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The history of Mission: Impossible

Tracking the varied adventures of Ethan Hunt and the crew from beginning to end

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mission impossible fallout - tom cruise on a helicopter Paramount Pictures
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

This week on The History of Fun, we’ve brought in a special guest, senior entertainment editor Matt Patches, to talk about one of the longest-running and most enjoyable action film series ever: Mission: Impossible.

Starting with its origins as a Cold War-era TV show, we dive into each of the installments, discussing what worked, what didn’t and why Jeremy Renner was never going to take over for ol’ Tom.

Due to a bit of a brain fart, I wasn’t able to get questions from the fans this week, but it’s probably for the best, as this is our longest episode ever. Brief history, not quite! If you have a favorite Mission Impossible movie or a ridiculous opinion to share (like Patches’ take that “Mission: Impossible 2 is actually kinda good!”), do so in the comments or in our reviews on Apple Podcasts.

Enjoying The History of Fun? Be sure to rate and subscribe on Apple Podcasts! Every rating and review is a big help to us, getting the word out to more listeners.

New to The History of Fun? Every Monday, Russ Frushtick, Allegra Frank and Chris Plante explore the hidden backstories behind the things we love to do. Ever wonder where dodgeball came from? Or the origins of the creepy Chuck E. Cheese robots? Or how about why Beanie Babies exploded and then vanished into the sands of time? We’ll seek to answer those questions and have some fun along the way! Subscribe and join us — we’d love to have you.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.