AIRWOLF

 
Full Name: Stringfellow Hawke
Series Name: Airwolf
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Donald P. Bellisario
Time Span: 1984 - 1987
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Stringfellow Hawke is a freelance agent with the CIA.
       A highly skilled helicopter pilot who earned a considerable number of medals and commendations for his actions and bravery during the Vietnam War, Hawke was content to leave the excitement and the danger behind when the war ended, even though that also meant losing the ability to search for his older brother and best friend, Saint John Hawke, who was also a pilot in that conflict but was listed MIA.
       As the two-book series, or rather the television series from which the novelizations were drawn, commences, Hawke is nearing his mid 30's and is content to live in his rustic cabin high in the mountains of California though near enough literally as the eagle flies to Hollywood to be a pilot for his mentor and old friend, Dominic. This perpetually upbeat owner of Dominic Air, which ferries anyone needing a helicopter but specializing in television and movie work, helped raise the two Hawke brothers after their parents died in a boating accident.
       Hawke has few interests outside his mountain retreat. He enjoys the solitude of living with just nature and his aging hound-dog. He plays the cello for relaxation and has a near-priceless Stradivarius on which to do it. And he has a fortune in rare artwork purchased by his grandfather many years before to please his grandmother. Hawke's hermitage is largely the result of a belief that those he loves will soon be taken from him, starting with his parents and then a few years later with his brother's disappearance. (The fact that his adopted father and friend, Dominic, has not died after all the years they have been together has obviously escaped him.)
       When he was in Vietnam, he and his brother were seconded to work with a division of the CIA called the F.I.R.M., headed by Michael Coldsmith-Briggs III, codename Archangel. After the war and before he went to work for Dominic, Hawke had been a test-pilot for the company working for the F.I.R.M. to create the revolutionary helicopter named Airwolf.
       The premise behind the television series, and thus the books, is that the creator of Airwolf, Doctor Moffet, had stolen the only prototype and fled with it to Libya where he was using it to grow rich blowing up targets that the dictator, Qaddaffi, wanted gone. This included an American destroyer off the North African coast. To get it back Archangel goes to the best pilot he knows for the job, Hawke. For his part, Hawke has no interest in getting back into any fray but finally agrees if Archangel will help find his lost brother.
       After considerable trouble and the death of a fellow agent at the hands of Moffet, Hawke and Dominic manage to get their hands on Airwolf. When Archangel's promised information on Saint John proves less than informative, however, Stringfellow Hawke decides to keep the incredible aircraft. He hides it away in a desert mountain cave and brings it out only when a special mission interests him or he is further coerced by Anchangel or others.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1984
Last Appearance:1985

1 Airwolf Airwolf
Written by Ron Renauld
Copyright: 1984

The novelization of the pilot and initial episodes, this book deals with the theft of Airwolf by its creator, Dr. Moffet. Stringfellow Hawke is coerced into heading to Libya to steal it back from Moffet and Libyan leader Qaddaffi.

2 Airwolf: Trouble From Within Airwolf: Trouble From Within
Written by Ron Renauld
Copyright: 1985

Novelizations of two episodes. The first, Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n by Burton Armus, has Hawke trying to keep an old friend from stealing new technology to get back a son he has never seen. The second, Bite of the Jackal by Nicholas Corea, deals with the need for Hawke to rescue Dominic and a young girl, stuck out in the desert. As he goes about this, though, he is pursued by a Firm agent out to capture Airwolf.

TELEVISION

Number of Episodes:80
First Appearance:1984
Last Appearance:1987
Network:CBS/USA

REGULAR CAST
Barry Van DykesSt. John Hawkez [ 4 ]
Alex Cord"Archangel" Coldsmith-Briggs [ 1-3 ]
Ernest BorgnineDominic Santini [ 1-3 ]
Jan-Michael VincentStringfellow Hawke [ 1-3 ]

       In 1984, CBS began airing the first of three seasons of action-filled airborne excitement in the show Airwolf which starred the handsome and popular Jan-Michael Vincent, making him the highest paid actor on the small screen at the time. The role of Dominic was fantastically played by the terrific veteran actor Ernest Borgnine. Archangel was played by Alex Cord who, with a patch over his left eye and dressing in all white suits, could have been the subject of his own dashing spy series.
       The role of Airwolf was played by a Bell-222 helicopter, redressed to make it look even more ferocious. The crew of the initial Airwolf program wore a patch on their uniforms with the insignia of a wolf's head with bat wings.
       While ratings were good enough in the first year to get a second and still high enough to justify a third, CBS pulled the plug on the show at the end of the third season. the new USA television network, however, decided to bring the series back the following year (1987) but with a totally new cast. Dominic is killed in an explosion and Archangel is reassigned. Only Stringfellow Hawke is around and then only for the initial episode in which it is revealed that Saint John is still alive and working undercover for another agency. A reunion between the two brothers occurs and the passing of Airwolf is done as Stringfellow heads to places unknown. The revived and revised show lasted one season and starred Barry Van Dyke as St.John.

1 Shadow of the Hawke (1)
Episode 1-01, first aired 01/22/1984

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2 Shadow of the Hawke (2)
Episode 1-02, first aired 01/22/1984

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3 Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n
Episode 1-03, first aired 01/28/1984

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4 Bite of the Jackal
Episode 1-04, first aired 02/04/1984

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5 Proof Through the Night
Episode 1-05, first aired 02/11/1984

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6 One Way Express
Episode 1-06, first aired 02/18/1984

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7 Echos From the Past
Episode 1-07, first aired 03/03/1984

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8 Fight Like a Dove
Episode 1-08, first aired 03/10/1984

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9 Mad Over Miami
Episode 1-09, first aired 03/24/1984

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10 And They Are Us
Episode 1-10, first aired 03/31/1984

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11 Mind of the Machine
Episode 1-11, first aired 04/07/1984

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12 To Snare a Wolf
Episode 1-12, first aired 04/14/1984

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13 Sweet Britches
Episode 2-01, first aired 09/22/1984

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14 Firestorm
Episode 2-02, first aired 09/29/1984

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15 Moffett's Ghost
Episode 2-03, first aired 10/06/1984

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16 The Truth About Holly
Episode 2-04, first aired 10/13/1984

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17 The Hunted
Episode 2-05, first aired 10/20/1984

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18 Sins of the Past
Episode 2-06, first aired 10/27/1984

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19 Fallen Angel (a.k.a. Angel Of Mercy)
Episode 2-07, first aired 11/03/1984

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20 HX 1
Episode 2-08, first aired 11/10/1984

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21 Flight #093 Is Missing
Episode 2-09, first aired 11/17/1984

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22 Once a Hero (a.k.a. Heroes)
Episode 2-10, first aired 11/24/1984

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23 Random Target
Episode 2-11, first aired 12/08/1984

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24 Condemned
Episode 2-12, first aired 01/05/1985

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25 The American Dream
Episode 2-13, first aired 01/12/1985

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26 Inn at the End of the Road
Episode 2-14, first aired 01/26/1985

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27 Santini's Millions
Episode 2-15, first aired 02/02/1985

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28 Prisoner of Yesterday
Episode 2-16, first aired 02/09/1985

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29 Natural Born
Episode 2-17, first aired 02/23/1985

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30 Out of the Sky
Episode 2-18, first aired 03/02/1985

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31 Dambreakers
Episode 2-19, first aired 03/16/1985

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32 Severance Pay
Episode 2-20, first aired 03/23/1985

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33 Eruption
Episode 2-21, first aired 04/06/1985

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34 Short Walk to Freedom
Episode 2-22, first aired 04/13/1985

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35 The Horn of Plenty
Episode 3-01, first aired 09/28/1985

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36 Airwolf II
Episode 3-02, first aired 10/05/1985

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37 And a Child Shall Lead
Episode 3-03, first aired 10/12/1985

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38 Fortune Teller
Episode 3-04, first aired 10/19/1985

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39 Crossover
Episode 3-05, first aired 10/26/1985

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40 Kingdom Come
Episode 3-06, first aired 11/02/1985

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41 Eagles
Episode 3-07, first aired 11/09/1985

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42 Annie Oakley
Episode 3-08, first aired 11/16/1985

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43 Jennie
Episode 3-09, first aired 11/23/1985

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44 The Deadly Circle
Episode 3-10, first aired 11/30/1985

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45 Where Have All the Children Gone?
Episode 3-11, first aired 12/14/1985

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46 Half-Pint
Episode 3-12, first aired 12/21/1985

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47 Wildfire
Episode 3-13, first aired 01/11/1986

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48 Discovery
Episode 3-14, first aired 01/18/1986

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49 Day of Jeopardy
Episode 3-15, first aired 01/25/1986

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50 Little Wolf
Episode 3-16, first aired 02/01/1986

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51 Desperate Monday
Episode 3-17, first aired 02/08/1986

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52 Hawke's Run
Episode 3-18, first aired 02/15/1986

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53 Break-In at Santa Paula
Episode 3-19, first aired 02/22/1986

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54 The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
Episode 3-20, first aired 03/15/1986

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55 Tracks
Episode 3-21, first aired 03/22/1986

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56 Birds of Paradise
Episode 3-22, first aired 03/29/1986

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57 Blackjack
Episode 4-01, first aired 01/23/1987

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58 Escape
Episode 4-02, first aired 01/30/1987

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59 A Town for Hire
Episode 4-03, first aired 02/06/1987

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60 Salvage
Episode 4-04, first aired 02/13/1987

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61 Windows
Episode 4-05, first aired 02/20/1987

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62 A Piece of Cake
Episode 4-06, first aired 02/27/1987

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63 Deathtrain
Episode 4-07, first aired 03/06/1987

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64 Code of Silence
Episode 4-08, first aired 03/13/1987

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65 The Stavograd Incident (1)
Episode 4-09, first aired 03/20/1987

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66 The Stavograd Incident (2)
Episode 4-10, first aired 03/27/1987

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67 Mime Troupe
Episode 4-11, first aired 04/03/1987

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68 X-Virus
Episode 4-12, first aired 04/10/1987

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69 Rogue Warrior
Episode 4-13, first aired 04/24/1987

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70 Ground Zero
Episode 4-14, first aired 05/01/1987

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71 Flowers of the Mountain
Episode 4-15, first aired 05/08/1987

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72 The Key
Episode 4-16, first aired 05/15/1987

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73 On the Double
Episode 4-17, first aired 05/22/1987

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74 Storm Warning
Episode 4-18, first aired 05/29/1987

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75 The Golden One
Episode 4-19, first aired 07/03/1987

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76 The Puppet Master
Episode 4-20, first aired 07/10/1987

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77 Malduke
Episode 4-21, first aired 07/17/1987

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78 Poppy Chain
Episode 4-22, first aired 07/24/1987

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79 Flying Home
Episode 4-23, first aired 07/31/1987

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80 Welcome to Paradise
Episode 4-24, first aired 08/07/1987

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MY COMMENTS

       I was a big fan of the show during the first season, watching every episode with great enjoyment. Most of the second season also got viewed but with not so much enthusiasm. Jan-Michael Vincent's moody mopping got to me, as well as life pulling me in other directions. I saw very few of the third season which apparently was the case with most of the country. I saw none of the USA episodes but now after all these years, I think I will see if I can.
       This series belongs in this compendium because the jobs that Hawke gets called to do are mostly by the CIA, aka the F.I.R.M., and do fit in the normal ranges of assignments from blowing up something to rescuing someone. The hero just gets to use a really cool looking piece of equipment to do it in.
       There is, however, very little to hold your attention outside of this cool action. Hawke is a stilted and stiff as a board while, granted, being a hunky looking board doing so. I got tied of Hawke really early in my viewing. If it had not been for the Airwolf, Dominic, and super-cool head agent Archangel, I would have quit long before I did.
       Mr. Renauld did a very good job with the novelizations, giving more personality to the lead character than Vincent did the acting, outside the smoldering that he did so well.

GRADE

My Grade: C+

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