1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 7 (USA)
60 x 30 minute episodes
Airwolf is a combat helicopter – but it’s no ordinary combat helicopter. It flies very fast and has really big guns. In fact, it’s a supersonic Mach 1+ attack helicopter with the most advanced weapons system in the air today.
It has also been pinched, by ace test pilot Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent), a moody, sullen and pouting Vietnam vet who has hidden the chopper in the desert somewhere in the western USA but has promised to look after the chopper and to return it safe and sound if the government find his brother, St John Hawke (Barry Van Dyke), who is MIA (missing in action) in Vietnam.
Hawke is a brilliant combat pilot and brings Airwolf out to play every now and then when Archangel (Alex Cord) – the flamboyant Deputy Director of the secret government agency known as The Firm (a thinly-veiled CIA) – has a mission of national concern for him.
Archangel inconspicuously always wore a white suit and an eye patch and carried a stick.
Then Hawke and his less-than-svelte middle-aged co-pilot and buddy Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine) fire up the chopper and go and upset whoever they are tasked with upsetting.
In later episodes, they were also sometimes joined by female pilot Caitlin O’Shannessy (Jean Bruce Scott). Archangel’s attractive assistant Marella (Deborah Pratt) also made an appearance.
Airwolf underwent a change in 1987 when CBS cancelled the show and it carried on with a different cast on the USA Cable Network.
On the supposed death of Santini and the serious injury of Hawke, their places in the Airwolf cabin were taken by Hawke’s now rescued brother, St John, and Santini’s niece, Jo (Michele Scaribelli).
While making the series, Vincent was going through a serious coke and alcohol binge. He emerged as a burned-out direct-to-video exploitation star.
Jean Bruce Scott
St John Hawke
Barry Van Dyke
Major Mike Rivers
Geraint Wyn Davies