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, 9 February 2011

Where is the Monster When You Need Him? s4ep3

Co-starring: Michael Lerner as Jerry, Dennis Cole as Charles Lake, Lance Le Gault as Colonel Decker, Carl Franklin as Captain Crane, Walter Gotell as Ramon DeJarro, Judy Landers as Jennifer O’Hannorhan
Written by Stephen J Cannell
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

The team join Hannibal on his latest film shoot but find themselves up against a war criminal in hiding.

A watchable but rather empty episode from the pen of co-creator Cannell, one that gets off to a strong start but doesn’t live up to its initial promise. The opening in question is a car chase in the streets of LA as Decker pursues Hannibal to the tune of ‘Trouble on Wheels’. Is it me, though, or does the car look like it’s coming to a halt as soon as it hits the ramp?

What this episode mainly demonstrates is how possible it is to pad out 40 minutes of running time (45 less intro & opening and closing credits). Not a great deal actually happens here in terms of plot. A lot often seems to be about to happen but just as the story looks like it is about to get going, you realise it is actually winding down to a familiar capture/fight conclusion.

Hannibal and his film crew are met with a hostile reception on arrival on location but it takes too long to find out why and in the meantime, there’s too much milling around. There are individually clever moments, most notably when the team fool the local mercenary (terrible accent, by the way) into thinking they have real guns when all they actually have is props and squibs.

Face has to take over as leading man when the real star bolts and Murdock (mainly in the background here) gets a good speech as he reveals his stuntman alter-ego, ‘Tommy Danger’. Decker makes a re-appearance in the closing stages, though by this stage the way he doesn't think to check if the old guy in front of him is Hannibal when he has checked others before makes it all rather silly. One to file under initially intriguing but ultimately uninspiring. 6.5/10

1 comment:

  1. "the way he doesn't think to check if the old guy in front of him is Hannibal when he has checked others before makes it all rather silly"

    Face starring as the lead in a movie also contradicts the whole idea that Hannibal, as a wanted fugitive, must constantly resign himself to acting in a cheap monster suit.