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!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Skins s3ep17

Co-starring: John Quade as McKaydoo, John Calvin as Madrid, Daphne Maxwell as Kamora, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson as Novarro
Written by Mark Jones
Directed by Dennis Donnelly

The team are hired to travel to Kenya to fight some poachers who are killing animals in a nature preserve.

The show returns to a more traditional formula with this moderate entry in the third season, perhaps best described as a poor man’s ‘Diamonds n Dust’. It certainly opens strongly and seriously with poachers killing a ranger, a rare (almost) on-screen death. From thereonin though, there's a great deal of humour, beginning with Hannibal disguising himself as a robot for the meet-the-client scene. BA has a run-in with chimpanzee Kong (“Hey, get this thing off me!”) and the chimp then befriends Murdock (leading BA to remark, “That’s because you both have the same IQ”).

Given the episode’s supposed African location, much of it takes place indoors on sets which aren't entirely convincing. The would-be relationship between BA and Maxwell is as clumsily handed as all of BA’s romances on the show but at least adds an additional comic element to proceedings. There's also an interesting variation on the who-teams-with-who conversation in which Murdock asks if he can team up with the chimp (Hannibal: "No but you can have Face", Murdock: "It's not the same thing").

From the initial impression that the episode isn't going to get out and about much, things pick up a gear when the story does finally get out into the open. Interestingly, there's an almost re-run of the dynamite acquisition scene from 'Diamonds n Dust' when Face and Murdock pose as export inspectors. The stock villains don't exactly help matters but given how much the action dominates the second half, if you can forgive the rather obvious stock footage, there is much to enjoy here. 7/10

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