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Published:November 21st, 2006 12:02 EST
Airwolf flies again on DVD!

Airwolf flies again on DVD!

By Garrett Godwin

In the 1980s, shows such as The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, and The A-Team ruled the airwaves with car chases, gunfights, and fistfights where the good guys always save the day.  But more than that, they had to have a cool ride to get the job done.

Now combine Knight Rider--minus the talking-- and put it in the air, and you got Airwolf (1984-87), now out on DVD.

Donald P. Bellasario, the man responsible for Magnum, P.I., Quantum LeapJAG and its spin-off NCIS (Naval Criminal Intelligence Services), is the creator of this series. 

Airwolf: Season One (1984) features all eleven episodes, including the two-hour pilot that started it all: "Shadow of the Hawke", written and directed by Bellasario.  In the opener, Airwolf-- aka "The Lady" -- is a Mach-1 plus helicopter that is highly advanced, sophisticated, and elite with unlimited firepower and weapons.  However, its creator, Dr. Moffett (David Hemmings) has stolen it and taken it to Libya.

So, Michael Coldsmith-Briggs, III-- code name Archangel (Alex Cord) --, deputy director of an secret intelligence agency known as the Firm enlists the aid of Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent) to retrieve Airwolf.  A reclusive loner yet sensitive idealist, Hawke is the only man who has also flown Airwolf, and the only one to get it back.  With the aid of friend and father figure Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine), Hawke retrieves "The Lady".

But there's one problem: Hawke won't return Airwolf to Archangel and the Firm unless they find his older brother, St. John, who has been MIA since Vietnam.  Thus set the premise of the series: Archangel, his assistant Marella (Deborah Pratt, Bellasario's real-life wife at the time who was also writer for Airwolf), and the Firm use all their resources to find St. John while Hawke and Santini flies Airwolf on missions of national concerns.

Faithful Airwolf fans said season one was the best because it had Bellasario's vision such as dealing with issues that happen during the real world at the time such as the Cold War.  Another is that the main protagonist, Hawke, is the strong, brooding, and silent type-- a tragic hero who believes he is cursed with loneliness because anyone that he loves will die.  His only friend is Dominic, who is the opposite because he has a zest for life.  What makes Airwolf excellent is the Firm, who wears white, meaning they're the good guys.  However, they're ambiguous and dubious in what they do, especially when it comes to Airwolf, which is sought after not only by them, but also national and foreign governments and other enemies.

What makes Airwolf good is watching "The Lady" come out of their hiding place as well as enjoying the finale of each episode, in which we see the supercopter in action with the theme song in motion blowing the bad guys away.  That is what I love most about this well-written and well-layered series. 

Get Airwolf: Season One on DVD, and catch season two, which is coming out soon on DVD.

Watch as "The Lady" brings justice to the air.