The A Team

Started commenting on this in my previous post & got carried away…

Tuesday night TV watching for Witta Woowie Wocke (1 hour) was devoted to “The A-Team” – in the post-VietNam USA, something was needed to make the people of the country feel good about our soldiers & the travesty of an unwinnable war in Viet Nam. Apocolypse Now didn’t make us feel good, & Magnum PI was pretty intense as well in the way the show had dealt with the very real & very serious issues faced by vets as they attempted to reintegrate into society. The A-Team came at the topic from a slapstick action-adventure TV show, where no one ever got killed or hurt, despite the 3.2 billion bullets fired & bombs exploded in each episode of the show.

The premise of the show was that duh-duh-duh-duh…in 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they did not commit. They promptly escaped a maximum security stockade into the Los Angeles Underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they exist as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…

The A-Team. Dah, duh-dah, duh-dah-dunh…Love it.

Think about it. These guys, the A-Team, a group of all-around good eggs, serve as soldiers of fortune, usually for free, as modern day heroes that rescue the poor & underprivileged of society. Still, they were accused of a crime that they didn’t commit by the Evil Military Establishment (the same guys, no doubt, that forced John Rambo to retaliate after they took “First Blood.” But that’s another post.)

Here’s a run down of the main players:

  • George Peppard played John “Hannibal” Smith, the brains of the team, known, like his Carthaginian namesake for his incredible battle strategies. His tag-line, in every show, was when the bad guys got their come-uppance – he’d say, with an unlit cigar in his mouth, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
  • Dirk Benedict played Templeton “Faceman” Peck (after his Apollo role on the original “Battlestar Galactica.”) He was the charmer who used his beautiful face & unmatchable hair to woo the ladies into helping the Team. Always a gentleman though.
  • Lawrence Tero aka “Mr. T” played Bosco “BA – Bad Attitude Baracus” the technical wizard who could drive anything, fix anything, & pitied any fool who tried to mess with him, or the black conversion van that he drove (& that you never want to see circling your neighborhood elementary school.) This tough guy with a heart of gold was afraid of nothing. Except for flying. Unfortunately, the Team flew every week, so he had to be tricked & drugged by his “friends,” to get him onto the planes. He never seemed to catch on that he was in for it.
  • Rounding out the team is Dwight Schultz (Georgia: you’d know him from Star Trek: Next Generation fame – he had a bit though recurring part as Reg Barclay, the crewman who lived out his life on the holodeck.) Schultz played “H.M. Howling Mad Murdock” whose claim to fame was his skill at flying anything with wings or a rotor. Only slightly more well known was his PTSD, which made him funny, (not funny ha-ha, but funny, crazy.) Though mentally ill, he was a much beloved member of the Team & was my personal favorite member of the team.

    At various times, female reporter characters were incorporated into the show, where they worked to try to clear the Team by uncovering the truth… with poor results – they don’t warrant mentioning because the opening montage only fired 4 bullets (for the 4 main characters,) so I feel justified in their omission.

    Got a favorite A-Team moment? Mine is the Murdock “I want a tray-ash BAG!” episode.

  • 8 thoughts on “The A Team

    1. This is shameful and disgusting. You need to turn your back on this. If not for you or me, you’ve got to do it for the children.

    2. Face: [the team’s plane is starting to malfunction] Uh, Murdock, what’s going to happen?
      Murdock: Looks like we’re going to crash.’
      Face: No, what’s *really* going to happen?
      Murdock: Looks like we’re going to crash and die.

      [after crashing the plane]

      Murdock: That concludes your flight with Miracle Airlines, the only airline where Lady Luck is your co-pilot.

    3. I must admit that I went through the 80’s and never watched even one episode of the A-Team. I didn’t even know that Reg was on this program.

    4. Googled my best memory of Murdock: “Murdock finds a mounted lobster, whom he names Thermidor. Thermidor is broken to pieces early on and Murdock fights on in his memory.”

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