Airwolf – Season One


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Rating: Not Rated

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’Shaughnessy

Special Features:

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Sound
English and French Subtitles
Running Time: 9 Hours 52 Minutes

This is the first season of Airwolf which aired in 1984. The following is the description from the DVD cover:

“Keep your eyes to the skies for non-stop action as the complete Season One of Airwolf soars on to DVD for the first time ever! Jan-Michael Vincent stars as Stringfellow Hawke, a reclusive renegade pilot who’s assigned to top-secret missions for the CIA by the mysterious ‘Archangel’ (Alex Cord). Hawke’s weapon of choice is the high-tech battle helicopter of the future, Airwolf. Loaded with cutting-edge surveillance equipment and unbelievable firepower, Airwolf takes Hawke and his friend Dominic (Ernest Borgnine) around the globe in search of dangerous international spies and criminals. Ride along with guest stars Lance LeGault, James Whitmore Jr., Shannen Doherty and David Carradine on all 11 episodes, including the thrilling two-hour pilot, of this amazing action-adventure series.”

Airwolf is not rated.

The Movie:
I have an odd memory about Airwolf. When we were living in Norway in the 80’s, my grandmother would mail tapes of US television to us on a regular basis. On one tape was the movie Ghandi which I took to school and we watched during a social studies class. Immediately after the credits for Ghandi, an episode of Airwolf popped up and the familiar theme music started up. Suddenly the entire class perked up and even the teacher got excited thinking he was going to get to see Airwolf. It then abruptly stopped and everyone was disappointed. That was a revelation to me because I had no idea so many different people liked Airwolf. Boys and girls, adults and children all were into the show which, at first glance, was nothing more than Knight Rider with a helicopter. Despite a relatively short time on the air, Airwolf certainly had a following.

Airwolf was kind of a cross between Knight Rider and a Tom Clancy techno-thriller. The show had a cool, futuristic machine that stole the show any time it appeared on the air (even if many of the aerial battles seem to just use stock footage of the helicopter flying around). It also had the whole spy thing / political thriller going that allowed the characters to go to a wide variety of locations and situations. And being set right in the middle of the Cold War, this allowed for some interesting situations involving Russia, spies, and international intrigue.

The cast was decent. Jan-Michael Vincent is handsome and rugged as Stringfellow Hawke. He makes a believable adventurer and pilot, but the scenes with him playing the cello were quite cheesy. Ernest Borgnine serves as comic relief as Dominic Santini. Despite being on of the ugliest actors on TV, Borgnine served as a good contrast to Vincent’s brooding character. Alex Cord was interesting as Michael ‘Archangel’ Coldsmith Briggs III, the mysterious leader of the secret spy organization. Jean Bruce Scott also added a little sex appeal as Caitlin O’Shaughnessy in the otherwise male dominated show. Also look for guest appearances by Shannen Doherty and David Carradine.

The Extras:
Unfortunately there are no bonus features on this DVD.

The Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of Airwolf from the 80’s or if you like spy thrillers or techno-thrillers, then you are probably a prime candidate to enjoy this DVD set.

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