Airwolf (1984/1985) – Random Target and Condemned

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Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent) and company take to the sky again this week in this week’s double episode. First up is Random Target, which aired 8 December, 1984 and was written by Westbrook Claridge, Herman Groves, Chester Krumholz and Paul Savage.

Anne Lockhart guest stars as Sgt. Anne Brennan, a cop called in to investigate the death of a fellow pilot, who had hired String and Dom (Ernest Borgnine) to shoot some stock film for a movie being shot. It seems though, that somewhere on that film, they caught images of a mobster, Langhom (Len Birman) hiding out in a luxurious place in the desert. It seems he’s planning on meeting up with other mobsters, to divy up the criminal venues in America.

Langhom is desperate to get the film back, or kill anyone who may be in his way of destroying it. And someone on String’s side may be involved!!

The bit I like most liked in this episode is that Caitlin (Jean Bruce Scott) is learning the ropes of flying Airwolf under Dom’s eye, and then towards the end, all three of them are in the chopper, working together to stop Langhom.

And taking him on, has a wonderful little moment when they stop Langhom from taking off in his plane, and spraying all of his ill-gotten money to the wind with the backwash from the chopper’s blades.

The story is fun, it’s great to see Lockhart in yet another Bellisario series, she’s always a lot of fun to see when she pops up.

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The second episode, Condemned, pairs up Caitlin and Hawke, in a script by Douglas Steinberg and aired on 5 January, 1985.

Archangel (Alex Cord) sends Hawke and Caitlin off in Airwolf to a remote island, where the research outpost there has gone quiet. Apparently they are working on a virus, first introduced to the populace by the Russians in Afghanistan.

Arriving at the island, the duo discover that everyone is dead, having gone mad, and apparently murdering one another. A lone survivor ends up tearing our heroes’ protective suits, exposing the pair to the virus.

Things take a turn for the worse when a Russian sub shows up, seeking to steal the research that has progressed from their original strains.

An uneasy truce is called, as the exposed Russians and Americans are forced to work together, triangulating a signal in the hope of finding a hidden antidote. But even that may not be a good thing, because revelations are made that perhaps the antidote may in fact cause further complications.

So while Hawke is recovering, and trying to fight off all the effects, he must shoot down missiles launched by the Russian sub…

An interesting episode, the idea of a super-virus like that… I honestly didn’t know that concept was around as much back then as it is today.

Happily, String and Caitlin save the day, and a certain level of détente is achieved by the episode’s end between the American and Russian forces.

More next time!!

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