Airwolf

Season 1 Episode 5

Proof Through the Night

1
Aired Unknown Feb 11, 1984 on CBS
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
45 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Archangel asks Hawke to fly Airwolf into Russia to bring out a double agent who once saved his life, who is now in possession of a deadly toxin developed by Russian scientists. The already risky mission is complicated further by the fact that Hawke and Santini must not only bring back the double agent, but his family, which will total five passengers on-board Airwolf – and the only way to compensate for the extra weight is to strip The Lady of her armament, leaving Hawke and Santini flying into Russian territory unarmed...moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Archangel sends Hawke and Santini into Russia, to bring out a defecting double agent and his family. But, to be able to carry to the extra weight, they must strip Airwolf of her armaments - and the agent has stolen a deadly toxin. Very underrated...moreless

    9.5
    As with 'Bite of the Jackal', when I first recorded 'Proof Through the Night' from my local ITV region(s) in the mid-1990s, I kinda liked it but it got lost in the mass of first season greats. When Universal Playback released a few (seemingly random selected) episodes on VHS, as it still was then, a few years back now, I watched it again and warmed to it a great deal more. Watching it again now on DVD to review, I've decided that it is one of the most underrated episodes of 'Airwolf's run.



    As with 'Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n', this one revolves around the Russians, which was still a big issue in the 1980s and used as the basis for episode plots of many action-adventure shows of the time. And this one does it very well, probably one of the best such examples I've seen in all my years of watching such shows.



    It is often commented that by it's third season, 'Airwolf' often revolved around little more than settling family feuds, but 'Proof Through the Night' is an characteristic first season story that deals much more with international intrigue. (Yes, there actually is a family feud in this episode of sorts, between the defecting Moses and his brother-in-law, but it's all part of the plot and plays out perfectly).



    There are so many good points about this episode, and I feel I enjoy it more now I have matured than when I was a youth, when pretty much all I wanted to see in an episode was crashes and explosions and maybe a fist-fight or two! I think the Russian setting was a little "cold" for me to like back then (which I think might be what puts some people off of this episode), but now I really like the story, I'd certainly take it over many of the "family feud of the week" third season stories (and I won't even MENTION the infamously bad Candadian fourth season).



    Rick Lenz puts in a good performance as the defecting Vladimer Rostoff (codename Moses), who wants nothing but to secure peace between Russia and the U.S. Especially when considering he is actually an American, I really brought his performance here.

    There are also some great Airwolf shots and aerial action in this episode. Most of the jet fighter shots are stock footage (as was often the case in the series), but there are another other great aerial sequences to excuse this fact.



    One of my favourite scenes, of both this episode and the entire first season, is the sequence of Archangel sitting in his office, watching the red sunset which is drenching the room. It is lit perfectly, and really atmospheric.

    (Speaking of Archangel's office, this is the first time in the show that we see the Firm headquarters, and get much more extensive views of the exterior than we would normally).



    Looking through the first season rankings here on TV.com, I'm actually quite amazed to see that, at time of writing (February 2011), 'Proof Through the Night' is the lowest rated (with a still respectable 8.3). I find this surprising because I consider there to be far weaker episodes in the season – let us not mention 'Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n' (which I've already savaged in my review for that episode)!

    As I say at the start of this review, I did not fully appreciate 'Proof Through the Night' when I first recorded the series (and the fact that, as so often was the case, LWT edited it for time, did not help my enjoyment any), but I've come to regard it now as a very strong, and severely underrated episode of the series. I've come to regard this episode so highly, that I give this it a very respectable 9.5.moreless
Jan-Michael Vincent

Jan-Michael Vincent

Stringfellow Hawke

Alex Cord

Alex Cord

Michael 'Archangel' Coldsmith-Briggs III

Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Dominic Santini

Chris Capen

Chris Capen

Tanker Plane Pilot

Guest Star

Maria Korda

Maria Korda

Natalya Rostoff

Guest Star

Radu Gavor

Radu Gavor

Ivan Turgyev

Guest Star

Deborah Pratt

Deborah Pratt

Marella

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • This is the first episode where we see the Firm headquarters, complete with the familiar exterior shot(s). In fact, this episode has some of the most extensive and detailed shots of the exterior seen in the series.

    • On the opening teaser, when Airwolf is flying low to avoid the Russian jets, it hits some brush before Dominic asks "Can't we go up just a little?". In the actual episode, Airwolf doesn't hit any brush.

    • In the shot where we see Dominic, from behind, break the window with the rifle butt, it is quite clearly a stunt double – the wig doesn't even look semi-convincing!

    • In the sequence supposedly looking from the front of Airwolf as it flies low over the trees and brush to avoid the Russian jets, at the very end of the shot in the bottom left corner either part of a camera mount, or the front of the landing skid on the filming helicopter, can be seen.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (Dominic and Hawke have just driven into Airwolf's lair)
      Dominic: No matter how many times I see her, she still takes my breath away.
      Hawke: Yeah.

    • Marella: The odds are 50/50 that Hawke is flying Airwolf into a trap.

    • Dominic: If my reflexes were a bit faster, you would've been a dead bunny.
      Hawke: I was counting on that.

    • (String to Tanya)
      String: I like your spunk, but if you don't start speaking English, I'm gonna spank your butt!

    • Marella: Rostoff is no ordinary agent. On his first assignment he was decorated for saving the life of a fellow agent when the mission went sour
      Archangel: Marella
      Marella: That agent's name is Michael Coldsmith-Briggs the third, codenamed...
      Hawke(guessing): ...Archangel
      Archangel: That has nothing to do with it
      Hawke(half laughing): Of course not
      Archangel: Will you take the mission?
      Hawke(laughing): The third', huh
      (Marella laughs with him)
      Archangel: I wouldn't throw stones, STRINGFELLOW

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Episode Title: "Proof Through the Night"
      The title is a reference Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner," The United States of America's national anthem.

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