Mission: Impossible: Season 1, Episode 21

Snowball in Hell (18 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 86 users  
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Barney faces the cat o' nine tails and a cruel ex-guard at a former penal colony as the other IMF members work to trick the sadist out of a cheap substance that can be used for nuclear weapons.


(as Lee Katzin)


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Title: Snowball in Hell (18 Feb 1967)

Snowball in Hell (18 Feb 1967) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Episode cast overview:
Gerard Sefra
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Raff (as Warren Kemmerling)
Émile Genest ...
Dr. Kronen (as Emile Genest)


The sadistic former chief of a tropical prison has a sample of a substance that would make cheap nuclear weapons possible. He also has memorized a key formula and is seeking the highest bids he can. He maintains his base of operations at the now-closed prison. Briggs & Co. must neutralize him. The plan by Briggs calls for Barney to pose as a former prisoner. Written by Bill Koenig

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

18 February 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (168 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First episode to use colour head shots of Barney Collier and Willie Armitage in the I.M.F. dossier. See more »


The script misstates the properties of Cesium-138, possibly deliberately, to prevent information about a hazardous material from being disseminated publicly. First of all, Cesium, regardless of its isotope, has a uniform melting temperature of 28.5 °C (83.3 °F), not 21.1 °C (70 °F) as stated by Barney during the briefing. It will burn, but not explode, when exposed to oxygen or air. It will, however, explode in water. Either reaction occurs whether it is in solid or liquid form, meaning that the requirement for keeping the metal cool is a plot hole as well. See more »

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User Reviews

Not always logical but very satisfying.
6 February 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Gerard Sefra (Ricardo Montalban) is the commandant of a place much like the infamous Devil's Island but it's called Brodure. However, he's sad because his prison was recently closed and all the prisoners sent to more humane places--so he has no one to torment. Instead, he's forced to stay and do nothing. And, true to the old expression "an idle mind is the Devil's workshop", Sefra is up to other forms of evil. Where he got it, they never say, but he's apparently gotten a hold of some Cesium isotope needed to make nuclear bombs--and he's prepared to sell it to the highest bidder! So, the team needs to go to this empty prison using a ruse and locate the dangerous material and remove it. And, like sometimes happened in season one, they decide to take it one step further--and ultimately deal with Sefra in a way very atypical of the show beginning in season two. See the show and you'll see what I mean.

This is a perfect example of an episode that makes a few logical errors but the finale is so fitting that you are willing to cut it some slack. For example, why would they send Barney in to get caught and tortured by Sefra? And, why not just shoot the son of a ....? But, it is fun and well thought out otherwise--even if the story is needlessly complicated. Worth your time.

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