Ethan Hunt and a few others are part of the Impossible Mission Force, a creatively-named elite group of people who do things that never happened. They're like the Navy Seals meets James Bond. It was the 60's, spies were the shit back then.
From 1966 to 1973, CBS aired this action-packed TV show starring Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain), Barnard "Barney" Collier (Greg Morris), Willy Armitage (Peter Lupus), and Rollin Hand (Martin Landau).
Seeing as how calling yourself the Impossible Missions Force makes it fairly obvious what you do, the agents' names followed suit by portraying their respective talents with about as much subtlety as Pussy Galore's name portrayed her tendency to bone Sean Connery's James Bond. Cinnamon is the babe, Barney is the mechanic, Willy is the strong guy (yes... not a Killer Whale) and Rollin can do magic. The team leader, Dan Briggs (played by Stephen Hill), didn't really do shit.
While these characters came and went through the various seasons, other equally creatively named characters filled in for their roles, ranging from Lenard Nimoy replacing Rollin Hand as "The Great Paris" and Cinnamon being "replaced" by about 50 hot guest stars.
The team goes on missions
Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, a super-spy on a mission (and as you may have guessed, said mission is impossible). It goes wrong and his entire team dies. Confronted by his boss, he throws a piece of exploding bubble gum at a fish tank, and runs off.
Paramount should learn to not do sequels (exception: The Wrath of Khan).
This time Ethan is married, but then she dies., oh wait no she doesn't that was a twist. Then there are some more face-changes and Ethan gets away...we think...we fell asleep near the end.
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