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The A-Team (TV Series 1983–1987) Poster

(1983–1987)

Trivia

Tia Carrere was supposed to join the cast in the fifth season as Tia, the daughter of former A-Team pursuer, General Harlan "Bull" Fulbright. Carrere was under contract to General Hospital (1963), and couldn't get out it. The role was soon dropped.
Jump to: Spoilers (3)
The remaining cast members have not made it a secret that Mr. T and George Peppard did not get along very well on the set. Arguments were fed by the fact that Mr. T became the real star of the show, despite Peppard's being a 'proper movie actor'. Things got even worse when Peppard learned that Mr. T was paid more than he was.
The gold that was worn by Mr. T during filming varied in weight, usually between 35 and 40 pounds.
Three cast members have prior U.S. military experience: George Peppard served in the Marines, while Eddie Velez served in the Air Force, and Mr. T was an MP in the U.S. Army.
According to Dirk Benedict, George Peppard refused to talk to Mr. T and would use Benedict as a messenger between them. Peppard would only refer to Mr. T as "the man with the gold".
The crime the team didn't commit was that their commanding officer in Vietnam, Colonel Morrison, ordered them to rob the Bank of Hanoi. The hope was that this would help bring the war to an end. The mission was successful, but when they returned to headquarters, the A-Team found it burned to the ground, and that Morrison was murdered by the Viet Cong. All the evidence that they were acting under orders vanished in the fire.
In the opening credits, Dirk Benedict reacts to a passing metallic "Cylon warrior". Cylons were the nemesis in Benedict's earlier series, Battlestar Galactica (1978).
In his autobiography, Hulk Hogan wrote that the producers wanted him to make more appearances, because he was one of the few guys that got along with both George Peppard and Mr. T. He was unable to commit due to his schedule with the World Wrestling Federation.
In order of descending rank Hannibal is a Colonel, Murdock a Captain, Face a Lieutenant and BA a Sergeant. Although Murdock technically outranks him when Hannibal is absent it's normally Face who takes charge due to Murdock's apparent insanity. Hannibal, Face and BA were all Green Berets, members of the US Army Special Forces. In The A-Team: A Nice Place to Visit (1983) we see Murdock wearing his formal uniform at a funeral and see that he was an army helicopter pilot but not a Green Beret. His uniform does display the Parachutist Badge (Airborne wings) showing that he has undergone paratrooper training.
Tim Dunigan portrayed Face in the pilot The A-Team: Mexican Slayride (1983). The role was soon recast with Dirk Benedict playing the part, because Dunigan was deemed "too young and too tall." According to Dunigan, the team was supposed to be made up of Vietnam veterans, and the Vietnam War ended during his sophomore year of high school.
According to Stephen J. Cannell, the writers had a running gag where they would stage these horrific car crashes, but the people would come out unscathed. They would do this to test the limits of realism on purpose.
"Howling Mad" Murdock's real first name is never revealed throughout the series. Dwight Schultz claims that Howling Mad is Murdock's real first name and not just a nickname. They call him Jim in some episodes.
According to Dirk Benedict, Robert Vaughn was added to the cast in the fifth season because he was a longtime friend of George Peppard's and it was believed that he could ease the tensions between Peppard and Mr. T.
Almost every single episode involved a car-stunt, where a car had to jump dramatically in the air and perform a crash landing. In addition, the people driving these vehicles invariably were shown getting out afterward, unscathed.
The name A-Team is taken from A-Teams, which was the nickname for Operational Detachments Alpha in the Vietnam War. Vietnam was the first war that the U.S. Army Special Forces were used.
The cigars routinely smoked by Hannibal were real, and came from a personal stock maintained by George Peppard.
NBC executives originally wanted the character of Murdock to be removed from the show because they felt that he was too over-the-top. But test audiences for the pilot loved Murdock and gave him the highest ratings. The executives had to relent.
According to Bring Back... The A-Team (2006), George Peppard resented the female actors that were added to the cast, Melinda Culea and Marla Heasley, and told them so. Peppard felt that a female character was unnecessary for the show. Ultimately, both actresses were fired.
Melinda Culea was fired from the series over creative differences with the producers. Culea wanted to have more lines, and be more involved in the fight scenes.
Most of the episodes were filmed five weeks before they aired.
The series was originally conceived by NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff. Tartikoff was influenced by The Dirty Dozen (1967) and The Road Warrior (1981). Murdock was inspired by Bruce Weitz's character, Mick Belker, from Hill Street Blues (1981). Tartikoff was impressed with Mr. T in Rocky III (1982).
The Spanish (Spain) version of the series has two significant changes with character nicknames. "Face" is called '"Fenix" and "B.A." Baracus is known as "M.A."
Exterior shots of the "hospital" that the team goes to in order to spring Murdock is the pre-1994 earthquake main building (200) at the Sepulveda Veterans' Hospital in North Hills, San Fernando Valley. The new, post-earthquake building is used to film Grey's Anatomy (2005).
It was revealed in The A-Team: Lease with an Option to Die (1985) from B.A.'s mother (played by Della Reese) that his nickname as a child was "Scooter".
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According to the pilot The A-Team: Mexican Slayride (1983), B.A.'s real first name is Bosco. The initials B.A. stand for 'Bad Attitude'.
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Producer John Ashley is uncredited as the narrator for the opening sequence.
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James Coburn was considered for the role of Hannibal Smith.
Hannibal's decorations include the Medal of Honor, Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Purple Heart, in addition to numerous campaign medals.
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The pilot The A-Team: Mexican Slayride (1983) aired after Super Bowl XVII (1983).
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In the opening season the A-team use standard weapons of the US Army from the Vietnam War era, Colt 45 pistols, M16 assault rifles, M60 machine gun, M79 grenade launchers, Remington 870 pump action shotguns and Remington 700 sniper rifles. They later replaced the M16s with folding stock Ruger Mini-14 assault rifles. Face uses a stainless steel Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and Hannibal a Smith & Wesson 9mm automatic pistol. They also make occasional use of an Uzi submachine-gun and Hannibal carries a Fairburn & Sykes commando dagger on his belt.
Tim Dunigan was originally cast as Face. But after the pilot episode, NBC executives felt that Dunigan looked too young to be believable as a Vietnam War veteran. He was replaced with Dirk Benedict whom the show's creators had originally wanted for the role.
In the Italian version, "Face" is called "Sberla" (= "face slap") and BA is known as PE or "Pessimo Elemento" (= "terrible element").
Marla Heasley's character, Tawnia Baker, was named after Stephen J. Cannell's daughter, Tawnia.
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The iconic van was a modified 1983 GMC Vandura cargo van (although at times other van makes were used for stunts, mainly the Ford Econoline). The van wore various license plates during the series, among them 2E14859, 2L83000, and S967238. Sometimes the front and rear license plates differed during an episode.
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The University of Alabama's marching band ("The Million-Dollar Band") often performs the theme song to this show at their athletic events (the connection being that their teams start with an "A" for "Alabama").
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The role of B.A Baracus was written especially for Mr. T.
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In the Latinamerican version, "Face" is known as "Faz", due to his very similar phonetic, B.A. Baracus is known as "Mario" Barracus and "Howling Mad" Murduck is simply, "El Loco" Murdock.
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Although there are many fistfights and shootouts in the series, the A-Team do not kill people throughout the series, hence the PG rating.
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In the Spanish version, "Face" is known as "Fénix" (Phoenix), due to his very similar phonetic, and B.A. Baracus is known as M.A. Barracus, with two "r", being "M.A." translated as "Mala Actitud" (Bad Attitude, his original nickname).
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In some episodes, the closing credits and the theme tune was extended.
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When Robert Vaughn joined the series as Hunt Stockwell in its fifth and final season, the series was given a new intro sequence and a new version of the theme tune.
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George Peppard and Robert Vaughn worked together before and they starred in Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), Peppard as Cowboy and Robert Vaughn as Gelt.
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With the rank of sergeant, B.A. was the only enlisted man of the team.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

There was some talk about an A-Team reunion, a TV movie where the A-Team was given a full pardon, but after George Peppard died in 1994, the idea was dropped.
During the entire series, only five people died on-screen. They include Gen. 'Bull' Fulbright (Jack Ging), who got shot in the back by a hostile during an operation working together with the A-Team. The deaths of at least three more characters were left ambiguous.
Recently, Dwight Schultz revealed that the day of his infamous meeting with George Peppard, he decided they needed to shoot the show's finale in advance and have the A-Team on a mission where once the plan did not come together, the other members of the A-Team disappeared one by one, and ended on Hannibal like John Wayne's character of Davy Crockett in The Alamo (1960). Nobody he shot the idea to wanted to do it.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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