Airwolf

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Complete 1st Season
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Airwolf

1/22/1984 – 7/23/1986 CBS 60 minutes
Color – 58 episodes
Created by Donald P. Bellisario
Universal Television

Airwolf Cast

Jan-Michael Vincent as Stringfellow Hawke
Ernest Borgnine as Dominic Santini
Alex Cord as Michael ‘Archangel’ Coldsmith Briggs III
Jean Bruce Scott as Caitlin O’Shannessy (1985-1986)

Airwolf Tidbits

I’m going to tell the story of Airwolf. But first, this needs to be said. The helicopter was the star of the show.

I know Jan Michael Vincent has a lot of fans that are going to be annoyed with me. But never smiling is not acting stoically.

Ernest Borgnine is arguably one of the finest actors of his generation and damn, he tried to loosen things up a bit. He didn’t have much to work with.

All of that was forgiven when that beautiful helicopter (a Bell 222) came into view. It had jets. It had nuclear tipped missles. It was faster than a speeding bullet… And it made mincemeat out of the bad guys. What a sight it made as it appeared over the ridge, weapons aimed at the nasty.

The storyline was that Stringfellow Hawke (Jan Michael Vincent), ace pilot, and his sidekick, Dominic Santinti had hidden this state of the art helicopter, the Airwolf, in the desert. They used it to fly missions for “The Firm” a secret section of the C.I.A. They are assigned these missions by the “Archangel” (Alex Cord).

Airwolf
Jan Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine

Jan Michael vincent in Airwolf
Jan Michael Vincent

Airwolf
Alex Cord

Airwolf helicopter

Now while Hawke was flying around the world dispatching bad guys, the government was supposed to be locating his brother who was lost in Vietnam.

Hawke was something of a curmudgeon. He lived by himself, played the cello and disdained human contact.

In the second season, they added a fiesty pilot to the team, Caitlin O’Shannessy (Jean Bruce Scott).

Then the show went to USA Cable and they changed everything, cast and all. It was so lame, we aren’t even going to discuss it.

Airwolf Complete 1st Season DVD Review

The real question with a show like Airwolf is how dated does it look 20 years later? The real star of the show was the Airwolf helicopter and in 20 years, technology has somewhat caught up with it. We see high tech helicopters in use in the Middle East every night on TV. Even so, it is still quite the thrill to see Airwolf come up over a ridge and just blast all holy hell out of the bad guys.

Airwolf was every young man’s dream show of action and adventure. I wonder how many pilots of today’s helicopters caught the bug as kids watching Airwolf. Some of the stock footage looks old and at times, lame. But then maybe it always did and we were just to enthralled to notice.

The storyline was that Stringfellow Hawke (Jan Michael Vincent), ace pilot, and his sidekick, Dominic Santinti had hidden this state of the art helicopter, the Airwolf, in the desert. They used it to fly missions for “The Firm” a secret section of the C.I.A. They are assigned these missions by the “Archangel” (Alex Cord).

Jan Michael Vincent looks good, if a bit wooden. Airwolf is before he has all the medical and legal problems. Ernest Borgnine is winning at whatever he does.

The episodes in general look pretty good although I did notice a couple of places that could have a used a swipe with the Swiffler dust catcher. The set is 2 double sided discs which I usually don’t care for but at least they put them in individual plastic cases. There’s 11 episodes, almost 10 hours to watch. And there are no Special Features which is a shame as we would all like to know more about the helicopter.

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Airwolf: Complete 1st Season