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!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Theory of Revolution s5ep5

Co-starring: Alejandro Rey as Commandant, Pepe Serna as Tomas Jefferson, Casulto Guerra as Martien, Geno Silva, Vladimiar Shomarovsky as Anatoly Terensky
Written by Steven L Sears, Burt Pearl
Directed by Sidney Hayes

The team are assigned to rescue three American hostages from a dictator on a South American island.

One of the more standard episodes in the fifth season, this uses the infiltration/capture/escape structure that had often been seen in the show during its run. The writing team of Sears & Pearl had been responsible for some rather weak episodes in the past (Knights of the Road, Trouble Brewing, Mission of Peace) so asking them to return for two more was perhaps not the best idea. The fact that their other contribution this season was ‘Point of No Return’ rather confirms this.

Although not a bad episode, this has a similar issue to the other Sears/Pearl stories in that the plot is too simplistic and soon falters due to a lack of development or interesting subplots. The very ABC structure does the episode no favours and neither does Frankie’s romance with a local girl. More time is spent planning than actually doing and while you’re waiting for things to kick up a gear, there isn’t really enough going on to sustain the interest.

It’s one of those episodes which feels derivative, even if you can’t quite remember which ones it reminds you of (though at times it feels like a throwback to the original pilot). After the initial four episodes of the season had suggested a bigger budget for the show, this one returns to old habits, being shot predominantly in scrubland around Los Angeles. The ending mainly recycles footage from the beginning and there’s a very familiar looking jeep flip stunt that was used frequently in season three.

Perhaps I’m being a little harsh on this one. There are highlights along the way though, particularly from an action perspective with the explosive prison escape and an excellent finale which is staged to the accompaniment of The Beatles song ‘Revolution’. Overall, not a dud by any means but too little happens for too long for this to be anything other than average. 6/10

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