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.