the DVD Set
Fun Facts Sections
1950's - 1960's
TV Show Wallpaper
Most Popular TV collectables
Dukes of Hazzard
I Love Lucy
Merchandise, News, and Wallpaper
Tvcrazy.net TV trivia and facts sections Fun
Helicopter Posters for Sale
Airwolf Episode Guide
Airwolf debuted on CBS in 1984 on
Saturday evenings, the show only ran for three seasons on CBS and one
more on the USA cable channel. Airwolf featured
Jan-Michael Vincent as Stringfellow "String" Hawke and Ernest
Borgnine as Dominic Santini. String and Santini flew the
helicopter on missions for the "Firm". However, they agreed only
to return Airwolf when String's brother Sinjin, a Vietnam POW, was
returned from the Far East. Alex Cord co-starred as Michael Archangel,
their contact with the Firm.
In the fourth and final season Barry Van Dyke (star of Diagnosis Murder ) took over Airwolf as Saint John Hawke
was actually a Bell 222, sometimes unofficially called a Bell 222A,
whose serial number was 47085.
The helicopter was eventually sold
after the show ended and became an ambulance helicopter in Germany,
where it crashed and was destroyed in a thunderstorm on June 6, 1992.
During filming, a Huey helicopter
crashed during a maneuver in Pico Canyon in California. Reid Rondell,
Jan-Michael Vincent's stunt double, was killed, and a special credit
appeared at the end of that particular episode dedicating the
installment to him.
Dominic Santini: Why can't we hover like regular helicopter people?
Dominic Santini: Why not let those people mow their own lawns, huh?
Magnum P.I. connection
Creator Donald P. Bellisario first toyed with the idea of the
adventures of an ace combat pilot in a third season episode of
Magnum P.I. entitled "Two Birds of a Feather" (1983), starring
William Lucking, which itself was inspired by several
episodes of Bellisario's
Tales of the Gold Monkey
– "Legends Are
Forever" and "Honor Thy Brother" (1982) – in which Lucking had played a
similar character. The Magnum episode acted as the pilot for the
would-be series, but the series was not commissioned. Bellisario
heavily reworked the idea, and the final result was Airwolf.
Jan-Michael Vincent Facts
Date of birth: 15 July 1944 in Denver, Colorado, USA
Before landing the role of Stringfellow on Airwolf Jan-Michael Vincent
played Byron Henry on the epic mini series "The
Winds of War" but did not return for it's sequel "War
and Remembrance. He was replaced by Hart Bochner.
Learn more about the legendary actor beyond Airwolf
The series' protagonist is Stringfellow Hawke (played
by Jan-Michael Vincent), a loner who lives in a cabin in the mountains,
only accompanied by his Bluetick Coonhound, "Tet", and the surrounding
wildlife. Hawke is a recluse, spending most of his time alone with his
priceless collection of paintings, and serenading eagles with his
equally priceless Stradivarius cello. His only real friend and mentor
is the older, eternally cheerful Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine).
Earlier, Hawke was a test pilot for Airwolf, an advanced supersonic
helicopter with stealth capabilities and a formidable arsenal. Hawke is
called upon by a man code named Archangel – deputy director of "the
FIRM" that built Airwolf – to steal Airwolf back from her twisted
creator, Doctor Charles Henry Moffet, who had taken her to Libya.
After finding himself stripped of FIRM support and discovering that his
pilot-episode love-interest Gabrielle (Belinda Bauer), is undercover in
Libya, Hawke with Santini's assistance finds Airwolf and recovers it.
But Hawke chooses not to return it. Instead, Hawke and Santini hide
Airwolf, booby trapped, in an extinct volcano (the Lair) in the remote
"Valley of the Gods" (visually modeled on Monument Valley). Hawke
refuses to return Airwolf until the FIRM can recover his brother, St.
John (pronounced Sin-jin), who has been missing in action since
Vietnam. To get access to Airwolf, Archangel offers Hawke protection
from other government agencies who will try to recover Airwolf in
exchange for flying missions of national importance for the Firm.
In the second season, to satisfy CBS executives who wanted to appeal to
a wider female audience, the show introduced Caitlin O'Shannessy,
played by Jean Bruce Scott. Caitlin is a feisty former Texas Highway
Patrol helicopter pilot who eventually joins Airwolf's crew. In "Fallen
Angel" Hawke confirms Caitlin's suspicions that he and Santini possess
and operate a super helicopter as the three fly Airwolf into East
Germany to recover Archangel.
The mysterious organization known as “The FIRM” is a covert branch of
the Central Intelligence Agency, whose Deputy Director, Michael
Coldsmith-Briggs III (Alex Cord), is code-named Archangel.
In the first two seasons, Archangel is often assisted by Marella
(Deborah Pratt). She had doctorates in Aeronautical Engineering,
Electronic Engineering, Psychology, Microbiology, and French
Literature, and was one year away from completing her Medical Doctorate
as of the episode “Fallen Angel.”
The first season of the series was dark, arc-driven, and quite
reflective of the contemporary Cold War, with the FIRM personnel
distinctly dressed in white, implicitly boasting that “wearing white
hats” distinguished them as good, instead of evil. Hawke remained
unconvinced, and Santini was skeptical also (this was explained in
“Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n”). Early episodes frequently detailed the
efforts of the United States government to secure Airwolf from Hawke,
whom it officially charged with having stolen it. Because CBS wanted to
transform the series into a more family-oriented show, the program was
transformed during Season Two into a more light-hearted series with
Hawke and Santini being portrayed as cooperative partners with the FIRM
(see below for more behind the scenes information).
The FIRM, during the first three seasons, served as both ally and enemy
for Hawke and Santini; when an opportunity to seize Airwolf presented
itself, FIRM operatives often took it.
The series ran for 55 episodes on CBS in the United States in 1984
through 1986, and an additional 24 episodes, with a new cast and
production company, aired on the USA Network in 1987, for a total of 79
episodes. An enhanced version of the first episode was also released as
a motion picture in several countries as well as on home video. The
show was broadcast in several international markets.
Seasons 2 and 3
To increase ratings the studio wanted to add a female character – which
happened at the start of the second season in the form of feisty
Caitlin O'Shannessy (Jean Bruce Scott) – and for the series to move
away from its quite dark and moody tales of international espionage
into a more domestic and straight action-oriented affair. Airwolf
became more streamlined, domestic, and self-contained. The moves by CBS
ultimately proved unsuccessful, however, and while production cost
over-runs remained high, creator Bellisario left both the studio and
the series after Season 2. Bernard Kowalski stepped in as executive
producer for a third season, but after ratings remained low, the series
was canceled by CBS. The USA cable network, however, funded a new and
ironically Canadian-filmed, fourth season of episodes, produced via the
fledgling production company Atlantis and The Arthur Company owned by
Arthur L. Annecharico, allowing the show to have enough episodes for
The original cast was completely written out of the fourth season
(1987); only Jan-Michael Vincent appears in the first, transitional
episode. Dominic, played by a double for Ernest Borgnine who is seen
only from the back, was killed off in an explosion; Archangel was said
to have suddenly been assigned overseas, with "the FIRM" replaced by
"the company" (a long-standing nickname for the CIA in the real world);
and no mention was made of Caitlin. Saint John Hawke, now played by
Barry Van Dyke, was suddenly revealed to be alive and well, having been
working for many years under deep cover for American intelligence
(there were already contradictory statements about his fate, the FIRM
and Archangel knew where he was the whole time and was just using
Stringfellow Hawke to control Airwolf in the original three seasons).
St. John was rescued and subsequently replaced Stringfellow Hawke as
the central character. Production moved to Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada, with a smaller budget of $300,000 an episode, less than
one-third of the original CBS budget. The production crew no longer had
access to the original Airwolf helicopter, and all in-flight shots were
recycled from earlier seasons; the original full-size studio mockup was
re-dressed and used for all interior shots. Actress Michele Scarabelli,
who played Jo Santini here, said in a Starlog magazine interview that
all 24 scripts were in place before the cast arrived, leaving the
actors little room to develop their characters.
collectables, merchandise, videos, posters, photos, clothes, and
games from all your favorite television shows.
Buy Airwolf Season Three on DVD