Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)
3 user

The Contender: Part 1 

Phelps & Co. go after a crooked fight promoter who has gained a stranglehold over boxing and wants to extend the Syndicate's influence into other sports worldwide. The promoter is ruthless,... See full summary »


Paul Stanley


Bruce Geller (created by), William Read Woodfield | 1 more credit »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Graves ... James Phelps
Martin Landau ... Rollin Hand
Barbara Bain ... Cinnamon Carter
Greg Morris ... Barney Collier
Peter Lupus ... Willy Armitage
Ron Randell ... Charles Buckman
John Dehner ... Dan Whelan
Sugar Ray Robinson Sugar Ray Robinson ... Wesley
Robert Phillips ... Ernie Staczek
Ron Rich ... Richy Lemoine
Wayne McLaren Wayne McLaren ... Artie Calvitos
Thomas A. Geas Thomas A. Geas ... Vince (as Thomas Geas)
Joey Giambra Joey Giambra ... Stevens
Jimmy Gambina ... Trainer (as James Gambina)
Jimmy Lennon Sr. Jimmy Lennon Sr. ... Announcer (as Jimmy Lennon)




Phelps & Co. go after a crooked fight promoter who has gained a stranglehold over boxing and wants to extend the Syndicate's influence into other sports worldwide. The promoter is ruthless, as demonstrated when he orders a boxer killed because he would not take a dive. The IMF recruits a former fighter whose hands were ruined for boxing because of his military service. Barney trains as a boxer, assuming the former fighter's identity. Barney attracts the interest of the crooked promoter and is scheduled to box in a demonstration fight. Phelps, who is installing "special" equipment for the demonstration match is about to be discovered when hoods working for the crooked promoter return to the gym where the fight will take place. Written by Bill Koenig

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The location where most of the scenes were filmed was called "Haldeman's Gym." The production designer for this episode was Robert Haldeman. See more »


Even after Jim Phelps cuts the steam pipe to rig it, no condensate drains out. The pipe should have at least had residual fluid in it if it was carrying steam. See more »


[first lines]
James Phelps: [to man sitting on a boat] You got a five-eighths' horsepower?
See more »

User Reviews

Barney's Episode
27 January 2008 | by smartalanSee all my reviews

This is a major role for Greg Morris who takes the place of a boxer who injured his hands during the Vietnam war. He has to train as a boxer (although he had done some and was a local champion when he was in the service, Barney not Greg) in a small amount of time in order to set up a crooked promoter and gambling ring leader. This is developed over two episodes and creates a huge amount of tension as you invest yourself in Barney more than you have before. There is also a segment for Willy (Peter Lupus) that lasts for over a full commercial block that enhances the tension. The acting in this set of episodes is top notch and begins an upward spiral where the team all ups their acting to match Martin Landau who dominated in season 2. This is a great episode to see Barney Collier in a different milieu.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

6 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Women on Set: Celebrating Directors in Their Field

Inspired by The Farewell director Lulu Wang's call to action at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards, we celebrate women filmmakers working in their field.

Watch the video

Recently Viewed