1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 7 (USA)
98 x 50 minute episodes
“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire . . . The A-Team”
A crack team of soldiers in Vietnam is caught robbing the Bank of Hanoi for one hundred million Yen, four days after the war has ended.
They maintain it was a Top Secret mission but cannot prove who had given them their orders and are imprisoned by their own government.
They escape and are pursued as criminals by the US military headed by Colonel Lynch (William Lucking) and Colonel Decker (Lance LeGault) successively.
Successfully evading capture, they become freelance soldiers of fortune (but ethical ones), righting wrongs across the country under the leadership of Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith (George Peppard).
The other members of the team are strongman and ace mechanic B.A. Baracus (played by the walking comic book, Mr T); skilled imposter Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Dirk Benedict), and slightly deranged pilot Captain ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock (Dwight Schultz), who escaped from a mental hospital to join the team.
The A-Team are ultimately tricked into capture by General Hunt Stockwell (Robert Vaughn) and are sentenced to death. They strike a deal with Stockwell and become undercover agents in return for their “freedom”.
For their first season, the ragtag band of soldiers of fortune were joined by a journalist, Amy Manada Allen (Melinda Cules) – known as ‘Triple A’ – and for their last season, they recruited ‘Dishpan’ Frankie Sanchez (Eddie Velez).
Mr T (born Laurence Tureaud) was a BIG star in the 80s and much loved by little kids the world over though It has been noted that he has been absent from subsequent thespian masterpieces.
The A-Team had essentially been created as a vehicle for Mr T after NBC programme Chief Brandon Tartikoff had seen him as Clubber Lang in the movie Rocky III (1982).
The most significant thing about The A-Team was probably the fact that approximately 2,000,000 rounds of ammunition would be fired off in each episode, and yet no one ever, ever got shot, ever!
In fact, no one ever got hurt – open-top jeeps would tumble over, cars would explode, and people would fall off buildings – then get up and run off. This may have been true for all of that ilk (Knight Rider, Airwolf et al), but it was most noticeable in The A-Team.
Complaints about the violence quotient in the show eventually caused it to be withdrawn from transmission in Britain.
Col. John “Hannibal” Smith
Sgt. B.A Baracus
Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck
Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock
General Hunt Stockwell
Amy Amanda Allen
Col. Roderick Decker
Dishpan Frankie Sanchez