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!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Alive at Five s5ep7

Co-starring: Richard Romanus as Tommy Tedesco, Valerie Wildman as Sally Vogel, Red West as Brooks, Linden Chiles as Notting, Dennis Fimple as Cates
Written by Bill Nuss
Directed by Craig R Baxley

The team rescue a reporter who has infiltrated a mob outfit.

Although writer Nuss was responsible for some truly dreadful scripts during the show’s run, he makes up for some of those with this highly entertaining episode. The opening is a memorable one with Face having a nightmare in which everywhere he turns he sees Stockwell.

This scene becomes the jumping off point for Face deciding to leave the team and it initially seems like a real possibility. It doesn’t take long to develop into a running joke though and leads to a great exchange with Murdock about the art of scamming (Face: “Maybe I should write a book?”, Murdock: “No, just a pamphlet”).

There is something rather familiar about the story that unfolds here. In the same way that Nuss’ season four episode ‘Wheel of Fortune’ was reminiscent of ‘Bounty’, this one is very similar to season one’s ‘Till Death Us Do Part’. The team once again infiltrate a country estate to rescue a woman being held against her will, albeit disguised as firemen rather than caterers.

Like its predecessor, the rest of the episode is a chase and attempt to expose the truth, though there is an added race-against-time subplot to keep the pace ticking over nicely. Among the highlights are the complete destruction of a home by gunfire (as in “Say It With Bullets’) and a novel way of passing a roadblock set up by Tedesco’s associates.

The action is frequent and well integrated into the story and there’s also a good vein of humour running throughout. BA gets one of the best lines when he remarks to Hannibal, “do you expect me to turn the truck into a tank with spare parts from the kitchen?”

In many ways, this episode wouldn’t have looked out of place in season two and it is this classic A-Team style that makes it one of the highlights of the season. 9/10

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