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!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

In Plane Sight s2ep13

co-starring: Anthony Charnota as Wilson Corless, Judy Strangis as Judy Rogers, Lance Henriksen as Mack Dalton, Carmen Argenziano as Colonel Sanchez, Rod Colbin as Jes Hicks
Written by Babs Greyhosky
Directed by Tony Mordente

The team are hired by a family to help clear their son, who was arrested after unknowingly smuggling drugs, by exposing the real smugglers.

A very entertaining episode, best remembered for the scenes involving hypnotising BA to get him aboard the plane without the need for injections, spiked milk, drugged hamburgers or planks of wood. It's a source of great comedy, having BA pass out every time anyone says “eclipse” and meaning the Team are forced to take Judy along for the ride (meaning Amy is not missed).

This was the last episode written by Greyhosky, an excellent writer who had a knack for delivering strong scripts such as Till Death Us Do Part and Holiday in the Hills (from which this borrows its opening aerial footage). Her episodes were distinguished by an ear for sharp comic dialogue and the ability to capture the essence of each character. A clever move here is to have Murdock play his scenes straight early on, the repression of his normal mania being funny in itself (particularly in his scene with Hannibal in the cockpit after take-off).

The main action set-piece here has the plane taxiing through the jungle, pursued by two jeeps. It's a unique chase by A-Team standards, although the episode is better in its dialogue scenes than its action. Murdock has to feign madness (not exactly difficult) and Face has to pose as his doctor to lead the smugglers to an ambush at the plane.

It’s very much a comedy-driven episode from BA's smile when handed soup by Judy’s mom to Hannibal's duck call and Murdock sneezing into the cocaine. Not one for action fans perhaps but if you like a good dose of comedy with your episodes, this could well turn out to be one of your favourites. 9/10.

1 comment:

  1. Well, H.M., I didn't think this was a great episode, but your review is spot-on in pointing out its strengths and weakne5sses. The interaction among the Team members and the comic dialogue were the high points. I didn't think the duck call gag was really that funny, but the hypnosis was hilarious, as was Murdock's "going straight."

    Yeah, I definitely feel that Judy was included to be the "Amy" in this episode. Perhaps this was originally scripted while Melinda was still on the show, and then rewritten after she left? Note that during one scene of expositionary dialogue, rather than have Amy around to fill them in on Corliss' background, we have Face saying "Hey, Amy was talking about this guy..." They're clearly trying to fill the Amy gap in this episode.

    Lance Henriksen guest stars in this episode, right before he appeared in "The Terminator" and "Aliens."

    This is the first of eight A-Team episodes directed by Tony Mordente, famous for having played Action, one of the Jets in "West Side Story."