Mission: Impossible: Season 1, Episode 21

Snowball in Hell (18 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
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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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode marks one of the few times where the MI team directly kills someone. In most episodes they either manipulate the bad guys into killing each other or have them arrested by the authorities. See more »


Although most isotopes of Cesium are radioactive to some degree (Cesium-133 is stable), none of the isotopes have any weapons applications. It is used as a radiation source in laboratories, in the petroleum industry, electronic devices and, perhaps most famously, in atomic clocks (the oscillation period of the cesium-133 atom is now used to define the standard second). Cesium clocks also regulate timing for cell phone networks and internet data flow. 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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