Mission: Impossible

Season 1 Episode 5

Old Man Out (2)

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Oct 15, 1966 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Rollin manages to avoid the guards and get to the roof, but Vossek is moved to a new cell in solitary confinement. Briggs comes up with a new plan and must then relay it to the imprisoned Rollin.

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  • When their plans fall apart, the MI team saves the day by using their brains and adapting, adding a ring of authenticity. Today's shows pale in comparison, as today's heroes needall kinds of fancy technology and brute force. Have we been "dumbed down?"moreless

    Although the pace is slow by today's programming standards, the audience of the '60s preferred to have their plots unfold clearly. Remember, the vast majority of TVs back then were fuzzy black & white sets with snowy, 17-inch pictures from rooftop antennas, and sometimes the signal would fade away for a dozen or so seconds, so the major plot points were routinely repeated, lest the viewers get confused.

    This was a defining episode that showed the strengths of the MI team members, and how they combined forces to shape the mission in their favor. More than any early episode, the writers showcased how a group of actors and entertainerscouldmake the impossible mission become possible. Storylines such as this one gave the American viewing public a ray of hope during that hottest part of the Cold War, leading them to believe that the fearsome Iron Curtain Communists were after all,people, and could be dealt with successfully.

    I have to give it a 9 if for no other reason, the original calliope music, written specifically for this episode. I was 13 when I heard it on the air, and the tunes have remained burned into my memory since 1966!

    The acting was on par for the era, but the story treatment was much better than most of what FCC Chairman Newton Minnow had called "The Vast Wasteland," when asked what he thought of television. shoehorned into a steady stream of Westerns and a couple emerging sitcoms, there was little else of lasting value on the air. The "spy shows" of the day were insipid parodies of the James Bond movies, or World War II spy stories rewritten to the '50s and '60s Cold War meme.

    The writing of the series took a turn for the better with this episode, and set the pace for the rest of the series. Viewing it through the lens of the era, it goes down as a great story, well told (by 1966 TV standards, anyway!)

    Unlike today's "crime" shows, where glitzy gadgets, multimillion dollar computer display-walls, billion-dollar forensic-science laboratories, ubiquitous Glocks, over the top CG effects, hot babes, more hot babes and even more hot babes and stupid wisecracks by surfer-dude/cops rule the day, the original MI series showed how a group of... ACTORS... used their wits, creativity, skills and hard work to outwit their enemies. Rarely was gunplay necessary - these stories were "psychological drama" and the MI team worked hard to outsmart their opponents, and successfully complete their missions with a minimum of "collateral damage." [/old geezer ranting mode]moreless
Cyril Delevanti

Cyril Delevanti

Anton Cardinal Vossek

Guest Star

Joseph Ruskin

Joseph Ruskin

Colonel Jovann Scutari

Guest Star

Oscar Beregi

Oscar Beregi


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • As Rollin prepares to slide down the line with Vossek, he ties the cardinal's hands together to help him hold on. Rollin then goes to the edge of the roof and Vossek is a few feet behind him. The camera makes a quick cut to Barney and Willy, and back a second later and now Vossek's hands are around Rollin's chest even though they were never untied.

    • During the fight scene, you can tell from the overhead shots that the episode was filmed in a studio as the artificial turf moves on the floor.

    • Dan prepares to slide down the line using his belt. However, in the long shots, it's clear that the stunt double is using some kind of pulley system.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Tosk: You know, I just won my bet.
      Crystal: What bet? With who?
      Tosk: With myself. Said you'd come by to see me before you left.
      Crystal: Oh, you have a very low opinion of yourself.

    • Cinnamon: (Dan's) all wrapped up in his work, forget it.
      Crystal: If you say so.
      Cinnamon: I'm sorry.
      Crystal: Do you mind if I worry about him?
      Cinnamon: I said I was sorry.
      Crystal: You worry about Rollin, right?
      Cinnamon: I worry about earthquakes.

    • Crystal: Dan, have you ever been up on a high-wire?
      Dan: No.
      Crystal: Most people are high-shy. How do you know you're not?
      Dan: I'll find out. If I am, don't wait for me.

    • (before Cinnamon and Crystal stage another fight)
      Cinnamon: How long are your nails?
      Crystal: Long enough.
      Cinnamon: Thanks a lot.

    • Captain: I want to help you.
      Vossek: That is not quite true. I am tired, or I should have understood. What it is you want, is to be forgiven.
      Captain: Yes, Your Eminence.
      Vossek: You are by me, but by yourself?

    • Willy: You know, I hate to admit it, Barney, but I'm tired. I'll sure be glad to get home.
      Barney: What? And quit show business?

  • NOTES (0)