Baa Baa Black Sheep

If it was on and my Father happened to be in the mood to watch TV, our entire family would be watching Baa Baa Black Sheep (also known as Black Sheep Squadron in syndication). The Stephen J. Cannell series, originally aired on NBC from 1976 until 1978, for a total of 37 episode. The plot of the show revolves around the experiences of United States Marine Corps aviator Pappy Boyington and his World War II “Black Sheep Squadron”.

The show starred Robert Conrad. Who is best known for his role in the 1965 CBS television series The Wild Wild West, in which he played Secret Service agent James T. West. While Conrad was the marquee star, the show would also introduce us to other talented actors. Including John Larroquette, who would go onto Night Court fame, and Larry Manetti and Jeff MacKay who were both on Magnum PI. Manetti played Rick on Magnum and was integral to the series while MacKay play Mac, who made all to infrequent appearances (Like MacKay? Check him out at Corky in Tales of the Gold Monkey).

The opening credits of Baa Baa Black Sheep read: “In World War II Marine Corps Major Greg ‘Pappy’ Boyington commanded a squadron of fighter pilots. They were a collection of misfits and screwballs who became the terrors of the South Pacific. They were known as the Black Sheep.” Watching that intro still give me the chills.

Season 1 of the show was release 6+ years ago in two sets, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Fans are still waiting on season 2, but judging by the amount of time that has passed, I would say a better bet would be an entire re-issue by another company.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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2 thoughts on “Baa Baa Black Sheep

  1. Aw yeahhhh….My dad was a history buff and loved reading WWII books, he absolutely adored this series, and as a result we watched every episode whenever we could. Despite being Stephen Cannell formula virtually every week, it had it’s charm.

    And to this day I still love the Corsair – my favorite plane of all time. Damn, now I want a new model kit.

  2. The real irony is that the last box set with the remaining episodes has been released – in 2006, I believe – but only in France. Maybe France has a stronger fan base than the United States? I don’t know.

    I have a good friend in France whom I’ve just sent some money to order the box set for me from French Amazon. According to some of the fan sites, it’s in the English text with French subtitles that can be turned off. It’s a Region 2 DVD, of course, but no biggie. I have a region free Phillips DVD player because I’ve got a fair deal of German movies, which are also Region 2. (You can also play them on the computer if you use DVDPasskey, which removes the region encoding from the disk.)

    So there’s hope yet for people wanting to catch up on all episodes.

    For what it’s worth, I’m glad to find some fellow fans. I made a fan page over on Tumblr to post screen caps from the series for those who want to reminisce with pictures of Corsairs and, of course, the cast. I also try to mix in information and pictures of the historic VMF-214 when I find them.

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