The Show: Mission:Impossible
The Episode: Season 2, #25. “Recovery”
The Guest Star: The one and only Bradford Dillman
The Mission (should anyone decide to accept it): To foil The Dill Man's brilliantly evil schemes
Let us proceed with our tale of spyishness and psychological warfare with brilliance abounding at every turn.
An American bomber crashed behind the Iron Curtain, but the fail-safe mechanism didn't explode for inexplicable reasons. If Paul Shipherd (defector/evil genius/brilliant physicist/Bradford Dillman) manages to disassemble it, he'll learn the secret to the entire fail safe system, thus placing the Free World in dire jeopardy. And trust me, you definitely don't want to let The Dill Man in on any of your secrets unless you harbor some ideas about destroying life as we know it.
So Jim Phelps & Co. are dispatched to recover the fail safe thingamabob, as well as kidnap Paul Shipherd before he can open it. They can't simply blow up the thing, because experts back in the States want to find out why it didn't explode the first time. But heisting a rather large, sensitive object from the same institution where The Dill Man's brain is at work could pose quite a problem, even for the intrepid members of the IMF. As Jim flatly states, “He's brilliant. He's so brilliant he might succeed.”
Though he chose to defect years before, Shipherd is clearly insecure and uncomfortable with no longer being an American citizen. Tiny details reveal his deep-rooted obsession with the United States, and contact with Americans visibly rattles him. He's also somewhat sensitive, though coldly-calculating and heartless. And he has this very creepy little habit of adjusting his glasses whenever he acquires a tidbit of information that helps to further his brilliantly evil schemes.
Of course, because this is Mission: Impossible, The Dill Man can't hope to triumph. But he'll try very hard all the same. Cue evil, terrifying, Bradford-Dillman-smile.
Step 1: Interrogate the American pilot who suddenly turned up. (This would be Jim Phelps – with some oddly dyed hair.)
Step 2: Invite that fellow who manufactures secret what-not for the U.S. government for a nice little tour. (This would be Rollin Hand, AKA Martin Landau.)
Step 3: Kidnap his wife for good measure. (This would be Cinnamon Carter, played by the utterly perfect wife of Martin Landau, Barbara Bain.)
Step 4: Force him to open the fail-safe. Never mind if it kills him.
Little does The Dill Man know he's being completely manipulated by people even cooler than himself who will make him into the spitting image of Martin Landau and smuggle him back to the United States. But not to worry. He completely deserves it.
Cue evil smile.
Watch the entire episode: YAYA!