Monday, September 14, 2009

A New Poll That's an Impossible Mission

Last week, the Cafe asked readers to vote on their favorite character from 1939's The Wizard of Oz and the Scarecrow danced away with an easy win by garnering 35% of the votes. We think this week's poll poses a tougher question:  Who was the most valuable member of the Impossible Mission Force on TV's Mission: Impossible? Ladies and gentlemen, here are your candidates--
Jim Phelps (Peter Graves). He was the team leader, he picked who participated in each mission, and he planned each one. And, by the way, he played an active role in the missions himself!
Rollin Hand (Martin Landau). A magician and, more importantly, a master of disguises, Rollin could transform himself in a military dictator, an elderly man, a woman...just about anyone. He was often so good that you couldn't tell him apart from the guest stars!  (OK, sometimes the guest stars played Rollin playing the guest star, but he was still really good.)
Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain). Her portfolio listed her job as fashion model, but this beauty certainly had brains, too...playing scientists, politcians, and femme fatales. Plus, she was tough--maybe tougher than the guys--as evidenced by an episode in which she was captured and underwent grueling torture.
Barney Collier (Greg Morris). Need a gadget...any kind of gadget? Barney can make it and install it. How many times does Jim ask: "Can you do it, Barney?"  To which Barney replies calmly: "I just need a little time, Jim."
Willy Armitage (Peter Lupus). Sure, it's easy to dismiss Willy as the "muscle." Yet, there are missions that would have failed without him. In the pilot episode, he carried two suitcases--each filled with a man--into a vault. Let's see Jim, Rollin, or Barney do that!

I realize that I've omitted some characters, but I focused on the classic Seasons 2 and 3 cast due to space requirements. To cast your vote, click on your favorite character in the poll located in the green sidebar to the right.


  1. Rick was one of the guys in the suitcase Wally Cox?

  2. I don't know, Rick, I think this was one of those team efforts where each agent was vital for a mission's success...seems that when one or another left the series, their position was always filled by some equally skilled agent or agents...

  3. Yes, Paul, Wally Cox was carried in a suitcase in the pilot (very impressed that you knew that!). But you're not implying that Willy's task was easy because Wally was a featherweight, are you? Because in the same episode, Willy also carried Martin Landau and Steven Hill in suitcases!

    Eve, you got a point...but, for me, the show was never quite the same after Martin Landau and Barbara Bain left unwisely (especially for Barbara) to do "Space: 1999." I suppose Leonard Nimoy's character was a master of disguises, too...but he was no Rollin Hand!

  4. Space 1999 home of let's destroy at lease 3 Eagle spacecraft per show.