Just Another LiveJournal (archersangel) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
Just Another LiveJournal

ONTVLand: The A-Team (An ONTD original)

Near the end of the Vietnam war an elite commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they did not commit. Escaping from a maximum-security stockade and going underground, they operated as soldiers of fortune while running from the Army M.P. and trying to prove their innocence. The A-Team ran on NBC from 1983 to 1987.

Lt. Col. John “Hannibal” Smith (George Peppard). Lt.. Tempton “Face” Peck (Dirk Bendedict) & Sgt. Bosco Albert “B.A.” Baracus (Mr. T) were told by their commanding officer, Col. Morrison, to rob the Hanoi bank because he believed it would help to end the war. They do so, but when they get back to H.Q. the Col. is dead, the place is burned down & no one believes they were under orders. The team's pilot Capt. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Dwight Schultz) wasn’t involved in the heist, but is willing to help them while they’re on the lam in between stays in V.A. psychiatric wards. Pursued at first by Col. Lynch (William Lucking), then by Col. Decker (Lance DeGault) and finally by Gen. Fulbright (Jack Ging). The A-Team gets help from newspaper reporter Amy Alan (Melinda Culea) & after she accepts an overseas assignment, fellow reporter Tawnia Baker (Marla Heasley) gets in on the action.

Reuse of the same basic plots (There are bad guys. B.A. refuses to fly, Murdock is doing something crazy, Face cons someone, Hannibal has a plan.) with the same predictable outcome (The A-Team saves the day with a weapon or a vehicle made out of random bits & pieces. Sometimes with the Army M.P. right on their heels.) contributed to a ratings drop by the fourth season.
A fifth season premise change had Smith, Peck & Baracus getting captured and Murdock arranging to have their deaths faked in front of a firing squad with the help of special effects man Frankie “Dishpan” Santana (Eddie Velez). A mysterious CIA operative Gen. Stockwell (Robert Vaughn) finds them & offers to get them pardons, if they complete a series of suicide missions for him. They agree and get into a series of Mission Impossible style situations. Ratings continued to slip and there were only 13 episodes in the fifth & final season.

George Peppard and Mr T did not get along. Peppard was a movie actor, but Mr. T became the star of the show. Things got worse when he found out Mr. T got paid more than he did.
After seeing Mr. T in Rocky III NBC president Brandon Tartikoff pitched the idea for the series to producer Steven J.Cannell as a combo of The Dirty Dozen, Mad Max, Mission Impossible, The Magnificent Seven & Hill Street Blues with Mr. T driving the car.
Dirk Bendedict has said that George Peppard refused to talk to Mr. T & he was the messenger between them. Peppard referred to Mr. T as the man with the gold.
Lt. Col John Smith gets the nickname Hannibal from his unexpected plans. Much like the Carthaginian general Hannibal who attempted to attack ancient Rome by taking 40 elephants across the Alps.
George Peppard resented Melinda Culea and Marla Heasley and told them so. He felt a female character was unnecessary in such a male-driven show.
A-Team is the nickname coined for the U.S. Special Forces’ Operational Detachments Alpha (ODA) during the Vietnam War.

Where can you watch it?
The A-Team is currently streaming on The Roku Channel, Peacock, & Peacock Premium. You can buy it from Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu & Amazon Video. All seasons are on Region 1, 2 & 3 DVD. Some episodes are on YouTube.
It can sometimes be found on COZI TV, Me TV, or RTN and the like which can be picked up with an antenna for over-the-air signals. Some cable line-ups will have one or two of these channels. Pluto TV may have it as well.

Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB, Just Watch, YouTube 1, 2 3
Tags: 1980s, ontd original, television - nbc

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OP, the wikipedia source link seems to be broken, can you fix it? thanks!
I think I got it fixed. Hopefully I did not frell up anything else in the process.
I don't think that I watch A-Team growing up. These were my pre-bedtime shows: Get Smart, Dragnet (mom loved that show), and Mork and Mindy.


October 13 2021, 22:51:37 UTC 4 days ago Edited:  October 13 2021, 22:58:06 UTC

I’m 45 and I watched this, but men my age worshipped this show. Like if you want to see a middle aged guy’s eyes light up talk to him about The A Team.

Also in context this came out right after Rambo (1982) when America was starting to get comfortable with talking about Vietnam vets and their treatment by the government and country (and related to my comment above were the fathers to a lot of the audience my age).
The original Magnum P.I. dealt with Vietnam vets too. But I think some shows/movies were doing the crazed vet living in the woods thing & Magnum integrated it into stories more as "this is what happened" thing and occasionally touched on how it affected them.
i grew up on this shit
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Face was my first crush…I was like 4 lol
Still love the intro music
He was one of my early crushes too but when he was Starbuck on the original Battlestar Galactica. LOL
Definitely watched the A Team growing up and loved Mr T. Did not know any of this backstory with George Peppard though - how disappointing (but not surprising).
I never watched the TV show but I did enjoy the movie remake, which I don't think was the majority opinion. lol

aw bb SMG!

I enjoy the remake! It was just a fun action movie.

I liked the remake too! One of our friends did visual effects for that movie and I am pretty sure the opening scene with the helicopter was what he worked on.
that's so cool! it must be fun to watch a movie and know your friend worked on it


4 days ago

I loved the A-Team when I was a child and would always watch it with my dad, but I don't remember anything about the show.

Wait. The Roku channel? This just did my head in. 😂
This was a staple in my house when I was kid. Strangely enough loved all the characters except Hannibal (B.A. was my absolute fave). Ngl, I love that in the 80s, on a network television show, a black man was paid more than the white “lead.” Too often we see it vastly different.
I used to watch A Team every day after school. Also I love the packaging for the DVD set was a van. I miss the days of every series box set being a weird kitschy design.
wait....so they did commit the crime then? lmao.
It wasn’t a “crime” because it was their mission and they were following orders. But the man who ordered them to do it and his whole unit was dead so it looked like they went rogue and we’re just robbing a bank for their own profit.


October 14 2021, 04:36:50 UTC 4 days ago Edited:  October 14 2021, 04:42:40 UTC

....that doesn't make it not a crime. a military operation isn't legal merely because it was ordered. it still has to not be a war crime or a crime at all. banks are usually considered civilian operations (as they are not combatants) so....it's a war crime they actually, literally, legally committed, ordered or not. this actually is the war where "i was just following orders" was tested for the US because american soldiers were following so many blatantly illegal orders.

now because it was ordered their court-martial would probably be for a lesser charge, but....they'd still be booted out of the army dishonorably at best.

eta: I should probably make it clear: it is illegal to follow an unlawful order. robbing a bank is a crime, robbing civilians in war time is a war crime. ordered or not ordered, the A-team were war criminals and deservedly should have been court-martialed. it's actually wild of this show to comment on the cruelties of the US war machine in Vietnam by making it seem like a bad thing to arrest the A-team for a war crime, even if they only did so because having your army do war crimes is embarrassing.
this reminds of the romance drama on twitter where some white writer basically took the A-team plot and turned it into a series of racist historical romance novels. I was wondering why the author make her historical version of the A-team's catalyst so horrific, but now I know, lmao.
Eh, what?


October 14 2021, 13:04:57 UTC 3 days ago Edited:  October 14 2021, 13:11:30 UTC

Some romance novelist decided to rip off the A-team as protagonists for her historical romance series. She decided to set up the A-team as rouge ex calvary officers in 1890s Texas, and the inciting incident instead of a robbing the bank of hanoi is them all being soldiers during the eta: wounded knee massacre. I wondered why the author went with an act so unforgivable as the reason they turned ex-soldier, and now I know that while soldiers during trail of tears is still worse due to them actually murdering people, the A-team did an actual war crime they are trying to pretend was okay because their CO ordered it, which is similarly ethically bankrupt.
so George Peppard was for sure a misogynist and probably racist too. typical


October 14 2021, 08:28:16 UTC 3 days ago Edited:  October 14 2021, 08:35:57 UTC

The book about making Breakfast at Tiffany's (it has 5 a.m. in the title, really good book), talked a lot about what a sexist piece of trash he is. He's famously a dickswab.

From the film trivia:

"Though she had known him previously and got along with him fine during rehearsals, Patricia Neal said that George Peppard was unbearable to work with."

"George Peppard didn't make many friends on the set. He and Blake Edwards locked horns many times throughout the filming, almost coming to blows on at least one occasion. No matter what kind of direction he was given, Peppard would end up playing the scene as he thought it should be played, which didn't endear him to anyone. Even Patricia Neal, with whom Peppard had been friendly in the past, noticed a change in the actor -- and not for the better. Peppard, she felt, had been "spoiled." Peppard felt from the outset that Neal's character was too dominant. "He wanted things as he wanted them," she later said of Peppard. "I dominated him a lot more in the script and he didn't want to be seen in that condition... His character was written with a battered vulnerability that was totally appealing, but it did not correspond to George's image of a leading man. He seemed to want to be an old-time movie hunk."
The male ego... so fragile.
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