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, 23 February 2011

Blood, Sweat and Cheers s4ep8

Co-starring: Stuart Whitman as Jack Harmon, Wings Hauser as Kyle Ludwig, Ken Olandt as Kid Harmon, Toni Hudson as Dana Harmon, Lance LeGault as Colonel Decker, Carl Franklin as Captain Crane
Written by Tom Bolmquist
Directed by Sidney Hayes

The team help a friend who is being bullied by a rival on the car racing circuit.

A reasonable but unremarkable entry in the fourth season, a step up from the last two episodes but still weaker then the average in previous seasons. For a story based around car racing, it isn’t actually all that exciting and tends to plod along without ever quite sparking into life.

It’s a shame in many ways as Whitman was one of the show’s better guest actors and although he isn’t exactly wasted, the script could certainly have served him better. Whitman’s scenes do work well though and his character’s rivalry with Hannibal is one of the stronger parts of a rather weak episode. Hauser was always good value as a guest star in any TV show but his role is less interesting here than in his previous A-Team villain appearance in season three’s ‘The Big Squeeze’.

To brighten things up, Murdock has to pose as an Italian racing team owner, complete with curly wig and only one English phrase, “hello, how are you?” This means he has to speak in a series of strange Italian phrases that are subtitled for our relative amusement.

As in the previous episode, things pick up to a degree with the arrival of Decker (here appearing in his last episode until his brief cameo in season five’s ‘Trial by Fire’). He doesn’t actually have a great deal to do though and it’s hardly surprising this is a below average episode if the writer even fluffs Decker’s role. At least Murdock’s method of springing the team shows more originality than just donning a military uniform as he did in ‘Body Slam’.

There’s no sense in which this is a genuinely bad episode but like much of season four, it certainly seems to be lacking something. You can roughly divide season four into the strong eight, the middling eight and the dreadful eight. This one has mediocre written all over it. 6/10

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