Mission: Impossible

The System - S3-E15

Continuity mistake: Phelps takes the tape from the recorder's right-hand spindle. When he opens the acid vat, we can see the tape he just removed back on the recorder - but on the left spindle. The tape he then drops into the acid doesn't remotely resemble the one he pulled, and when he drops it, the recorder's left spindle, where the full tape was in the last shot and where the empty reel should be, now has nothing on it at all. (00:02:50)

Jean G

The Bank - S2-E4

Character mistake: The 'perfect' German postcard Rollin has written is full of mistakes: 1) The 'sie' must have a capital 'S' because it's a personal pronoun; 2) The only sentence stops in the middle and makes no sense; 3) The word 'Besten' has to be written without a capital because it's not a noun; 4) In Germany the house number stands after the street name, not before; 5) The streetname makes no sense. Too many mistakes for a so-called 'perfect' card. (00:04:40)

A Cube of Sugar - S1-E26

Continuity mistake: During the prison corridor scene, Cinnamon is crying over her "dead" husband, and her hair changes from frazzled to neatly combed and back as the angles shift between full shot and close-up. (00:39:15)

Jean G

Trek - S2-E2

Visible crew/equipment: During the prison escape, as Phelps and Cole are stealing the car, a microphone can be seen above them, hanging more than a foot into the shot. (00:18:20)

Jean G

Odds on Evil - S1-E6

Continuity mistake: When he's talking to the arms dealer, Barney's right hand is free and gesturing until the shot cuts: then he's suddenly holding his drink in that hand. (00:12:20)

Jean G

The Confession - S1-E22

Continuity mistake: When Rollin and another prisoner escape, Willie picks them up and they get into the back seat. Later when Willie is driving in at least two shots they're missing from the back seat.

The Legacy - S1-E15

Continuity mistake: Toward the end of the episode, Rollin gets into a fight. His mouth gets bloody on the right side, which swaps to the left, then back.

Echo of Yesterday - S2-E14

Character mistake: There are two minor German mistakes. The sign 'Nur für Arbeitnehemere' should be 'Nur für Arbeitnehmer' (the last word is totally wrong). And the title of the German newspaper 'Die tagliche Zeitung' should be 'Die tägliche Zeitung' (the two points over the German Umlaut are missing). (00:05:35 - 00:41:05)

The Elixir - S3-E7

Continuity mistake: When Willie reassembles the electrical socket he puts it in with the ground on the top. Then they show Barney putting his socket together and switchback to Willie, but when the scene shows him putting in the plug it is on the bottom.

Dean Bourque

The Heir Apparent - S3-E1

Continuity mistake: While Barbara Bain is opening the puzzle box, Martin Landau is removing pieces of his disguise. First, he has a handkerchief in his right hand. Next, the handkerchief is gone and he is peeling off his left leather pocket, and the left leather lapel is already gone. Next, he removes his mustache with a handkerchief. Then, while removing the left leather lapel, the left pocket is back in place. (00:39:45 - 00:41:25)

Movidiot

Hit - S7-E9

Factual error: In what is supposed to be a maximum security prison, the inmates (all of whom have stylish but non-prison-regulation haircuts) have a pool-cue brawl in a completely unsupervised rec room. Not a guard in sight.

Jean G

Season 7 generally

Continuity mistake: Because episodes were not aired in production order, both Lynda Day George (whose character is said to be on a prolonged assignment in Europe) and Greg Morris' mustache appear, disappear and re-appear throughout the seventh season.

Jean G

Invasion - S6-E9

Continuity mistake: Channing turns off the tape recorder. But in the next shot, as he walks away, we can see the recorder's reels still turning. (00:18:00)

Jean G

Voice on Tape: Good morning Mister Phelps.

More quotes from Mission: Impossible

The Psychic - S1-E28

Trivia: Watch the drive-in theater marquis when Briggs drives in to pick up his assignment. It reads "Geller and Solow / Spend the Money" - an in-joke reference to producer Bruce Geller and Desilu executive Herb Solow.

Jean G

More trivia for Mission: Impossible

Show generally

Question: At the start of each episode of Mission Impossible Briggs or Phelps received details of the mission from a tape recording that was 'hidden in plain sight', say a telephone booth displaying a poster saying 'Telephone Out Of Order. Do Not Use'. So, what would happen if somebody went into the kiosk before Briggs or Phelps, picked up the telephone and got the secret message ahead of the Mission Impossible team?

Rob Halliday

Answer: This is not really a serious question. When I posted this question I was fully aware that Mission Impossible is only a television programme. Like many espionage thrillers (Man From Uncle, The Avengers, James Bond) it is meant to entertain, it is never meant to be taken literally seriously. It was essential to the story that Briggs or Phelps received a secret message, which would give them a mission to accomplish. If they did not receive the message you would not have had the story. When I used to watch Mission Impossible it just used to amuse me to wonder what might have happened had somebody picked up the phone containing the secret message ahead of Briggs or Phelps. I even considered writing to a comedian and suggesting that they devise a comedy sketch in which this happened. My question was only meant to be a joke, that I posted to amuse people.

Rob Halliday

Answer: We don't know what would happen because the show never addressed this issue. Any answer would be speculation. This is a TV show, and the plot is structured so that only IMF team will retrieve the secret message.

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from Mission: Impossible

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.