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, 9 January 2011

Knights of the Road s3ep20

Co-starring: Don Stroud as Tyler, Carlos Romero as Zuniga, Jim McMullan as Robert Corson, Deborah Goodrich as Jenny Corson
Written by Steven L Sears, Burt Pearl
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

The team are hired by a breakdown firm who are being forced out of business by a local rival.

It’s another appearance for the standard A-Team plot (with the rival having ulterior motives for wanting the competition eliminated) and there’s a definite resemblance to the classic ‘The Taxi Cab Wars’ here . Any comparison is unfavourable though as this is a lacklustre episode, one in which a lot of time passes without a great deal happening.

The whole episode is a bit of a plod with generally flat dialogue and little to spark the interest. There's a subplot about Face being given the brush off by Jenny which leads to some humorous moments between Face and Murdock (who feels he is losing his touch). There is, unusually, a song montage of the team turning the rival breakdown company's business upside down and as spirited as the sequence is, it does rather look like padding.

Things should kick up a gear at the halfway point when Murdock is separated from the rest of the group who set out to get him back. Unfortunately, the episode still never really gets going, simply moving from one scene to the next with ordinary dialogue punctuated by uninspiring action. Occassional bright spots (Murdock emerging from being hidden in a car to the tune of 2001 and his later spaghetti western cowboy imitation) can’t disguise the drab plotting.

There are two construction montages to fill out the running time and then just as the episode seems to be ending, it goes on for another ten minnutes. You may well have nodded off by the time we get to the inevitable tow truck flip. 5/10

1 comment:

  1. I'd actually rate this one slightly higher than Sears and Pearl's next contribution, Trouble Brewing, as well as subsequent filler like Waste `Em.

    I like the fact that it focuses less on the business owner's plight, and more on the team completely outclassing Tyler and his men. Up until the last minute double-cross, it's pretty much a complete rout of the bad guys.

    Murdock also has just enough bright spots to keep it afloat, from his obsession with knights to homaging Eastwood. His concerns over Face's difficulty with Jenny feels oddly out of place, though, as if it were a leftover gag from another episode.

    On a side note, there's a continuity error during the second construction montage: As the team prepares to head to Mexico- and rescue Murdock- you can see the sleeves of Murdock's jacket as he washes the truck. A few shots later, you can glimpse Murdock's reflection in the chrome of a hubcap B.A. places on the tire.