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!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Holiday in the Hills s1ep8

co-starring: Edward Winter as Mitchell Barnes, Philip Sterling as Grant Eldridge, Denise Galik as Louanne, John Perak as Captain Stewart, Bill McKinney as Clint, Micky Jones as Redneck
Written by Babs Greyhosky
Directed by Arnold Laven

Returning from a mission, the team crash in a forest surrounded by mountains and go up against a lynch mob.

A highly entertaining episode, this was the first written by Greyhosky who would go on to pen a number of the better episodes in the first two seasons including “Till Death Us Do Part” and “In Plane Sight”. There's a great opening to this one in which Hannibal, Face and BA have finished a mission in Guatemala and Murdock flies in to the rescue. It is one of the great A-Team set-pieces and works very much like a James Bond pre-title sequence. Indeed, the whole opening was lifted and used as a pre-title sequence in the last ever A-Team episode, “Without Reservations”.

As with all Greyhosky episodes, there is some great dialogue and interplay between the team which is relished by the cast. The scene in which the plane starts to go down is as funny a moment as you’ll find in any episode. This one of the key Murdock episodes that helped establish him as a fan favourite. He flies out of the forest in an ultralite built from parts of the downed plane and gets to use a number of different accents along the way (polite english: “By the way, would you mind awfully if I borrowed your shiny little chopper?”)

Film fans will note that the redneck lynchmob is led by none other than Bill McKinney who is best known for his unforgettable performance as a deranged backwaters mountain man in the classic 1972 film “Deliverance”. McKinney also starred in a number of movies with Clint Eastwood and his character name of Clint is a typical A-Team in-joke.

The only weak link comes from a unnecessary subplot in which Amy is followed around by a reporter who is working for the military in one of their many attempts to corner the team. Eldridge appears as Amy’s boss for second and final time and Winter is appropriately slimy as the reporter but these various scenes are not particularly interesting and only really serve to give Amy something to do. Still, the main story moves along at a brisk pace, there's lots of good humour throughout and the sense of camaraderie among the team has rarely been better represented. 9.5/10

1 comment:

  1. My favorite Season One episode, or at least a tie with "Black Day at Bad Rock." I always felt that this episode showed us what the A-Team was like back when they were in Vietnam together, as the circumstances are somewhat similar (and there are numerous references in this episode to their Vietnam experiences to emphasize the parallels).

    This is one of several episodes where the Team gets the idea for their plan from a movie. In this case it's "Flight of the Phoenix" (1965).

    Fans of 80s sci-fi will recognize two actors from "V: The Final Battle" (1984). Mickey Jones, the heavyset, bearded redneck in the red flannel shirt, played Michael Ironside's sidekick in "V." The adorable Denise Galik played Maggie, a member of the resistance movement.

    I agree with H.M. about the flawed subplot with Amy Allen and the windbag journalist. I recommend you fast forward through these scenes. My only other complaint: How could Face run right into a tree like that?