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, 6 May 2011

Trial by Fire s5ep2

Co-starring: David Ackroyd as Major Laskov, Byrne Piven as Bennie Conway, Sandy McPeak as Josh Curtis, J.A. Preston as Judge, Dana Lee as Colonel Chun Van Quyet, Lance LeGault as Colonel Decker
Written by Tom Blomquist
Directed by Les Sheldon

Following their betrayal by Josh Curtis, the team stand trial for the murder of Colonel Morrison during the Vietnam War.

The second part of the court martial trilogy is an efficient and entertaining courtroom drama (with action asides) that is guaranteed to grip any fan of the show. After four seasons, we finally get to hear the details of the crime they didn’t commit and, ultimately, the truth behind them. The court setting ensures that this is a tense and dramatic affair as the team are in genuine jeopardy, something that distinguished such earlier episodes as ‘Curtain Call’ and ‘Deadly Manuevers’.

Being very much a character-driven episode, this relies greatly on its cast and Piven is particularly impressive as the team’s lawyer. It’s also a treat for fans to see Lance LeGault returning in a cameo to play Colonel Decker one last time.

As serious as the situation is, the episode still finds time for some good humour. One of the highlights is Murdock’s testimony in the case which begins as an elaborate action fantasy and culminates in an impression of Humphrey Bogart in ‘The Caine Mutiny’.

As a break from the courtroom, Murdock and Frankie become ‘Flying Nighthawk Commandos’ (complete with theme song!) and supply the action as they attempt to track down an important witness in the case. This subplot establishes Murdock and Frankie as a team and sets the scene for their relationship throughout the season.

A series of revelations about events in Vietnam (partly told in flashback) and also within the trying of the case ensure that the tension remains high throughout. A last-minute witness entrance is in true Perry Mason style and the episode ends on another dramatic cliffhanger.

It’s a completely unique episode in terms of the show and is unmissable for any fan. 10/10

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