|Casting coup: Leonard Nimoy as Paris|
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE Season Four. 1969.
Martin Landau and Barbara Bain went off in a huff and a puff and were replaced by -- in a casting coup -- Leonard Nimoy and a host of rotating females. Nimoy played master of disguise Paris, and the leading ladies included Lee Meriwether (the most frequent), Anne Francis, Sally Ann Howes, Jessica Walter, Antoinette Bower, and others. This was a solid season with many memorable episodes; among the best were: "Double Circle," in which a fake room is employed in order to get at a secret formula; "The Falcon," in which a royal family is in danger from a would-be usurper, and everything that could possibly go wrong does; and "Chico" in which a dog helps steal a stamp which conceals an important microdot. As for notable guest-stars, Luther Adler is outstanding in "Phantoms," about a purge of young artists; John Willians scores in "Lover's Knot," which features a Mata Hari-type lady spy; Pernell Roberts and Cicely Tyson are great in "Death Squad," in which a vacationing Barney (Greg Morris) is accused of murder; and a mustache-less Torin Thatcher almost steals the show in "Numbers Game," about attempts to get at a Swiss bank account. Nimoy probably does his best work in "Commandante" and "The Choice." Jason Evers and John Vernon make an impression in, respectively, the aforementioned "Double Circle" and "Falcon."
Verdict: No Cinnamon, but still lots of spice. ***.