Mission: Impossible/Barney Collier

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Barney Collier
Mission: Impossible
Actor Greg Morris
First Appearance
Series Billing
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Basic Information

The computer whiz on the team, Barney is arguably one of the best communications officer in the spy genres. While he is a computer genius and is shown in several episodes to have a reasonable knowledge of physics and chemistry (at least as far as they relate to missiles, mind-control drugs, and secret formulas), he is very down-to-earth and seems as comfortable in dirty overalls as a lab coat. Barney is one of the more honorable team members on the Mission Impossible force, in several cases refusing to kill in order to save himself.

Character History

Barney Collier first appears in the pilot, in which he contributes by setting off a fireworks display as a distraction. However, after the pilot he becomes more of a major team member. "Old Man Out", only two episodes later, contains some impressive character development for both Barney and female agent Cinnamon as they cheerfully banter in a circus trailer. At this point in the series, Barney is portrayed as the most optimistic and light-hearted team member, a foil for Dan Briggs' serious and, at times, dark personality. For instance, in "Old Man Out", a contrast is evident between Dan and Barney in how they handle danger: when Dan realizes Rollin is in trouble, he either kills or incapacitates a guard in order to take on a dual identity. Later on in the episode, when Barney faces a similar situation, he puts on a playful distraction as a circus clown, successfully and nonviolently averting danger. However, Barney's lighthearted optimism slowly fades over the series, perhaps as a result of his consistent dealing with the underworld; this change is most evident in "Catspaw", when Barney's brother is killed and he asks the IMF to help avenge his death. However, even in "Catspaw", Barney is never cynical, and seems more interested in dealing out justice than revenge- he does not try to kill, but to expose the corrupt officials responsible for his brother's death. Over the series, Barney remains the most "honorable" agent, never serving as a romantic decoy like Jim or Paris, and consistently attempting to solve problems through diplomacy before resorting to violence. In "Death Squad", he accidentally kills a man defending his girlfriend, and is marked for death by the corrupt chief of police; however, Jim & company manage to rescue him before the police chief can make good on his threat. In "The Hunted", he is wounded and pursued in a racist African colony, and shelters at the house of a deaf woman until the IMF return for him. One of his more humorous roles occurred in "The Martyr", when the IMF targeted a corrupt European government and needed to infiltrate a government building. Barney realized he could break out of a small holding cell, so he assumed the disguise of a peace activist/hippie in order to get arrested. GregMorris_as_BarneyCollier.jpg

Memorable Moments