Jim, should you choose to accept it…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s chocolate is the diamond-shaped one that has some bright orange sticky stuff inside it.

This is another recycled post from the dark days when I had my blog on Myspace, which seemed to implode just as I abandoned ship. A lucky escape… Hello, what’s this great grey shape looming up out of the fog? It’s the SS WordPress… Ah, saved at last…

Does anyone else like the nineteen-sixties TV series Mission Impossible? It was good, even when it was bad… Oh, and I’m not talking about those vacuous Hollywood blockbuster spinoffs with Mr Cruise – they have no class!…
If you’ve never seen the original series, I thoroughly recommend it. It’s very old now, but I’m sure it must still be running on some obscure TV channels somewhere in the world, or perhaps you could look on Youtube.
The main stars are Peter Graves (whose performance is somewhat coloured by my memory of him as the pilot in the film ‘Airplane’ – I just can’t take him seriously – I’m happy to say!) Leonard Nimoy, and Martin Landau. My favourite female IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agent is Cinnamon, played by Barbara Bain – her of the heavy-lidded flashing eyes and alluring smile… BB.
I have a lot of respect for those two supporting actors, Peter Lupus, who is built like a brick out-house, and supplies the taciturn muscle when the situation needs it – he always seems to be walking up corridors carrying (unaided) a large steel filing cabinet with another agent hidden inside it; and then we come to my favourite character, Barney Collins played by Greg Morris. He is the technical guy, always twisting coloured wires together, sitting in front of glowing screens, or getting dirty crawling through metal ducting, or silently making holes in walls that later they can push a whole bed through. Barney is great! – he’s got very expressive eyes, and a fleeting smile that we don’t see often enough.
I love the series because the plots are based not so much on running about shooting people as most spy/cop series are, but on brainwork, creativity, and some super custom-made gadgets. The endings are usually pretty hard to predict and the journeys to them are actually quite gripping and interesting.
The cinematography is really good too – occasionally one experiences outlandish camera movements – often at the end, just before it freezes when the final credits roll. The agents all run out of the fortress, mine, prison, laboratory, embassy, castle, etc. jump in their not very stylish grey box van and drive off… Freeze!… Sometimes the elevated camera pans, following the van, which passes underneath the camera position – the camera, now is looking downwards onto the roof of the van, and continues moving with it, until the picture shows the road surface at the top of the frame with the van hanging upside down from it… Freeze!… That’s great!… Roll credits!…
And finally, what about the magnificent and clever theme music composed by Lalo Schifrin? I never tire of it; it is a beautiful piece of work. For a start it is probably the best piece of music ever written in 5/4 time; I sit there in front of the TV tapping away to it, 12345,12345… that low starting riff, oh, the gear change when the brass comes in, the bongo drums, the percussion clattering away, the final crash around the drum kit to finish! Phew!… Listen.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, cool, drama, Film, history, humour, information, music, smiling, story, style, surrealism, TV, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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