Boris Claudio “Lalo” Schifrin is an Argentine-American pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. He is best known for his large body of film and TV scores since the 1950s, including the “Theme from Mission: Impossible”, Bullitt and Enter the Dragon.
Released on: 1967-01-01 Producer: Tom Mack Associated Performer, Recording Arranger, Conductor: Lalo Schifrin Studio Personnel, Recording Engineer: Hank Cicalo Composer: Lalo Schifrin.
The word “self-destruct” was coined by the show’s writers, but became widely used.
A group of extraordinary spies, each experts in their own fields, belong to the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) — first headed up by Daniel Briggs and later overseen by Jim Phelps. The IMF is a government agency that undertakes only the most hazardous of espionage missions. The beginning of each episode featured the now-famous tape-recorded message outlining the latest task for the group to tackle. Popular during the Cold War, the group’s missions usually centered on overthrowing the government of some small communist country causing problems for the free world. The IMF crew included disguise expert Rollin Hand, charmer Cinnamon Carter, electronics technician Barney Collier, strong man Willy Armitage and, in later episodes, disguise-master Paris.
Most episodes begin with the leader of the IMF getting the assignment from a hidden tape recorder and an envelope of photos and information that explains the mission. The tape almost always begins with “Good morning/afternoon/evening, Mr. Briggs/Phelps.” (The only exception is the first-season episode “Action!”, in which Briggs does not appear; Cinnamon Carter listens to the briefing). Then it explains the situation and ends with “Your mission Dan/Jim, should you decide to accept it” or words to that effect, with a brief explanation of the mission.
Mission Impossible – Advanced Jazz Piano Arrangement with Sheet Music by Jacob Koller
The listener is reminded, “As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.” The instructions on the tape were read by voice actor Robert Cleveland “Bob” Johnson. At the end of the instructions, Phelps/Briggs is notified, “This tape will self-destruct in five [or, occasionally, “10”] seconds. Good luck, Dan/Jim.” Then smoke would rise from the tape, and the instructions would be destroyed. In some initial episodes, however, self-destructing tapes were created by adding a chemical to the tape and blowing air onto it, forcing the chemical to react by crumbling. This method was abandoned due to cost. The word “self-destruct” was coined by the show’s writers, but became widely used.
A few episodes, mostly in the first season, deviated from the use of photos and a self-destructing tape as the mission briefing. One such episode involved a phonograph record, which was delivered to Briggs in an airtight plastic envelope and which would “decompose one minute after the breaking of the seal” from exposure to air. A record used in another episode had to be played on a vintage phonograph, which had been rigged to scratch the record so badly as to render it unplayable once the briefing was complete. In a few instances, instructions at the end of the tape would ask Briggs/Phelps, “Please dispose of/destroy this recording in the usual manner/by the usual means.” Briggs/Phelps would then throw it in an incinerator or use other means to destroy it.
This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds
A handful of exceptions to the “messages from the Secretary” were used. Sometimes, circumstances more or less force a team into action. This first occurred in the program’s opening season, when a “syndicate” boss kidnaps and threatens to kill the teenaged daughter of a friend of Briggs unless he removes a grand-jury witness against the mobster from police protective custody. How this man knew Briggs was capable of such a task was not explained. The last such instance was near the end of the series, when the survivors of a previous IMF operation (season six’s “Casino”) recognize a vacationing Phelps from security camera photos and kidnap him to force his team to retrieve evidence that a plea-bargaining mobster is about to turn over to authorities. Wiki.
Original Mission Impossible TV Series – Mini-Documentary
Great clips interspersed with interviews. Peter Graves, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain discuss heavily accented villains, technological gimmicks, LA filming locations, and the cast’s camaraderie. The series premiered 50 years ago this month. Sep 18, 2016.
Only one hundred twenty missions include the famous warning that the tape will “self-destruct”. Five say that the tape will “decompose”, one says that it will “destroy itself”, twelve instruct Daniel Briggs (Steven Hill) or Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) to “dispose of” the recording, seven tell them to “destroy” it, and three contain no instructions, but Jim destroys the recordings anyway.
When the reel-to-reel tape recorder was playing the mission’s instructions, it was actually in a “rewind” mode rather than a “play” mode. This was done because the tape moved too slowly to be believed when it was “playing”.
During the first season, Martin Landau’s face was not shown during the main title sequence. During that season, he was credited as making a “special appearance”. It wasn’t until season two that he was acknowledged as being a full cast member. This was because Landau, who at the time had a thriving motion picture career, didn’t want to commit himself to the standard five-year contract that studios typically required of actors and actresses in a television series. Series producer Bruce Geller wanted Landau badly enough, however, that he agreed to use him on a “guest star” basis during the first season. Landau signed one-year contracts at the beginning of the second and third seasons.