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Baa Baa Black Sheep
Whenever my father's TV mood coincided with the airing of Baa Baa Black Sheep (also referred to as Black Sheep Squadron during syndication), you could bet the entire family would be tuned in. The series, crafted by Stephen J. Cannell, graced NBC screens from 1976 to 1978, delivering a total of 37 episodes. Its narrative orbits around the wartime experiences of Pappy Boyington, a Marine Corps aviator, and his remarkable World War II ensemble, the "Black Sheep Squadron."
The central role was capably filled by Robert Conrad, a name synonymous with his part in the 1965 CBS television series The Wild Wild West, where he portrayed the Secret Service agent James T. West.
Conrad held the spotlight, but Baa Baa Black Sheep also served as a platform for the introduction of other accomplished actors. Among them, John Larroquette emerged, eventually becoming a Night Court icon. Moreover, Larry Manetti and Jeff MacKay graced the cast, both eventually featuring in Magnum, P.I. Manetti’s character Rick into Magnum's was integral to the framework of that show, whereas MacKay's portrayal of Mac was somewhat more sporadic. Notably, MacKay also charmed audiences as Corky in the short-lived series Tales of the Gold Monkey.
As the opening credits unfurl, Baa Baa Black Sheep's words unfold: "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." The sight of this introduction never fails to stir emotions within me.
If you are a fan or would like to become one, the complete series is available for purchase. If you like shows and movies set in WWII you are going to love Baa Baa Black Sheep.