About this blog

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ... The A-Team.

This was the introduction to one of the great TV series of the eighties. The purpose of this blog is to build up the definitive episode guide to the show across its five seasons which ran from 1983 to 1987. So this isn't too much of a burden, I'm intending to watch a couple of episodes a week and given that there were around 100 episodes made during its run, this will turn into a year-long project!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Children of Jamestown s1ep2

co-starring: John Saxon as Martin James, Gerrit Graham as Brother Stephen, Ron Hayes as Tim Coulton, John Carter as Sheila's Father, Sherilyn Wolter as Coulton's daughter, Carol Jones as Sheila Rogers
Written by Stephen J. Cannell
Directed by Christian I Nyby Jr

The team are hired to rescue a girl being held by a religious cult.

The first 45-minute A-Team episode is, in terms of tone, one of the more serious. The scene in which the captured team talk to frightened Amy about accepting death is one of the darkest moments in any episode. Saxon gives a bizzare but memorable performance as the leader of the cult, sometimes seeming to have wandered in from an entirely different TV show. There is some good humour to lighten the mood, notably a running gag about Hannibal's boots. When told to take them off, Hannibal states, “These are $600 ostrich boots, Jack. Tell you what, I'll hang onto them and if the maker wants them, I'll see to it he gets them” and later, “He stole my boots, nobody steals my boots”.

The action takes over in the second half with the team attacking the religious compound in a jeep armed with a flamethrower and then defending a farm where they have taken refuge. Of course, the farmer’s daughter falls for Face who was almost knocked out in an earlier fight. She is convinced he should rest rather than prepare for the battle ahead (“On your feet Lieutenant!” growls Smith in response). It all builds to a lively final showdown in which acetylene tanks are used as improvised rocket launchers. Cue plenty of explosions and the requisite jeep flipping.

Schultz has said on a number of occasions that he expected to be fired during the pilot as the producers didn't like his performance. When Murdock proved to be a popular character, he was quickly added into the early episodes which had initially been written without him. Certainly in this episode Murdock's scenes seem to have been tacked on. He is separated from the rest of the group for most of the running time and largely unnecessary to the plot. 8/10


  1. One of my all time favorites! The part where after being captured, each team member recites things they observed on the outside before being locked up: how many guards, how many buildings, what kind of fences, etc, really shows their ability to function as a team, and informs a bit about their military background as well.

  2. This episode is much darker than it may appear at first glance, if you know that the inspiration for Jamestown and its leader Martin James was the real-life Jonestown cult of the 1970s, and its leader Jim Jones. The massacre of the real Jonestown members adds a very sinister level to this episode, as we wonder what fate might have befallen the kids in this story if the Team had not intervened.

    Dirk Benedict and the A-Team van both make their debuts in this episode.

    A sidenote: Gerrit Graham disappears halfway through the episode, never to be seen or mentioned again.

  3. I really like this one. I feel like it shows the men really working together as a team. I think it was a great episode for Amy, as she was tested for the first time. She had a stake in the pilot episode--her friend. Here, she didn't, and she came through with help from the others.