to be considered de facto full-time IMF agents. Still, many episodes also feature guest stars playing one-time additional agents who have special skills.
Although the Tom Cruise movies are fun and action packed, I still prefer the TV series! What about you?
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