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, 10 December 2010

Cup 'A Joe s3ep14

Co-starring: John Ashton as Cactus Jack Slater, Lisa Denton as Patty Dutton, Claude Earl Jones as Skeeter, Dave Shelley as Joe Dutton, Gary Lee Davis
Written by Dennis O’Keefe
Directed by Craig R Baxley

The team help a family who are being pressurised into selling their diner by a local rival.

It may not be particularly original but this is an enjoyable episode of a type that was the bread and butter of the show (pun intended). Writer O’Keefe is clearly writing to what he sees as the stock A-Team formula but the cast really knew the parts they had to play in this type of episode by now and there’s a strong sense of the camaraderie among the team. Ashton (best known for his role in ‘Beverly Hills Cop’) makes for an effectively threatening villain and Denton (as Patty, the daughter of the couple who own the diner) is gorgeous even by the usual high eye candy standards.

In many ways, this is even more of an archetypal episode than ‘The Taxi Cab Wars’, ticking off pretty much every familiar A-Team situation. So along the way we have the infiltration of the villain’s headquarters and subsequent action breakout, Face smooth-talking his way into Ashton’s office, an attack on Joe’s diner that leaves Ashton leaving with his tail between his legs and an armor-plated vehicle build for the final confrontation.

Face tries his best to charm Patty, Murdock creates culinary masterpieces in his role as chef and he also gets to try out his Darth Vader impression in a scam with Face. As an in-joke, the driver of Ashton’s rig is played by Jim Boeke who previously appeared as a rig owner way back in season one’s ‘West Coast Turnaround’.

The action is frequent and well-delivered by Baxley and the final set piece is suitably spectacular. The overall effect could hardly be more derivative but even if this is The A-Team On Autopilot, it’s as good a summary of what the show was all about as you would find in any season. 8/10

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