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Mission: Impossible
The Third Season

review by Zach B.

 

 

Starring: Pete Graves, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus

Running Time: 1254 minutes

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $49.99

Features: None

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Mono, Spanish Mono, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Portuguese Subtitles, Chapter Selection (6 chapters per episode), Seven-Disc Set

Released: November 20th, 2007

 

 

Originally airing during the 1968-1969 TV season, this third season of "Mission: Impossible" is presented in 1.33:1 full screen. Paramount clearly did no work in cleaning these episodes up at all: they're murky, very grainy and are filthy: scratches, dirt pieces, specks and all sorts of flaws plague these transfers. It's all rather distracting, and not helping things is the constant wash of noise and edge halos. Color saturation is decent but lacks depth, detail is slightly above average and coming off best are the fleshtones. Not that a major restoration should have been expected for this series, and I guess having them on disc is better than not having them released at all.

 

For some reason, Paramount has taken the steps to re-master all 25 episodes of the third season in English Dolby Digital 5.1. I suppose the series justifies remixing given its action and espionage elements, but then there's the fact that this series is four decades old and the sound elements are far from modern. With that said, these are mono mixes stretched out through the channels, and without much convincing subwoofer use, either. I switched back and forth from the 5.1 mix and mono mixes, and the sonic quality of these tracks were indistinguishable: it's really about where some of the sounds were placed. Fidelity is low on the 5.1 mixes, and while you can hear everything... the sound effects, the dialogue... they are not discrete at all, and come off even and without any real power. The best is the iconic opening theme song, but that's actually a backhanded compliment: it obviously doesn't drive the series, and doesn't give too much of a punch. You can't fault the age of the sound elements, but it's all level and just average. I really don't think Paramount should have bothered with the 5.1 remixes.

English closed captions are included, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Mono tracks are available in English and Spanish. 

 

The box self-destructs in five seconds. Just kidding. 

 

I'm curious how this third season of "Mission: Impossible" will sell, given that there isn't another installment of the film franchise to promote alongside this release. Fans of the series will certainly enjoy these episodes, but there's not much else to recommend: there are no extras, the transfers look their age, and the 5.1 mixes are nothing impressive. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to figure out if this set is worthy of a purchase for your collection.