Mission: Impossible

Season 5 Episode 19

The Catafalque

0
Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Feb 06, 1971 on CBS
7.8
out of 10
User Rating
13 votes
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Episode Summary

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In San Pascal Premier Miguel Fuego and his nephew Ramone have signed a secret arms treaty with a Communist power to permit nuclear weapons aimed at the U.S. into their country. The IMF must expose the treaty before the missiles are installed. The team has Paris claim that Ramone's late father was killed by Miguel and that Paris' father at the closed Madrena Prison can verify this.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of the more difficult to believe episodes, yet still a farily enjoyable adventure with ties to the Cold War.

    8.0
    Season Five was very inconsistant, some briliant plots, average plots as well as inferior plots. This season suffered from budget cuts which accounted for the use of more sound stage filming and less location shots. As a native Pasadenan it was pleasant to see Pasadena City Hall, an art deco Mediterrean design complex once again used as a foreign capital building, this time for a fictional Latin American nation, San Pascal. The opening tape scene brought back enjoyable memories of the defunct Long Beach Pike Amusement Park which was where Jim Phelps walked into an old-fashioned auto photo booth along the Pike's midway to receive the mission's order.



    This episode has parallels the the Cuban Missile Crisis as the object of the mission is to obtain a treaty that will bring missiles to San Pascal and then aim them at the USA's West Coast.



    The IMF uses some outlandish devices to get the treaty but one complicated scheme is very difficult to believe, the opposite of most Mission Impossible stunts which always have a sense of reality. Without revealing other plot details or spoil the conclusion, when Barney & Doug replace a cadaver lying in state under the capital building's dome area with a dummy, one can not believe their eyes or ears.



    Barney and Doug use 2 crank pulleys to lift the casket to them after securing 4 clamps to the glass casket, raise it to them and lower it back with a wax dummy instead of the corpse. Whereas that manuever itself is very pausible what makes it hard to swallow is that there are 4 trained militia surrounding the catafalque(coffin) with their heads bowed and their backs to it, how could they not hear the clamps attaching to the casket behind them? Why didn't they hear the turning of the gears of the pulleys? One of the pulleys actually gets frozen and Barney needs to free it while the glass coffin is dangling in the air. The most unbelievable part is when they finish the switch and lower the catafalque back to its original spot, how is it possible that the gurads didn't hear it landing right behind their backs? To top it all off when the change of guards troop begins to approach the dome, Barney and Doug can hear their marching footsteps from a distance.



    Even though the circumstances of the switch could never occur in real life, their are enough plot twists and turns along with the usual mission clichés that I still liked the episode.



    A trival sidebar is that the captain of the guards was played by the then upstart future baseball Hall of Fame catcher for the Cincinatti Reds' "Big Red Machine", Johnny Bench.moreless
Peter Graves

Peter Graves

James Phelps

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

The Amazing Paris

Lesley Ann Warren

Lesley Ann Warren

Dana Lambert

Greg Morris

Greg Morris

Barney Collier

Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott

Dr. Doug Robert

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

IMF Voice on Tape (uncredited)

John Vernon

John Vernon

Ramone Fuego

Guest Star

Will Kaluva

Will Kaluva

Premier Miguel Fuego

Guest Star

Ramon Bieri

Ramon Bieri

Colonel Rodriguez

Guest Star

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