Mission: Impossible: Season 1, Episode 1

The Killer (23 Oct. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
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Jim Phelps decides to return to the agent business in order to find the person responsible for the murder of his friend and agent protégé Tom Copperfield. Putting together a whole new team ... See full summary »



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Title: The Killer (23 Oct 1988)

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Episode credited cast:
Antony Hamilton ...
Max Harte (as Tony Hamilton)
Terry Markwell ...
Bob Johnson ...
Voice on Disc (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matthew Drake
Reginald Gilliam ...
Fisherman, The (as Reg Gilliam)
Ted Hamilton ...
Alfred Chambers
Steve Kuhn ...
Policeman, The
Vince Martin ...
Tom Copperfield
Patrick McCarville ...
Priest, The
William Riley ...
Doorman, The
Indra Jane Singh ...
Young Girl


Jim Phelps decides to return to the agent business in order to find the person responsible for the murder of his friend and agent protégé Tom Copperfield. Putting together a whole new team of agents to help him achieve his objective, the trail leads to a hit man going by the name of Matthew Drake and a powerful underworld leader known only as "Scorpio". Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

23 October 1988 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When blond-haired Tom Copperfield (Vince Martin) leaps from the balcony in the opening teaser, he suddenly becomes a man with black hair as he falls. See more »

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"Time does march on!"
16 September 2011 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The original 'Mission: Impossible' ended in 1973 after a run of seven seasons. It returned in 1988, as an Australian-based production, with Peter Graves reprising his role as I.M.F. ( Impossible Missions Force ) mastermind 'Jim Phelps'. A new, younger team would be put under his command - master of disguise 'Nicholas Black ( Thaao Penghlis ), strong man 'Max Harte' ( Tony Hamilton ), electronics wizard 'Grant Collier' - son of Jim's old colleague 'Barney' ( played by actor Phil Morris, son of Greg ), and glamour girl 'Casey Randall' ( Terry Markwell ). Due to a Hollywood writers strike, the first few episodes were remakes of earlier shows - this one was of 'The Killer', an Arthur Weiss-scripted tale from Season 5 in 1970. Once again, the I.M.F. are after a hired assassin - 'Matthew Drake' instead of 'Eddie Lorca' - who is out to kill an unknown target, hired by underworld boss 'Scorpio'. What gives the remake a touch of distinction is the fact that Drake's first on-screen victim is 'Tom Copperfield' ( Vince Martin ), an old friend of Jim's and his replacement as I.M.F. leader. Copperfield is at a party when Drake shoots him with a dart tipped with a drug designed to make him hallucinate. Tom imagines he is on fire, panics, and jumps out of the window. Phelps attends the funeral, and comes out of retirement to see that Drake does not kill anyone else ever again. He decides to return to his old job full-time at the story's end.

In a nod to the past, Jim is still receiving orders from an unknown voice ( Bob Johnson ), but this time they come from self-destructing computer discs instead of tapes. Lalo Schrifrin's superb theme tune has been modernised.

Replacing Robert Conrad as the killer is John De Lancie, whom 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' fans remember as the mischievous alien 'Q'. The plot is more or less the same, except the action has been moved to London. Though filmed in Australia, the London scenes are convincingly done. Drake lands at Heathrow, and a taxi ( driven by Nick ) takes him to a fake hotel called the Raeburn. Here the I.M.F. monitor his every action.

While not as slick as the previous version, this manages to be enjoyable nevertheless. The 1988 series of 'Mission: Impossible' is generally not highly regarded by fans, yet I prefer it to the last two seasons of the original show, and the Tom Cruise movie franchise. It is good to see Graves back as 'Phelps', though he's clearly aged a lot in the intervening years, and memories of his performance as 'Captain Oveur' in the 'Airplane!' movies are hard to shake off.

Incredibly, neither the B.B.C. nor I.T.V. bought the series ( preferring instead to clog the airwaves with dross like 'Dynasty' and 'Dallas' ), and it was left to the now-defunct 'Granada Plus' on Sky T.V. to give it a home nearly a decade later.

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