High-tech from the 60ies


Mission Impossible cast, 1970

One of the things I like to do is watch older TV series. For one thing, they’re ideal for those TV dinners, as I’m not too fond of watching corpses being dissected or the like while I’m eating—all too possible in modern shows. Plus, they’re often plain good! Tight plotting, fun settings. And, since I wasn’t alive–or too young–back when they first aired, they’re still all new too me.

So one show I’ve been watching is Mission Impossible from the late 60ies. The catchy theme song makes me want to tap my foot as soon as it comes on. And I like the trickiness of the missions, and the way the perfect masks really is just swapping in another actor. I even find it amusing to see which fake country they’ll go off to save next!

The geek in me really loves the technology, though, and how things we take for granted now are presented as cool and fantastic. Like the mini tape recorder… that’s about 15 cm across. Or the lovely GPS-like gadget they use to follow suspects, which is actually a map that someone’s pointing a light at. Or even better, when they hack into computers or start replacing parts straight out of the them. (Even just seeing computers big enough to hide in is fun.) Everything is just so much more mechanical and electrical than anything presented as high-tech today, which is all digital, and I’ve discovered I find it much more impressive in some ways. Everyone’s got a computer these days… but how many people can say they know how to put together some nifty robot that can drill holes and flip over on command?

Of course, my favorite episodes are the ones where they con people. Like the one where they make a guy believe he’s on a train—they build the whole fake train car and make it sway in place, with recorded sounds and projectors all around. Or the one where they make a guy think he’s in prison. (Well okay, there are multiple like that.) Or how about the one where they make the mark think there’s been an atomic war?

I’m only sorry that I’ve already reached the seventh season, and then there’ll be no more. Ah, well, I can always watch it again in a few years I suppose. Anyone else still watch these old goodies?

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