Episodes: 98 (hour)
TV show dates: January 23, 1983 – March 8, 1987
Series status: Cancelled/ended
Performers include: George Peppard, Dwight Schultz, Mr. T, John Ashley, Dirk Benedict, Melinda Culea, Lance LeGault, Carl Franklin, Eddie Velez, Robert Vaughn, and Marla Heasley.
TV show description:
An action-adventure series about a group of former members of the United States Army Special Forces. The A-Team works as soldiers of fortune and help those in need while being on the run from the military for a “crime they did not commit.”
The team members included team leader Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith (George Peppard), con-man Lieutenant Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Dirk Benedict), insane pilot Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Dwight Schultz), and strong man and mechanic B.A. Baracus (Mr. T). They are sometimes helped by reporters like Amy Amanda “Triple A” Allen (Melinda Culea) and Tawnia Baker (Marla Heasley).
In the final season, the team is apprehended by the government and begins working under the direction of General Stockwell (Robert Vaughn) to achieve pardons. Frankie “Dishpan Man” Santana (Eddie Velez) begins working with the team as well.
Episode 97 – The Grey Team
Paula (guest Moya Kordick), the young daughter of top scientist Randy Anderson (guest Michael Shannon), runs away with her father’s briefcase that contains top secret documents. She believes her father is going to sell it to the Russians and doesn’t know that they are fakes.
The A-Team is assigned to find her. The Soviets want the briefcase so she flees to her old friend Bernie Greene (guest Lew Ayres) who lives at a senior citizen home. The residents band together to protect the girl and help our heroes as “The Grey Team.”
After being misled yet again, Hannibal tells General Stockwell that the team will no longer work for him, giving up their chances for a pardon. At the end of the episode, the team discusses what they would have done once they were pardoned. They agree that they would probably keep on helping those in need as part of the A-Team.
First aired: December 30, 1986
What happened next?
A big-screen adaptation has been in the works for several years but hasn’t been made yet.
Behind the Scenes
|•||Viewership fell during the fourth season so the show went through some changes for the fifth year. Unfortunately, ratings didn’t improve enough to save the series and it was cancelled after 13 episodes.|
|•||“The Grey Team” was intended to be the series finale but, for some reason, it aired as the second-to-last episode. NBC forgot about the “Without Reservations” episode and didn’t air it until March 1987 amongst reruns. In “Reservations,” Murdock wears a shirt that reads “almost fini.” In “Grey Team,” his shirt reads “fini” (the French word for “end”).|
|•||George Peppard passed away on May 8, 1994 from chemotherapy-induced leukemia. He had been undergoing treatment since being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1992. He didn’t stop working and had just completed filming the pilot for a Matlock spin-off when he died. Peppard was only 65.|
|•||In May 2006, Justin Lee Collins reunited many of the A-Team castmembers for an episode of the UK’s Bring Back… series. The meeting took place at the Beverly Hills Friars Club. In attendance were actors Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, Marla Heasley, Jack Ging (General Harlan “Bull” Fullbright), William Lucking (Colonel Lynch), Lance LeGault (Colonel Roderick Decker), series creator Stephen J. Cannell, and George Peppard’s son, Christian. Though he was unable to attend, Mr. T appeared in a separate interview afterwards.|
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