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, 9 June 2011

The Spy Who Mugged Me s5ep11

Co-starring: Karen Kapins as Dominique Conre, Kai Wulff as Krueger, Marianne Marks as Miss Trench, Roy Dotrice as Charles Jourdan, Toru Tanaka as Frobe
Written by Paul Bernbaum
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

Murdock poses as a secret agent in an effort to capture a criminal known as ‘Jaguar’.

This is very much a one-joke episode but gets by thanks to an enjoyably lightweight tone and the fact that the one joke does work very well. It's a James Bond parody of course and besides the plot, the episode spends most of its time parodying and referencing the 007 movies.

The supporting characters are all named after characters or actors who have been in the Bond films. Traditional 007 scenes come thick and fast with the face-off over cards at the casino, shaken not stirred drinks, Dom Perignon champagne and an Oddjob-type heavy. It is Goldfinger and Octopussy that the episode references most, though there are elements of so many Bond movies that if you're not a fan, then it would be become rather tired rather quickly.

Frankly though, who doesn't like 007, particularly when he is being played by Murdock. The whole episode is anchored around Schultz's Sean Connery impression and it is very funny. It's a dead-on parody from the moment Murdock first appears in a sharp suit and says "later, perhaps" to a flirtatious receptionist asking if there is anything else she can do for him. Of course, there is a beautiful girl who is initially on the arm of the villain but eventually falls for the charms of Ross, Logan Ross.

The mystery over the real identity of Jaguar is not quite as obvious as it may appear and the twists and turns of the plot help keep things ticking over. Thankfully, the plot isn't all parody and the shift focuses to the story and requisite action in the second half. There is further humour to be had in Face's exasperation at being turned down for the spy role and seeing Murdock have all the fun.

Compared to Murdock, the rest of the team are slumming it somewhat and only pop in from time to time but everyone gets their moment and even Frankie isn't annoying in this one. Overall, the episode may be a bit obvious and often untidy but given how entertaining it is, this really isn't much of an issue. Good fun. 8.5/10

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