episode #91 - Walk a Deadly Wing

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episode #91 - Walk a Deadly Wing

Post  BoG on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:30 pm

episode #12 of 5th season / Air Date: 01/01/78  Arrow  written by Terrence McDonnell,Jim Carlson Arrow directed by Herb Wallerstein

The episode begins with footage of Russian migs and a briefing by Goldman to Austin which suggests a probable espionage mission, but it's nothing like that. The story involves a new device which was intended to make warfare less bloody; it zaps soldiers into a brief slumber so that they can be captured alive. That was the intent of the scientist-inventor (Eric Braeden). However, the Soviets wanted to use it on pilots in flight, which would cause fatalities, so the scientist fled with his gizmo to New Mexico, hiding there as a flier in a local airshow. OSI pays off his "wing walker" so that Austin can go in undercover and take the job (a wing walker is someone who stands on top of an airplane while it's in flight).  OSI, of course, wants the gizmo. However, arriving just after Austin is a soviet agent who previously worked with the scientist; he has the scientist's wife and will trade her for the gizmo.
This is another standard adventure with a slightly offbeat quality - I get the impression that the writers or producers wanted to film an episode about the aeronautical stunts of those small one-engine fliers and cobbled together the story of a hiding scientist to facilitate this goal. Austin has to roleplay the part of a cowboy-drifter in this one, with a dopey southwestern twang accent (until his cover is blown). There's also an odd subplot about Austin walking with a limp when he first arrives in his new role. I thought that was just part of his role-playing but he later contacts Rudy to tell him about his malfunctioning leg. This is never followed up on so I wonder if Lee Majors had a real knee problem during filming of this episode. The episode benefits from the fine performance by the underrated Braeden. The climax involves an air duel between two airplanes. BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

Bionic Trivia: actor Braeden appeared way back in the 2nd TV movie in 1973, Wine, Women and War, as a different character, the villain.
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