It was in the second year that the format of
The team was necessarily eclectic in nature. It featured Martin Landau in his signature role of Rollin Hand. Hand was very much akin to Martin Ross in his role in The Wild Wild West. He was a master of disguise. He could imitate almost anyone in very short order. Barney Collier was the gadget man, played by Greg Morris. Cinnamon Carter was the model and the team’s chief seductress and was played by Landau’s real life wife Barbara Bain. Finally, the muscle was supplied by Willy Armitage, played by brute Peter Lupus. Together they took on missions that the government could not be officially a part of. They were always admonished that should they be caught “the secretary would disavow any knowledge” of them. Usually they were sent somewhere to put some evil mastermind out of business. Their tactics ranged from scams to outright theft. Sometimes they were a rescue team, while other times they would infiltrate a group of bad guys. There were certainly cold war elements to the whole thing. Each week the team concocted some convoluted con to play on their mark, walking away at the end of each episode often without getting any credit or congratulations.
Some of the better episodes in season three include: Sugar Ray Robinson appearing in the two part episode The Contenders. A mob chief wants to discredit the
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track does what it needs to do, nothing less, nothing more. You get to hear the dialog and the famous theme perfectly even if not in a more modern dynamic presentation. Explosions are often muffled. The music even distorts at times, but for the most part this 40 year old soundtrack delivers enough to keep you in the mission. There’s not a lot in the rear but again this was never intended to be a surround mix. Most of the surrounds give some depth to the sound image than anything else.
I was always a fan of the series but found myself unexpectedly engaged with these episodes. It’s likely that as a child I didn’t have the appreciation for the complicated web the team spun each week. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the nostalgic effect, but this stuff holds up particularly well after 40 years. If you’re asking for a great mix of sophistication, espionage, and action complete with gadgets and disguises, then the third season of