Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)
4 user 1 critic

Snowball in Hell 

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)


(created by), | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
... Daniel Briggs
... Cinnamon Carter
... Barney Collier
... Willy Armitage
... Rollin Hand
... Gerard Sefra
... Raff (as Warren Kemmerling)
... Dr. Kronen (as Emile Genest)
... Faud


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


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 February 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (168 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First episode to use colour head shots of Barney Collier and Willie Armitage in the I.M.F. dossier. See more »


Cesium 138 is a valid isotope, but is complete artificially produced. I has a half-life of just over 1/2 hour. 99% of the stock would decay in 2-1/2 hours. By the time the team arrives, even traces would be impossible (even for the IMF team) to locate. See more »


[first lines]
Person on Tape: [voice on tape] Good evening, Mr. Briggs. This is Boradur, for 200 years the most infamous penal colony on Earth. Until five years ago, when it was closed down, Boradur was run by this man, Gerard Sefra, who still remains there with a small group of former guards. Sefra has come into possession of a sample of Cesium-138 and its formula, which he memorized and destroyed. He has offered these for sale to the highest bidder. Dan, Cesium-138 is the key to a low-cost nuclear arsenal. ...
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User Reviews

Not always logical but very satisfying.
6 February 2014 | by 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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