Season 1 Episode 2

Shadow of the Hawke (2)

Aired Unknown Jan 22, 1984 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
30 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Shadow of the Hawke (2)

Hawke and Dominic go to Libya to take back the chopper, while some unexpected twists and turns along the way complicates the mission. 

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  • Hawke, backed by Santini, has finally been persuaded to retrieve the stolen Airwolf from Moffet's clutches in Libya. But Moffet's sadistic ways spell doom for someone Hawke has become very close to. Again, a reasonable but mixed bag of a Pilot...moreless

    (Review continued from Part 1...)

    This review contains spoilers.

    As I said on the first half of my review, this Pilot definitely has its plus points, but suffers from maybe a few-too-many clever but slow scenes at the expense of plot pacing. And that is still in evidence at the start of this second half.

    The characters are certainly strong enough, and I love the whole relationship that builds up between troubled, "cursed" Hawke and Gabrielle, but at the same time, the story does take it's time to get to the real meat!

    The scenes in the middle of the desert, with Moffet torturing Gabrielle (both physically and mentally) are haunting, and surprisingly adult for a prime-time show of its ilk. (When various ITV regions reran the series in the mid-1990s here in the U.K., most of these scenes were chopped – though, in classic ITV style, each region had their own idea of what to and what not to show!)

    For all I've said about it's slow spells, the story does build up to an exciting climax, with Hawke and Santini infiltrating the Libyan compound, retrieving Airwolf, and blowing the enemy away! The climatic sequence, after Hawke finds Gabrielle, dehydrated and tortured, just before she dies, as Airwolf is pursued over the desert, lays waste to attacking parties, and finally blows Moffet away, is very powerful.

    Which leads me onto the wonderful score. Alan J. Levi's theme for 'Airwolf' is a TV classic, and I love how in the Pilot and the first season it gets full orchestral working. Later second and third season episodes would go more for a synthesised working of the theme, which was okay, but I feel that for these darker, heavier early outings, this orchestral version is much more powerful.

    I was very surprised to see that, at time of writing (January 2011), Part 1 of the Pilot currently ranks in this site's Top 10 most popular episodes. It's certainly good (for all of its flaws, slow plot progression et al), but it wouldn't rank in my personal Top 10 favourite 'Airwolf' episodes.

    It's much more of a character piece. In fact, I think the Pilot plays better watching it again AFTER the first season, when we are more familiar with the characters and can take to this deep character study of the Pilot more.

    After summing up the pros and cons for the first half, I gave it an 8.5 rating. This second half does tend to lean towards the same, but I feel that when things finally do start to build up to a climax, and the climatic air battle and hunting down of Moffet, it is enough to scrape this one a 9/10. I wouldn't have given that rating a few years ago, but now, older and more mature (ha, right!), I've come to appreciate the smaller points of the Pilot.moreless
Jan-Michael Vincent

Jan-Michael Vincent

Stringfellow Hawke

Alex Cord

Alex Cord

Michael 'Archangel' Coldsmith-Briggs III

Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Dominic Santini

Frank Annese

Frank Annese

Major Mufta Ben-Kamal

Guest Star

Belinda Bauer

Belinda Bauer

Gabrielle Ademaur

Guest Star

Philip Bruns

Philip Bruns


Guest Star

Deborah Pratt

Deborah Pratt


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Although it is often cited that Moffet's full name, Dr. Charles Henry Moffet(t), wasn't established until the second season episode 'Moffett's Ghost'; in the scene in the courtyard where Major Ben-Kamal stops Hawke, believing him to be Moffet, he clearly calls "Charles". (In the Star adaptation of this Pilot, Moffet's first name is given as George).

    • When Hawke and Santini are dressed in the Airwolf costumes and heading across the courtyard to get into Airwolf, Major Ben-Kamal stops Hawke by calling to him "Moffet". However, Hawke is clearly wearing Gordon (one of the other flight crew)'s uniform, as evidenced by the name tag.

    • In the scene after Santini and Hawke have flown down into the darkness of the canyon where they plan to hide Airwolf, as the Santini Air helicopter comes to land on the jetty outside Hawke's cabin, reflections of several lighting rigs can be seen.

    • When Airwolf lands in the desert to retrieve the nearly-dead Gabrielle, the pilot is seated in the port (left-hand) seat, and the close-up shows JMV getting out of Airwolf on the port side. But when they first took off, at the palace, String was in the starboard seat (his usual position.)

    • When Airwolf lifts off out of Kadafis Palace, you can spot two sound men with a sound boom.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Operative: I was able to get clothes in your size. It's all used; even the underwear, I'm afraid.
      String: Oh, I never wear underwear.

  • NOTES (2)

    • In America, the episode was put together with the Part 1 as a two-hour movie, but in syndication and other countries, it was shown as two different episodes.

    • Although this story does have the (sub)title 'Shadow Of The Hawke', it is quite often billed as simply 'Pilot'.


    • During this episode, Santini invites Hawke to go with him as they scout a filming location for a Bellisario film. Donald P. Bellisario is the creator of Airwolf.