AIRWOLF Episode Guide Season 1 – Episode 04 – PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT
EPISODE DESCRIPTION & OVERVIEW
An undercover Russian agent, Vladimir Rostoff (aka "Moses"), who has been inside the (Soviet) U.S.S.R. military and research establishment for over 20 years discovers that his fellow scientists have developed a lethal nerve serum that instantly kills anyone exposed to it. He steals a vial of the deadly serum and contacts his old friend Archangel for the Firm's help in defecting from the country with both the serum and his family in tow, before he is exposed as a multiple murderer [of the scientists] and a traitor.
Archangel sends in Hawke and Dom for the covert recovery effort, but due to the extreme distances involved (even with refuelling tankers) Airwolf can't handle that much extra weight unless all her weapons and ordnance are stripped leaving the Lady defenseless with only Hawke's abilities left to get them out of trouble.
Complicating matters are both Rostoff's wife and daughter's anger and resentment at never knowing he was actually an American patriot and that they now have to suddenly up sticks and leave everything they know and love in Mother Russia.
MJC EPISODE REVIEW - PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT
A great character-driven episode with some superb international espionage and intrigue. Rick Lenz does a nice, albeit underplayed job as Rostoff, but I think Linda Grovenor's portrayal of his daughter, Tanya, and how a person would feel to be ripped from their home and their country in the middle of the night, as well as finding out their father is a traitor all in one go was simply sublime, even if Hawke did want to "spank her butt". Worth it alone just for the final scene with Hawke playing the reprise of the 'Red Cavalry March' (aka Song of the Revolution) on the cello [which I have on 'Airwolf Extended Themes' below].
It was nice to see the second script with Airwolf going behind the 'Iron Curtain' into the old Soviet bloc so quickly after DADDY'S GONE A HUNT'N, with this brilliant Clyde Ware-penned script really pushing the dark politics and espionage elements, with Archangel and Marella staying up all night worrying about the mission. The ongoing character development and unmitigated trust you see between Hawke and Dom is now very clear for the audience to see, and they can rely on each other when the going gets really rough and looks to be utterly hopeless. It's Hawke's flying skills and ingenuity as a top helicopter pilot that save the day in the end though.
Most of the aerial footage is new too at this stage in Season 1 and the tight take-off for Airwolf at Rostoff's cabin in Kirivitz by the late Aerial Co-Ordinator / 2nd Unit Director David Jones is breath-taking (in reality at a location in Santa Clarita valley, California where the early seasons of vampire show, 'TRUE BLOOD' were later shot, including Rostoff's initial hunting cabin [in reality about 200 metres away from it] pick-up at a location east of Sverdlovsk before going to meet his family), plus the earlier nighttime footage of the Hughes 500 strafing the Kirivitz' cabin's roof.
According to extensive, in-depth research by Airwolf fan, Tom 'Chairwolf' Higginson, it was amazing how true-to-life the episode turned out to be as in early April 1979 there was actually a bizarre, real-life outbreak of Anthrax in the actual Soviet city of Sverdlovsk (now called Yekaterinburg) in which 64 Russian people died. Initially, the KGB denied any activities relating to biological weapons, but in 1992, President Boris Yeltsin admitted the anthrax outbreak due to their then secret military activity being conducted at Sverdlovsk. You can read more on this real-life event via Tom's extensive and brilliant location research on his Airwolf Guidebook forum.
Not a favourite of every Airwolf fan though as it's a little slower than others and won't appeal to everybody, but both the quality of writing and direction is there. There are some memorable moments including the two mid-air refuels with the tanker crew, Archangel and Marella's celebration at the mission's success, and an extremely dark and forboding start to the episode with the deaths of a rat, monkey and all the scientists (you wouldn't have got that on 'KNIGHT RIDER' or 'THE A-TEAM'.
This stock footage of the animals being killed in the lab was actually lifted directly from the 'Wildfire' lab set on the movie, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. In reality, the animals collapsed on film by having the room sealed and filled with carbon monoxide gas to make them lose consciousness temporarily, however the good news is that they were revived immediately after the director yelled "CUT!", simply by activating the little green tank of oxygen attached to each cage, if you look very closely. But it's still extremely grim and adult viewing.
"You would separate a man from his family?"
"Heah, I'm not runnin' a shuttlebus service!"
‘PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT’ EPISODE’s AIRWOLF THEME MUSIC REVIEWED:
A very interesting blend of synth in this one, from the initial lab scene's very creepy synth pads during the initial animal experiment [Mark only used the second half of this medley in the main episodic theme starting from when Rostoff enters the lab to move the musical arrangement along better], to the arpeggiator bass sequence when Airwolf is flying nap-of-the-earth trying to evade the Russian MIGs at night, through to the ongoing motif of the Russian song of the Revolution, "Poljuško Polje", finishing with the delightful cello solo at the end with Tanya singing along in Russian.
If you ever wondered what Rostoff's brother-in-law, and later Tanya Rostoff were singing, here's part of the song in phonetic Russian, and then it's English translation. Click here.
And if you'd like to see and hear the authentic Russian Red Army Choir singing the song in Moscow back in 1992, within its original context, then here's the YouTube link. It's amazing. The guy whistling will pierce your ear-drums in half, so be advised to keep the volume down during its playback.
MUSIC TRACKS AVAILABLE FROM THE AIRWOLF ‘PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT’ episode:
‘PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT’ – incl. Song of the Revolution “Poljuško Polje
Airwolf Main Theme – Season 1 – Trailer
Airwolf Main Theme – Season 1 – Opening / Closing (extended)
Airwolf Main Theme – ‘PILOT’, Season 1 – Synth Theme (extended)
Airwolf Main Theme - Season 1 – Closing
Airwolf Main Theme – Season 1 + 3 – Special JMS Mix