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BOOM!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
12/12/2012

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it... to act quickly and own this dynamite collector's edition centering on the clandestine activities of the original IMF (Impossible Missions Force). It's packed with the thrilling action, drama, and innovative plot twists that made this classic Cold War-era spy series so famous.

    Enjoy all the original episodes from the '60s and '70s, the '88 and '89 revival seasons, special features, and behind-the-scenes trivia. This Emmy Award-winning show - with its iconic, Grammy winning theme song - is a television classic you'll want to add to your collection of all-time greats. Don't fail your mission. Get it today!
CBS Home Video has packaged not one, but TWO complete series sets into Mission: Impossible - The Complete Television Collection. You'll get all 171 episodes of the original series, which aired between 1966 and 1973, plus all 35 episodes of the 1988-1990 series, and a bonus disc featuring new content. CBS released the first series on DVD between 2006 and 2009, and then took a few years off before releasing both seasons of the 80s series in 2011 and 2012. I think it's neat that they combined both shows into one set, and it's a large set that doesn't take up much room.

The Packaging
All 206 episodes are found on 56 DVDs, contained in a neat package designed to look like dynamite (don't light the wick though, there's no telling what may happen). Unlike most DVD sets, which are rectangular, this set is a big column which opens in the middle to reveal 8 metal tins containing the DVDs. I like that CBS put a little tab that says "Open from this side," because I've nearly wrecked a couple of these custom sets because it wasn't obvious how they open. The set is just a little bit taller than a standard DVD case, so it should fit comfortably on a shelf.

Each metal tin is nearly circular, except for the left-hand side which is partially flat because of the hinge. I wish they had included a flat surface on the inside of the red case so the tins would be perfectly aligned when inserted, but they didn't do this; a small piece of foam, or styrofoam would have worked perfectly. Speaking of foam, there's a small layer of it between each tin, making the tins appear to float. It's actually two pieces of foam, one which is secured to the packaging, and the other that's just loose between the layers. I found this a little bit frustrating because I was always having to mess around with the loose foam piece every time I took a case out. The loose piece is needed though, as it helps you get the tin back into the box, otherwise you'll jam up on the foam piece that's secured to the packaging.

Opening the case reveals the "guts" of the set - the discs. Everything is held together in round pouches, made out of the same material as you'd find in a CD/DVD wallet. The first pouch holds the episode guide; a list of the discs and episodes on one side, with photos from the show on the other side. It's cool, and very functional, and I like that they've used the CD/DVD wallet material because it'll prevent (or greatly reduce) the chance of scratching the discs.

The Material
As previously mentioned, you'll get all 171 episodes from the 60s series and the 35 episodes from the 80s series. The content on the discs are identical to the ones previously released on DVD in the season sets, plus a 56th disc with new bonus material found in the case for season 7.

Birth of The Mission (17:49)
Peter Graves, Barbara Bain and Martin Landau talk about the show, and their characters. I found it fascinating when Martin Landau said that they created the "special appearance by" role. I think, based on the credits at the end, that they took footage from the PBS "Pioneers of Television" show and edited it into a featurette along with footage from the show. Very clever!

Mission Debriefing (13:18)
The cast talks about the international flavor of the series, and some of the plotlines.

Hour Magazine Segment Featuring Martin Landau, Peter Lupus and Greg Morris (7:29)
A nice interview with the three cast members, shot in the 80s. The quality of this is quite poor, but it's a lot of fun to watch.

Archival Interview with Greg Morris (7:48)
A B&W interview with Greg Morris from the 60s, shot before the show aired.

Clip from CBS Fall Preview Show "Seven Wonderful Nights" (5:52)
Take a look at these exciting new shows from 1966-1967, including Mission: Impossible.

Select Episodic Promos from the Original Series (16:00)
A collection of episodic promos from the original series.

Series Promos from the Original Series (1:57)
Promos for the original series. I think they should do promos for current shows like this.

Photo Montage (2:44)
This photo montage includes a vocal version of the Mission: Impossible theme song, performed by the Kane Triplets. I had little idea what they were saying, so the optional subtitles were very helpful.

To Upgrade, or Not to Upgrade?
Well, this is definitely an attractive set. The packaging is neat, and I like that the cases actually protect the DVDs; far too many of these complete series sets have designs that would lead to a greater chance of the discs becoming scratched, and that shouldn't be an issue here. If you don't own any of the previous season sets, and want to own the show, then this set is a no-brainer. CBS put a lot of thought into it, and I think it paid off. If you already own all the seasons then it would be a difficult choice, as you're paying a lot for the bonus disc and new packaging (and with a street price of over $250, it's certainly not chump change).

This is an attractive set for those that don't already own the individual seasons, and hardcore fans will likely jump at the opportunity to own the attractive packaging, and new bonus disc. I was a bit surprised CBS didn't make mention of the all-new bonus disc on the packaging; I initially posted a review of the set without any mention of the disc since attention isn't drawn to it on the package, and I missed the disc (which is at the end of the season 7 case) while flipping through the set. Sloppy work on my part, but if CBS is trying to get previous owners to buy this, they really need to make a bigger deal out of new content being included.


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