Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)
3 user 1 critic

The Reluctant Dragon 

The IMF seeks to smuggle an important scientist, with the help of his wife, out from behind the Iron Curtain. They discover belatedly that he doesn't want to leave.


Leonard J. Horn


Bruce Geller (created by), Chester Krumholz




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Hill ... Daniel Briggs
Barbara Bain ... Cinnamon Carter (credit only)
Greg Morris ... Barney Collier
Peter Lupus ... Willy Armitage (credit only)
Martin Landau ... Rollin Hand
Joseph Campanella ... Dr. Helmut Cherlotov
John Colicos ... Commissioner Taal Jankowski
Mala Powers ... Dr. Karen Cherlotov
Michael Forest ... Lupesh
Elisa Ingram Elisa Ingram ... Sophia
Alex Rodine ... Duchinoff
Norbert Schiller ... Lauchek
Norbert Meisel Norbert Meisel ... Berkov
Allen Bleiweiss Allen Bleiweiss ... Lukowski
Robert Boon Robert Boon ... Kravetsky


Briggs, Barney and Rollin are on a mission to get a scientist out from behind the Iron Curtain. His wife, who is assisting the IMF, had defected a year earlier but he didn't follow her. As the mission unfolds, it's clear that the scientist never intended to defect and is still loyal to his country. Now, Briggs & Co. shift gears to convince the scientist to join the West. Written by Bill Koenig

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 January 1967 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Desilu Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(168 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The map shown to Mrs. Cherlotov when she is asked to trace her escape route is actually a contemporary map of the border between West Germany and Czechoslovakia, with the border area highlighted in blue and some made-up city names (e.g., "Beoun") -- somewhat like the "Gellerese" shown on street signs and the like. See more »


Rollin drives a right-hand-drive car in an eastern bloc country. See more »


[first lines]
Person on Tape: [voice on tape] Good morning, Mr. Briggs. The man you're looking at is Helmut Cherlotov, the Iron Curtain's expert in rocket control. A year ago, his wife, Karen, defected to the West. He was supposed to follow, but never made it. Since then, Cherlotov has been under suspicion by Taal Jankowski, the head of security. On his own, Cherlotov has developed the key to a simple yet extremely effective anti-ballistic-missile system. A system of that sort, in the wrong hands, could ...
See more »


References The Reluctant Dragon (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Amazingly violent.
6 February 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Dr. Karen Cherlotov (Mala Powers) defected from behind the Iron Curtain. Now she's approached the IM Force in order to get them to get her husband, Dr. Helmut Cherlotov (Joseph Campanella) out of the country as well. However, when Rollin meets Helmut, he soon realizes that the man does NOT want to defect and his wife lied about this. His desire to stay and work on missile guidance for the enemy is a surprise, as his government no longer trusts him due to his wife's actions. In particular, Commissioner Jankowski (John Colicos) is making Helmut's life miserable. So, instead of getting Helmut to defect, Rollin must first help open the doctor's eyes and make him want to leave.

"The Reluctant Dragon" is a very violent episode with Rollin killing one guy and shooting another. This is very atypical for the series but made sense as you'd think spies would occasionally kill in real life. It's also a dandy episode--thanks mostly to a nice guest appearance by Colicos--a guy was was remarkably good at playing bad! during fight, it's obviously not Rollin

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed