The final missions for Jim Phelps and his crew…
No matter how many hoops noveliser Peter Barsocchini tried to jump through when writing his adaptation of the first big-screen adventure for the IMF, the character played by Jon Voight in that film is not the Jim Phelps that we followed for over twenty years across the two series. That makes these often unseen adventures the proper ending for that version of the IMF team (although Cinnamon Carter would make one later appearance in, of all places, an episode of Diagnosis: Murder).
It’s not the strongest year of stories – there’s only 16 episodes for a start – and the show definitely wanders into fantastical James Bond territory, ironically at a time when the 007 films were becoming more down to Earth (Licence to Kill was released around this time). We’ve got missing nuclear bombs, private space flights (hence the off the Earth tag) and yet more neo-Nazis.
Peter Graves really is showing his age in a number of these stories, so the younger team members take on the physical work, and it’s always nice to see the odd reappearance by members of the original crew.
If you’ve not caught these episodes before, they’re certainly worth a watch – and it’s good to see that the recent movies have finally cottoned on to the fact that M:I was about teamwork, not a solo star!
Verdict: Fun escapist entertainment. 6/10