A top photographer (David Redding) is really a spy operative and needs to be stopped. He holds the key to the names of plague-carrying foreign agents headed for the United States.
- Peter Graves as Jim Phelps
- Martin Landau as Rollin Hand
- Barbara Bain as Cinnamon Carter
- Greg Morris as Barney Collier
- Peter Lupus as Willy Armitage
- Anthony Zerbe as David Redding
- John Randolph as Alex Morley
- Kathleen Hughes as Fran Williams
- Lumila as Mandy
This mission was the first to use the falsified environment of "(NOT) ending this world." It proved to be effective enough to be repeated, with minor variants of detail, for later missions. William Read Woodfield, writing partner of Allan Balter, told Patrick J. White when White was compiling The Complete "Mission: Impossible" Dossier, "WE (meaning he and Balter) never did it again."
His and Balter's real purpose was to describe a mission target who had not "been done to death." They decided upon chronicling the activities of such a mission target as would have been the child of a supposed traitor or supposed traitors who had been wrongly convicted and unjustly executed, as had been accused of having been the case in 1953 with the Rosenberg spouses, Julius and Ethel.
Ultimately, James Phelps pointed out to David Redding, the mission target, that if his father's execution was indeed unjust, then that injustice was the result of both Reddings's common partner, Alexander Morley, having framed the elder Redding; Phelps explained to the younger Redding that Morley "was an enemy agent--even then."