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, 31 October 2010

Fire! s3ep4

co-starring: Stepfanie Kramer as Annie Sanders, Paul Gleason as Roy Kelsey, Alan Fudge as Elliot Farnell, Christopher Pennock as Palin, Charles Napier as Colonel Briggs, W.K. Stratton as Captain Royce, Buddy Garion as Vince Rogan
Written by Stephen Katz
Directed by Tony Mordente

The team are hired by a female fire chief who is being forced to sell her contract to a rival.

After the blip of the previous double episode, the series returns to its usual 45 minute format with a real winner. Writer Katz was always a reliable A-Team contributor, having been responsible for 'Curtain Call' and later 'Breakout', 'Road Games' and 'Bounty'.

What distinguishes this episode most is its strong cast. Fire chief Kramer (best known for her role in eighties tv series 'Hunter') is one of the show's strongest female characters. Gorgeous too! Gleason (Deputy Chief Dwayne Robinson from 'Die Hard') is also excellent as her somewhat dozy rival. Rounding off the supporting cast is Napier (who previously appeared in 'Labor Pains') as Decker replacement Colonel Briggs The suggestion is he's taking over the pursuit of the team but the character only appeared in this episode.

Murdock supplies the comedy in his guise as Fireman Fred (complete with soda bottle sidekick) and there's a good scene where he and Face infiltrate Gleason's headquarters. After a very strong opening, the pace flags somewhat in the middle section (a subplot involving the delivery of a safe being the main culprit) but there are enough story points going on to ensure the interest is maintained.

One of the subplots is a romance between Hannibal and fire chief Annie. Unlike some of the series romantic angles (particularly those involving BA), there does seem to be some real chemistry here and there's a lot of flirting going on throughout. The romance is set in motion in the initial meet-the-client scene and by the time Kramer has got round to asking if Hannibal is married, things are in danger of becoming too suggestive for a show targeted in part at a young audience.

With Lance LeGault in the Napier role, this episode could have been a classic but it's still highly entertaining and a finale involving dual firetrucks is an excellent set-piece. Recommended. 9/10

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