ABC-TV wasn’t letting those Airport (“Exploring: Airport, Watch the Series“) theatrical blockbusters slip by them without a TV movie knockoff, this one by the ’70s production dynamic duo of Leonard Goldberg and Aaron Spelling. Critics pounced on the film’s special effects, sets, and stock footage ineptitude on a low budget, but it cleaned up on the advertising front as it placed in the Top 10 shows during the week of November 21, 1975.
The DC-8 from The Doomsday Flight (reviewed this week) is out, as the industry had upgraded to the Boeing 747. This time, instead of bomb threats and ransom tomfoolery, this airline fest’s resident nutjob takes the serial killer route: he’s left behind a letter with the airport Head of Security proclaiming that a “series of murders” will occur of Flight 502.
As you can see, this is pure 1970s TV, courtesy of Robert Stack — who did a gunnysack load of TV movies back in the day, along with Spelling’s soon-to-be favorite blonde angel, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and . . . Sonny Bono and Danny “Partridge” Bonaduce? Wow! And there’s Walter Pidgeon (The Neptune Factor)!
This one is quite easy to find on DVD — with Farrah to the forefront, of course, even though she’s a minor character (as a stewardess) amid the aeronautical chaos. Needless to say, the acting royalty of Robert Stack, Ralph Bellamy, Hugh O’Brian, and ‘ol Walter rise to the occasion and make it all work against the budget.