“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.”
|Photo: Universal Television
What a great introduction to a Television show! Then again, this wasn’t just any old TV series. In the 80s, this was the must-stay-in-and-watch weekly event for anyone who was into guns, explosions, car chases, and action-packed excitement!
Of course, the characters made the show. Lieutenant-Colonel "Hannibal" Smith, Lieutenant Templeton “Face” Peck, Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, and last but by no means least, Sergeant First Class “B.A.” or “Bad Attitude” Baracus, played by none other than Mr. T himself
I loved the cheeky grin Hannibal would make with his cigar poking out from the side of his mouth. How did he put it? “I love it when a plan comes together!”
Face used to amaze me with his con-man antics, and Murdock could make anyone roll around on the floor laughing, but Mr. T was my all-time favourite because of what he could do with machinery. He’d take an old wreck of a school bus, and with the help of a welder and a few nuts & bolts, turn it into a fire breathing amour-plated assault-vehicle.
I also loved his van. Fair enough, the rear roof spoiler was somewhat pointless, but what other show would think of using a commercial vehicle to perform so many crazy stunts?
The GMC G15 Vandura with its characteristic red striping and turbine mag wheels became an instant success. In fact, I’m guessing a large portion of the show’s merchandising dollars came from the sale of toys featuring the A-Team van, because you used to see them everywhere.
Of course, then you had Face and his ‘84 Chevrolet Corvette. Come on now; love them or hate them, you couldn’t pick a better vehicle for someone like Face to drive. It was the American supercar of its day, and was simply perfect for his character!
There’s a strange thing about that car, though. The production company didn’t actually own the vehicle and simply rented it whenever it was needed. The car was white, and the familiar red stripe had to be added each time they used it! I occasionally rent vehicles out to TV & movie production companies and in movie-land, you often hear the words “money’s no object;” trust me, that’s not always the case!
The series ran from 1983 to 1987, and during that time, received mixed reviews. Youngsters loved it, as did many of the not-so-young, but others condemned the show for glorifying violence. Strange when you consider that although many violent explosions and gunfights took place, you seldom saw anyone get hurt.
Some even went so far as to call the show cartoonish and, in some ways, I can agree with that but then again, it’s what made the show so much fun! Dig out a few old episodes and you’ll see what I mean.