In which we begin the second season with a real gem of a plan.
We kick off this new season of The A-Team with a few changes to the opening titles, with some fresh cuts of the stars alongside more familiar shots. We’re not yet at my favourite with the Cylon walking past Face but we’re getting there. I never used to realise how many clips from the pilot lasted through these titles, especially Hannibal as the Aquamaniac becoming Lynch towards him.
The story itself begins with a man driving a pickup truck along a dusty road until he’s shot at by some distinctly bad looking dudes. He must have been carrying something flammable as he’s no sooner out of the vehicle when it explodes into a fireball. Running for his life, we zoom in on one of the bad dudes who coldly pulls the trigger.
In a leap of moods, we meet Hannibal working a town fair’s duck shoot stand in a fat suit. He’s there to evaluate their potential client, who’s spent two weeks passing their tests and getting nowhere fast. She makes the grade and meets Face, BA, Murdock and Amy behind the stall to tell her story.
The man from the opening was her father, who’d found a diamond mind but was killed for it. She has 30 days to work the mine or the claim lapses and the villainous Fletcher will take over. Fletcher is blocking all routes to the mine, leaving her without a workforce and unable to make her father’s death worth anything. She offers a diamond worth $210,000 as collateral and 10% of the mine’s first-year profits if the team succeeds.
I’m not too sure where the mine is due to the range of accents in the episode. My best guess is South Africa, but it could be anywhere else in Africa, Australia, New Zealand or the UK for all the help we get. Either way, BA needs knocking out and is taken aboard a plane in disguise as the Chief of a tribe, which let’s just say could be a little more culturally sensitive if they’d tried. It does give Hannibal a minor outfit change as his Doctor.
Over in what I’ll just call Diamondland, the team get together in a bar but are instantly ratted out to Fletcher by the owner. Face and Murdock go out to scam some dynamite, as no-one will sell it to them, in a long and drawn-out scene that’s meant to be funny but just drags as Murdock does a British accent and Face plays good cop.
Back at the bar, the three men from the start show up and start a fight. The team win but Fletcher orders them killed on their way out to the mine. True to his word, the team are ambushed by gunfire by manage to overpower their attackers, take their guns and send them walking back to their boss.
Rather than drive the full way to the mine, Hannibal suspects another trap and orders Face and BA to carry the dynamite up a cliff strapped to their backs. Although one stick comes loose from BA’s backpack, both manage to stay alive and reach the clifftop. They make it to the mine entrance but are soon trapped inside by Fletcher’s men and the big boss himself who arrives by helicopter.
Thankfully, even in a diamond mine, there’s always room for a montage. The team whip together an armoured vehicle on the mine’s tracks and send it racing out towards their attackers and end up blowing up their car. Amy is in fine form laying down bullets to cover the team as they race out to battle the bad guys. Fletcher almost escapes in his chopper but Murdock manages to jump aboard and fight him mid-air to take control.
As the dust settles, we learn that Fletcher is in big trouble with his henchmen now testifying against him for the murder and BA gets another round of injections to combat his fear of flying. Freeze frame on face eyeing up a rather large diamond.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
Yes, two. He wears a fat suit and carnival disguise to meet the client and later a Doctors outfit (which is extremely basic by his standards).
Does BA get on a plane?
Yes, there and back again – wherever there is.
Should someone be dead?
We get a rare murder to kick off the story, but after that on balance everyone else would have survived.
Diamonds ‘N Dust isn’t a great episode for a season opener. It would probably have seemed better halfway through the second season, but it’s a little offbeat and unsatisfying. Part of that is the globe-trotting aspect seems a little pointless. We’ve been abroad with the team before, but it’s always meant something. Here, the scenery is dull, the accents all over the place and it doesn’t matter where they are.
There are a few good parts, the climb up the cliff with the dynamite is a tense scene and you almost fear for the Faceman. That might be it – I can’t remember anything else I liked. The tank/train thing was ok but it’s been done before.
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