The entire show of the A-Team was based on a true story. The only part that wasn't true was the part about Mr. T being in Vietnam, because had Mr. T actually been in Vietnam, Vietnam would be the 51st state of America right now. Vietnam is currently the 54th state of America.
The A-Team, famous for their ability to create temporary distortion fields that cause bullets to only hit one member every season ( see: Lazy Writers, Flashback Episodes ), was created by MacGyver and is considered a major threat to society for several crimes, not the least of which is unleashing Mr. T on an unsuspecting world, and making an entire generation say "Starbuck? You mean the guy who plays 'FaceMan'"?
The inability of The A-Team to hit or even injure enemies during firefights is believed by some to be an allegory for the disaster of the US involvement in Vietnam, although others point to the possibility of Stormtrooper syndrome. Some schools of thought maintain it was due to the extra-heavy uranium ammunition The A-Team traditionally used during their missions, which, no matter how high you aim, unavoidably hits ground a few inches next to its target's feet. Perhaps the same distortion field that protects them protects their foes.
Whichever opinion is true, it explains why the baddies could always be heard saying "Oh, don't worry, it's only The A-Team" just before shoot-outs. After everyone ran out of ammo, Mr. T would go beat the holy living hell out of everyone, showing pity for no fool.
On the plus side, the show did give us Dwight Schultz.
Amazingly enough, Dead George Peppard was roasted by the friars in 1987 for his part in this series, after which he immediately disappeared from the acting profession, only to reappear when TV producers needed "somebody like Charles Wagner, only not as expensive."
Proof that multiple plots are superfluous. See Three's Company.
- Col. Hannibal "John" Smith
- Cigar smoking master of disguise, and leader of the team. Often dressed up as a woman to confuse his enemies. Nicknamed "Hannibal" because he attempted to attack Rome with elephants mounted on soldiers. His right arm has been rumored to be made of brine, and he loved it when a plan came together.
- Lt. Faceman "Templeton" Peck
- Cigar smoking womanizer. Trapped on earth due to a mishap with his starfighter in 1966, he participated in the Vietnam war where he joined the crack A-Team. He has only entrusted Murdock with his strange origins.
- Sgt. Baracus "B.A." Bosco
- Master welder, and afraid to fly. The delicate, subtle, performance of this role by Mr. T often left viewers in tears. Due to a horrendous accident involving the combination of 7-Up and milk, his ability to walk was greatly impaired. Doctors soon came to the conclusion that his only viable mode of transportation was via a 1982 GMC Custom Van.
- Nick "Little Black Sambo" Griffin
- The figurehead of the group, Nick Griffin ensured that no race was left unoffended, whilst making the world a whiter place. He often referred to Mr T affectionately as "nigger", "coon", and "big-lipped boy". His death in 2004 by the IRA caused not only the events leading up to the break-up of the A Team, but also the holocaust.
- Capt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock
- Pilot and general madman. He was abducted by aliens, and through a complex mishap of surprising accidents ended up on the Starship Enterprise, where he pretended to be a hapless, but mostly sane, engineer, to great success.
- Completing the foursome, Michael Knight, a man who does not exist. He drove the black van and often talked to it. Nobody knew why, as it never said anything back. Later, after The A-Team had broken up, he went to hang out on the beach. After being kicked off for pretending to be a lifeguard, he finally landed his dream job and as a signing bonus was given another car to talk to.
The general plot outline of The A-Team was the same for every show. This was done as a general money saving device so as to not hire writers. It has often been speculated that the producers often used the same script as well, crossing out the various names of one city and replacing them with another or crossing out the name of one bad guy and replacing him in another. So what might be "Senator Branagan oppresses migrant workers in Los Angeles" one week, might become "CEO Mendoza forcing out ghetto renters in New York" the next. This being a good economic way of using the exact same script without actually having to hire a single scriptwriter. The general plot used in every script of the A-Team (meaning the only script of The A-Team) is as follows:
0:00-3:00 minute mark - We meet the character ( s ) of the oppressed person ( s ) and see why he, she, or they are so innocent. We see the villian, usually with a bunch of hired goons come in and take away, threaten, destroy the possessions, intimidate or, in general, cause much grief and suffering to the innocent, oppressed person ( s ). Usually, one of the oppressed person ( s ) has a hot daughter, friend or sister attached onto the plot for Face to leer at later.
3:00-9:00 minute mark - We see The A-Team get involved in some way. Usually, they [the A-Team] are either hired by the oppressed persons or the A-Team somehow stumbles into the situation. Sometimes in a very good and twisty A-Team episode, the villian stumbles into the A-Team, causing the A-Team to get involved. Usually though, it will involve Hannibal in disguise infiltrating the oppressed person ( s ) group, to see if they genuinely need the help. Whatever the course taken, the A-Team must get involved here.
10:00-12:00 minute mark ( optional ) - In about half the A-Team episodes the producers put in what is called the "10 minute optional" which basically involves getting the A-Team where they need to go in some way. This could be something along the line of Face 'securing' a vehicle, busting Murdock out of the Sanitarium, or drugging B.A. to get him on a plane.
Failing any of these, the producers would just put Murdock into the show for these 4 minutes "acting crazy," possibly with B.A. yelling at him. Murdock would never be the same kind of crazy in any two episodes either. For the same kind of cross-and-add scriptwriting was added to his mental state in every script too (or should we say the same script), so that Murdock in one episode would think he was Roy Rogers one week, while the very next week Roy Rogers dementia would be crossed out on the script and Murdock would be a toy Yo-Yo Grandmaster. Anyway, I digress...
13:00-15:00 minute mark - The A-Team shows up and lets the innocent know that everything is okay, the A-Team will help.
16:00-25:00 minute mark - The A-Team shows up at the doorstep, house, or place of business of the evil villain. The evil villain and his men are taken completely by surprise, get shot up, flee, etc. The personal property of the main villain is often riddled with bullets. Hannibal says a bunch of one-liners and calls the evil villain a "Scumbucket" or some other bad name. Hannibal further states that the evil villain better back off from whatever his evil plan is and leave the good oppressed person ( s ) from the 0:00-3:00 minute mark alone. The A-Team then leaves the villain in humiliation, but no casualties.
26:00-35:00 minute mark - The threats of Hannibal have the opposite effect. The villain comes up with a cunning plan and throws all his villainous might into fighting the A-Team. This bold action ends with the A-Team being taken completely by surprise and they are captured. No casualties.
36:00-44:00 minute mark - Despite being cunning enough to actually capture the A-Team, the evil villain defies all the laws of modern evil and does not actually choose to kill the A-Team on the spot. Instead, the villain thinks it is best to lock the A-Team up somewhere out of the way.
45:00-48:00 minute mark - Of course, Hannibal always has a plan. Hannibal, seeing that the villain has locked them away in someplace with a lot of spare tools, blowtorches, supplies, and an old beat up vehicle for some reason, decide to spend the next few minutes with himself and his team constructing an armored vehicle out of the old vehicle. This vehicle can be anything from a Chevy impala, to a truck, to a bulldozer, to a boat, or spaceship...whatever, as long as metal plating can be welded to the side of it to make a makeshift tank. During this point in the show, there is no talking or showing of the actor's faces. All you see is the actors' hands working on something ( welding, turning ratchets, moving sheet metal into position, etc. ), all the while as the shows theme song plays.
49:00-55:00 minute mark - Using the newly constructed armored vehicle, the A-Team breaks out of the makeshift prison of the evil villain, machine guns up the bad guy's goons, and flips anywhere from one to six jeeps. What goons they don't scare off with machine guy fire and explosives, they move in and go hand-to-hand, employing their patented A-Team Kung Fu--a martial art that specializes in picking up the bad guys, lifting them over your head, then chunking them slow-motion through the air while a camera films the whole throw technique from the A-Team member's feet. In general though, when the fire fight is done, the A-Team wins the day. The villain is left for the local authorities. Hannibal says, "I love it when a plan comes together." No casualties.
56:00-59:00 minute mark - The oppressed person ( s ) are freed from the tyranny of the evil villain. They are happy and celebrate. The oppressed person ( s ) offer the A-team their mercenary fee. Face starts to accept the money, but Hannibal overrides this offer and says the A-Team did the job for free, much to Face's disappointment. The rest of the time is filled with Murdock "acting crazy" and B.A getting mad at him one last time.
56:00-59:00 minute mark (optional) - What the producers call the "56 minute Optional", a.k.a. the "Lone Ranger Ending" is when instead of the A-Team getting to celebrate with the oppressed person(s), the military shows up and the A-team has to leave very quickly. Always, the military is led by a very annoyed and determined Colonel Decker or Lynch who is thwarted at capturing the A-Team once again, having only missed Hannibal and company by a mere one minute.
In December 2006, Fox announced they would be making a full length motion picture of The A-Team. Insiders say it will be an action packed political thriller/romantic comedy, complete with flying asparagus and the cast of Star Wars. The movie is due for release in the summer of 2008. Cast includes: