Airwolf (1985) – Santini’s Millions and Prisoner of Yesterday

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Airwolf takes to the sky again this week as String (Jan-Michael Vincent), Dom (Ernest Borgnine) and Caitlin (Jean Bruce Scott) take on a whole new week of adventure.

First up is Santini’s Millions, written by Michael Halperin, this episode was originally broadcast on 2 February, 1985.

Dom is flying Airwolf on a mission of mercy to Chicago, a human heart for a transplant into a dying teen. En route, he comes across a crash private plane, with Carl Barron (John Ireland), one of the richest men in the world, as the survivor. He offers a ton of cash if Dom will fly him to LA first, but the old fella refuses, committed to his mercy flight.

Struck by his honesty, everyone else is shocked when Barron apparently dies and leaves a percentage of his business to Dom, much to Graydon’s (Jared Martin) disgust, who is attempting to manipulate Barron’s grand-daughter, Margo (Lory Brewster) into marrying him so he can have complete control over the company.

Unfortunately, in his will, Barron mentions a supercopter that rescued him, much to Michael’s (Alex Cord) dismay, as he’s been pulled over the coals by an investigative committee. He tells Dom to cover it up, say the old man was delusional, but Dom refuses, he won’t disparage a man’s word.

As the episode unfolds, we learn that not everything is as it appears to be, and that perhaps Dom won’t be a rich man, but he’ll always be an honest one.

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The second episode this week is Prisoner of Yesterday, was written by Chester Krumholz and T.S. Cook, and was aired 9 February, 1985, and sees Nicholas Campbell return as Doc.

In a South American country, Teresa Guzman (Julie Carmen), is breaking her father, former President Marios Guzman (Michael Constantine), out of the hospital he is being held in, and denied the treatment he needs for his liver disease, while the new powers rule the country. Marios begs for help from the only doctor he’s ever trusted, Doc Gifford.

Kidnapped from a fishing trip he’s on with Hawke, Doc finds himself unable to help the ailing president, and face to face with an old flame in Teresa. But things may be moving against them, as there may be another plan at work… one that may restart a civil war with String and Doc right in the middle of it.

This one could have been a little bit more of a character drama had it been a little stronger, but the parameters of the show do have some guidelines to follow, action beats to meet, and of course, an aerial duel at the end of the episode. In this case, Airwolf takes on a bombing attempt on the residence of the American ambassador while tackling two F-4 Phantoms.

Still, the show remains pretty entertaining, and that helicopter is still amazing!

More high-flying adventure next week!

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