Salute to Peter Graves

Peter Graves wasn’t the first star of Mission: Impossible. Steven Hill was. But Graves was the actor most identified with the show, the longest-running (seven seasons) of the 1960s TV spy series that got their start because of the James Bond movies.

Here’s a typical opening to an M:I episode:

It’s from an early second-season episode (Graves’s first on the series) where Jim Phelps’s Impossible Missions Force fakes an earthquake in San Francisco.

In 1988, ABC comissioned a new M:I series. In part, the network’s decision stemmed from a writer’s strike that halted production of new shows in Hollywood. But that didn’t stop remakes of existing scripts. So, the new M:I debuted with a remake of a show from the original series. In this version, the IMF team leader is killed by an assassin. But his mentor was Jim Phelps. As a result, the audience sees a lonely figure observing the funeral…

Somehow, you just *know* that Jim Phelps isn’t going to leave things as they are…

CBC’s video archives and James Bond

A friend of ours pointed us toward some Canadian Broadcasting Corp. video archives related to James Bond. The seven clips include an interview with Ian Fleming that aired a few days after his death in August 1964. Portions of it show up in extras in Bond film DVDs. Also there are videos about Sean Connery and the Canadian-born Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenney in the first 14 007 films.

And there’s an interview with Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman (the latter another Canadian product) in early December 1965 on the eve of the premier of Thunderball. Saltzman tells the CBC interviewer that “we’re creative producers” and not just businessmen. Broccoli says there are arguments “but something comes out of it.”

To view a menu of the archives JUST CLICK HERE.

UPDATE: While watching the Broccoli-Saltzman clip, near the end, Saltzman says the duo is ready for a Februay 1966 start of production for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and that the “Bond for 1967 will be You Only Live Twice.” Well, he’d end up being half right.

UPDATE II: The Lois Maxwell interview first aired in 1981, just before Ronald Reagan took office as president of the U.S. She discussed That Hagen Girl, in which she co-starred with Reagan and Shirley Temple. She calls the film dreadful but says she had good memories working with Reagan.

UPDATE III: Lois Maxwell says she’s certain Roger Moore won’t return as James Bond in the film that would be called For Your Eyes Only and that Eon “won’t have an old bag like me” play Moneypenney after the death of Bernard Lee. Wrong on both counts, not that we mind.

UPDATE IV: Lois Maxwell (as a businesswoman, not an actress) provided barriers to Detroit for the 1980 Republican convention where the GOP nominated Ronald Reagan for president.