Mission: Impossible: The Original TV Series Blu-ray review

Dec 01, 2020- Permalink

The classic TV series Mission: Impossible ran seven seasons from 1966 to 1973 and inspired a 1988 TV reboot and the popular Tom Cruise film franchise. It follows the adventures of the members of the IMF (Impossible Mission Force), a team of secret US agents who undertake covert missions against dictators, crime lords, and I’m assuming fascist real estate developers. Paramount has now released a Blu-ray transfer of the show in a 46 disc box set containing all 171 episodes. I had a chance to look at this set a bit early.

The 1080p AVC-encoded digital transfer is in the series’ original 1.33:1 (4:3) aspect ratio, so if you’re not used to older TV shows, be aware that this won’t fit the width of your screen. Originally shot on film for broadcast, the source material is up to the task of a Blu-ray transfer. The image is very detailed and shows every facial feature and bead of sweat during the covert missions. The details on everyday clothing and uniforms are excellent and the sets and scenery show off a lot of detail as well. The colour palette is rich throughout and the flesh tones are natural. Black levels and contrast are quite impressive, There are some very rare issues (a speck here, a quick splotch) from the source material but they quick and rare. There are no digital or compression artifacts to speak of. This is a beautiful presentation of a vintage show. Kudos to Paramount.

On the audio side, your mission – should you accept it – is to choose from an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack or French and German DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono tracks. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French, and German. The audio team had done a good job placing the original soundtrack into a 5.1 environment. Though the soundscape is still very front dominant, atmospheric effects have been nicely placed into the surrounds. Dialogue is clear and centred, and the score, which includes the memorable theme tune, has never sounded better.

The set contains no extras. It would have been nice to see some original promos or interviews in the set, but hey, we’re getting a beautiful looking vintage series, so that would just be icing. Each season is presented in a stiff paperboard case with character profiles and images. The discs do slide out of the sleeves fairly easily. It would be a luxury to have each disc on a nice plastic spindle, but this is the compromise for presenting such a comprehensive box set at a price that doesn’t require a mortgage.

The Mission: Impossible: The Original TV Series Blu-ray is a must have for lovers of TV history. The show has never looked or sounded better.