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Trivia / Airwolf

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  • Executive Meddling:
    • CBS had the series made more domestic and much lighter in tone after the first season, insisting on a female character being added and Hawke's somewhat dark and troubled nature being toned down.
    • Season 4 was made for the USA Network, which as a cable channel in 1987 and even after taking the series to Canada, could not afford to keep any of the original cast. Dominic Santini was killed off (using a body-double since they couldn't afford even a few moments of Ernest Borgnine), and since they had the money for a few minutes of Jan-Michael Vincent they had String appear, but be critically wounded so he couldn't fly anymore. Archangel was said to have been "reassigned overseas", and Caitlin was never mentioned or seen again.
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  • Follow the Leader: Airwolf is one of several shows based around Cool Helicopters that were inspired by the 1983 film Blue Thunder.
  • McLeaned: After Ernest Borgnine left the show, the writers decided to kill off his character by way of showing Ernest's stunt double - filmed only from behind, natch - being killed in a helicopter explosion (using Stock Footage from an entirely different episode, filmed in an entirely different location).
  • The Other Darrin: In the first series, St. John Hawke (when he appeared in flashbacks) was played by Christopher Connelly. When he became a main character following USA's re-launch of the series, he was played by Barry Van Dyke.
  • Romance on the Set: Bryan Cranston met his wife Robin Dearden when they stared in the episode "Desperate Monday". Funnily, Cranston played a villain while Dearden played his hostage.
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  • Science Marches On: Archangel's comment to String that they'll never know if a Vietnamese-American boy in one episode is really St. John's son (and Stringfellow's nephew). DNA fingerprinting had just been invented in 1984 and was still new and not entirely well known or trusted, and DNA paternity testing wasn't really done much until the 1990's. Now that DNA testing has become a widespread thing that comment seems really redundant.
  • Troubled Production: The show had to deal with a star (Jan-Michael Vincent) with drinking problems who got arrested four times in four years and consistent budget overruns.


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