Airwolf: Season 1, Episode 1

Shadow of the Hawke (22 Jan. 1984)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 108 users  
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While demonstrating the capabilities of the new prototype supercopter codenamed 'Airwolf', Dr. Charles Moffet goes rogue, steals the chopper and kills almost all of the observers. At least ... See full summary »

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Title: Shadow of the Hawke (22 Jan 1984)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gabrielle Ademaur
Senator William Dietz
John Calvin ...
W.K. Stratton ...
Chuck Sinclair - Engineer
Frank Annese ...
Carrier Commander
Philip Bruns ...
Mitch - Director
Mona Kahn - Reporter
Dean Wein ...
Mark Gordon - Co-Pilot


While demonstrating the capabilities of the new prototype supercopter codenamed 'Airwolf', Dr. Charles Moffet goes rogue, steals the chopper and kills almost all of the observers. At least one man -- Michael Coldsmith Briggs III survives. Briggs, codenamed 'Archangel' is the head of a covert organization called 'The Firm' and Archangel calls upon the one man in the world he knows that can retrieve the copter. The problem is Stringfellow Hawke is not only a loner, but a recluse as well. The amount of money the Firm is willing to pay for Airwolf's recovery is irrelevant. Hawke wants just one thing - the safe return of his brother, Saint John, who was captured during the Vietnam war and is evidently a POW. Written by R. Bernard Ment

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Release Date:

22 January 1984 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


It is stated that Stringfellow and Sinjin Hawke needed a special waiver and permission from their commanding officer, Colonel Vidor, in order to serve in the same unit in Vietnam. This is because of a genuine military regulation dating from the Second World War forbidding family members serving in the same unit in case it affects their tactical judgement and sparing their family the possibility that they could both be killed in the same battle. In Hawke and Sinjin's case an exception may have been made as they were the only members of their family left. See more »


The Libyans sent up Airwolf to take out some French Mirage fighters, but Mirage III, IV, V, 50, 2000, and 4000 all have delta wings and intake ports on both sides of the fuselage. The aircraft seen flying is a MiG 19 with ordinary swept-back wings and intake-port in the nose. The aircraft shown on Airwolf's computer isn't a Mirage either, it is a MiG 23 with variable sweep wings rather than the delta-wing of the Mirage. While a Mirage G-series had variable sweep wings, only 3 prototypes were made and it never saw combat. See more »


Gabrielle Ademaur: [Looking at the scenery] This is perfect!
Michael 'Archangel' Coldsmith Briggs III: Nothing is perfect, not even this.
Gabrielle Ademaur: I don't know what could be wrong with this.
Michael 'Archangel' Coldsmith Briggs III: We're here.
See more »

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User Reviews

3 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writer and director Donald P. Bellisario synthesized "Blue Thunder" and "Firefox" for the pilot episode of the "Air Wolf" series on CBS-TV. The melodramatic action series ran three years on CBS and one on cable before it got canceled. Basically,our clean-cut, rugged hero, Stringfellow Hawk (Jan Michael Vincent of "Defiance") is an expert chopper pilot when he isn't living alone at a remote cabin where he thrives on both his grandparents' collection of classic art and the animals that live in the woods. Hawk has a Bluetick Coonhound named "Tet." Hawk's life changes when CIA honcho Michael Coldsmith Briggs III, Code-Named Archangel, (Alex Cord of "The Brotherhood") decides to dispatch him to Libya to steal the prototype of a new high-tech supersonic chopper with an extremely lethal arsenal. Co-starring as Vincent's sidekick of sorts is perennial favorite Ernest Borgnine of "The Dirty Dozen" who plays the hopelessly optimistic Dominic Santini. It seems that both of Hawk's parents died, and Dominic raised him after that tragedy. Dominic and Hawk's father had been World War II fliers. In this episode, we learn how the chopper was created and then hijacked by its villainous creator Dr. Charles Henry Moffet (David Hemmings of "Blow-Up") and taken to Libya. The use of a green lizard in the first scene when Airwolf is revealed is imaginative. The pilots that climb aboard the helicopter appear appropriately sinister in their huge, darkly visored helmets and jump suits. Dr. Moffet demonstrates what Airwolf can do to a Congressman and then unleashes its entire arsenal at the spectators and wounds ArchAngel. "Airwolf" was a slick, dependable, but predictable action series.

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