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Moffett's Ghost (episode)

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Plot synopsis

Airwolf's systems begin to act erratically when a strange virus infects the on-board computer which periodically seizes auto pilot control and turns the helicopter into a flying terror of destruction. Hawke and Santini discover the virus is a trap originally planted by Airwolf's designer, Dr. Moffet, and programmed to unleash itself at a specific time unless the proper override code is entered. Hawke and Santini must make the decision to allow the F.I.R.M.'s engineers access to fix the helicopter and risk them trying to seize the aircraft, or deal with the virus themselves. They contact Dr. Karen Hanson, an electronics expert, to troubleshoot the guidance system. Dr. Hanson discovers that a computerized version of Moffett's vengeful ghost is the source of the problem, but the solution seems beyond her mind and experience. [1]

Episode summary

(spoiler alert - click on expand to read)

(work in progress)

Story Locations

  • Siberia (Bering Sea)
  • F.I.R.M. Headquarters, Langley
  • Valley of the Gods

Aircraft seen

  • Airwolf
  • Bell 206 Jetranger - belonging to Santini Air. Another one, white, flown by Marella with callsign "Angel 1"
  • Hughes 369D - flight of 5, used to portray a Russian patrol
  • Sepecat Jaguar - stock footage to portray a NORAD scramble
  • F-4 Phantom II - stock footage, flight of 2 sent to intercept Airwolf
  • B-52 - several stock sequences portraying a SAC scramble
  • Cessna T210M Centurion - N8487M.[2] Airwolf's autopilot locks on to this aircraft....
  • Cessna 206 - ....but then the scene changes to this aircraft type and with a different color scheme too
  • F-15 Eagle - model of one seen in Dr Hansen's lab

Firearms and weapon systems seen

  • Did we actually get through an entire Airwolf episode with no firearms seen except for Airwolf's guns?
  • Titan I ICBM missile - stock footage of a Titan I in a silo, depicting a SAC scramble caused by the false targets sent out by Airwolf.
  • MIM-14 Nike Hercules surface to air missile - stock footage depicting NORAD defenses reacting to the false targets sent out by Airwolf.

Research notes

  • Marella tells Hawke she saw "severa" stray targets. Hawke teased her, "Several? From you?" "Exactly six," she says. Actually there were eight tracks.
Radar tracks-moffetts ghost

Archangel and Marella looking at the stary radar tracks Airwolf is sending out. She later tells Hawke there were six but the screen shows eight.

  • "What does that psychotic riddle mean: the wolf has come down from the north?" Marella is about to tell Archangel that it is a colloquialism from a novel but, unfortunately for all of us, Archangel cuts her off before she could mention the author or title. Extensive searches on the internet have not yielded a definite answer to original source of this sentence.
  • There are many tantalizing references to the north. The autopilot always wants to take Airwolf north. Then there is Moffett's "wolf has come down from the north" quote. Finally, Hawke wants to bring Airwolf over the North Pole and down from the north to Washington. But unfortunately, none of these became clues for the solution to Moffett's puzzle--they solved it by simply doing a "purge"--what you might today call a factory reset. However, the references to the north did indicate Moffet's ultimate plan, which was to have Airwolf climb to an altitude (80,000 ft) that would allow it to project those false ICBM tracks inbound on the USA and apparently sent by the USSR, thereby triggering a response from NORAD which would result in WWIII.
  • Similarly there were tantalizing references to Karen Hanson playing chess with Moffett, but again, chess was not part of the clue to the solution.
  • This is the second episode where Airwolf climbs to an altitude of at least 80,000 feet. The first time this was accomplished was in the season one episode "Fight Like a Dove" during a test flight by Hawke and Santini. In this episode, Airwolf does this by itself after Moffett's program takes control. It is not clear why Moffett chose to make Airwolf do this, but it did allow Airwolf to evade two pursuing F-4 Phantoms.
  • Archangel's callsign is Jericho.

Guest stars/Recurring cast

Gallery

References

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20141122113822/http://series.airwolf.tv/episodes/ep14.html
  2. registration details for N8487M

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