Mission: Impossible

Season 1 Episode 1

The Killer

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 1988 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
21 votes

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Episode Summary

The Killer
When an IMF team leader is assassinated, Jim Phelps comes out of retirement and assembles a new team to bring the killer to justice.

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  • good

    A killer uses a dart with a hallucinogenic drug too take out a man in a apartment at a busy party. The IMF team leader,Jim chooses his team for the first time and they have to catch a killer who's methods are different every time. So they set him up by creating a fake hotel and monitor him all the time they pose as his contact who will tell him what mark he should hit. of course not everything goes perfect but the ending was cool when the team was standing in front of him and he just looked surprised like what the heck I've seen you people before.moreless
  • It's too bad that the writer's strike necessitated them borrowing scripts from the original, but this particular plot was a good choice for the pilot and introducing the characters.

    I greatly enjoyed this show when it was on, and was disappointed when it was cancelled. This first episode was excellent, and did a very good job of introducing everyone. I liked how Jim's computer gave him a quick summary of each person's talents (as opposed to the original show, where you had to guess at it by looking at the character's picture and perhaps a few words). I also liked how they implied that there were various IMF field teams "out there" (again, the original made it sound like they had one single team to take care of all problems all around the world. No wonder Phelps wanted to retire.)

    I was sorry for Tom Copperfield, but his death made sense--if Jim Phelps had retired, it would take something drastic to call him back.

    I would like to see the original Robert Conrad version of this show and see how it compares. John de Lancie did a marvelous job as the assassin who operates at random. It was exciting to watch the scenes cut between his traveling to the "Raeburn" and the IMF team frantically racing to get everything put in place, down to the smallest details.

    A rarity for "Mission: Impossible" was the scene was the scene where Jim admitted to Nicholas that his rage had nearly overcome him when he met Drake face to face. IMFers are good at faking emotions, but they are not usually allowed to show them personally. It happened again later in the episode, after Grant got himself blown out of his hotel room and Nicholas' anxiety for him showed clearly.

    The whole mission was very chancy, but it really showed with Nicholas' call to Drake's lady contact. If she had hung up the phone after Drake's call and immediately walked out of the bar, that would have been it--game over.

    Hope this comes out on DVD soon. My homemade videotapes are wearing out!moreless
  • I said very special because it's the first episode.

    I like this episode because it's the first one and I like the way the team was selected.It was nice to see Peter Graves come back.It was also nice to see Greg Morris's son Phil Morris become part of history.But what I really liked was the casting of Thaao Penghlis as Nicholas Black.
Peter Graves

Peter Graves

Jim Phelps

Thaao Penghlis

Thaao Penghlis

Nicholas Black

Antony Hamilton

Antony Hamilton

Max Harte

Phil Morris

Phil Morris

Grant Collier

Terry Markwell

Terry Markwell

Casey Randall (1988-89)

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

IMF Voice on Disc (uncredited)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Drake conveniently doesn't recognize Max as a police officer, even though Max was also the cab driver at the airport.

    • Why didn't they just pre-bug every room in the hotel, instead of having to change the room numbers to match Drake's choice? They own the hotel.

    • It's convenient (for plot purposes) that the well-educated American Drake has never seen a picture of Braiton, the American labor leader. Otherwise their ploy to substitute Grant wouldn't have worked. The team has no way of knowing if Drake would recognize Braiton, or wouldn't try to kill him face-to-face. They just seem to be hoping for the best, rather then disguise Grant as Braiton.

    • Drake, the professional assassin, does a poor job of killing Casey. He shoots her in the chest, rather then the head, and doesn't check for a pulse.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • IMF Voice: Nicholas Black, excels at disguise, languages, and acting. When Nicholas isn't working for us, he's teaching drama at an Eastern University. Casey Randall, a top designer on three continents. When her fiancée was killed in a terrorist bombing in Rome, she helped us trap the terrorist and has worked with IMF ever since. Max Harte was still in high school when the war in Vietnam ended. But when his brother didn't come home from a POW camp, Max organized his own mission to find him… and did. Grant Collier, that's right, Jim, son of Barney Collier. And where Barney left off, his son picked up. Grant graduated from MIT at age 16, when one of his professors described him as the greatest innovative mind to come out of MIT in 20 years.

    • Grant: For a guy who makes his living killing people, he's certainly relaxed.
      Jim: That's what makes him so good.

  • NOTES (2)