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!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Black Day at Bad Rock s1ep5

co-starring: Ed Lauter as Sheriff Thompson, Tricia O'Neal as Dr Maggie Sullivan, John Dennis Johnston as Snake, Sid Haig as Sonny Jenko, Ted Gehring as Deputy Harmson
Written by Patrick Hasburgh
Directed by Christian I Nyby Jr

After BA is shot, the team take refuge in a small town which is under threat from a biker gang.

This highly entertaining episode establishes real momentum early on with the injury to BA and the pace never lets up from thereonin. There’s no time for an elaborate Murdock breakout scene, the dual stories keep the focus very much on the plot and the impending arrival of the military police adds a sense of urgency. Among the memorable moments are BA getting some of Murdock’s blood in an emergency transfusion and the ribbing from Murdock that follows. There is also a rare romance for Hannibal with local doctor Sullivan, a character who would return in the season two episode “Deadly Maneuvers”. In a strange coincidence, Lauter (who plays the sheriff of Bad Rock) also makes an appearance in “Deadly Maneuvers” but plays a different character to the one he plays here.

This is a good episode for Culea as well and you can see how her good friendship with Schultz off-screen adds something to her scenes with him in the car. The episode soon builds to well-staged battle as the team and local police join forces to fight against the biker gang on the main street of Bad Rock. It is all very effective and much of the success of the episode is down to the quality of the script from Patrick Hasburgh. There isn't any padding, every scene has a definite point and then ends quickly having made it. It all adds up to a classic episode that is the highlight of the first half of the season. 10/10.
Incidentally, the title is a play on words on the classic 1955 Spencer Tracy film “Bad Day at Black Rock”, though in terms of plot, the episode is much more like the John Wayne classic “Rio Bravo”.

1 comment:

  1. My all-time favorite season one episode! The story gives us a lot of unique interaction among the Team members, with lots of comedy (B.A. afraid that Murdock's blood will make him crazy, Face afraid B.A.'s going to kill him). The romance between Hannibal and Maggie Sullivan is successful, and it's fun to see the A-Team siding with the law and proving to everyone that they really are the good guys. Also a treat to see the inimitable Sid Haig as the biker gang's leader. HoganMonkey's rating of 10/10 is spot on!