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, 18 July 2010

The Beast from the Belly of a Boeing s1ep12

co-starring: Andrew Robinson as Jackson, Alan Stock as Thomas, Jim McKrell as Larry Hertzog, Michael Swan as Trigg, Jesse D. Goins as Phillips
Written by Patrick Hasburgh
Directed by Ron Satlof

The team are hired to get back control of a plane that has been hijacked.

A solid first season episode, engrossing enough as far as it goes but rather flat in the opening stages and relying too much on familiar plane drama clich├ęs to be one of the A-Team greats. It is best remembered for the classic scene in which BA goes into a trance after getting caught in the baggage hold as the plane takes off (Murdock: ”BA, just try to breathe deep. OK, forget deep and just try to breathe”). The rest is perfectly watchable and put together with good humour but the progression of the plot in the later stages follows a standard path that was old hat when it was used back in 1975 in the film “Airport”. (Incidentally, the shot of the 747 'reaching' the airport lounge is taken from “Airport” which was also made by Universal).

Although the routine plot isn’t an asset, the lighter moments carry the episode through with Murdock suddenly appearing when Face goes to the toilet, Hannibal having moustache issues and a duet of “You Are My Sunshine” performed by Face and Hannibal. There’s a strange cut when Murdock knocks out one of the hijackers, suggesting the scene was changed to having him hit the guard in the stomach with a spanner rather than on the head as originally filmed. Not exactly shocking violence but maybe Universal were worried about copycat spanner attacks by young fans of the show?! Murdock is declared sane and released from his psychiatric unit at the start of the episode, a subplot which is touched upon throughout but pays off well in the final scene. 8/10.

1 comment:

  1. One of my faves!

    This is one of several episodes where the A-Team comes up with a plan based on a movie that one of the Team members has seen. In this case it’s the 1971 TV movie “Terror in the Sky” (which coincidentally features Jack Ging, an actor who would later guest star in no less than eight “A-Team” episodes). “Terror in the Sky” is a remake of a 1957 film called “Zero Hour,” and was later spoofed in the movie “Airplane!” (1980). The clip of the 747 near the end of this “A-Team” episode is from “Airplane!”

    The terrorist leader Jackson is played by the brilliant Andrew Robinson, who is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the serial killer in the original “Dirty Harry,” as well as starring in the original “Hellraiser.”

    You can also spot a young Xander Berkeley (“Air Force One,” “Gattaca,” “24,” “Taken”) as terrorist henchman Baker.