This review contains spoilers.
For a time after 'Airwolf' had finished it's original 1980s run here in the United Kindgom, I only had literally a couple of off-air recordings, and this episode, which was stitched together with 'And They Are Us' (broadcast in a few episodes time) by CIC home video to form a feature-length story (they also released a heavily re-edited version of the Pilot; see my reviews for that story for more). As such, 'Echos From the Past' is an episode that I am extremely familiar with, and have watched MANY times.
The episode is carried out with a real air of mystery, and, although we suspect all along that something is quite not right, I really like how, until later sections of the episode, we are given no real clue as to the elaborate plot Hawke is being subjected to.
We also get the return of St. John... sort of. It turns out to be an impostor (although it is never really stated, I assumed he had undergone plastic surgery to try and look like St. John). He is played by Christopher Connelly, who would be used for all photos and flashbacks in the original run – and looking extremely different to Barry Van Dyke's version of St. John in the Canadian-produced fourth season season!
One point of note with this episode is the hoax news reports fed to Hawke about the divorce of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, which is sadly ironic when viewed all these years later.
Even when overlooking the horrendous Canadian-produced season, I often marvel at the sheer difference between the epic espionage tales of the first season and the somewhat generic action-adventure, "family feud"-solving stories of the third season. And this is one such example; can you imagine the series doing something of this scope in the third season?!
The in-episode musical score of this episode is also very good. In many of the episodes he scored, Sylvester Levy would often come up with a dedicated theme for the episode at hand, and he does so here; it fits the tale perfectly.
It is interesting to note that "Dr. Holgate", the Russian psychologist, remains back at the hospital when her cohorts lead Hawke to retrieve Airwolf, and as such she avoids being blown away at the climax. I wonder if this was the set-up for some kind of future return that never happened? Or maybe the Firm just swooped in and grabbed her before she could escape?
As I say, this is one of the 'Airwolf' episodes that I am most familiar with. In a way, I had almost forgotten just *how good* it is. But watching it on DVD again tonight to review, I was once again blown away by this awesome episode. It is one of the 'Airwolf' greats, and I give it a solid 10/10.