Looking back now at the title sequence description of The A Team things were a bit laughable. They were a crack unit of commandos who were wrongly sent to prison for some crime that was never made clear. They escaped from prison to become soldiers of fortune living in the underground of LA. Yeah right! To me, that description sounds more like a group of over tattooed, leather clad hard nuts in dark glasses than the amiable bunch of guys they actually were. Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching the A Team as much as the next man, but you’ve got to admit that the description doesn’t quite match the reality.
Anyway, The A Team consisted of the leader Hannibal (the late George Peppard), who seemed to spend most of his spare time dressed as a big lizard that walked out of a lake for some B-Movie. He was never without a huge cigar in his mouth and always spouted the catchphrase “I love it when a plan comes together“. Face (Dirk Benedict) was the suave one who tried to crack on to whichever damsel in distress they were helping that week, whilst “Howlin’ Mad” Murdoch (Dwight Schultz) was the teams pilot, who was also a mental patient who normally had to be sprung from his care home every episode. Finally there was Bosco “Bad Attitude” Barracus, better known as B.A. (played by the gold clad Mr. T way before bling was considered cool) who was both the muscle and a mechanic and also owner of the A Team’s van – a big black Ford Transit style van with a spoiler on the back, and a big red Starsky and Hutch style stripe on the side. He was also afraid of
The average episode went something like this:-
- Asked by a pretty girl to help save her father’s farm that is being terrorised by some drug baron.
- Break Murdoch out of mental home.
- B.A. protests that “he ain’t gettin’ on no plane” and calls Murdock “a crazy fool”.
- B.A. is drugged with a glass of milk and carried on to airplane.
- They arrive at the farm, where Face promptly cracks on to pretty girl.
- Father protests they don’t need their help.
- Drug baron appears and do something nasty, like grab pretty girl by the wrist or spit on the ground.
- The A Team concoct some plan that involves modifying the van (how did they get the van there when they flew to the farm?) by adding a piece of tubing that fires cabbages to the roof.
- Cabbages fired at drug baron until he decides to go away.
The A Team was great fun, and despite featuring guns and explosions a plenty it was remarkable non-violent. Most people cowered before B.A. instead of fighting him, and every time a jeep ended up crashing and exploding, you always saw the driver and occupants spilling safely out and running away just in time. There was a (fairly subtle) message of brains over brawn on display, but I’m sure that was wasted on most kids.
My favourite memory of The A Team has to be the bit where Face is stood at a movie lot, and a Cylon Centurion from Battlestar Galactica walks past. Dirk Benedict was of course Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica. The way he gives a little double take and points his finger as if to say “haven’t I seen you somewhere before” was so good it made it on to the title sequence.