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!

Friday, 4 March 2011

The Doctor is Out s4ep11

Co-starring: Jeanetta Arnette as Betty, Geoffrey Lewis as Colonel Stoddard, Daniel Davis as Phillips, Richard Anderson as Dr Richter, Danny Mora as Shelton
Written by Richard C Matheson, Thomas Szollosi
Directed by David Hemmings

The team travel to South America to rescue Murdock’s psychiatrist after he is kidnapped.

Actually quite a reasonable episode by season four standards, this is an enjoyably plot-driven tale with a good mix of story and action. Things get off to a bit of a slow start but once the pursuit of Murdock’s shrink gets properly underway, the sense of pace and twisting storyline carry it through.

The increase in quality is down to the return of the writing team of Matheson and Szollosi, who were responsible for a number of strong episodes in earlier seasons (Say It With Bullets, Deadly Manuevers). Of course, a good script requires the cast to rise to the occasion and this they do, such as in the great scene in which Murdock poses as a scoutmaster who has captured Face.

There’s actually a lot of plot to get through in 45 minutes, in particular the continued question marks over the motives of Betty (well-played in support by Arnette). The character switches sides throughout which means a healthy dose of intrigue, something the episode needs as the reason for the doctor’s kidnap is not all that interesting.

The plot is rather ABC in the second half, basically following a fight, capture, escape, fight, capture, escape structure. Still, the action is solid, particularly in a final set piece that is among the best of the season. It may not reach the heights of Matheson/Szollosi’s very best episodes but as season four goes, it’s a welcome cut above. 7.5/10

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