Mission Improbable



Sue Perkins


Henry Naylor and Pauline McLynn


LWT for Channel 5, 2001


Alright, it's Channel 5 and it's on really late so get all those 'Ratings Improbable' jokes out of your system now.

Done that? Good.

Mission Improbable - already a contender for our "Least Appropriate Game Show Title of 2001" Award - challenges two teams of celebs you've heard of somewhere before to make movie magic (or something) on a budget of £750 given 48 hours, a title, a few production-y type people and three bizarre and random things to try and include in the film for extra bonus points (a bit like Go Getters - shudder). The films are judged out of 50 by the B-list celebrity judge.

Guest judge Jack Docherty with host Sue Perkins.

In the first half of the show we'll see how they get on pre-production and filming wise, with a bias towards how they're going to fit things like "a nun skiing" and "getting an MP to do a Michael Caine impression" into the film.

The team get their tasks

After the break we get to see the two teams' films, introduced by the team captain of each one... although the running gag seems to be "this film is awful". Now, having made films myself on a media course, your reviewer (hello!) can totally associate with how awful these low budget short films are - and our budget was approximately £745 less doncha know.

Can you hear me at the back?

Whilst they are amusing most of the gags are stretched a little too far and are a bit nonsensical to fit the random challenges in. Remember, the best situations in improv shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? are those that were strange but not too strange.

Nice picture house set though. It literally is a screen in a small cinema, we think.

What's the likelihood there'll be a Westlers hotdogs advert any time soon?

So not a Sleepy Hollow or a Gladiator of a show then, but neither is it Any Romantic Comedy Starring Drew Barrymore either. It'd probably best be described as Titanic when the ship is just starting to sink but then, in a cunning random Channel 5 American plot twist, magically finding buoyancy because it turns out the ship was made entirely out of floating balsa wood. Or something.

Web links

Channel 5


The title screen for one of the films.


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