Mission: Impossible: Season 5, Episode 1

The Killer (19 Sep. 1970)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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The IMF is up against a contract killer who makes decisions at random at the last minute to ensure his moves are unpredictable. As Barney stands in for the intended victim, the IMF must ... See full summary »



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Title: The Killer (19 Sep 1970)

The Killer (19 Sep 1970) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
Dana Lambert (as Lesley Warren)
Eddie Lorca
Davis Roberts ...
William Barton
Carole Carle ...
Byron Morrow ...
Alfred E. Chambers
Martin Ashe ...
Helen Spring ...
Old Lady
Pegi Boucher ...
Tommy J. Huff ...
Bellhop (as Tom Huff)
Richard Karie ...


The IMF is up against a contract killer who makes decisions at random at the last minute to ensure his moves are unpredictable. As Barney stands in for the intended victim, the IMF must prepare for every eventuality to get close to the killer, thwart his plans, turn him against his client and stop their killing spree. Written by David Foss

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Release Date:

19 September 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This story was rewritten and used as the pilot for the re-launch of the series in 1988. See more »


As Eddie Lorca (Robert Conrad), was exiting the hotel after checking in, you can see a reflection of the entire crew, cameras and lights in the rear quarter and side of the red taxi that Paris (Leonard Nimoy) is waiting in. As the camera zooms in for a close shot of Paris, you can see the reflection of the camera rolling closer to the taxi for the closeup. See more »

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User Reviews

Who is 'Scorpio'?
13 February 2009 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

'The Killer' was chosen to open the fifth season of 'Mission: Impossible'. Robert Conrad guests as 'Eddie Lorca', a professional hit-man who flies to Los Angeles to carry out an assassination. He does not yet know whom he will kill. His paymaster is the mysterious 'Scorpio'.

Waiting for him are Jim Phelps and the I.M.F. ( Impossible Missions Force ). Picking him up in a taxi, Paris ( Leonard Nimoy ) drives him to a fake hotel - the Bower. Lorca refuses the room allocated him, preferring to select his own as he makes decisions based on the throw of a pair of dice. Room 7 is fitted out with cameras and microphones so that the I.M.F. can follow his every move.

He arranges a rendezvous with a young woman in Scorpio's employ to collect his orders. But the woman he meets is not the one he spoke to. It is I.M.F. agent Dana Lambert ( Lesley Warren ). Lorca senses she is not right...

Immediately you can tell this is not the 'Mission: Impossible' of old. It opens with a short self-contained scene showing the villain relaxing while his girlfriend dances to modern music, then Phelps appears and once again gets his orders via a self-destructing tape recorder. The titles kick in, and afterwards, there's no dossier scene, but a quick briefing, and then Lorca's plane touches down and we are off.

These changes were mainly the work of producer Bruce Lansbury, who wanted to give the show a fresher, more up-to-date look. The previous season featured a number of actresses standing in for Barbara Bain, but Lansbury decided he wanted a new regular female character, and so Lesley Ann Warren ( credited as 'Lesley Warren' ) was brought in to play 'Dana Lambert'. She brought a new, youthful look to the series, proving especially useful in impersonating waitresses and college students, something her predecessors could not have done.

Robert Conrad is terrific as 'Lorca', a character who proves difficult for the I.M.F. to deal with as his decisions are often based on the random throw of a dice. Anyone familiar with the series knows that a major part of I.M.F. strategy is the prediction of their opponents' actions.

There's a long but suspenseful scene near the beginning when Lorca is being driven to the hotel, and Willy tries to delay the trip to give Jim more time to get the hotel ready. Firstly, the car stops at lights, and then a pair of lorries block the road.

Good script by Arthur Weiss, who also wrote some wonderfully daft episodes of the final run of 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'.

When 'Mission: Impossible' was revived in the '80's in the middle of a writer's strike, several old scripts were recycled - this was the first. John De Lancie played 'Lorca' on that occasion.

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