Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Mission: Impossible S2E02 - Trek (aka Stubbly, Hurty, Tough-Guy Jim.)

No intellectual premise here. Every single one of these screencaps contains stubbly, beat-up, grubby, tired, and tough-guy Jim. I could have capped Rollin in his weird wig or Cinnamon looking rough (there's a little of Cinnamon looking rough, actually) or Barney with his incredibly fake looking bread that is apparently actually  real bread inside. (There's no Willy in this one.) But no. I just concentrated on Jim. After all, that's what I'm here for.

Here's what Peter Graves had to say on this episode -

“I was thrilled about going on this classy, wonderful series and spending weeks in wardrobe with beautiful, tailor-made suits, and this wonderful black and white apartment. Then in the first episode here I am in grubby khakis with a four-day growth of beard, crawling around in the desert!”
        (White, Patrick J. The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier. (London: Boxtree, 1996) p. 120)

Well, I'm glad he did. I mean, I love him in the beautiful, tailor-made suits, but it's nice to see him grubby and stubbly occasionally too.

First we see of Jim, he's being shoved unceremoniously, half-unconscious, from a jeep onto the sand. He looks like he's been in a fight. Is this make-up, or did he put up a proper fight with soldiers to get himself arrested?

Ooh, look, it's Sarek! (Ahem. I mean Mark Lenard. Actually he was in more Mission: Impossible episodes than Star Trek, so it's perhaps unfair to identify him by that one role.)

And also, look, it's Jim looking broad and annoyed, with a very dirty t-shirt. I think he needs to have that lot taken off him and be given a bath.

Annoyed bloody Jim. He's pretending to be an undercover officer (ironic, really, since he's a spy pretending to be an undercover officer pretending to be a murderer.)

Annoyed, determined, bloody, stubbly Jim. He's lovely and withering to Mark Lenard (Col. Luis Cardoza).

He gets himself thrown into jail (almost literally) and beaten up a little more, in an effort to trick Jack Cole, one of our dupes for this episode, into escaping and leading them to the stolen treasure.

'That's enough, that's enough,' he says after taking on the guards and getting beaten to the floor. Are you sure, Jim?

Exhausted and in pain, he settles down on the floor in his cell...

He has one last cigarette left...

He's watching Cole, who's in the cell opposite, and hasn't had a cigarette for three weeks. Poor addicts.

Because he's a nice guy, because he wants to lure Cole in and gain his trust, he tosses his last cigarette over to him, and then rests his arm prettily on the bars.

A little face wash. Not a great picture in some ways, but I was struck by how nice his nose looks.

Post-wash, a little more stubbly-Jim. His eyes look very blue against all that sun tan and bruising. This is his expression when Cole tells him he's going to hang. The bad-day-getting-worse expression.

After Cole tosses the cigarette back we get treated to a slow exhale of smoke.

Escape! I took this mostly because of the sinews in his arm as he pretends to try to throttle Cardoza.

Two-Gun Jim.

There's Mark Lenard a little more clearly, and Jim looking hot and ruffled.

Manly Man Stands Amongst Rocks.

And here he is in his natural element, on a horse. I don't know how much riding Jim was supposed to have done, but Peter Graves said in his last interview, here, that horse trainer Ralph McCutcheon "once told me I was the second-best actor-rider in motion pictures after Joel McCrea. And that was high praise, indeed, because Joel was a cowboy at heart."

A bit more horse-riding Jim. His horse is a bit twitchy, so it's a good thing he's a good rider.

Cinnamon has been made up to look like she's dying of dehydration. I like the way tough-guy-Jim becomes all tender when he's giving her water, even though he knows she's not really in any danger.

Yet more stubbly-Jim. I needn't apologise. You knew what you were getting yourself in for when you started reading this post.

So we get tall, dishevelled Jim, a little Mark Lenard, Cole, with his oddly dyed hair that makes him look like he visited a pensioners-go-half-price day at the hairdresser's, and Cinnamon who's all grubby and apparently half dead.

Cole starts to get antsy, untrustworthy devil that he is. But Jim convinces him that he needs him and Cardoza, and manages to stop him killing Cinnamon, too.

A bit more Jim on horseback, I think.

And some rather contextless Jim, where his stubble looks less and he seems less grubby. I think this is a switch between location and studio work.

Now, there's a face of determination and effort as he pulls one of the boxes of treasure out from where it's hidden in a cave.

Cole, of course, goes slightly crazy, and starts shooting.

Rugged desert-Jim hops onto the rope ladder. It was planned to have a dummy on the ladder for the long shots, but Peter Graves says, “Lenny Horn said, 'Gee, if we could get you stepping on the ladder as the thing goes up, it would help us so much. You step on, we take you three feet up, you jump off, and we edit it.' So I said okay, and we did it and he took me up fifteen feet instead of three, and back down. I said, 'Why don't we just do it?' They said okay, so I spent a couple of hours flying around the desert hanging from a helicopter and I loved it, sailing through the air with no straps or restraints or safety harness. That was my first experience on this wonderful, classy, well-dressed show!”
      (White, Patrick J. The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier. (London: Boxtree, 1996) p. 120)

Twisting, turning, rope-ladder-climbing Jim.

So there he is, hoist aloft. Not a dummy, not a stunt man - just Peter Graves, hanging onto a rope ladder above some pretty solid rocks, with no safety equipment.

I'm glad he didn't fall off. It would have been a disappointing start to the series.

Some more ladder high jinks.

And everything's done and dusted. Jim mounts up...

And flashes Cinnamon a lovely (creepy?) grin, before they ride off into the not-sunset.

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