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, 1 October 2010

It's a Desert Out There s2ep17

co-starring: Jeannie Wilson as Lila Palmer, Robert Dryer as Al Driscoll, Tony Burton as Burke, Anthony James as Flagg
Written by Bruce Cervi
Directed by Arnold Laven

The team are hired to catch a gang of thugs who are robbing tourists returning from a casino.

Although weak by season two standards, this is still a watchable episode, helped by the high production values that came as standard at the time. The story is set in the desert and much of the episode comes across like its location: rather dry, flat and empty. The majority of scenes simply advance the plot without being particularly dramatic or amusing.

As the casino pit boss who tips off the gang, Wilson has a more substantial role than most guest stars, appearing in more scenes than anyone else in the first half before disappearing at the halfway point. She plays the part well, particularly in a scene in which she gives a drugged drink to Face who collapses onto the floor to her dismissive “Cheers”. If she looks familiar, it may be because Wilson co-starred with Rex Smith in another eighties action series, “Street Hawk”.

The action is at least different, featuring off-road buggys in a series of well-staged chase sequences. The pacing is off though and this all feels closer to an hour than it does 45 minutes. Things pick up in the later stages after a plot turn at the halfway point turns the story into something reminiscent of the Clint Eastwood film “The Gauntlet”. There’s a nice moment between Hannibal and Face as they realise events are unfolding quickly (“Is there time?”, “Is there ever?”). By later standards, this would be an above average episode but as part of season two, it's a disappointment. 7/10.

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