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The A-Team
The A-Team title screen (seasons 1-4).
Format Action/Adventure
Created by Frank Lupo
Stephen J. Cannell
Starring George Peppard
Dirk Benedict
Dwight Schultz
Mr. T
Melinda Culea
Marla Heasley
Eddie Velez
Robert Vaughn
Theme music composer Mike Post
Pete Carpenter
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 98 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Stephen J. Cannell
Frank Lupo (seasons 4 and 5)
Producer(s) John Ashley
Tom Blomquist (season 5)
Running time 48 minutes per episode (without advertisements)
Production company(s) Universal Television
In Association With Stephen J. Cannell Productions
Original channel NBC
Original run January 23, 1983 – March 8, 1987

The A-Team is an American action adventure television series about a fictional group of ex-United States Army Special Forces who work as soldiers of fortune while being on the run from the military for a "crime they didn't commit". The A-Team was created by writers and producers Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell (who also collaborated together on Wiseguy, Riptide and Hunter) at the behest of Brandon Tartikoff, NBC's Entertainment president.

Despite being thought of as mercenaries by the other characters in the show, the A-Team always acted on the side of good and helped the oppressed. The show ran for five seasons on the NBC television network, from January 23, 1983 to December 30, 1986 (with one additional, previously unbroadcast episode shown on March 8, 1987), for a total of 98 episodes.

It remains known in popular culture for its cartoon-like use of over-the-top violence (in which people were seldom seriously hurt), supposedly formulaic episodes, featuring the ability to form weaponry and vehicles out of old parts, and its distinctive theme tune. The show also served as the springboard for the career of Mr. T, who portrayed the character of B.A. Baracus, around whom the show was initially conceived.[1][2] Some of the show's catchphrases such as "I love it when a plan comes together",[3] "Hannibal's on the jazz" and "I ain't gettin' on no plane!" have also made their way onto T-shirts and other merchandise.

Although not directly referenced in the series, the name of the show comes from "A-Teams", the nickname for Operational Detachments Alpha (ODA). The US Army Special Forces uses the term ODA for their 12-man direct operations teams.[4]

A feature film based on the series is planned for release by 20th Century Fox on June 11, 2010. A comic book series, A-Team: Shotgun Wedding began March 9, 2010.



NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tartikoff pitched the series to Cannell as a cross between The Dirty Dozen, Mission Impossible, Seven Samurai (and its western remake The Magnificent Seven), Mad Max, and Hill Street Blues, with "Mr. T driving the car."[5][6][7][8]

Initially, The A-Team was not expected to become a hit, although Stephen J. Cannell has claimed that "[George Peppard] said it would be a huge hit before we ever turned on a camera."[9] In fact, the show became a huge hit and the first regular episode, which aired after Super Bowl XVII on January 30, 1983, reached 26.4% of the television watching audience, placing fourth in the top 10 rated shows, according to the Nielsen ratings.[10]


The main cast of The A-Team. Clockwise from top: Murdock, B.A. Baracus, Hannibal and Faceman.

The A-Team revolves around the four members of a former commando outfit and current group of mercenaries. Their leader is Col. John "Hannibal" Smith (George Peppard), whose plans tend to be unorthodox but effective. Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Dirk Benedict - Tim Dunigan appeared as Templeton Peck in the pilot) - usually referred to simply as "Face" - is a smooth-talking con-man who serves as the team's appropriator of vehicles and other useful items. The team's pilot is Capt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Dwight Schultz), who has been declared insane and resides in a Veterans Administration mental institution for the show's first four seasons. Finally, there is the team's strong man and mechanic, Sgt. B.A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus (Mr. T).

For its first season and the first half of the second season, the team was assisted by reporter Amy Amanda Allen (Melinda Culea). She was ultimately replaced by fellow reporter Tawnia Baker (Marla Heasley) for the rest of the second season. The character of Tia (Tia Carrere), a Vietnam war orphan now living in the United States, was meant to join the Team in the fifth season,[11] but she was replaced by Frankie Santana (Eddie Velez), who served as the team's special effects expert. Eddie Velez was added to the opening credits of the fifth season after that season's second episode.

During their adventures, the A-Team was constantly met by opposition from the military police. In the show's first season they were led by Colonel Lynch (William Lucking), but he was replaced for the second, third, and earlier fourth season by Colonel Decker (Lance LeGault) and his aide Captain Crane (Carl Franklin). Lynch returned for one episode in the show's third season ("Showdown!") but was not seen after. Decker was also shortly replaced by a Colonel Briggs (Charles Napier) in the third season for one episode ("Fire!") due to Lance LeGault being unavailable for the episode, but returned shortly after. For the latter portion of the show's fourth season, the team was hunted by General Harlan "Bull" Fullbright (Jack Ging), who would later hire the A-Team to find Tia in the season four finale, during which Fullbright was killed.

The fifth season introduced General Hunt Stockwell (Robert Vaughn) who, while serving as the team's primary antagonist, was also the team's boss and joined them on several missions. He was often assisted by Carla (Judith Ledford, sometimes credited as Judy Ledford).


In the pilot, the role of Face was portrayed by Tim Dunigan, but he was later replaced by Dirk Benedict, because Dunigan was "too tall and too young".[12] According to Dunigan: "I look even younger on camera than I am. So it was difficult to accept me as a veteran of the Vietnam War, which ended when I was a sophomore in high school."[13]

Tia Carrere was intended to join the principal cast of the show in its fifth season after appearing in the season four finale,[11] providing a continuing tie to the team's inception during the war. However, Carrere was under a prior contract to General Hospital at the time, and was unable to join the cast of The A-Team. Her character was abruptly dropped as a result.

According to Mr. T's own account in Bring Back... The A-Team in 2006, the role of B.A. Baracus was written specifically for him from the beginning. This is corroborated by Stephen J. Cannell's own account of the initial concept proposed by Tartikoff.[5]

James Coburn, who co-starred in The Magnificent Seven, was considered for the role of Hannibal in The A-Team, while George Peppard (Hannibal) was the original consideration for the role of Vin (played by Steve McQueen instead) in The Magnificent Seven.[14]

Notable guest appearances

Notable guest stars included:

  • Wendy Fulton as Kelly Stevens in "Bounty". Fulton and Dwight Schultz had married a few years before the episode, and the episode plays on the theme of Kelly and Murdock falling in love.
  • Boy George as himself in "Cowboy George".
  • Isaac Hayes as C.J. Mack in "The Heart Of Rock N' Roll".
  • Hulk Hogan as himself in "The Trouble With Harry" and "Body Slam".
  • Rick James as himself in "The Heart of Rock N' Roll".
  • David McCallum as Ivan Trigorin in "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair". McCallum guest stars as a former associate of Robert Vaughn's character General Stockwell. Vaughn and McCallum had co-starred together as friendly American and Russian secret agents in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. The A-Team episode spoofed many aspects of the classic series.
  • Joe Namath as TJ Bryant in Quarterback Sneek season 5 episode 4
  • William Perry as himself in "The Trouble With Harry".
  • Pat Sajak as himself in "Wheel of Fortune".
  • Vanna White as herself in "Wheel of Fortune".

Plot synopsis

The "crime they didn't commit"

During the Vietnam War, the A-Team's commanding officer, Colonel Morrison, gave them orders to rob the Bank of Hanoi to help bring the war to an end. They succeeded in their mission, but on returning to their base four days after the end of the war, they found their C.O. murdered by the Viet Cong and his headquarters burned to the ground. Therefore no proof existed that the A-Team were acting under orders, and they were sent to prison by a military court. They were sent to Fort Bragg, from which they escaped before they could actually stand trial.

The first four seasons

The show's early seasons did not have overarching plots, although occasionally there would be two-part episodes. The episodes are linked to a specific season by their primary antagonist, a recurring assistant character and its particular use of guest stars (the first season was relatively low on guest stars while the show's fourth season often featured well-known stars such as Boy George and Hulk Hogan).

As such, only a few significant developments are made during this time, which include the blood transfer between Murdock and B.A. in the first season episode "Black Day at Bad Rock", the replacement of recurring character Amy Allen with Tawnia Baker and the replacements of the recurring antagonists of the Military Police. The final episode of the fourth season does present two unusual occurrences; the antagonist (Gen. Fullbright in this case) works with the Team and also features the second on-screen death (also Gen. Fullbright). This episode, together with the first three of the fifth season deal extensively with the team's Vietnam history.

The fifth season

As the television ratings of The A-Team fell dramatically during the fourth season, the format was changed for the show's final season in 1986-1987 in a bid to win back viewers. After years on the run from the authorities, the A-Team are finally apprehended by the military. General Hunt Stockwell propositions them to work for him, whereupon he will arrange for their pardons upon successful completion of several suicide missions. In order to do so, however, the A-Team must first escape from their captivity. With the help of new character, Frankie "Dishpan Man" Santana, the team fake their deaths before the firing squad.

The new status quo of the A-Team no longer working for themselves remained for the duration of the fifth season, and both Frankie Santana and Hunt Stockwell were added to the credits. The missions the team had to perform in season five were somewhat reminiscent of Mission: Impossible, and based more around political espionage than besting local thugs, also usually taking place in foreign countries. However, these changes proved unsuccessful with viewers and ratings continued to decline. Only 13 episodes aired in the fifth season.

In what was supposed to be the final episode, "The Grey Team" (although a skipped episode was first broadcast during reruns), Hannibal, after being misled by Stockwell one time too many, tells him that the team will not work for him any more. At the end, the team discusses what they were going to do if they got their pardon, and it is implied that they would continue doing what they were doing as the A-Team.

Themes and other characteristics

Opening sequence

Each episode of the first four seasons began with this voiceover introduction:

(Ten years ago / In 1972), a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive 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.

By the time the series began airing in January 1983, it was already out of date, as The A-Team escaped from prison in 1972 (the series began production in Fall 1982, and the first three stories carry a 1982 copyright). For the second to fourth season the dialogue was updated to "In 1972...", confirming the correct date. Due to the first season opening dialogue, some early coverage for the series mistakenly cite the team as escaping from prison in 1973.

The intro was narrated by John Ashley, who was also one of the show's producers. The intro was dropped for the final season, in which the A-Team's circumstances changed to instead be working for General Stockwell. The theme tune was changed to match.

Episode structure

The A-Team is a naturally episodic show, with few overarching stories - except the characters' continuing motivation to clear their names - with few references to events in past episodes and a recognizable and steady episode structure. In describing the ratings drop that occurred during the show's fourth season, reviewer Gold Burt points to this structure as being a leading cause for the decreased popularity "because the same basic plot had been used over and over again for the past four seasons with the same predictable outcome."[15] Similarly, reporter Adrian Lee called the plots "stunningly simple" in a 2006 article for The Express (UK newspaper), citing such recurring elements "as BA's fear of flying, and outlandish finales when the team fashioned weapons from household items."[16]

Unlike modern shows, The A-Team episodes do not begin with a cold open, but instead start with the main introduction and title of the episode. Generally, the first few scenes will focus on the plight of the episode's victim, who is hoping to hire the A-Team, thereby introducing the story for that episode. These prospective clients are usually led through a series of off-beat and comedic tests, after which a member of the team, most frequently Hannibal, will reveal himself and tell the clients they've "just hired the A-Team."

Frequently, one of the clients will be a young woman who Face is immediately attracted to and who will serve as the object of his advances. Occasionally, the A-Team are on the road and simply stumble across someone who needs their help. The A-Team often return their fee to the most needy clients or find another way to pay their expenses.

By this time, Murdock will escape from the psychiatric hospital, where he is interned, with the help of Face. After scamming items necessary for the mission - often directly angering the episode's antagonist - the A-Team will confront that antagonist, insulting him/her, which will lead to a counter-attack later on.

Generally, the A-Team then assist their clients in their daily routine, while furthering Face's romance with the female guest star and initiating a conflict between B.A. and Murdock. These scenes will usually also feature clients and the team alike questioning Hannibal's sanity, leading to the proclamation that Hannibal is "on the jazz", a term to denote the adrenaline rush that accompanies their adventures.

Traditionally, the antagonist's counter-attack then follows, which succeeds and leads to the team's capture. In order to escape, the A-Team will usually construct a weapon - often in the form of a vehicle - of sorts from their available resources. This is detailed in a musical montage focussing on the team's hands and the tools used. The escape will be successful and the antagonist will be defeated with use of the new weapon. The team's opponents are rarely hurt, as bullets miss their targets and the enemies manage to evade or survive, unscathed, numerous explosions.

The show became emblematic of this kind of "fit-for-TV warfare" due to its depiction of high-octane combat scenes, with lethal weapons, wherein the participants (with the notable exception of General Fullbright) are never killed and rarely seriously injured (see also on-screen violence and Principle of Evil Marksmanship).

After the defeat of the antagonist, the episode's other storylines will be wrapped up as the team make their escape. Every few episodes, the Military Police catches up with the team, giving them an extra obstacle to overcome in that particular episode, sometimes also appearing in the final few minutes of the episode, forcing the team to make a quick exit. A recurring element that can usually be fit anywhere into the episode is B.A.'s fear of flying, which leads to the team having to knock him out (either by drugs or, less often, a blow to the back of the head using a heavy object and once even using hypnosis) to get him onto a helicopter or plane. (In "The Beast From The Belly Of A Boeing," B.A. is awake during the flight that occupies most of the episode.)

Connections to the Vietnam War

Soldiers exiting a helicopter. Taken from the intro of The A-Team.

The origin of the A-Team is directly linked to the Vietnam War, during which the team formed. The show's introduction in the first four seasons mentions this, accompanied by images of soldiers coming out of a helicopter in an area resembling a forest/jungle. Besides this, The A-Team would occasionally feature an episode in which the team came across an old ally or enemy from those war days. For example, the first season's ending episode "A Nice Place to Visit" revolved around the team travelling to a small town to honor and avenge a fallen comrade, and in season two's "Water, Water Everywhere," the team came to the aid of three disabled Vietnam veterans.

An article in the New Statesman (UK)[17] published shortly after the premiere of The A-Team in the United Kingdom, also pointed out the The A-Team's connection to the Vietnam War, characterizing it as the representation of the idealization of the Vietnam War, and an example of the War slowly becoming accepted and assimilated into American culture.

One of the team's primary antagonists, Col. Decker, had his past linked back to the Vietnam War, in which he and Hannibal had come to fisticuffs in "the DOOM Club" (Da Nang Open Officers' Mess).[18] At other times, members of the team would refer back to a certain tactic used during the War, which would be relevant to the team's present predicament. Often, Hannibal would refer to such a tactic, after which the other members of the team would complain about its failure during the War. This was also used to refer to some of Face's past accomplishments in scamming items for the team, such as in the first season episode "Holiday in the Hills", in which Murdock fondly remembers Face being able to secure a '53 Cadillac while in the Vietnam jungle.

The team's ties to the Vietnam War were referenced again in the fourth season finale, "The Sound of Thunder", in which the team is introduced to Tia (Tia Carrere), a war orphan and daughter of fourth season antagonist Gen. Fullbright. Returning to Vietnam, Fullbright is shot in the back and gives his last words as he slowly dies in a marathon seven and a half minute death scene.[14] His murderer, a Vietnamese colonel, is killed in retaliation. These are the only characters killed in the entire series. Tia then returns with the team to the United States (see also: casting). This episode is notable for having one of the show's few truly serious dramatic moments, with each team member privately reminiscing on their war experiences, intercut with news footage from the war with Barry McGuire's Eve of Destruction playing in the background.

The show's ties to the Vietnam War are fully dealt with in the opening arc of the fifth season, dubbed "The Revolution"/"The Court-Martial" in which the team is finally put on trial for the robbing of the bank of Hanoi. The character of Decker makes a return on the witness stand and various newly introduced characters from the A-Team's past also make appearances. The team, after a string of setbacks, decides to plead guilty to the crime and they are sentenced to be executed. They escape this fate and come to work for a Gen. Hunt Stockwell, leading into the remainder of the fifth season.

Cultural and social impact


The A-Team was one of a wide variety of successful television shows from prolific television producer Stephen J. Cannell. Cannell is known for having a particular skill at capitalizing on momentary cultural trends, such as the helicopters, machine guns, cartoonish violence, and joyful militarism of this series, which are now recognizable as trademarks of popular entertainment in the 1980s as seen in the TV shows Magnum PI and Airwolf as well as the films Rambo II and The Final Countdown. Cannell had been producing shows for ABC in the early 1980s, but was fired by the network for not producing a hit for them. His next project would be The A-Team.

The show became popular internationally. In 1984 the main cast members of The A-Team, George Peppard, Mr. T, Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz were invited to the Netherlands. George Peppard was the first to receive the invitation and thus thought the invite pertained only to him. When the other cast members were also invited, Peppard declined, leaving only Mr. T, Benedict and Schultz to visit the Netherlands.[19] Unpredicted, however, was the immense turn-out for the stars, and they were forced to leave early as a security measure. A video was released with the present actors in which Dwight Schultz apologized and thanked everyone that had attended.[20]

In syndication

The show has achieved cult status through heavy U.S. and international syndication. It has also remained popular overseas, such as in the United Kingdom, where the show has been on-air almost continuously in some form (ITV network, ITV regional re-runs, satellite) since it was first shown in July 1983.

In 2003, in research conducted by web-portal Yahoo! amongst 1,000 television viewers, The A-Team was voted as the one "oldie" television programme viewers would most like to see revived, beating out other popular televisions series from the 80s such as The Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider.[21]


[citation needed]

As well as having huge ratings and being especially popular amongst children, there was countless merchandise available, including:

  • Action figures of the characters, as well as their famous van and car.
  • A cola-flavored popsicle in the shape of Mr. T was also on the market at the show's height.
  • Marvel Comics even produced a three issue A-Team comic book series, which was also later reprinted as a trade paperback. Mr. T has also appeared in his own comic books, while a Mr. T graphic novel is set for worldwide release in summer 2008, preceded by a Limited Advance Edition launched in February 2008. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, an A-Team comic strip appeared for several years in the 1980s as part of the children's television magazine and comic Look-In, to tie in with the British run of the series. It was preceded, though, by a short run in the final year (1984) of TV Comic, drawn by Jim Eldridge.
  • A View-Master A-Team gift set, with 3-D viewer and 3 reels containing 21 3-D pictures of the A-Team episode "When You Comin' Back, Range Rider?", was produced by View-Master International.
  • A blanket, which ultimately ended on an episode of Mr. Bean.
  • Several novels were based on the series, the first six published in America by Dell and in Britain by Target Books; the last four were only published in Britain. The first six are credited to Charles Heath.
    1. "The A-Team" (adapted from the pilot written by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell)
    2. "Small But Deadly Wars" (adapted from the episodes "A Small And Deadly War" written by Frank Lupo and "Black Day At Bad Rock" written by Patrick Hasburgh)
    3. "When You Comin' Back, Range Rider?" (adapted from the episode of the same name written by Frank Lupo)
    4. "Old Scores To Settle" (adapted from the episodes "The Only Church In Town" written by Babs Greyhosky and "Recipe For Heavy Bread" written by Stephen J. Cannell).
      NOTE: Unlike most novelisations of television episodes, the second-billed episode comes first in the actual book!
    5. "Ten Percent Of Trouble" (adapted from the episodes "Steel" written by Frank Lupo and "The Maltese Cow" written by Thomas Szollosi and Richard Christian Matheson)
    6. "Operation Desert Sun: The Untold Story," credited on the cover to Charles Heath but on the title page to Louis Chunovic.
      NOTE: This is the only book in the series not to be based on episodes of the TV show.
    7. "Bullets, Bikinis and Bells" by Ron Renauld (adapted from the episodes "Bullets and Bikinis" written by Mark Jones and "The Bells Of St. Mary's" written by Stephen J. Cannell)
    8. "Backwoods Menace" by Ron Renauld (adapted from the episodes "Timber!" written by Jeff Ray and "Children of Jamestown" written by Stephen J. Cannell)
    9. "The Bend in the River" by David George Deutsch (adapted from the episode of the same name written by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo).
    10. "Death Vows" by Max Hart (adapted from the episode "Till Death Us Do Part" written by Babs Greyhosky).
      NOTE: This is the only book in the series to be adapted from one standard-length episode (#1, 3 and 9 are based on two-hour episodes).

Cast reunions

Bring Back... The A-Team (2006)

On May 18, 2006, Channel 4 in the UK attempted to reunite the surviving cast members of The A-Team for the show Bring Back... in an episode titled "Bring Back...The A Team".[22] Justin Lee Collins presented the challenge, securing interviews and appearances from Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, Marla Heasley, Jack Ging, series co-creator Stephen Cannell, and Mr. T.

Collins eventually managed to bring together Benedict, Schultz, Heasley, Ging and Cannell, along with William Lucking, Lance LeGault, and George Peppard's son, Christian. Mr. T was unable to make the meeting, which took place in the Friar's Club in Beverly Hills, but he did manage to appear on the show for a brief talk with Collins.

Feature film

A feature film based on The A-Team is planned for release on June 11, 2010, and will be produced by 20th Century Fox.[23]


Television ratings

During the show's first season, The A-Team managed to pull in 17% to 20% of the American households on average. The first regular episode ("Children of Jamestown"), reached 26.4% of the television watching audience, placing fourth in the top 10 rated shows, according to the Nielsen ratings.[10] By March, The A-Team, now on its regular Tuesday timeslot, dropped to the eight spot, but rated a 20.5%.[24] Although the start of April 1983 saw a small drop for the show to 18.0%,[25] it quickly recovered the following week, to 21.6%, which accounts for approximately 18 million homes.[26] During the sweeps week in May of that year, The A-Team dropped again but remained steady at 18.5%,[27] and rose to 18.8% during the second week of May sweeps.[28] It was the highest ratings NBC had pulled in in five years.[29] The A-Team continued to rank in the top 10 highest rated shows for the remainder of its first season and reruns.

The premiere of The A-Team's second season reached 20.9% on the Nielsen Rating scale.[30] It continued to soar that season, reaching third place in the twenty highest rated programs, behind Dallas and Simon & Simon, in January (mid-season).[31] The season finale, titled "Curtain Call", put The A-Team in fourth place with a rating of 19.5%,[32] whereas the episode preceding it, "Semi-Friendly Persuasion", rated 21.6%.[33] In June, the series took the top spot with a rating of 19.3%.[34]

The third season premiere of the series rated fifth in the top 10 with a rating of 19.0% (16.1 million homes), beaten out by four other NBC shows, including The Cosby Show, which placed first and featured the return of Bill Cosby to television after eight years.[35] The A-Team remained in the top 10 for the remainder of the season, and for the first time since 1969, NBC won both sweeps weeks in the May of 1985.[36]

However, the fourth season saw The A-Team experience a dramatic fall, as it started to lose its position while television viewership increased. As such, the ratings, while stable, were relatively less. The season premiere ranked a 17.4% (a 26% audience share on that timeslot) on the Nielsen Rating scale,[37] but after ratings quickly declined. In October, The A-Team had fallen to the 19th spot to 15.3%, whereas it had held the 6th spot for most of its third season.[38] In contrast, The Cosby Show had more than double the amount of viewers. In the second week of January 1986, The Cosby Show reached a 38.5% rating in its timeslot.[39] In that same month, The A-Team fell to the 29th spot, on Super Bowl Night, the night on which the show had originally scored its first hit three years before.[40] For the remainder of its fourth season The A-Team managed to hang around the 20th spot, far from original top 10 position it had enjoyed during its first three seasons.

After four years on Tuesday, NBC decided to move the The A-Team to a new timeslot on Friday for what would be its final season. Ratings continued to drop, and after seven episodes, The A-Team fell out of the top 50 altogether with a 13.3 Nielsen Rating.[41] In November 1986, NBC cancelled the series, declining to order the last nine episodes of what would've been a 22-episode season.

The show's seasonal rankings and audience were as follows:[42]

  • Season 1, 1982–1983: #10 – audience 16,743,300
  • Season 2, 1983–1984: #4 – audience 20,112,000
  • Season 3, 1984–1985: #6 – audience 18 593 100
  • Season 4, 1985–1986: #30 – audience 14,517,100
  • Season 5, 1986–1987: #53 – audience 9,361,000

International reception

International response to The A-Team has been varied. Although ratings soared during its early seasons, many television critics described the show largely as cartoonish and thereby wrote the series off. Most reviews focused on acting and the formulaic nature of the episodes, most prominently the absence of actual killing in a show about Vietnam War veterans.

"They are all Vietnam veterans. The gradual assimilation of Vietnam into acceptable popular mythology, which began solemnly with The Deer Hunter, has reached its culmination with The A-Team: No longer a memory to be hurriedly brushed aside, but heroes of a network adventure show. Their enemy is a comic army officer, Col. Lynch -- see Sgt. Bilko, see Beetle Bailey, see M.A.S.H. -- whose pursuit of our heroes is doomed to slapstick failure. This is classic right-wing American populism -- patriotic, macho, anti-authority -- and is unlikely to be understood in Britain, where to be right-wing implies an obsequiousness towards officers and the status quo. But right-wing this series certainly is. The bandits, it turns out, are in league with a group of sinister guerrillas who are trying to destabilise the country. However, thanks to the A-Team's hearts and minds policy, the villagers rise up and put them to rout -- in a 20-minute series of comic-book battle scenes, over-turning cars and airplane stunt-tricks, in which not a single person is hurt."
—Mary Harron, New Statesman (UK), July 29, 1983, volume 106, p. 133[17]
"Despite realising what a load of codswallop it all is, I find I can watch A-Team without feeling any pain. Perhaps it is because of the bizarre Mr T, a baubled, bangled and beaded non-actor who plays a mechanical genius, omnipotent muscleman and rigidly moralistic puritan. Not even Olivier could make him believable, but without Mr T this show would be considerably weakened even with all the superb stunting, meticulously planned explosions and Schultz as the chronically eccentric Murdock. This is a performance to relish. If this show is remembered in the future for anything, it will be for giving Schultz a chance to show his skilful comedy style."
—Dean P., The Courier-Mail/The Sunday Mail (AUS), January 8, 1985
"Proving there is truly no justice on this earth, Mr T gets $40,000 an episode for merely standing around looking nasty, occasionally beating up a couple of crooks or letting off a machinegun. He also does a fair bit of growling at the supposedly insane member of the team, Murdock, who is portrayed by Dwight Schultz. Murdock is a convincing nutcase and adds some bright spots to the plot, which holds no surprises, in tonight's episode called ""In Plane Sight". Perhaps Schultz really has gone insane from doing what amounts to be the same plot with only minor variations in each A-team episode. The show is made for the average 10-year-old intellect which presumably has a desire for lots of car chases, flying bullets and punch-ups."
—Coomber J., The Courier-Mail/The Sunday Mail (AUS), October, 1985
"Many people complain about the TV wasteland and probably point to The A-Team as an example of mindless, violent, primitive, exploitive sausage factory fodder. Who's arguing? It's all those (and more) except mindless. Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo have created an action farce, but sometimes the scripts are more subtle than most suspect."
—Dean P., The Courier-Mail/The Sunday Mail (AUS), May 27, 1986
"And the penny has finally dropped. It is a farcical comedy, aimed at kids who would know no better and ones whose parents allow them to read escapist comic books. [...] Pow, blam, zap, kerpow! You expect the words to flash across the screen as about 1000 rounds of ammunition are fired across the village. No one ducks for cover, no one hides and amazingly, no one is injured, let alone killed. Just for amusement, Mr T goes into mufti to nail the revolutionaries while the rest of his alleged intelligence team is in jail. Some intelligence, that lot. In the slammer while their getaway boat is captured. Then when the hoedown really gets down to tin-tacks, the Beatles' song Revolution is played in its entirety while the stuntmen - and there must have been dozens of them - do their stuff. That's The A-Team for you folks. A merry jape."
—Gibson R., The Courier-Mail/The Sunday Mail (AUS), June 30, 1987


On-screen violence

A delayed explosion is timed directly to the lighting of Hannibal's cigar in the episode "Deadly Maneuvers" (season 2). Seemingly unnecessary, arbitrary or over-the-top explosions and events became a series trademark and parts of its appeal in the eyes of the audience.[6][43]

In fact, the show has been described as cartoonish and likened to Tom & Jerry. Dean P. of the Courier-Mail described the violence in the show as "hypocritical" and that "the morality of giving the impression that a hail of bullets does no-one any harm is ignored. After all, Tom and Jerry survived all sorts of mayhem for years with no ill-effects."[44]

According to certain estimates, an episode of the A-Team held up to 46 violent acts. Stephen J. Cannell, co-creator of the show responds: "They were determined to make a point, and we were too big a target to resist. Cartoon violence is a scapegoat issue."[6] Originally the A-Team's status as a hit show remained strong, but ultimately lost out to more family-oriented shows such as The Cosby Show, Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains.[6]

According to an article in The New York Times, titled "TV View: It's Fun And It's Not Violent" there was a clear reason for this:

"But television, a notorious devourer of talent, is never that simple. There are other factors. One is that a substantial number of viewers, if the ratings in recent months are to be believed, are clearly fed up with mindless violence of the car-chasing, fist-slugging variety. Another, more subtle, is that younger audiences are tuning out of commercial television to watch MTV or their VCR's. Significantly, the only hit series routinely featuring violence in the past year or two has been Miami Vice, which, in addition to being a fashion show, looks like an extended music video.
"In any event, former celebrations of violence like The A-Team, in the Top 10 not too long ago, can now be found sinking to the bottom of the ratings lists. The younger audiences who made the show are, in their familiar fickleness, deserting it. Meanwhile, the networks are rediscovering that older audiences are still big consumers who remain attractive to advertisers."
—John J. O'Connor, The New York Times, February 16, 1986.[45]

The violence presented in The A-Team is highly sanitized. People do not bleed or bruise when hit (though they might develop a limp or require a sling), nor do the members of the A-Team kill people. The results of violence were only ever presented when it was required for the script. In almost every car crash there is a short take showing the occupants of the vehicle climbing out of the mangled/burning wreck (even in helicopter crashes), although by late in the fourth season, some of these takes were dropped. According to Stephen J. Cannell this part of the show did become a running joke for the writing staff and they would at times test the limits of realism on purpose.[46]


During the show's tenure, the show was occasionally criticized for being sexist.[14] These critiques were based on the notion that most female roles on the show were either a lead-in to the episode's plot, the recipient of Face's affections, or both. The only two regular female members of the cast, Melinda Culea (season 1 and the first half of season 2) and Marla Heasley (the latter half of season 2) did not have a very long tenure with the show. Both Culea and Heasley had been brought in by the network and producers to stem these critiques, hoping that a female character would properly balance the otherwise all-male cast.[47] Culea was fired during the second season because of creative differences between her and the show's writers; she wanted more lines and more action scenes.[48] Heasley was brought in to replace Culea as a similar assisting reporter character, but with a more fragile and seductive quality to her.

Ultimately, she was written out of the show at the start of the third season when the network determined that a female cast member was not necessary. While the character of Amy Allen suddenly disappeared between two episodes, Tawnia left the team on-screen, choosing to marry and move out of Los Angeles. The character of Amy Allen was only briefly referred to once in the episode "In Plain Sight", and a couple of times in "The Battle of Bel Air", the same episode that introduced Tawnia Baker, in which she was cited to have taken a correspondence job overseas (in Jakarta, Indonesia).

Marla Heasley's experiences on-set
Marla Heasley portraying Tawnia Baker in the episode "Say It With Bullets" (Season 2).

As Marla Heasley recounts in Bring Back... The A-Team (May 18, 2006), although sexism was not prevalent on the set per se, there was a sense that a girl was not necessary on the show, and she was even approached by George Peppard about it:

He was really serious. He said: "When you're finished with your make-up, I would like to talk to you. Please come to my trailer." I said: "Okay." So I went to his trailer and he said "have a seat", I said "okay", and then he said: "I just want you to know that we don't want you on the show," he said "We don't want you on the show. None of the guys want you here. The only reason you're here is because the network and the producers want you. For some reason they think they need a girl."

The interview continues with Marla Heasley noting that on her last day of work Peppard took her aside again, saying:

I'm sorry that this is your last day, but remember what I said the very first day, that we didn't want a girl, has nothing to do with you. You were very professional, but no reason to have a girl.

In an interview with the Sunday Mail (AUS), George Peppard, portraying Hannibal Smith on the show, admitted that he thought that "whenever the studio slips an actress on to the team, she becomes a distraction. She always slows down the action. She's someone who's only there for the glamor shots. Everything stops for the sexy smiles - and I can't see why that's necessary on The A-Team."[49]

Response by Dirk Benedict

In Bring Back... the A-Team, Dirk Benedict also remarked that, indeed, the show was very male driven:

It was a guy's show. It was male driven. It was written by guys. It was directed by guys. It was acted by guys. It's about what guys do. We talked the way guys talked. We were the boss. We were the God. We smoked when we wanted. We shot guns when we wanted. We kissed the girls and made them cry... when we wanted. It was the last truly masculine show.

In two similar interviews in 2007, on the Dutch talk shows Jensen! and RTL Boulevard (both broadcast on May 11, 2007), Benedict remarked again that The A-Team was a guy show, and if it were remade today, it'd be a lot more feminine, and a more adequate naming would be "The Gay-Team".


During its time, The A-Team was nominated for 3 Emmy Awards: In 1983 (Outstanding Film Sound Mixing for a Series) for the pilot episode, in 1984 (Outstanding Film Sound Mixing for a Series) for the episode "When You Comin' Back, Range Rider?" and in 1987 (Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series) for the episode "Firing Line."

Production notes

Connections to other television shows

A late episode of Stephen J. Cannell's previous hit, The Rockford Files, "The Hawaiian Headache", features a character called 'Colonel John "Howling Mad" Smith', names that would evolve into Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith and Captain "Howling Mad" Murdock in The A-Team. Another early Rockford episode, "The Kirkoff Case" (the first regular episode after the Pilot) features a character called Tawnia Baker. Similarly, the villain in the first season episode "West Coast Turnaround" is called Chuck Easterland. Cannell has used this name in a number of penned episodes of various shows, including the first season Hunter episode "A Long Way From L. A.". A villain in the third season A-Team episode "The Bells of St. Mary's", also by Cannell, also has a notably similar name, Zeke Westerland.

In the opening credits of The A-Team beginning with the second season, Dirk Benedict is shown looking (with a sense of deja-vu) at a person dressed as a Cylon from the original 1978 series of Battlestar Galactica, in which Benedict played the role of Lieutenant Starbuck.

Robert Vaughn, who starred as General Hunt Stockwell in the fifth season, is probably best known for the part of Napoleon Solo, the James Bond-like spy of the 1960s cult TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which had also starred David McCallum as his associate Illya Kuryakin. McCallum guest-starred in an episode of season five of The A-Team, "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair", which included many other elements of the The Man from U.N.C.L.E.


Many of the episode titles (and plots) are plays on those of famous movies.[citation needed] For example, the early episode "Black Day At Bad Rock", is a play on the classic 1955 movie Bad Day at Black Rock. An early Knight Rider episode, 'Good Day at White Rock' is also a similar play on the title. Both episodes also contain notable parallels, with both stories involving a biker gang terrorizing a small town.

In "Pros and Cons", Face pretends to be Dr. Dwight Pepper, the author of a book on prison reform. The photo on the back of the book (supposedly the actual Dr. Dwight Pepper) is a photo of Stephen J. Cannell, the producer of the series. The name is a gag on the soft drink of the same name, although some have noted that Dwight is Dwight Schultz's first name, and Pepper is similar to Peppard.

A 'lost episode', "Without Reservations", aired for the first time during re-runs in March 1987. This episode was meant to air before the final episode "The Grey Team", which is reflected by the fact that in "Without Reservations" Murdock's T-shirt says "Almost Fini" while in "The Grey Team" it says "Fini". Apparently, the axe fell on the series more suddenly than expected, leaving the episode too short to be broadcast. To make it long enough to air, the entire pre-opening credits sequence was made up of footage from the first season episode "Holiday In The Hills", re-edited with a new fifth season-style backing score, and a shot of Frankie added from the fifth season episode "The Crystal Skull". "The Grey Team" is also more likely to be the 'proper' final episode, as Hannibal tells General Stockwell that the team will not work for him (Stockwell) any longer after being misled one time too many, and at the end of the story, the team ponders their future.

The series always featured a GMC van owned by B.A. Baracus as the getaway vehicle for A-team and sometimes in episodes a white corvette with a red stripe appeared as Face's vehicle. The last series of the A-team featured a safehouse provided by General Stockwell for A-Team as a set in the episodes featuring General Stockwell instead of the earlier episodes beginning at different locations. Most of episodes before the character of General Stockwell arrived to become part of the show featured the A-Team helping people who could not get any help as tagline said "If you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you can hire......... The A- Team".

The final episode of the fourth season at one point may have been the last, as Murdock's "All Good Things Must Come To An End" T-shirt hints. But the show returned, re-vamped, for one more season.

Professional wrestlers

The show featured professional wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Professor Toru Tanaka, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, The Dynamite Kid, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Davey Boy Smith, Big John Studd, and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, in most cases playing themselves. In the episode "Body Slam", which featured Hogan, popular wrestling interviewer and announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund also appeared.

The GMC van

The A-Team van as shown in the episode "Say It With Bullets".

The black and metallic grey GMC Vandura van used by the A-Team, with its characteristic red stripe, black and red turbine mag wheels, and rooftop spoiler, has become an enduring pop culture icon. One of the original six vans used for the show is displayed in the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, northern England.

Early examples of the van had a red GMC logo on the front grille, and an additional GMC logo on the rear left door. However, early in the second season, these logos were blacked out (although GMC continued to supply vans and receive a credit on the closing credits of each episode).

It is a common error that the van is said to be all-black, whereas in fact the section above the red stripe is metallic grey (this error even followed through on to most toy models of the van). The angle of the rear spoiler can also be seen to vary on different examples of the van within the series. Additionally, some versions of the van have a sunroof, whereas others, typically those used for stunts (and including the one displayed in the aforementioned Cars of the Stars Motor Museum) do not. This led to continuity errors in some episodes, such as in the third season's 'The Bells of St. Mary's', in a scene where (the double of) Face jumps from a building onto the roof of the van. There is clearly no sunroof. However, a few moments later, in an interior (studio) shot, Face climbs in through the sunroof. Also, in many stunts where the van would surely be totaled, other makes have been used, such as a black Ford stepvan with red hubcaps painted to simulate the original red turbine mags.

A number of devices were seen in the back of the van in different episodes, including a mini printing press ('Pros and Cons'), an audio surveillance recording device ('A Small and Deadly War'), and Hannibal's disguise kits in various episodes.


In early episodes the team used M16 rifles, while in later episodes they used the Ruger AC-556 rifles, a selective-fire version of the Mini-14. Hannibal is also seen using an M60 machine gun in some episodes as well as a Micro-Uzi. Hannibal's sidearms are either a nickel plated Smith and Wesson M59 9 mm or a stainless steel Smith and Wesson 639, however in the episode "Black Day at Bad Rock" he is seen carrying a Browning Hi-Power. Many antagonists and members of the team are seen using 1911s as well.

DVD releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all five seasons of The A-Team on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4. In Region 2, a complete series set entitled 'The A-Team- The Ultimate Collection' was released on October 8, 2007.[50] A complete series set will be released in Region 1 on June 8, 2010.[51]

DVD Name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season One 14 June 8, 2004 September 13, 2004 December 3, 2004
Season Two 23 April 12, 2005 July 4, 2005 July 13, 2005
Season Three 25 January 31, 2006 May 22, 2006
(R2 has different cover art)
July 20, 2006
Season Four 23 April 4, 2006 September 18, 2006 September 19, 2006
Season Five:
The Final Season
13 October 10, 2006 February 12, 2007
(R2 has different cover art)
February 21, 2007
The Complete Series 98 June 8, 2010 October 8, 2007 N/A

See also



  1. ^ Bring Back... The A-Team (UK), Mr. T. Broadcast on May 18, 2006.
  2. ^ "The A-Team" from the St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture (2002, Gale Group), written by Margaret E. Burns. A copy of the article @ Retrieved on August 17, 2007.
  3. ^ Ranked #96 in TV Land's list of The 100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases. Retrieved on August 17, 2007
  4. ^ USASOC. 'Special Forces - Shooters and thinkers'. WWW.ARMY.MIL The official homepage of the United States army (Oct 26, 2009). Retrieved on January 5, 2010
  5. ^ a b Robert Edelstein (2007-01-05). "Stephen J. Cannell; A Novel Approach to Life and television". Broadcasting & Cable. 
  6. ^ a b c d Joe Neumaier (2001-01-21). "Encore: A Real Kick In the 'A'". Entertainment Weekly.,,275207,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  7. ^ Sally Bedell (1983-04-28). "How TV Hit 'The A Team' Was Born". New York Times. 
  8. ^ Stephen J. Cannell on the The A-Team Season Five DVD boxset.
  9. ^ Debra Pickett (2006-09-16). "'I'm not into acclaim. I tune it out.'". The Chicago Sun-Times. 
  10. ^ a b "NBC Scores In Ratings With Super Bowl Broadcast". Associated Press. 1983-02-01. 
  11. ^ a b "For NBC, Trouble At 'A-Team'", The New York Times, May 18, 1986, written by Aljean Harmetz.
  12. ^ Jenny Cullen (1988-12-11). "Sex and politics as coonskin hero returns from the Alamo". Sunday Mail (AUS). 
  13. ^ Jerry Buck (1989-01-04). "Tim Dunigan Plays a Different 'Davy Crockett'". Associated Press. 
  14. ^ a b c Bring Back... The A-Team (2006). Broadcast on May 18, 2006.
  15. ^ "Late changes couldn't rescue The A-Team", The Leader-Post (Canada), October 30, 2006, written by Gold Burt.
  16. ^ Adrian Lee (2006-03-04). "The Final Mission". The Express. 
  17. ^ a b "Television: All Our Fantasies". Retrieved August 17 2007. 
  18. ^ "When You Comin' Back, Range Rider?: Part 1", season 2 episode 5. Broadcast on October 25, 1983.
  19. ^ As told by Dirk Benedict in Jensen!, a Dutch talk show, broadcast on May 11, 2007.
  20. ^ Repeated showing on Jensen!, a Dutch talk show, broadcast on May 11, 2007.
  21. ^ "'A-Team' is viewers' most-wanted oldie for prime-time revival" by Matthew Beard in Independent, The (London), published on October 23, 2003.
  22. ^ Bring Back... The A-Team at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on August 17, 2007.
  23. ^ "Plan Coming Together for The A-Team", Variety, March 19, 2008
  24. ^ "N/A". United Press International. 1983-03-30. 
  25. ^ "'Thorn Birds' Takes Top Three Places In Nielsen Ratings". Associated Press. 1983-04-05. 
  26. ^ "CBS Regains Weekly TV Ratings Lead and Widens Its Season Lead". Associated Press. 1983-04-12. 
  27. ^ "ABC Special On Slips Tops Ratings, But CBS Wins Week". Associated Press. 1983-05-03. 
  28. ^ "ABC Wins Its Second Week in the May Sweeps". Associated Press. 1983-05-24. 
  29. ^ "NBC Hits Highest Mark in May Ratings Sweeps in Five Years". Associated Press. 1983-05-27. 
  30. ^ Jerry Buck (1983-09-21). "ABC Strikes Ratings Gold". Associated Press. 
  31. ^ Jerry Buck (1984-01-10). "CBS Wins Ratings But NBC Out of Cellar First Time This Season". Associated Press. 
  32. ^ Jerry Buck (1984-05-22). "CBS Claims First Ratings Victory Since End of TV Season". Associated Press. 
  33. ^ Jerry Buck (1984-05-16). "NBC's V Cops Top Show, But ABC Is Winning Network". Associated Press. 
  34. ^ Jerry Buck (1984-06-05). "N/A". Associated Press. 
  35. ^ Jerry Buck (1984-09-12). "Bill Cosby's Return to Television Tops Ratings". Associated Press. 
  36. ^ Jerry Buck (1985-05-31). "NBC Scores First 'Sweeps' Triumph Since 1969". Associated Press. 
  37. ^ John Carmody (1985-09-26). "The TV Column". Washington Post. 
  38. ^ John Carmody (1985-10-03). "The TV Column". Washington Post. 
  39. ^ "List of Nielsen Ratings For Jan. 13-19". Associated Press. 1986-01-21. 
  40. ^ "List of Nielsen Ratings". Associated Press. 1986-01-28. 
  41. ^ John Carmody (1986-12-13). "The TV Column". Washington Post. 
  42. ^ John Carmody (1986-11-18). "The TV Column". Washington Post. 
  43. ^ Mary Harron, New Statesman (UK), July 29, 1983, volume 106, p. 133
  44. ^ "No Mercy To Villains: But Do We Want More?, The Courier-Mail/The Sunday Mail (AUS), January 8, 1985, written by Dean P.
  45. ^ "TV View; It's Fun And It's Not Violent". Retrieved August 17 2007. 
  46. ^ Bring Back... The A-Team (UK), Stephen J. Cannell. Broadcast on May 18, 2006.
  47. ^ Bring Back... The A-Team (UK), Marla Heasley. Broadcast on May 18, 2006.
  48. ^ Bring Back... The A-Team (UK), Dirk Benedict. Broadcast on May 18, 2006.
  49. ^ "Women Out For A-Team", Sunday Mail (AUS), May 18, 1986, written by Wills J.
  50. ^
  51. ^

External links

Preceded by
The A-Team
Super Bowl lead-out program
Succeeded by


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to The A Team article)

From Wikiquote

The A-Team (1983–1987) is an NBC television series, created by Stephen J. Cannell, featuring the adventures of a band of ex-military men who, unfairly accused of a wartime crime, evade government pursuers while doing good deeds for assorted people across the United States.



  • In 1972 (Ten years ago), a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive 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. Introduction to each episode, played before the theme song. After Season One, the introduction was changed to, "In 1972..."- - Also the theme was completely remodeled for the 5th season.

Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith

  • I love it when a plan comes together.
  • Ever notice you run into the nicest people in tanks?
  • Hickory dickory dock / The mouse ran up the clock / The clock struck one / Down he run / You smell worse than my socks.
  • Next time you think you want to take someone out, don't get yourself a good squad. Get yourself a team.
  • Nice, B.A.!
  • See, I was the kid who always liked waiting on Christmas Eve even more than I liked opening the presents the next morning. But the next morning when I started rippin', I started rippin'!
  • The Opera isnt over Until the Fat lady sings.
  • One of the really interesting aspects of being a fugitive is that there are so few things you can spend your money on. Now if I were a crook, like you, and I wanted a million of your dollars, I'd sit down and figure out how to rip off one of your banks, and I'd have the money by nightfall.

Captain H.M. "Howlin' Mad" Murdock

  • Say, are we a groovy, happenin' bunch o' guys, or what?
  • To Bad Guys who just said they were nuts: No I'm not, no I'm not, I'm condiments. I've been promoted.
  • What can I say? One day I had this Gonzo headache, and before it was over I could speak and read Chinese.
  • I'm a bird, I'm a plane, I'm a choo-choo train *shouts* Uh, touchdown!
  • I want you to be my role model, someone I can look up to when the purple wobblies start to wobble.
  • I had a cat once, but everytime I tried to give him a bath, the fur stuck to my tongue.
  • I have been kicked out! Caine has been kicked out of the harbour! So pull up the gang planks Mr. Roberts, and tell all the officers to meet me in the ward room!
  • I Will find civilization Muchacho! I will bring back reinforcements! What on earth will you be doing while I am gone? To Hannibal after they built an Ultra-light (a small flying craft)
  • Nice drop, Kimosabe
  • Use your imagination--or you can borrow mine.
  • Billy always turns purple right before he gets mad. On his invisible dog, Billy
  • I don't know how he does it, the man is absolutely incredible! A comment about Face when he brought back almost impossible to acquire gear
  • She's a Beauty Colonel, I'm gonna treat her like the proud lady she is.
  • I don't wanna be a secret weapon! I want to be an exposed weapon!
  • White paper, white paper, white paper... To turn invisible
  • This is the Vicen Leader to the remaining Military forces of Presidente Martien offering you the chance to lay down your weapons, and join the Vicen Troops of San Marcos.
  • I didn't know ya cared sweetheart. To BA after he told him to take care of himself
  • Traaaaaashbags! I want traaaaaashbags!
  • I love the smell of a revolution in the morning. It smells like hushpuppies.
  • Fly By night, laugh and say, beating up bad guys, makes my day! The Credo of The Fighting nighthawk Commandos
  • Fighting Nighthawks in the sky / Brave and loyal are these guys / Brothers turning wrong to right / Never running from a fight, fight, fight / Fighting Nightingales / Fighting Nightingales / Fighting Nightingaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaales! Hey! Theme song of the Fighting Nighthawk Commandos (Murdock and Frankie Santana)
  • Pardon me Roy, is that the catatonic choo-choo?
  • What we need is a little distraction. You got an atomic bomb?
  • God, your sky is so big, my plane is so crummy, please don't let me eat it!
  • You touch one hair on that girl's head and I won't sleep and I won't eat and I will find you. And when I do I will feed your head to flies. To the bad guys; an unusually dark comment
  • They control the horizontal, they control the vertical, don't try to adjust. You'll be next, you'll be next, you'll be next.
  • (To BA after being accused of crashing the plane) No I didn't; I merely relocated it with extreme prejudice because of a total loss of thrust and lift functions!
  • Sir, as this is Tuesday, it's my feeling that Wednesday could occur officially as early as tomorrow.
  • I Gotta tell ya, from up here the local flora and fauna are quite remarkable.
  • My size? My size is the amount of space I fill up. Thanks for asking.
  • That concludes your flight with Miracle Airlines, the only airline where Lady Luck is your co-pilot.
  • I don't suppose you've noticed that I'm wearing gold. You know why? I will tell you why. I got behind the wheel of this van here, and I noticed that she was shimmying a little, pulling to the left. Well it finally hit me: That ugly mudsucker tuned the suspension of this van to compensate for all that gold he was wearing. So I put on a few chains, a few rings, a bracelet and some bricks under the seat, and it worked.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, The Captain has just turned on the 'No Smoking' and 'Fasten your Seatbelt' sign for taxiing and takeoff. Please make sure that your seats are in the upright and foward position, and that your table trays are secured in front of you. Please sit back and enjoy your flight.
  • Beware the Dogs of War!
  • You're talking to me as if I was a dog. (to Face); barks)
  • (Miming B.A.) "You guys put on a plane you're all dead! You hear me DEAD!"
  • I'm allergic to microwaves! They release space hamsters into my bloodstream!

Sergeant Bosco "B.A." Baracus

  • When punks start hasslin' decent people, I make it my bidness.
  • I ain't gettin' on no plane, Hannibal.
  • If he [Murdock] be flyin', we dyin'.
  • Shut up, foo'! Typically directed at Murdock
  • Oh Hannibal. You snuck Mike into my van?!?
  • Quit your jibba jabba!
  • You're just a crazy foo', who's seein' things that ain't there! to Murdock
  • Got no time for the jibba jabba.
  • Face is gonna pay...Face is gonna pay...Face is gonna pay.
  • Me rhyming my words... that's the craziest thing I ever heard.... my ears don't ring.. I don't hear a thing! Hey wait a minute sucka!
  • You put Cake in my van?!
  • [The AOAMS (Association of Angry Mud Suckers)] is not a friendly union. We don't file grievances, we file death reports! To Murdock, after he had "nev'a heard a'" the AOAMS.
  • In a cup fool! When offered a cup of coffee by a nervous coffee shop owner and asked how he'd like it
  • (to everyone but Murdock,when he finds anchovies on the pizza): Anchovies! Why that crazy fool!

Lieutenant Templeton "Face" Peck

  • I lie, I cheat, I steal and I just don't get any respect.
  • Don't smile at me like that! That's not even a smile, it's just a bunch of teeth playing with my mind!
  • The key to any con is to place the mark in a position where he or she thinks reward will come or harm will be avoided if he or she does exactly as told by the conman.
  • What am I gonna do, flush myself down the toilet?
  • (To Murdock): Murdock, you'll always be one of us. (Mumbles to himself) Question is, which one?

Amy Amanda Allen, aka Triple A

  • Hannibal's plans never work right. They just work.
  • Hannibal loves it when a plan comes together.
  • He's on the jazz. Referring to Hannibal
  • Yeah, come on out Face. Teach us how to navigate by the stars.

General Hunt Stockwell

  • I think you'll find out that its better if you do things, if you do it, my way.
  • Shall we adjourn?
  • I can Have a S.W.A.T Team there within three minutes.
  • Knowledge is Power. And I want that knowledge.
  • He wants The A-Team, he gets them.
  • Blackmail isn't my style.
  • I don't recall using the word "promise", Lieutenant. Says to Face
  • They will do anything to silence him. Anything. Refering to a bunch of corrupt politicians

Season 1

Mexican Slayride, Part 1 [1.1]

B.A. Baracus: You learn to love him, Mama. But it takes a long time. Referring to Hannibal
Amy: That's the same thing he said about you.

Holiday In The Hills [1.9]

Face: Murdock, what's gonna happen?
Murdock: Looks like we're gonna crash.
Face: C'mon, really, what's gonna happen?
Murdock: Looks like we're gonna crash. And die.

Till Death Do Us Part [1.12]

Murdock: Oh wow! You went to Hamburger Heaven! Home of Captain Bellybuster, America's Hero. Did ya get me a Bellybustin' Surprise Pack Hannibal, didja didja didja?
Hannibal: Ah, sorry Murdock. But...with 6 Tummy Tingler malts, look what you get free!
Murdock: A Captain Bellybuster cap! Out of the Blue I'm coming at you. Super Nutritious and Super Delicious!

Season 3

The Bells of St. Mary's [3.11]

Face: But Hannibal, rules are made to be broken!
Hannibal: Noses are also made to be broken, right, Face?

Face: The bigger they are, The harder they fall.
B.A walks into the room
B.A: The bigger they are, the harder they hit!

Season 5

The Point of No Return [5.9]

Stockwell: Check us in, the name is Robins.
Face: Come on Murdock, let's go.
Frankie: Hey! Where you guys going huh? Whats happening?
Face: Well, if you were in a strange town and you need to find somebody, who do you ask?... Cab driver.
Frankie: Ah. Yeah, but Stockwell said to stay right here and check in.
Murdock: Well, that's great, that's great, you just do that, that's great
Frankie: To B.A: come on

Stockwell: Where are Peck and Murdock?
Frankie: Well, uh, Face saw a girl he knows and Murdock, he, he saw....
B.A: Somethin' in his head, aint' no tellin' what it was.
Stockwell: I believe my instructions to stand by were quite clear.
Frankie: Well, you know how impulsive boys can be.

Frankie: I've always thought of Johnny as some kind of ... Superman ya' know?
B.A: There ain't no body!
Frankie: They don't always find a body B.A
Murdock: Hey Frankie, do you know something we don't know? Why are you trying to convince us that Hannibal's dead?
Frankie: I'm not! I'm just trying to face facts. Everything we've heard so far says that Johnny's not alive.
Face: Frankie, there's not a shred of hard evidence that says that he's dead.
Frankie: Yeah, except that goon back there who says he was killed!
Silent Pause
Murdock: I'm, I'm sorry, i'm sorry. It's just that g- goons are not a very reliable source of information you know.
Face: Yeah, see the bottom line here Frankie is that were not gonna believe Hannibal's dead until we get some proof.
Murdock: If there's no body, then Hannibal is alive.
Face: I think the key to this whole mess is Bobby, that little peddycab peddler.
Frankie: Yeah how come you haven't let Stockwell in on that one!?
Murdock: Stockwell? Stockwell? Stockwell doesn't give a rats tail whether Hannibal is alive or dead!
B.A: You got that right crazy man.
'Stockwell walks into the room
Stockwell: O.K we're upgrading the status of this mission to Code Red. Now according to Colonel Smith's message, we've got 16 hours before the plutonium shipment changes hands. I have arranged for our friend back there to be picked up in a half an hour. So I want you to stay here until then.
Face: B.A and Frankie will uh, cover this end here for you, Murdock and I have something we've gotta check out.
Stockwell: No, you're not checking anything out until the prisoner is picked up. Then I want you to meet Alice and me at Hop Louies. Understood?
Stockwell: Is there a problem?
Murdock: Yes. We do not believe that Hannibal is dead, General.
Stockwell: That's an interesting fantasy, but we don't deal in fantasies in this business.
Frankie: Fantasy? Whoa, whoa, whoa wait just a minute here. This situation is NO FANTASY!

Stockwell: Well, perhaps that was the wrong choice of words. No commander rests easily when one of his men has fallen. But men do die. Colonel Smith understood that. He took that responsibility. Now, we've got fifteen hours and fifty-eight minutes to find the plutonium, or it won't matter whether Hannibal Smith is alive or dead. The only thing that will matter, is whether he died in vain.
Another pause
Stockwell: Now, you went against my instructions and got involved in this peddycab mess. They tried to kill you. Face and Murdock get up to leave while Stockwell has his back turned . Obviously our cover was blown the minute you stepped in the hotel.
Stockwell loooks around to see Face and Murdock gone. Then he looks up at Frankie
Frankie: Uh, Face saw a girl.
B.A: And Murdock saw something in his head.

The Grey Team [5.12]

Murdock: Just think: if we get a pardon, we may never have to eat a knuckle sandwich again!
BA: I wouldn’t bet on it crazy man. Looks like Hannibal’s on the jazz again!
Face: Oh no…
Murdock (to Hannibal): No, you tell me right now, you tell me right to my face, you tell me that you don’t have a plan.
Hannibal: Well, I...I was thinking, like Bernie and George. What are we gonna do when this thing’s over? I mean, what are we really qualified to do?
Face: Go after thugs in the park…
Hannibal: And outlaw motorcycle gangs…organized crime figures…why, there’s a world of slime-balls out there!
Murdock: I knew it. I just knew you had a plan.
Hannibal: Comforting, isn’t it?
BA: I'll get the van.

Major cast

External links

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Simple English

The A-Team was an American action television series that started in 1983 and ended in 1987. It was about four former US Army commandos who are running from the military (who think that the commandos committed a crime that they did not) and make money by helping people with their problems.

Cast and characters

  • George Peppard as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith - The leader of the A-Team. He was a master of disguise and makes the plans for the team, though they do not always work the way they were supposed to.
  • Dirk Benedict as Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck (called "Face" most of the time) - The con man of the team, he was very good at getting the things the team needed.
  • Mr. T as Sgt. Bosco "B.A." Baracus - Known for his Mohawk hairstyle, gold jewelry, and fear of flying, he handled much of the hand-to-hand fighting. He also built the various machines the team needed for their mission.
  • Dwight Schultz as Capt. Hector M. "Howling Mad" Murdock - The team's pilot. He often says strange things in strange ways, so many people think he is crazy (when not working with the A-Team, he stays at a mental hospital).

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