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"Mission: Impossible" The Killer (1970)

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Who is 'Scorpio'?

Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
13 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the best of season 5

Author: agore3 from United States
24 October 2015

This was probably the best episode of season 5. It had a good script and lots of continuous activity as the tried to follow the killer to identify the target. This season featured a change with a more modern feel but felt this season is when MI lost a lot of its charm.

I never felt Lesley (Ann) Warren really worked out well during her stint as female team member with a tendency to overact compared to the almost stoic performances by the rest of the cast. This was one of her better performances. She seemed to have very minor roles at times.

I did enjoy seeing more modern cars especially the early 70 Plymouths since Chrysler provided the cars compared to the VW's and Mercedes used in many of the foreign locales.

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