Tuesday, 7 March 2017

625 The "A" Team

First  viewed : 29  July  1983

My  mother  watched  the  pilot  for  this  the  week  before  and  said  it  was  rubbish. Of  course  you  don't  take  your  mum's  recommendations  or  otherwise  on  trust  so  I  made  sure I  checked  out  the  next  episode. It  wasn't  long  before  I  realised  she  was  right.

I  know  it's  still  regarded  with  affection  by  many  eighties  kids  but  I  just  rejected  it  straight  away  mainly  for  its  brain-numbingly  repetitive  formula  which  made  Quincy  seem  challenging. The  gang  of  four  Vietnam  vets, wise-cracking  leader Hannibal  ( George  Peppard ), aerophobic   behemoth  B.A.  Baracus  ( Mr  T) , schizo  Murdock  ( Dwight  Shultz  )  and  violence-evading  pretty  boy  Face  ( Dirk  Benedict )  were  on  the  run  from  the  US  army  and  scratched  a  living  as  good-hearted  mercs  turning  up  in  a  small  town  and  righting  wrongs. It  was  not  too  dissimilar  to  The Incredible  Hulk  in  that  sense.

It  was  also  like  Hulk  in  another   important  sense. The  Team  had  mastered  the  same mysterious  art  of  causing  violent  mayhem  without  anyone  getting  seriously  hurt. Cars  would  be  blown  up  - actually  it  was  usually  just  the  one  explosion  filmed  from  different  angles - then  the  occupants  would  emerge  unscathed. The  Beeb  actually  had  first  option  on  the  series  but  rejected  it  for  promotion  of  the  dangerous  idea  that  violence  had  n  consequence . An  unconcerned  ITV  gratefully  snapped  it  up.

In  the  first  couple  of  series  the  Team   were  assisted  by  a female  reporter. The  actress  playing  the  first  one , Melinda  Culea  was  chivalrously  told  by  Peppard  she  wasn't  wanted , even  before  filming  started  and  the  female  member  was  jettisoned  at  the  end  of  the  second  season.  Benedict  still  shamelessly  champions  it  as  the  last  great  masculine  show.

The  show  lasted  for  five  seasons  until  everyone got  bored  of  it  and  it  finished  in  1987.


  1. I'd agree you were perhaps (even at 18 or so) out of the target demographic for this. It was certainly essential Saturday afternoon viewing for the under 10s round my way...

    Small points of interest are that the pilot featured a strange John Travolta lookalike as Face, who looked far too young even then to be a Vietnam vet. The show itself didn't seem to do the careers of the cast much good, outside Shultz, who got a regular gig in the Star Trek franchise and has done a fair bit of voiceover work, including in some successful video game franchises.

    Though I would counter that a certain British show about brickies abroad makes the A Team seem like a bunch of ultra-straight feminists!

  2. We'll come to that one soon enough !