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Cast
| Episode List | Episode Guide | Flight Member Dossier | History | Kilrathi Bio | Notes | Pictures | Press Release | Synopsis - Official | My Review

Cast

Role Actor
Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn Malcolm McDowell
Cadet Christopher "Maverick" Blair Mark Hamill
Cadet Todd "Maniac" Marshall Tom Wilson
Cadet Gwen "Archer" Bowman Dana Delany
  Also Starring
Payback/Maya Lauri Hendler
Various Jeff Bennett
Various Pat Fraley
Kilrathi Ron Perlman
Alien Michael Dorn
Blizzard, Thrakath Kevin Schon

Directed by Susan Blu
Written by Michael Edens, Matt Edens, Mark Edward Edens, Steve Cuden, Shari Goodhartz, Francis Moss, Richard Mueller writer, Ted Pedersen, Chris Roberts, Ralph Sanchez,Brooks Wachtel

Episode List

Ep Title Airdate
1 Red And Blue 9/21/96
2 The Last One Left 9/28/96
3 The Most Delicate Instrument 10/05/96
4 Word of Honor 10/12/96
5 Lords of The Sky 10/19/96
6 Expendable 11/02/96
7 Chain of Command 11/09/96
8 Recreation 11/16/96
9 Walking Wounded 11/23/96
10 On Both Your Houses 11/30/96
11 Invisible Enemy 12/07/96
12 The Price of Victory 12/14/96
13 Glory of Sivar 12/21/96

Episode Guide

1. Red And Blue - The cadets are training in a simulator at the academy. All are killed except for Maverick and Maniac. Maniac desperately wants to prove he is the best and attacks a carrier that he isn't supposed to and the simulation shorts out. He is really pissed off and physically attacks Maverick because he is threatened by him. Meanwhile a human pilot who failed the psyche test is stealing the simulation data and taking it to the Kilrathi. The legendary Commodore Jeffrey Tolwyn arrives and decides to have Maverick and Maniac lead the Red and Blue teams in some war games. The traitor's last act is to doctor the weapons and the shields so they kill each other. Eight fighters head out for the games, but Maniac challenges Maverick one-on-one in a Nebula cloud that will distort the sensors so no one can see. Unknown to all is that there is a Kilrathi carrier hiding in there, spying on them. Soon the boys figure out the weapons are on full, but have no way to signal the others. Lucky for them that they are on full, so they can take out the carrier and earn themselves places on the Tiger's Claw, along with Archer. One funny thing is that Blair tells how he got the name Maverick, "because he's always following the rules." Someone better get him a dictionary because it is the opposite which is true.

2. The Last One Left - The cadets are assigned a routine patrol to check out an uninhabited system. No confederation ship has been there since before the war when Damien Karnes, the Earth's most famous pilot, disappeared there. Karnes is Maniac's hero and wants to talk about him, but Tolwyn cuts him off with, "This is not a history lesson." Of course you know Karnes will show up. Maverick and Maniac are patrolling when they come across a Kilrathi transport. Maverick makes them hold back and then Kilrathi fighters show up and attack the transport. The cadets are dumbfounded, but don't have time to think because they're under attack and are soon captured. They're taken to the planet below to Karnes' renegade base. He explains to them that he doesn't hate the Kilrathi or love the confederation, he became empty and decided to go off on his own. He came across many renegades and formed a group of them and now they hit transports on both sides for supplies to survive. Soon another transport enters the system and Karnes is off. Maniac wants to fly with him, but Maverick remains behind in a prison cell. During the attack Maniac makes an escape, but his weapons and long-range communications were disabled, he fell right into Karnes loyalty trap. Before Karnes can finish him off he finds out that HE fell into a Kilrathi trap. The transport was just bait to lead him out. The overwhelming Kilrathi force wipes out his squadron and his base. They find Maverick and keep him alive so he can tell everyone that Prince Thrakarr of the Kilrathi did this.

3. The Most Delicate Instrument - Tolwyn gives the cadets a training mission in an asteroid belt. Before they can launch they are under attack by Kilrathi lurking there. Only four cadets are able to scramble - Maverick, Maniac, Blizzard and Payback. They stop the Kilrathi attack, but when the nearby sun erupts with solar flares all the cadets are hit before they can make it back to the Claw. The flares fry their ships and unbeknownst to them, their brains as well. Their hidden feelings come up to the surface as they become more and more delusional. Maniac is extremely jealous of Archer and is totally paranoid. Payback thinks Kilrathi are on the ship; Maverick not only thinks that Kilrathi are on the ship, but thinks Tolwyn is a traitor and Blizzard, the boy with the heart of ice, professes his love for Archer. They don't trust anyone else anymore and Tolwyn wants them hauled in. They make a break for the fighters, but only Maverick and Blizzard are able to launch and they decide to blow up the Tiger's Claw with missiles. Archer and another pilot take off after them and at the last minute Maverick breaks off the attack, coming to his senses. But Blizzard is going to launch his missiles and Archer is forced to shoot him down and he doesn't survive. This is why Archer is so useless in the later episodes.

4. Word of Honor - Grunt has a flashback of an attack he participated in when he was still a marine. They were attacked by Kilrathi tanks and after hitting one with a grenade he was nearly blown away. After that he has neuro-paralysis, his body stays paralyzed for a while. He can no longer be a marine so he joins the academy. Tolwyn catches him dozing and makes him summarize the briefing. When he says it's a routine mission, Tolwyn corrects him, "Never say a mission is routine until it's completed." Maverick and Grunt go out on patrol and are jumped by Kilrathi. Maverick shoots down most of them because Grunt ejects. With Grunt attached to the ship, they had back home. But the ship locks up and they crash land as a Kilrathi is also landing at the same time. First the Kilrathi wants to kill Maverick, then Maverick is attacked by D&D type monsters. The Kilrathi gets attacked again and is saved again. He then carries Grunt up a hill so they can look down on everything. When Maverick gives the Kilrathi his weapon back, he turns on them. So much for his word of honor. Then it turns into a race/duel to be the first to get reinforcements. Kilrathi and Terran duel it out and all three on the ground escape. Eventually the Kilrathi forces mess up, are defeated and the Kilrathi pilot kills himself.

5. Lords of The Sky - Maverick, Maniac and Grunt are sent to check out a primitive planet that has seen much Kilrathi activity. They aren't supposed to interfere, but while they are inspecting the planet, Maniac leaves Maverick on his own and he gets shot down. When Maniac goes to rescue him, he too gets captured. The primitives are flying Kilrathi fighters by the dozens, though inferior in combat they find strength in numbers. Grunt radios for help and then goes against orders to rescue them. It turns out they are to be sacrificed to "The Lords of the Sky" or the Kilrathi. The Kilrathi are really in charge of the planet and are controlling the primitives through radio signals. Grunt is able to turn the tide a bit and the three of them are off to destroy the signal station. Reinforcements finally arrive and after the signal station is wiped out the primitives can no longer fight.

6. Expendable - Tolwyn sends out Maniac, Maverick and Archer to check out an unknown object near a pulsar. It is a Kilrathi Nav Buoy. After it attacks and almost shoots down Maniac, they destroy it. Tolwyn then selects Maverick and Payback to jump into the Pulsar across the galaxy to see where it leads. They fly bombers in and come out in the middle of a Kilrathi armada. Their orders are not to engage, but Payback doesn't listen. She takes out a few fighters and a Kilrathi destroyer before she is shot down. It takes a big risk by Maverick to pick up her pod and get back into the Pulsar. He is hit and on the way back he realizes they only have a few hours of life support left, not enough to survive. He plans on reporting Payback when they return, even if it ends her career. Meanwhile the Kilrathi launch a force to follow Maverick back. When they return their ship is completely dead and Tolwyn leaves them there. He knows they have been attacked and the Kilrathi will follow them. He replies to this with, "He is expendable, we all are. That is the way of a soldier." When the Kilrathi show up they are decimated. Maverick makes the last kill when his father appears to him like Obi-Wan Kenobi offering him advice. When they return to the Claw, Maverick covers up Payback's disobeying of orders.

7. Chain of Command - The Claw is positioned by the jump buoy waiting for the Kilrathi forces to emerge. Tolwyn keeps Maverick on the bridge to learn about being in command. The trap works and it seems the Kilrathi are beaten. Then a female Admiral from Tolwyn's past arrives. She thinks Tolwyn is fighting his own personal war and doesn't trust him. She orders Maverick to spy on him and report if he doesn't follow her orders. Later, Tolwyn is going to do just that when Maverick informs him of his orders. Tolwyn is plenty mad, but gives in to the Admiral's orders. She is supposed to ambush the Kilrathi fleet that Tolwyn will lead to her. The Kilrathi don't fall for it though and decimate her fleet with another fleet they held in reserve. Tolwyn has only enough time to grab survivors and make a run for the jump buoy. The Kilrathi know that is his only escape route and block the way. Tolwyn is prepared to ram the Kilrathi ship head on. At the last second the Kilrathi back off. This is the best episode because it revolves around Tolwyn. Maverick asks him at the end, "How did you know the Kilrathi would back off?" "I didn't." he replies.

8. Recreation - A superhuman who destroyed his own planet will destroy another to bring his home planet back. A neutral world which is paradise becomes host to the Terran and the Kilrathi. The Terran are there for shore leave and the Kilrathi come for the same reason, but are secretly after the orb which changed the planet from a wasteland into paradise. It can be used as a super weapon. The superhuman has been frozen for 100s of years and is also after the orb to recreate his planet. It's a three-way race that will bring the planet to the edge of extinction.

9. Walking Wounded - There are two plots in this one. Once again Archer is hesitant in battle and gets grounded. The boys are to escort a hospital ship back to the Claw that was attacked by the Kilrathi. Maverick and two others investigate a new ship and leave Maniac behind. It's all an elaborate trap. While Maverick fights the new threat, the Kilrathi launch an attack on the under defended Claw. Maniac is forced to play doctor on the hospital ship and Archer disobeys orders to defend the'Claw. Even Tolwyn proves he can man a fighter, making this the most Malcolm filled episode in the series.

10. On Both Your Houses - The boys are too busy competing to get a woman that they don't see  she is totally using them. They are tracking a Kilrathi pilot they shot down in the nearby jungle and agree to let her capture the pilot while they relax. But she has a sinister plan to infect the pilot with a plague to wipe out the entire Kilrathi race. Of course Archer is the only one who can see through her.

11. Invisible Enemy - The Kilrathi have a cloaking device. Tolwyn doesn't believe it and the boys will break the rules to prove it. When Maniac loses his wingman he gets grounded and no one wants anything to do with him. They think he was too busy going for the kills and they don't believe his talk of a cloaked enemy. But when the same thing happens to Maverick both sneak away to prove their innocence.

12. The Price of Victory - Maverick is shot down on an ice planet and the other cadets are forced to leave him behind. Maniac and Archer want to go rescue him, but Tolwyn won't allow it because of the Kilrathi carrier in the area. Meanwhile Maverick must survive on his own and since it was a Kilrathi empress who shot Maverick down, she will stop at nothing to get him. Also there is a power struggle going on with the Kilrathi that will lead to civil war. One Kilrathi finds Maverick, but doesn't kill him. He wants to defect to stop the civil war. Reluctantly Maverick believes him. Of course Maniac and Archer ignore Tolwyn's orders and go and rescue Maverick. Thanks to the Kilrathi traitor he escapes. Maverick goes to convince Tolwyn of the Kilrathi's plan to defect, but he thinks it's a trap. He turns the tables and launches a surprise attack on the carrier. Like the red shirted crew members in 'Star Trek', pilots you never heard of die in the battle and the Kilrathi is outraged at his betrayal. Maverick is also saddened at his loss. This is the best episode plot because it really captures the lack of trust that enemies have for each other, even when they agree to put their troubles aside to fight a greater enemy.

13. Glory of Sivar - Maverick and another cadet are to go to a planet whose whole race is enslaved by the Kilrathi. They are forced to construct a temple for Sivar, the Kilrathi Emperor. Unbeknownst to them they are all to be sacrificed upon the completion of the temple. Maverick's mission is to organize an uprising against the Kilrathi so a marine landing can easily occur. But the real story is Tolwyn set them up. He wants them to get captured by the Kilrathi and confess the story of the marine landing. This is exactly what happens. Maverick is betrayed by the people he came to help, but they turn on the Kilrathi when they finally understand they are expendable. The Kilrathi land all their forces to overthrow the invading marines which never come. Their battleship, their fighters and their temple is eventually destroyed. Tolwyn played the situation perfectly, even if he made no friends on the deal. As they say, "Win or lose, war is hell."

Flight Member Dossier

Name: Christopher Blair
Callsign: Maverick
Callsign Origination: Maverick received his callsign as a joke from Maniac. When after months as the "perfect" cadet of the Academy, Blair actually bent a rule, and Maniac sarcastically told him, "You're a real maverick, aren't you?"
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Pedigree: Since the time of the American Civil War, the Blair family has maintained a tradition of wealth and influence combined with public service. Maverick's grandmother is a member of the Confederation Council, while his father is the chairman of StarPeace, an organization dedicated to promoting understanding among the inhabited worlds of the galaxy
Flight Pattern: An old fashioned man, a Jeffersonian gentleman, the cheerful innocent, conscientious and boyishly enthusiastic Maverick is motivated by a sense of personal and family honor, without snobbery, greed or petty ambitions. Though highly competitive, Maverick almost always maintains honesty and a sense of fair play.
Personal Behavior: Some pilots dislike Maverick, doubting his sincerity, and mistaking his eagerness to do a good job for a desire to curry favor with his superiors
Standard Issue Quote: "I'm a Blair, sir. The Blairs never lie."
Idol: World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker

Name: Todd Marshall
Callsign: Maniac
Callsign Origination: Eager for battle and danger, a little too much so
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Pedigree: Maniac started flying when he was still in the womb - his mother is a pilot.
Flight Pattern: Maniac's abilities are prodigious: in raw, seat-of-the-pants flying, he may be the best cadet the Academy ever had - but that doesn't mean he will make the best officer. For Maniac, the war against the Kilrathi is an opportunity to test his abilities to the utmost.
Personal Turbulence: Maniac is almost too good. Because of his flying skill, he gets away with combat actions that would get an ordinary pilot killed. Unless he learns to temper his daredevil tactics with a little caution, someday the odds may catch up with him.
Standard Issue Quote: "If there wasn't a war going on, I'd have to start one."

Name: Gwen Bowman
Callsign: Archer
Callsign Origination: Straight and narrow, like an arrow... or the one that aims them, a description which just happens to coincide with her last name
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Flight Pattern: Flying for Archer isn't fun: it's a hard, dangerous job that has to be done well if the war against the Kilrathi is to be won. Archer is a good pilot, but what makes her deadly to the Kilrathi is her single-minded determination to do the job right.
Personal Turbulence: Archer's devotion to duty is similar to Maverick's, but she lacks his easygoing nature and sympathy for others' feelings. She is as unforgiving and critical of others as she is of herself. Some pilots consider her by-the-book approach as excessively cautious but she is not afraid of combat - just determined not to make any mistakes.
High-Flying Strategies: She studies tactics and strategy late into the night, spends her leisure time in a flight simulator, endlessly practicing the dogfight moves that come naturally to Maniac.

Name: Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn
Rank: Captain
Commendation: As captain of the Tiger's Claw, Tolwyn led one of the greatest exploits of the war: the Claw's pursuit and destruction of the Kilrathi dreadnought responsible for the attack on the Goddard Colony.
Flight Pattern: Opinionated, argumentative and critical of his superiors, Tolwyn uses a latitude in carrying out his orders that borders on insubordination. Because of a checkered past with the fleet's High Command, Tolwyn drives the cadet pilots harder than anyone ever has before, relentlessly probing and exploring his sector, and seeking to discover new resources and new races that might prove useful in the war against the Kilrathi.
Personal Turbulence: Like Caesar in Gaul, he attempts to turn a backwater command into a personal springboard to greater power and glory.
Standard Issue Quote: "A pilot is expendable. We all are. That's what it means to be a solider."

A Few Good Cadets And More...A Debriefing On The Others

Guthrig Andropolos - A civilian analyst employed by the fleet, Guthrig is the much-despised medic in charge of the psychological evaluation of the cadets. And although cold and unemotional, he is ironically subject to a variety of phobias.

Yulan Chang AKA Hyena - The comedian of the wing, Hyena is a first rate pilot who demonstrates superior gymnast skills and inspires a lack of confidence by his refusal to take anything, even the Kilrathi, seriously.

Maya McEaddens - The ship's technical specialist, Maya - her amazing mechanical abilities aside - still has the personality of a mischievous, fun-loving, practical-joking teenager... which she was only a short time ago.

Garahl Nar Hhallas AKA Renegade - A crack fighter Kilrathi pilot who eventually defects to the terran side and requests to be allowed to serve in the Confederation fleet - often much to the chagrin of the other cadets.

Hector Paz AKA Grunt - Stubborn and absolutely fearless, he seeks revenge against the Kilrathi for permanently wounding him during the Battle of Repleetah, which he served as a marine.

Lindsay Price AKA Payback - The restless, rebellious martial expert outsider, Payback has phenomenal hand-eye coordination and also seeks to avenge the Kilrathi - they killed her entire family.

History

    Wing Commander Academy is rooted in the phenomenal success of a line of "Wing Commander" computer games initially launched in 1990. Available in multiple languages with sales in the millions, the "Wing Commander" award winning interactive game series for PC CD-ROM consistently defined "state-of-the-art," breaking new barriers in the blending of Hollywood filmmaking and computer entertainment.
    The first title boasted finely detailed, breathtaking graphics and cinematic sequences, with high-tech starfighters engaging in action inspired by the classic space battle films such as Star Wars. Set in the 27th cenutry, the game finds mankind locked in a grueling war with the daring pilots of the Terran Confederation fending off the Kilrathi, a vicious, militaristic alien race. In the game, the player must employ cunning tactics and expert marksmanship to battle Kilrathi aces in heated deep-space dogfights to save the future of the world.
    In 1991's "Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi," rousing new adventures continue with a new generation of starfighters but, in addition to combat with the Kilrathi, a fleet of traitors have infiltrated the Confederation forces creating additional mayhem.
    Selling 600,000 units on multiple gaming platforms, "Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger," released in December 1994, merged Hollywood film techniques with computer graphics for a spine-tingling cinematic and space flight experience. Four disks hold full speech, explosive sound, an interactive plot and more than three hours of adrenaline-charged live action video images, and stars Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell and Tom Wilson. Stunning synthetic sets, multiple camera angles and completely interactive player control brought space combat simulation to unparalleled levels of realism. "Wing Commander III" also received countless accolades as "Action Game of the Year and "Game of the Year".
    In "Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom," released in February 1996, the bloody battle between the Kilrathi and Terrans has concluded but Colonel Christopher Blair is called back into duty when civil war brakes out on the homefront and he faces a new enemy. Translated into three languages, "Wing Commander IV" promises to uphold the legacy that has spawned a legion of fans, innovative new technology and now an animated series from Universal cartoon Studios, Inc.

Kilrathi Bio

    An unsavory, savage feline race, the Kilrathi descended from the predators that roamed the savannas of the planet Kilrah in the distant past. Aside from despicable hairy looks and thorny demeanors, their ancestors passed on a ruthless sense of cunning and aggressiveness. The whole Kilrathi history is an extended chronicle of civil wars so brutal that those in human history pale by comparison. The race remains a predatory species, only now they operate on a galactic level, claiming their prey in the far reaches of space and taking by force those who do not bow to their claim. Their entire culture is based on a sense of war and aggression, elevated to religious levels.
    They Kilrathi warriors live by a three-tiered code of honor -- personal honor, the honor of their clan, and the honor of the Emperor. This code of honor is more important to the Kilrathi warrior than his own life.
    Kilrathi technological and aesthetic ideals reflect their cultural focus on aggressions. Their starships are designed to resemble ornate cutting weapons, with sharp, blade-like wings swept toward to lethal-looking points.
    Females control all religious factions on Kilrah and direct all offering and religious ceremonies. The Kilrathi are polytheistic, with the war-god Sivar being the most important deity.
    The homeworld of the Kilrathi is the planet Kilrah, a semi-arid world of rolling savannas pierced by the smoldering cones of giant volcanoes. Huge rift valleys, reminders of the planet's even more active seismic blast, form the "continental" boundaries. There are no oceans, but almost all of the rift valleys contain long and relatively narrow brackish lakes, which help define the perimeters of the ancient clan homelands.
    All in all, a terrifying terrain for a frightening race.

Notes

Pictures

Group in military uniform
Group in flight suits

Press Release

Wing Commander Academy Animated Series To Premiere September 21 on USA Network

    Inspired by the wildly successful line of award-winning, top-selling "Wing Commander" interactive CD-ROM computer games, the new action adventure animated series Wing Commander Academy soars into a cartoon stratosphere brimming with eye-popping special effects, bold strokes, imaginative character-driven stories, lauded talent and a uniquely futuristic bent. The Wing Commander Academy, produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. in association with Electronic Arts/Origin Systems, Inc. takes off on its inaugural flight Saturday, September 21, 1996, premiering on USA Networkís "Action Extreme Team" block at 11:30 a.m. EST.
    As a landmark computer game, "Wing Commander" has sold more than three million units since its debut in 1990. The game revolutionized the industry by using live actors including Mark Hamill, Tom Wilson and Malcolm McDowell, all who reprise their portrayals in the series and real sets rather than animated images, and is currently in its fourth incarnation with "Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom." Emmy Award winner Dana Delany (China Beach) joins the cast of the series in a newly created role.
    In the animated series Wing Commander Academy, the year is 2655, and the stories lay out a "prequel" to the games. For a generation, the Terran Confederation has waged a relentless war against the forces of the Kilrathi, a fierce, savage, feline-like race a battle that rages on through the first three video games. During this combat, the very existence of humanity in the galaxy is at stake, along with countless other sentient lifeforms who seek protection by the Terran Confederation. Because of recent heavy losses in battle against the Kilrathi, the 201st Pleeb class of the Confederationís Space Naval Academy replaces the regular flight crew aboard the refurbished Tigerís Claw spaceship, with Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn commanding. The cadets are supposed to complete their course of instruction while performing routine patrols and flight training. But, in war, anything can happen. Wing Commander Academy embarks on the voyages of these novice, honorable, skill-honing fighters as they test their mettle, bravado and expertise on an itinerary of missions fraught with danger. In the Wing Commander Academy, 12 cadets hold the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. At the end of their tour, the outstanding cadet leader receives the "Wing Commander" designation and an insignia of gold wings reaching the first step of "flag rank."
    Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn (voiced by Malcolm McDowell), the opinionated, argumentative commander who may be a brilliant tactician but tortured by inner demons may prove to be his own worst enemy, captains the Tigerís Claw and lords over the main characters:
    Christopher "Maverick" Blair (voiced by Mark Hamill), a patriotic-minded, boyishly-enthusiastic pilot with a military pedigree, who constantly competes with honesty and a sense of fair play; 
Todd "Maniac" Marshall (voiced by Tom Wilson), a raw, impetuous daredevil, who often proves to be a source of irritation and aggravation to Maverick and vice versa; and Gwen "Archer" Bowman (voiced by Dana Delany), a serious-minded, endlessly-practicing female pilot on a collision course with perfection. Copyright © 1996 Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc.

Synopsis - Official

In this weekly half-hour action adventure animated series inspired by the critically acclaimed, best-selling "Wing Commander" video games, a spirited, elite corps of novice fighter pilots attends the Wing Commander Academy in the year 2655. Often thrust into battle against the mighty and ruthless Kilrathi race, the crew must master daring maneuvers and veer through constant danger to save the world from the menacing breed. The staid honorable Maverick, devil-may-care and impulsive Maniac, and serious-minded, cautious and competent Archer comprise a quarter of the cadet wing at the academy under their brilliant yet argumentative captain Commodore Tolwyn.

My Review

     After not thinking I was never going to see this series, I finally got a chance every Sunday morning at the ungodly hour of 7AM. I was excited at the prospect of spending time with Malcolm on a weekly basis just like the year before with "Pearl". But after three weeks my enthusiasm was gone and for good reason. This show sucks.
     Malcolm only gets to provide the setup. It goes something like this, "OK, here's your mission. The Kilrathi are blah, blah" and that's it for Commodore Tolwyn. The series takes place 20 years before the time of the video game and the plots always center around the competition between Maverick and Maniac and to a lesser extent the highly annoying Archer. When you think academy you think school right? Wrong. There is no school, they fly missions just like in the games, but they are called cadets. No one would send cadets out all the time on important missions like these. Are there no experienced pilots anywhere? Especially when Maniac's only goal in life is to show off and up his kill total. The character of Archer is extremely unrealistic. She is fed up with the war and can't even get the courage up to finish off the enemy even when her wingmen might die. She wouldn't last a day in combat. So that's about it.
     Maverick and Maniac spend most of the time attempting to outdo each other and doing whatever they want in the meantime, usually breaking orders in the process. This would never happen in a real army.  The most they might get is a slap on the wrist, if anything. Archer spends most of the time bitching to anyone who will listen that "aren't they tired of the war and the killing?" etc.
     After the fourth episode we learn why Archer is such a pain in the ass. She was forced to fire on a fellow pilot and killed him. Only later in the series run are there a few good episodes that showcase Tolwyn more, but these weren't enough to keep the series going. It was cancelled after half a season, no more episodes were ordered.
     There you have it. Poor animation. Boring two dimensional stereotyped characters. Weak stories. Unrealistic flying, like if an enemy is on your tail then just do a loop and finish them off. Bad sound. Recycled characters. And two minutes of Malcolm all adds up to another disappointing series.

Rating 2.5/10

Pictures and Press Release © 1996 USA Channel
Rest of page © 1997-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net