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KS Alternative Factor

The more things change...

I had the chance to watch an old “Mission: Impossible” episode today, with Leonard Nimoy as Paris. This one featured Paris disguising himself as a faux Fidel Castro, busily interfering in the affairs of a faux South American country (amusingly named “Nueva Tierra”). (Though I guess naming a country “New Earth” is probably more amusing for SF fans like me, versus the general public.)

Startling moment: hearing Nimoy saying “Jim!” and meaning Phelps, not Kirk.

It was fun seeing all the 1970s era cutting edge tech - those huge reel-to-reel tape recorders! Room-sized computers spitting out printouts! Greg Morris's clunky electronics. And of course the teeny reel-to-reel tape recorders hidden in weird places, ready to self-destruct after Phelps listens to his instructions.

All of that – plus of course the early 70s hair and makeup and then there was Paris' bad beard – do date the show.

But one thing does not seem at dated:

The blithely cynical RealPolitik assumption of “Of course, we have every right to go and interfere with/manipulate the affairs of other countries any way we want to.”

The fictional part, of course, is there’s no blowback or unforeseen consequences.

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The blithely cynical RealPolitik assumption of “Of course, we have every right to go and interfere with/manipulate the affairs of other countries any way we want to.”

I've been revisiting The Man from UNCLE lately, and it's amazing how this applies to that show too. I'd call it typical sixties' cynicism and imperialist entitlement, if they hadn't done the same damn thing on Alias!