I had an epiphany of sorts recently, while filling out some questions for an MFRW blog. One question asked what was your favorite toy as a kid. Mine was my collection of Barbies, and a couple of male dolls--Ken and Alan. And I started thinking about how I used to play with them. All of my dolls were international secret agents, living exciting lives, doing dangerous things to keep the world safe for humanity. Just where did I get ideas for the adventures my dolls had? From my favorite TV shows!
Honey West was the first female spy on TV, though there had been male spies like Secret Agent Man Patrick McGoohan, who went on to star in The Prisoner also. Then there was The Man From U.N.C.L.E, followed by The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. (Why a girl? She was way over 18! I was upset about this anti-feminist issue even back then.) And Get Smart, though that was just played for laughs.
But my favorite show was Mission Impossible! I can hear the theme song by Lalo Schifrin in my ears--I even learned to play it on the piano. Each week, Jim Phelps would assemble the I.M.F. (Impossible Mission Force) team to interfere in some madman's scheme to create chaos and gain power. Each week they would foil the villain's plans, and walk away, smug in their knowledge that the world was a safer place because they'd done their job well.
When the TV show was rebooted in the 80's, it still had Jim Phelps, who was older but still suave. But he had a new crew of IMF agents. Among them was the son of one of his original members--Grant, the sole Black man on the new team, was the son of Barney, the sole Black man on the original team. And there were a few episodes where both were involved in the plots--Barney as a retired agent. They were played by an actual father (Greg Morris) and son (Phillip Morris).
And in one of their episodes, a female agent actually gets killed, so she's disavowed by the agency, as the taped voice that provides the assignments every week says in a monotone. It's up to the team to bring her killers to justice, with the help of another woman who then joins the team. Because there can't be more than one Black man, or more than one woman on the team at the same time--that does kind of date the show, but I love it anyway.
My husband bought me both seasons of the reboot, so I can watch the episodes any time I want to. I tell him they're comfort viewing for me, because no matter how despicable and execrable the villains are, they're always brought down by the IMF team. And how often in the real world, does that actually happen? So many evil villains achieve their goals, and no one can touch them, because their money and power protects them. Where's the IMF team when you need them?
If you've read this far, I have a reward for you. Leave me a comment, and I'll send you a Smashwords coupon code to get a free copy of my first female spy book: Secret Lover. I'll send it via email, which I can access from your comment. Then you can decide if I've done the genre justice. And maybe, should you choose to accept it, you'll want to read the sequel, Undercover Lovers, which features my first attempt at a menage scene.
What are the favorite shows of other authors? Check it out!