Though it would run for four seasons, Airwolf only truly survived for two of those. With a rising cost thanks to the impressive aerial photography, CBS dropped the show after season two and it ended up on the USA Network. This DVD set contains some of the series best in its second CBS run.
Airwolf is a different show than many others in that while the focus is on the top secret helicopter, it's still a human drama. Jan Michael Vincent plays Stringfellow Hawke along with partner Ernest Borgnine playing Dominic Santini. Together they work for the Firm, a government agency that created Airwolf while also maintaining a small helicopter company. Hawke has personal involvement, and vows to hold Airwolf in exchange for the Firm continually trying to find his missing brother lost during the Vietnam war.
The set up creates interesting arcs in the plotline. With the high-end helicopter in hand, Hawke takes on missions both on his own accord and when asked. While Hawke is more than willing to give his life for the safety of others, he's hardly willing to cooperate when he feels the Firm is doing something unjust.
Season 2 adds a female character to the group, introduced in the premiere. Jean Bruce Scott portrays the feisty and tough Caitlin O'Shaughnessy. Her role is an excellent one, both in terms of acting and the ability for the writers to keep her strong in the face of an otherwise all-male cast.
Action is prevalent for this 22 episode run. While it still can falter due to the excessive use of poorly edited stock footage, it's no less exciting when Sylvester Levy's theme begins to role and Airwolf begins the hunt. There are few special effects shots, and only one is noticeable during a take off reused a few times in the season. All views of the helicopter in action are real, leading to the excessive cost per episode.
"HX1" pits the crew against a new helicopter, one with more firepower than even Airwolf. The inevitable clash is superb, giving the crew a target that can pose a threat to the super machine. Other highlights include "Once a Hero" that provides an excellent look at Hawke's life during Vietnam as he acts on a lead that could help him find his brother.
"Condemned" houses a classic 1980s tale, as the untrustworthy Russians are forced to team up with the American crew to search for the source of a deadly virus. "Severance Pay" contains numerous possibilities for its main villain as an inside man begins divulging information that could destroy the Firm.
It's rather obvious though it does require mention that Airwolf is a '80s TV show. Director style choices, dated Cold War drama, and cheesy moments (including some forced comedy) do tend to appear more often than not. Reused footage is constant, and they're not always scenes that involve the helicopter. Stock scenes of the actors are re-dubbed rather obviously, lessening the overall quality of the show.