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!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Beverly Hills Assault s3ep23

Co-starring: Lloyd Bochner as Steffan Shawn, Dennis Franz as Brooks, Mayla McCashin as Peggy, Bruce Glover as Tepper, Kathy Witt as Diane
Written by Paul Bernbaum
Directed by Craig R. Baxley

The team are hired to find out who is responsible for putting a talented artist in the hospital.

A rather bland but not altogether unappealing season entry, this is rather too typical of the kind of episode penned by a first-time writer on the show. Writer Bernbaum would return in season five to good effect for 'Quarterback Sneak' and 'The Spy Who Mugged Me' but he lucks out here with a very ordinary story that feels too similar to the equally disappointing 'Hot Styles'.

The Beverly Hills setting is a help in the sense that it gives the episode a real rather than fake sense of location but there's also a suggestion that it was put together as something that could be shot cheaply on and around the streets of LA. Bochner (as a crooked art dealer) makes for an effective, well-spoken villain and a change from the usual stock heavy, though additional guest star Franz only appears for a few scenes at the very end of the show.

There's no action to speak of until the finale, unless you count knocking out a couple of security guards. Benedict does memorably scramble over a fence at one point without the aid of a stunt double, albeit in a rather undignified manner! Face posing as an art critic and Murdock posing as an artist are the main sources of humour, though the highlights in the comedy stakes are the scenes in which BA is kitted out in a suit and poses as a rich but temperamental sports star.

In the end though, this is not much more than reasonable time-filler if it catches you in the right frame of mind. There are enough individually good moments to mean it is by no means terrible but it remains A-Team on automatic from start to finish. 6/10

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