» » Mission: Impossible The Widow (1966–1973)

Short summary

Jim Phelps is the new leader of the Impossible Missions Force, with no explanation, or even reference made, about the departure of predecessor Dan Briggs. First up for Phelps is a mission involving the drug trade. Cresnik and Walters have cornered the heroin market and sell it at a handsome profit to gangs around the world. Phelps devises an operation which will drive a wedge between the heroin dealers and their customers.

There was never any explanation given for Dan Briggs' departure.

This was Peter Graves' first appearance in the role of Jim Phelps.

William Windom who plays the drug dealer Alex Cresnic played 4 different characters in 4 seasons of Mission Impossible.

In a twist of 'art-imitating-life,' or vice-versa, the plot of this episode - about heroin being disguised as bath salts has come partially true. There's a current influx of 'designer drugs' being (legally) sold, that are, in fact analogues to other - illegal - drugs. Amongst those analogues are marijuana, crystal meth, just to name a couple.

Joe Maross who plays Mark Walters earlier played a mobster named Frank Bates in 'The Frame' - Season 1, Episode 17.

According to the briefing tape the mission is set in Marseille, France. The opening stock shot of the story does correctly depict the "old port" of Marseille, with the camera facing roughly east or northeast toward town.

This was Martin Landau's first appearance in the series as Rollin Hand, credited as a full cast member.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Shan
    As IMDb indicates, no explanation was given in the show why Mr. Briggs (Steven Hill) was gone and why Mr. Phelps (Peter Graves) was now the head of the IM Force. Additionally, starting with season two, Martin Landau was no longer listed as a guest star but a series regular--though he was in practically every episode of season one.

    This installment has the team battling an international drug cartel that is trying to corner the market on heroin. A dirt-bag named Kresnig* (William Windom) has teamed with Walters (Joe Maross)** to do this--and they are in Marseille to make a big drug sale. However, unexpectedly a couple things occur. First, it seems there is another drug organization trying to muscle in on Kresnig and Maross. Second, Maross is nearly killed in an 'elevator accident'--staged by the IM Force. How do all these and some bath salts work together in this show? Take a look for yourself.

    Like any drug dealer or mobster episode, there is a basic problem--why not just shoot the guys instead of making such complicated missions? But, it IS a TV show and provided you can suspend disbelief, it is a darned good episode. Well written and filled with the sort of irony lovers of the series enjoy, it's a very good beginning to the Jim Phelps era.

    *IMDB listed his name as Cresnig but during the course of the show, he was also referred to as Kresnig.

    **Despite only being the first episode of season two, both Windom and Maross had already played villains in season two. Such repeated use of actors to play baddies would be common on the series.
  • comment
    • Author: Whitebeard
    This is the first episode of the second season of Mission Impossible.After Steven Hill decided to leave the show, Peter Graves come on board as the new leader of the IMF Jim Phelps.He is going to replace Dan Briggs.

    In Jim Phelps' first episode "The Widow", the IMF are tasked on a drug trade that involves Cresnik and Walters,who apparently have secured a large profit to the gangs around the world. The IMF tries to complete their mission by discrediting them to their customers.Cinnamon acts as a widow of the dealers that the IMF "kills" to ruin the dealers' reputation.

    While the mission maybe somewhat far from being complex and definitely far from impossible, it was a decent episode.The IMF being after gangs and dealers will become a trademark of the show in the later years.The plot similar to this episode will also become a familiar one in the later seasons of the show.
  • Episode cast overview:
    Peter Graves Peter Graves - James Phelps
    Martin Landau Martin Landau - Rollin Hand
    Barbara Bain Barbara Bain - Cinnamon Carter
    Greg Morris Greg Morris - Barney Collier
    Peter Lupus Peter Lupus - Willy Armitage
    William Windom William Windom - Alex Cresnic
    Joe Maross Joe Maross - Mark Walters
    George Tyne George Tyne - Dr. Premel
    John Orchard John Orchard - Maharis
    Britt Lomond Britt Lomond - Thornton
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