One of the best things about fictional environments is that we can project our dreams on them. And kids of the 1970s universally projected dreams onto The Brady Bunch house.
We all wanted to live there. It was grander, fancier, and more modern than our own houses. Even that oh-so-fake backyard, with its Astroturfed lawn and false background blue sky, was very inviting in its sterility: it felt safe.
So, one of the worst things that can happen with a beloved fictional environment is when that fantasy is punctured. Maybe you visit the set and see it in all its blandness. Or you see production stills of the set–lit and empty. Or the rare photo of a studio guy pushing a broom across the set. The fantasy is dead.
Or–two dreams collide.
May I Borrow Your Set, Please?
When I first heard that the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) from the original Mission: Impossible TV show had invaded The Brady Bunch house, I thought it was a joke. I thought it had to be a stupid mash-up, where the IMF barges in with guns and– Cut to a shot of Cindy Brady holding a cap gun! Not so.
Both were filmed at Paramount Studios in the late 1960s and early 1970s, so sets would have been reused. Very Brady Blog shows us another Paramount set shared by the two shows.
In the MI episode ”Double Dead,” aired on February 12, 1972, the IMF enter a house that every person of a certain age will immediately know. Directly below, actors Linda Day George and Paul Koslo, enter The Brady Bunch house. Readers will recognize the green divider, wide door, red tile floor, and rock wall. Even the Chinese cabinet to the right and the little bull sculpture on the divider are the same. Below that, we see Alice answering the door.
And moving along toward the familiar Brady Bunch staircase area, we see that the staircase itself has been removed. But we can still make out the colored glass window above the stairs and rock fireplace.
Here is a YouTube of that clip from MI: