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Baa Baa Black Sheep

By Paul Gaita

A likable mix of WWII action and light comedy, the first 10 episodes of the NBC series Baa Baa Black Sheep (1976-78) wing their way onto DVD in this double-sided two-disc set. Based on the adventures of Marine Corps pilot Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (played in the series by the always dependable Robert Conrad) and his squadron of roguish ace fliers in the South Pacific Theater, Baa Baa Black Sheep benefited from an excellent cast (which included such TV and film vets as Simon Oakland and Dana Elcar, as well as up-and-comers like John Larroquette and Larry Manetti of Magnum, P.I.) and scripts from series creator Stephen J. Cannell (as well as long-time TV scribes like Philip De Guere and Milt Rosen) that offered a enjoyable balance of humor and combat.

The blend gets an excellent showcase in the 1976 two-hour pilot, Flying Misfits, which kicks off volume 1; the remaining 10 adventures pit Pappy and the Black Sheep boys against the Axis Japanese in a secret squadron of captured planes ("The Meatball Circus," episode 8), a brainwashed American captain ("Presumed Dead," episode 7), and a tough major (Charles Napier) with designs on commanding the squadron ("Best Three out of Five," episode 3).

Fans of the series may question the decision to include only half of the first season's episodes in this set (the 1976-77 season ran for an additional 12 episodes before being dropped by NBC; the series was revived in late 1977, rechristened Black Sheep Squadron, and ran for an additional 13 episodes before being canceled in 1978), but the inclusion of the two-part pilot and interviews with the real Pappy Boyington (who served as the show's consultant and even cameos in the pilot) should appease any concerns.

Baa Baa Black Sheep on DVD!
Baa Baa Black Sheep is now available on DVD! Get it at!
Season One


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Check out our Baa Baa Black Sheep forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Baa Baa Black Sheep viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

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This is my all time favorite show. I've been a fan since it was first aired in 1976. The show only lasted two seasons and the first season was by far the best. In the second season the show was renamed Black Sheep Squadron and it is shown in syndication under that name. It currently airs on the History Channel (11/2/01). There were many good episodes in season one when the emphasis was on the struggles of war. The commaraderie of the cast was the best thing about the show. Any show that featured the character of Capt. Jim Gutterman is tops in my book. My favorite episodes would be "Deadliest Enemy of All" parts 1 and 2 and "Devil in the Slot". Though "Up for Grabs" and "Meatball Circus" are right up there.


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Aired: September 21, 1976 - September 1, 1978

Cast: Robert Conrad, Dana Elcar, James Whitmore Jr., John Larroquette, Dirk Blocker, Robert Ginty

Network: NBC

Genre: War Drama

Theme song

Image courtesy of NBC

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Baa Baa Black Sheep Videos and DVDs!
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Robert Conrad Videos and DVDs!
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Dana Elcar Videos and DVDs!

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