The A-Team was an American action-adventure series that ran from 1983 to 1987 on NBC and followed a fictional US Army Special Forces Unit that went into hiding after being court-martialed for a crime that they were innocent of. They ended up being convicted of said crime. After escaping a military prison, they worked as mercenaries, beating up bad guys and blowing up buildings while simultaneously trying to clear their names.
The show, created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo ran for 5 seasons with 98 episodes. Hannibal was the leader of the off-kilter bunch of soldiers for fortunate, then there was Murdock, Face, and B.A. Baracus played by none other than Mr. T – who became the unofficial star of the show.
The series enjoyed moderate success and spawned a whole bunch of merchandise. Speaking of which, if you find my A-team lunch box let me know, I’ve been looking for that.
In 2010, an A-Team film was released with the intention of becoming a franchise, but ticket sales were less than impressive, critics weren’t impressed either and future sequel plans were scrapped.
In 2015, it was announced that a reboot series was in development. Seeing as that was half a decade ago, there is reason to believe that plan has been scrapped as well – but perhaps it’s just stuck in pre-production hell.
Even if future reboot plans don’t come through, let’s celebrate the original show that premiered 37 years ago with some fun facts that even avid fans of the team probably don’t know.
Stick around for the whole video to find out why Mr. T left the show and presented a list of his demands to the producers who had no other choice but to give him what he wanted.
Facts Verse Presents: The Day Mr. T Quit the A-Team
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The Crime They Were Charged With Was Murder
Everything went awry in 1972 when the A-Team, acting under orders from their commanding officer, went on a secret mission to rob the bank of Hanoi of all of their gold. The goal was to help bring about an end to the Vietnam War by creating economic instability, but when the team successfully completed their mission, they discovered that they had been double-crossed. Their commanding officer had been murdered and his headquarters was burnt to a crisp.
As such, they had no proof that they were acting under his orders and were accused of murdering him to cover their tracks for the robbery. They were sent to a max-security prison for their supposed crimes – but as we all know, that wouldn’t keep them in place for very long.
There Was Only One Death On Screen In The Entire Series
Sure, there were lots of explosions and gunshots at the climax of every episode, and bad guys were being flung all over the place, but no one ever really got killed.
Criminals and crooks could be seen narrowly escaping doom by crawling out of cars or jumping through windows right before everything went boom. Even still, parents and religious organizations played up the fact that the show was, in their opinion, too violent to be on TV.
To be fair, there was one death on the show, or at least it was implied when General Fulbright died via explosion in the episode “The Sound of Thunder”.
Hey, quick question before we move on, did you ever get around to tapping the like button and subscribing to our channel?
B.A. Never Said ‘I Pity The Fool’
A lot of catchphrases are actually never spoken in the shows people think they came from. For example, Vader never said ‘Luke, I am Your Father’ and Captain Kirk never said ‘Beam Me Up, Scotty’.
Mr. T did occasionally use the phrase mainly for marketing purposes, but for the most part, he just liked to call people “suckers”.
The Van Has A Website
Well, it isn’t exactly the original van from the series per se, but an exact replica that two brothers in the UK Liam and Jerome Brett built does have its own website.
The siblings shipped in a 1982 G Series Cargo Van from the United States to the UK and painstakingly scoured the world for parts to build an exact duplicate of the A-Team’s iconic wheels.
A-Team Is Actual Military Speak
You might already know this one but A team stands for Alpha team, and that’s the crew that goes in to make the first move on the battlefield such as a forward attack. The B team or bravo team then comes in to provide support and assistance.
Alpha team sometimes is also used to refer to a special forces unit, which is likely the connection that the show was invoking.
The Opening Credits Has A Battlestar Galactica Easter Egg
Dirk Benedict aka Faceman, also played Lieutenant Starbuck on the original Battlestar Galactica series. In the opening credits sequence for the A-Team, Face looks pretty confused when he sees a Cylon (one of the nefarious villains in Battlestar Galactica) walk on by.
The clip used in the credits was sourced from an episode that takes place on a Universal Studios backlot.
Murdock’s First Name Is A Mystery
Everyone else’s names and nicknames were revealed. We had Lieut. Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, Lieut. Templeton Artur “Faceman” Peck, Serg. Bosco Albert ‘Bad Attitude’ Baracus and Capt. H.M. “Howlin mad” Murdock.
All we ever learned was his initials and never his full name.
Dirk Benedict Got The Part Of Face Because Of His Age
Originally, Tim Dunigan was cast in the shows pilot. But he looked far to young to be a believable Vietnam veteran. Even he admitted that he looked more like a high school sophomore than a war hero. He was quickly replaced with Benedict for all subsequent episodes.
Hannibal Is Based On A Real Colonel
Lieut. Col. Gordon ‘Bo’ Gritz was a decorated, albeit, controversial war hero and special forces soldier who made a name for himself by attempting at recovering lost MIA soldiers after the Vietnam War.
His image and popularity at the time lined up with the formation of the A-Team and he was some of the inspiration for Hannibal’s character. Like Bo, he was a leader of an offbeat group of special forces heroes that didn’t quite have all of their heads screwed on straight.
There Were A Bunch Of Novels
Fans of the show that enjoy a good book can set their sights on collecting all 10 of the A-Team novels. With names like “Small but Deadly Wars” and “When You Comin’ Back, Range Rider?”, the series of short novels were based upon popular episodes. Charles Heath wrote the books and only half of them were ever released in the states. The Other 5 were printed and distributed in the UK only.
Mr. T Was Displeased With The Film
Mr. T is actually quite the family man. When he saw the 2010 film that starred Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson he had several major criticisms.
He hated the fact that people died in the film and how producers felt the need to insert sex scenes. Mr. T. opined that films didn’t need to be packed full of violence and sex in order to be decent flicks. When they made the show, it was intended to be good clean fun for the whole family, but he feels like Hollywood has been dominated by an attitude that you need to be edgier these days just for the sake of making a dollar.
Essentially, he ‘pities the fool’ that feels like you need sex and violence to sell movies.
Mr. T Quit During Season 4
Not only did he quit abruptly, but he arranged for himself to be flown off the set.
Season 4’s premiere was being filmed on a cruise ship, and when Mr. T. received the news that a family member had passed away, he knew he had to put his blood before his career.
He also had complained that the ship’s air conditioning was getting on his nerves, but the first reason was probably more significantly connected to his departure.
He hired a helicopter to fly him off the ship then phoned into the producers a list of all of his demands.
And…They fired him on the spot.
Despite his departure, a few days later he was able to arrive at a compromise with the network brass where his complaints were finally addressed and he once again joined the cast and crew for the remainder of the series.
The network knew that the show wouldn’t be the same with him. He had become the unofficial star of the show. If Mr. T. left the show, the series might as well be canceled.
Melinda Culea Amy Left Because She Felt Ganged Up On
From the get-go, Culea and Peppard had some kind of rift between them. She claims that this negative sentiment and animosity soon spread to the rest of the cast and crew and by the end of season 2, everyone had turned against her. The producers picked up on this and gave her the boot.
Now we might not ever hear the other side of the story. Perhaps producers thought that she didn’t add anything to the show. After all, why does the A-Team need a feisty journalist sidekick in the first place?
Germany Didn’t Like The Violence
When German broadcasters were looking at acquiring the rights to the A-team for a Dutch release in 89, they opted to only purchase the rights for 26 of the 98 episodes, citing excessive violence as the reason for passing on the other episodes.
George Peppard Smoked Three Packs Of Smokes A Day
His character Hannibal in the A-Team was often seen with a cigar hanging out of his mouth but in real life, he was a heavy heavy cigarette smoker. In 1992, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and he finally stopped smoking. It was too-little-too-late though because he passed away just 2 years later from pneumonia while he was still receiving cancer treatment. He was only 65 when he died.
The A-Team was certainly one of the more entertaining action-packed shows on TV back in the day. Who knows, there might even be a reboot that actually makes it on the air someday. Would you watch an A-Team reboot series or would you pass? After all, sometimes nothing can ever compare to the original. Let us know what you think in the comments section.
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