Secret group of elite agents (a.k.a. “the IMF”) allegedly working for the United States Government who carried out covert operations both foreign and domestic, protecting the Free World against subversive groups on the spy drama MISSION IMPOSSIBLE/CBS/1966-73/ABC/1988-90.
“Good morning, Mr. Briggs. General Rio Dominguez, the dictator of Santa Costa, makes his headquarters in the Hotel Nacionale. We’ve learned that two nuclear warheads furnished to Santa Costa by an enemy power are contained in the hotel vault. Their use is imminent. Mr. Briggs, your mission, should you decide to accept it, would be to remove both nuclear devices from Santa Costa. As always, you have carte blanche as to method and personnel, but of course should you or any member of your IM Force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. As usual, this recording will decompose one minute after the breaking of the seal. I hope it’s welcome back, Dan. It’s been a while.” – Pilot Episode (9/17/66)
The IM Force allegedly worked for the United States Government, who carried out covert operations both foreign and domestic, protecting the Free World against subversive groups.
The team was first headed by Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) and later by Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) who were responsible for coordinating and choosing agents for the Impossible Missions.
Each assignment began with a tape recorded message (voice of Bob Johnson) summarizing their target and ending with the foreboding warning…”as always, if any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your action. This tape will self destruct in 5 seconds…Good Luck, Dan/Jim.”
After listening to the recorded message, Dan (and later Jim) sorted through a number of dossiers to find the right agents for the mission. The chosen agents met at a luxurious apartment to plan their mission.
Regular IMF agents included:
- Barbara Bain as Cinnamon Carter, a beautiful femme fatale
- Martin Landau as Rollin Hand, a master of disguise
- Greg Morris as Barney Collier, electrical expert
- Peter Lupus as Willy Armitage, resident strong man.
Later agents included:
- Leonard Nimoy as Paris, master of disguise
- Sam Elliot as Doug
- Lesley Ann Warren as Dana Lambert
- Lynda Day George as Lisa Casey, disguise expert
- Barbara Anderson as Mimi Davis
“Good morning, Mr. Phelps. Two weeks ago, one million dollars in gold bullion intended for the underground in one of the anti-western satellites was intercepted by that government’s military police. Preparations are now being made to ship the gold behind the Iron Curtain. This loss to the resistance movement will set back for years any chance for liberty in that country. The man you’re looking at is Nicholas Groat, whose reputation as a brilliant chess master has given him entry and enabled him to con and steal on an international scale. Groat has organized a group which plans to steal the gold for itself before it is shipped out of the country. Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it, is to stop Groat, get the gold, and turn it over to the underground. As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in ten seconds. Good luck, Jim.” – Episode “A Game of Chess” ( 1/14/68)
When the series returned to TV in 1988, Peter Graves reprised his role as Jim Phelps. His IMF team included:
- Thaao Penghlis as Nicholas Black, actor
- Anthony Hamilton as Max Harte, muscleman
- Phil Morris as Grant Collier (Barney Collier’s son)
- Terry Markwell as Casey Randall
- Jane Badler as Shannon Reed, athlete
This time round the unseen benefactor of the group (still the voice of Bob Johnson) was heard on CD-ROM Disc instead of a tape recorder.
Note: In the movie remake Mission Impossible (1994) starring Tom Cruise, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) turned traitor to the IMF organization.