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Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible is the name of an American television series which aired on the CBS network from September 1966 to September 1973.

The series is known for its opening theme tune by Lalo Schifrin which accompanied the opening title sequence in which an animated burning fuse moved across the screen.

Typical scenes included the mission assignment being conducted by a pre-recorded tape, the mission agents being chosen by the leader from a dossier, the opening briefing scene, the intricate use of disguises, and a typical "mask pulloff" scene near the end of most episodes.

Each episode would usually involve the agents concocting an elaborate scheme to fool criminals or traitors into the hands of the law.

Note: The cast changed considerably throughout the program's seven year run, so not all of the characters listed below appeared at the same time.

Series Cast


The pre-recorded mission tape would usually begin with "Good morning/afternoon, Mister Phelps" and end with: "As always, should you or any of your I. M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five/ten seconds. Good luck, Jim."

The television series also spawned two films, starring Tom Cruise and Emmanuelle Béart:

Warning: Spoilers follow

Entertaining as these films were, they ignored the elaborate plotting that was a significant feature of the TV series. Fans were also upset that one of the main characters from the TV series was exposed as a traitor in the first movie.