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

Uncle Buckle-up s4ep12

co-starring: Arte Johnson as Uncle Buckle-Up, Jonathan Goldsmith as Preston, Susan Scannell as Kelly, Bruce Solomon, Art Metrano as Nick Gretsch
Written by Danny Lee Cole
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

The team come to the assistance of a children’s TV star when the company who makes the merchandise for his show threatens him.

Although The A-Team was a popular show with children, it generally avoided stories that involved children or were in any way childish. Having children in minor roles was never too bad but this episode took a wrong turn by focussing its attention on an invented kids TV character.

The whole thing is a bit embarrassing really and often as irritating as the overly cute ‘Uncle Buckle-Up’ theme music that plays throughout. Uncle Buckle-Up himself is a rather annoying character and Metrano makes for a very one-dimensional villain.

You don’t have to be a genius to work out why someone is so interested in distributing cuddly toys. The various subplots (Hannibal auditioning for a supporting role on the show, Face romancing Uncle Buckle-Up’s daughter) don’t spark much interest either. Even Murdock isn’t particularly entertaining in this one.

After fifteen minutes of relative tedium, a well-filmed chase and fight sequence comes as a welcome relief. The episode still fails to burst into life though and continues to struggle along until the team is inevitably captured and locked in a warehouse full of toys. There they have to improvise a final battle using toy planes and fire crackers, not terrible by any means but all a little obvious.

One to test your devotion to the show, this is best avoided. 3/10

1 comment:

  1. Hannibal's attempt to land a cushy acting role is really the only plot of note here. By comparison, the villain and his plan seem almost like an afterthought. It doesn't help that Metrano spends the majority of the episode just standing or sitting around the same desk.

    The dull script does contain one great exchange where Uncle Buckle-Up asks, "What can you do with people like this?" Hannibal just grins and replies, "You find their toybox, and then you pull all the wheels off their little trucks." It's one of the most succinct descriptions of the John Hannibal Smith philosophy as you're likely to find.

    A fun in-joke has B.A. walking by a group of toy testers, one of whom promptly exclaims, "Wouldn't he make a great doll?!"

    The constuction sequence involving a toy warehouse is also a nice gag, and may be the definitive example that the team can literally use anything at their disposal.

    Ultimately, you'd think an episode in which Hannibal manages to name-drop Bert Lahr, Lee Marvin, and Clint Eastwood would be a lot more memorable.