Monday, May 29, 2006

Trekcheck: Another Impossible Mission?

by William S. Kowinski

Forty years ago a fledging “studio” formed mostly to do something with the gobs of money flowing from the most successful sitcom in television history to that point, was preparing two new drama TV series, both decidedly offbeat. One was called Star Trek (which, legend has it, Lucille Ball believed would be about the travels of celebrities) and the other was Mission Impossible.

One of them became a hit, and then was forgotten for decades. The other failed, and became a legend. The hit was Mission Impossible, and as it prospered, Star Trek’s budgets faded. The two series were filmed next door to each other, and by Star Trek’s third season, its staff was scavenging the Mission Impossible dumpster for props and material to glue together to make alien cities and starship technology. When Star Trek was finally cancelled, one of its stars got a new job immediately—on Mission Impossible.

Forty years later, the fates of the story universes these two shows spawned are again strangely related. (That actually may have begun with the second Mission Impossible movie, its story written by Ronald Moore and Brian Braga, veteran writers and producers for Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent series’, and writers for a couple of Trek features.)

For when it was announced that the man in charge of the next Star Trek movie was J.J. Abrams, whose first feature as a director was the as yet to be released Mission Impossible III, the fate of Star Trek became linked directly to the fate of the latest Mission Impossible sequel.

1 comment:

paustin0816 said...

I used to love Mission Impossible and wish someone would show it, but those films barely resemble Mission Impossible, they just use the name but pay no respect to what made Mission Impossible great, ensemble cast, getting inside a villans head and wrecking havoc, mind f's, and great infiltrate and conquer stories great tv.