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!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Members Only s4ep15

Co-starring: Kevin McCarthy as Bob McKeever, Carole Cook as Mrs Prescott, Betsy Russell as Adrian Prescott, Barrie Ingham as Chuck LeGraw, Scott Colomby as Frank, Shecky Greene as himself, Jack Ging as General Fulbright
Written by Bill Nuss
Directed by Tony Mordente

Face takes Hannibal to the country club he has just joined where they meet Murdock and help a caddy who is being chased by crooks.

For me, this is another not-very-good entry into season four. It's not bad by any means but I still don’t rate Nuss as a writer, even though some of his episodes (There Goes the Neighbourhood, Wheel of Fortune) are among the better ones in the season.

There are many disparate elements at work here and it doesn’t quite add up to a cohesive whole. As with most Nuss episodes, the tone is very lightweight which makes it a pleasant timefiller if you’re in the mood but for me, there’s definitely something lacking.

One thing that is certainly lacking is BA, who once again appears only sporadically here. Missing from the early stages, BA suddenly appears without any explanation as to where he’s been. Then, apart from being in the background during the golf sequence, he disappears again and it’s only when he turns up at the end that you realise how AWOL he’s been.

So it’s left to the other three team members to carry the episode and this they do reasonably well. Face is mainly required to look exasperated as his country club ideal is lost among a series of chases, fights and unfortunate incidents. For his club alias, Face uses the name Ashley Hemmings, a combination of A-Team producer John Ashley and regular season director David Hemmings.

Among the highlights is a chase in golf buggies, possible the slowest vehicle-based action sequence in A-Team history. It does mean that Murdock can do some of his own driving and Face can hang on the back, credit to the crew as well for managing to flip a golf buggy.

The humour is rather hit and miss, mainly comprising of embarrassing Face and humiliating General Fulbright (who happens to be a member). It all gradually gets a bit too silly, exemplified by the scene in which Hannibal plays a round of golf against villain McKeever using remote-controlled golf balls (complete with ‘amusing’ sound effect).

All manner of things are clumsily and seemingly randomly thrown into the mix. Shecky Greene appears as himself towards the end, after-dinner speaking at the club in a couple of scenes which add nothing but length.

Perhaps I am being a bit hard on an episode that tries so hard to be good-natured. It is entertaining enough for sure but for me, there’s a general clumsiness that stops it being anything more than par for the course (!) 7/10

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