Mission: Impossible: Season 4, Episode 10

The Double Circle (7 Dec. 1969)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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The IMF team tempts an art lover, who stole a secret missile fuel formula, to return the formula in exchange for a one of a kind art object. But he declines. So Jim begins a complex ... See full summary »



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Title: The Double Circle (07 Dec 1969)

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Episode cast overview:
Gillian Colbee
James Patterson ...
Victor Laszlo
Jason Evers ...
Ray Dunson
Al Sklar ...
Markoff (as Albert Sklar)
Thom Brann ...
Robert Ritchie ...


The IMF team tempts an art lover, who stole a secret missile fuel formula, to return the formula in exchange for a one of a kind art object. But he declines. So Jim begins a complex deception to convince his partner he has been double crossed. But the formula is still locked in a safe rigged to explode when enemy agents arrive. Written by David Foss

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Release Date:

7 December 1969 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Victor Laszlo is the Czechoslovakian underground leader in "Casablanca". See more »


Robert Ritchie's character is listed as "Erickson", but Willie refers to him as "Eric", and "Ericson" is the name of their fictitious air conditioning company. See more »


Person on Tape: Good afternoon, Mr. Phelps. This man, Victor Lazlo, is the eccentric art collector, who recently arranged the theft of the only copy of a new fuel formula vital to America's missile defenses. The theft was executed by Lazlo's partner, Ray Dunson, who also killed the one American scientist capable of duplicating the formula. Enemy scientists have recently solved the same problem so they don't need our copy of the formula but they will pay Lazlo handsomely for the privilege of destroying it, ...
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User Reviews

"Double switch".
12 October 2007 | by (cincinnati ohio ,u.s.a.) – See all my reviews

For this mission, the IMF has to retrieve a missile fuel formula that was stolen, and cannot be duplicated easily, as the only scientist capable of doing so has also been killed.

Victor Lazlo(James Patterson), has received the stolen formula from his cohort Dunson, who killed the scientist. Lazlo has hidden this formula in his highly-secured safe, set up to self-destruct if someone attempts to force it open or crack the combination. He plans to sell this formula to some enemy agents, and such a sale would seriously hinder the US defense program. Lazlo lives in an expensive, high-security apartment and collects prized art objects.

In order to pull off this con, the IMF decides to re-create Lazlo's apartment on the floor directly below his, to the last detail. They also rig the elevator to stop at the fake apartment floor when they need it to do so, to send the crooks to the fake apartment at the right time. Also, to protect the formula until it can be safely retrieved, the IMF plants a false-wall in front of Lazlo's safe, containing a duplicate safe,behind which Barney is ready to open the REAL safe and retrieve the formula.

The IMF enlists Anne Francis to pose as an "art dealer" who wishes to trade a Peking Buddah statue and some money to Lazlo in exchange for the formula. Lazlo refuses this deal, knowing that he has already made a deal to sell it to the enemy agents, and that they would kill him if he "backs out".

Phelps kidnaps Dunson, Lazlos partner, and takes him to a warehouse, pretending to be an agent of the enemy. Watching an IMF film, of Paris as Lazlo in the IMF's duplicate apartment, Dunson is convinced that Lazlo has double crossed him and to go and get proof of this. However, Dunson knows that Lazlo burglar-proofed his safe earlier that morning, and tells Phelps of this fact, just in time for Phelps to stop Barney from trying to crack the real safe, destroying the formula and killing him and the IMF plan.

Dunson goes back to "Lazlos" apartment, but it is really the IMF duplicate that he arrives at. Inside, Dunson overhears "Lazlo" (Paris) discussing the sale of the formula to Anne Francis, who has been determined to be an American agent. Dunson also finds the Buddah in a "secret room" in "Lazlos" apartment, hidden behind a "secret panel", all proof of Laslo's double cross. Dunson also overhears "Lazlo" saying he will blame Dunson for the theft of the formula.

Dunson is then told by Phelps to attend the sale, that the enemy agents are aware of "his cooperation"(of course they have no idea what is going on), and when Lazlo opens "his" empty safe, and feigns a "theft" he can then confront him about the sale of the formula for the Buddah. Dunson confronts Lazlo about trying to double cross and frame him and demands that Lazlo reveal the Buddah from the secret room, and since there is NO "secret room" (it is in the IMF duplicate in the apartment below), he cannot do so, and Dunson shoots him. Dunson is then forced to reveal the "secret room" to the enemy agents, and when he cannot find the "hidden panel" after tearing apart the place, he is shot by one of the agents, and then the agents leave, figuring that the whole thing was a sham in the first place.

Barney, hidden behind the false wall, then examines the fake safe and notes that an extra turn has been set on the dial long after that last tumbler clicked. He reasons that this must be the "fool proof" device Lazlo had installed, and also that the handle on the fake safe is turned to opened and THEN back to closed, to open the safe. Barney duplicates this on the real safe and it opens harmlessly, and he retrieves the formula, completing the mission.

A novel episode, with the fake apartment and the false wall inserted through the roof (of course it WAS convenient for Lazlo to have his apartment on the top floor...), and all of the "double crossing" back and forth, between the two crooks. Highly recommended.

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