Mission Impossible

Jim Phelps

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Jim Phelps
Jim Phelps in the TV series and in the film
Name: James Phelps
Status: Deceased
Role: Main villain
Age: 56
Date of birth: February 22 ,1940
Birthplace: Unknown
Date of death: 1996
Affiliation: IMF

Formerly: United States Army

Profession: Training Officer (former),

Field Agent, Field Team Leader

Spouse(s): Claire Phelps
Played by: Jon Voight
First appearance: Mission: Impossible
Last appearance: Mission: Impossible
James "Jim" Phelps (died 1996, according to the feature film) was the leader of the IMF team for several years. As the IMF leader, it was his job to plan out the missions that his team would go on, thinking about all the angles. If anything failed to go to plan during the mission, Phelps was quick enough to improvise so that the objective could still be obtained. ("The Controllers"). He was the main antagonist in Mission: Impossible.

Early Career Edit

Phelps fought in the Korean War and worked for Pan American Airlines before entering government service. : This background information was developed by actor Peter Graves and revealed in Patrick White's The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier. As a former government operative, Phelps formed the Impossible Missions Force from a former elite Special Forces squad led by Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Daniel David Briggs, Ph.D., late of Army Intelligence(G-2). (Mission: Impossible) : Colonel Briggs' military status and the IMF's military origin was devised from early material for Mission: Impossible. Eventually, Phelps took over from Briggs as the field leader for the core IMF squad. ("The Widow") : As Steven Hill had been dismissed from the series cast because his Orthodox Judaism conflicted with the shooting schedule too frequently, the reason for Daniel Briggs's departure remains unknown. ==Original IMF Career== : Sections regarding his specific missions from 1966-1973 are incomplete. While Phelps could have a pick of many different agents for his missions, he usually picked a specific group. Originally, his top squad included Rollin Hand, Cinnamon Carter, Barney Collier, and William "Willy" Armitage, the same four members of Daniel Briggs's most reliable mission team. In the years afterwards, he replaced Hand (with The Great Paris), Carter (with Dana Lambert and later Lisa Casey), and added other talents for occasional missions, such as Dr. Douglas Robert Lang, Melany "Mimi" Davis, and Tracey. (Mission: Impossible--The 1960s And 1970s Missions) ==Retirement== : The content of this section cannot be trusted. In 1974, with the eruption of the Watergate Scandal, the IMF was revealed as a public entity and Phelps was put on trial for its activities. For refusing to testify before Congress on a number of charges, Phelps was sentenced to six years in a federal penitentiary. (unproduced Mission: Impossible 1980) After his release from prison, he briefly formed a small squad with Hand, Carter, and Collier in order to take down rogue IMF agent John Victor. (Mission: Impossible 1980) This squad was soon replaced with another covert IMF formed by Phelps and Collier. Sometime after stopping a massive terrorist attack and rescuing a kidnapped scientist, Phelps retired from IMF service. (unproduced Mission: Impossible 1981, unproduced film Good Morning, Mr. Phelps) This information is directly contradicted by dialogue in the Mission Impossible 1988 episode "Reprisal" Wherein Phelps and former IMF Agent Lisa Casey mention last seeing each other after a mission "nine years ago" , thus about 1979 or 1980. The arrest of rogue IMF scientist Russel Acker occurred some time between a car accident Acker was involved in sometime in 1974 and the previously mentioned mission, probably 1975. ==Return to IMF Service and Apparent Betrayal== : Sections regarding his specific missions from 1988-1990 are incomplete, and those from the film starring Tom Cruise cannot be trusted. After the death of IMF leader Tom Copperfield, Phelps left retirement to lead his squad, which included Nicholas Black, former ANZAC sergeant Maxwell Hart, Grant Collier, Casey Randall, and later Shannon Reed. (Mission: Impossible--The 1988 Missions)

The feature film Edit

Phelps served as the Impossible Mission Force team leader and starts out as a friend/mentor/father-figure of Ethan Hunt. After being driven into having a psychotic breakdown by his disillusionment following many years of service, he is secretly involved in a conspiracy and during one of their missions he fakes his own death while three other IMF agents die courtesy of him. Later on in the film, he appears before Hunt and betrays him after it is revealed he faked his death and sold out the U.S. to a weapons dealer known as Max. During the climax, Phelps and Hunt fight on the roof of a speeding train, and as Phelps tries to escape in a helicopter, Hunt destroys it with an exploding chewing gum gadget. The flaming remains of the helicopter then crush the psychotic and sociopathic Phelps into the train tracks, to his death.

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