«10 years ago, a military court sentenced a group of commandos to prison for a crime they did not commit, these men escaped from prison and took refuge clandestinely in Los Angeles, today, although the government is looking for them, if someone has a problem , you need help and you can locate them, maybe you can hire… .the magnificent ones (ratatatatá). »
The Magnificent: Brigade A
It was an American television series, starring George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz and Mr. T, that was originally broadcast on the NBC network, from January 23, 1983 to March 8, 1987.
“Team A” was made up of:
Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith (George Peppard) is the head and brain of the team. This Vietnam War veteran gets his nickname in honor of the famous Carthaginian general. In addition, Smith is a leading war scholar, specialist in strategy, and always ready to act. His best known phrase is “I love that plans go well.” He is very fond of dressing up and in his free time he usually works as an actor in B movies, playing the character of Acuamán, a sea monster. He usually wears black gloves and is very fond of smoking cigars, which he says help him focus.
El teniente Templeton «Faceman» Peck («Faz»)
(Dirk Benedict) is a sophisticated sex symbol, inveterate flirt, lover of the good life and refined customs (he usually complains when it comes to manual or unskilled work), being the most reluctant to get into fights. He is in charge of providing the team with material difficult to obtain through the use of the scam, he is a specialist in assuming false identities. Quite independent in character, on several occasions he tries to leave the team, preferring to live without risks (4 × 09 and 5 × 07). In the first chapter of the first season (The Town of San Río Blanco), the actor who played the character was Tim Dunigan but he was immediately replaced by Dirk Benedict since the producers thought that Dunigan was too young to play a veteran of the Vietnam War. It also has, like Baracus, its own means of transport, an impressive sports car from the Corvette brand.
Captain HM “Howling Mad” Murdock (“Crazy Murdock”) (Dwight Schultz) pretends to be a mental patient as an expert pilot of warplanes and helicopters, who carried out missions in Vietnam and often argue with his partner Baracus. He is admitted to a psychiatric hospital, but at the time of missions his companions usually help him escape. Normally he is the one who rescues the team when he falls into an ambush, it helps him a lot not to be in search and capture by the army, on several occasions he even proves to be the most sane of the unit and have the greatest capacity for sacrifice in situations extreme. He usually wears a baseball cap, a brown leather bomber jacket with a tiger head on the back, and Converse sneakers.
Sergeant Bosco Albert “BA” Baracus (“Mario Baracus” / Mr. T) is an expert mechanic and driver. Despite his enormous strength and bad character, he is afraid of flying, which causes problems for the rest of the team, who have to knock him unconscious through drugs, beatings or hypnosis, to travel in this way. He does not get along with Murdock, whom he is always suspicious of and usually urges to fly on missions. He usually drives his GMC van (main medium of the group), freaking out when someone else does, and wears a large number of gold pendants, earrings and rings, as well as a characteristic crest (worn by the Mandinga tribe of Africa). In Spain the nickname was translated from English “BA” (Bad Attitude) to “MA” (Bad Attitude), he receives this alias because during his service in the army, he used to contradict the orders of his superiors, even going as far as physical violence against officers or bosses. Being the “muscles” of the team, he faces without any difficulty the majority of henchmen or thugs whom he usually throws over structures, in some episodes he has very intense fights with strongmen of the same size.
The series enjoyed several guest stars throughout its almost one hundred episodes and five seasons, a large number of well-known faces appeared in the series in leading roles, supporting roles or cameos. From local stars or celebrities to international level. Actors like: Dean Stockwell (who would later be known as Quantum Leap), in episode 1 × 04; David McCallum in 5 × 06, remembered for starring alongside Robert Vaughn in the series The CIPOL agent; Yaphet Kotto (1 × 07), who played Parker one of the passengers on the Nostromo ship in the first Alien movie; John Saxon (1 × 02), known for A Nightmare on Elm Street and Operation Dragon; The Spanish actress and presenter Ana Obregón, in the double episode El día deljudicial; Tia Carrere (4 × 22) protagonist of Cazatesoros; Markie Post (2 × 03, 3 × 11) and Della Reese (4 × 03, in the role of Barracus’s mother), who appeared in a multitude of productions in the 80s and 90s; even Wendy Fulton (3 × 21), Dwight Schultz’s real-life wife. Singers like: Isaac Hayes (4 × 05), famous for the central theme of Shaft’s films; Boy George (4 × 15), soloist of the group Culture Club or Rick James (4 × 05). Athletes like Hulk Hogan, wrestling champion, doing himself in two (4 × 06 and 4 × 20).
What was the crime they had committed?
Officially it is said that during the Vietnam War, Colonel Samuel Morrison ordered the A-Team to attack the Bank of Hanoi to help end the war. The A-Team successfully completes the mission, but upon returning to the US base four days after the end of the war, they find it in ruins from a Viet Cong attack and all the soldiers killed, including Colonel Samuel Morrison. As it could not be shown that they were following orders from a superior, as there was no evidence of the mission, they were imprisoned at Fort Bragg for the attack on the bank, but they soon escaped.
In the 2010 film version it is modified by a similar event developed in Iraq.
This version of events is explained in the pilot episode called “The town of San Río Blanco”, but it was never confirmed by the writers and producers of the first season.
The series was nominated from 1983 to 1987 for the Primetime Emmy Awards without becoming a creditor of any.
The ‘A’ in the team’s name is short for ‘Alpha’, the name of the command made up of Hannibal and company: ‘Alpha Team’.
During the introduction of the second season of The A-Team, in the sequence where Fénix is presented, we see how he sees a metallic robot pass in front of him with a red light that oscillates from side to side where it should have its eyes. Fénix is left with a face of circumstance, as if he knew that robot from something. This is a nod to the Battlestar Galactica series, where Dirk Benedict (Phoenix) appeared in that TV series and that same robot (who is actually a Cylon) was his fiercest enemy.
Dirk Benedic “Fénix” suffered from prostate cancer at the age of 26. Doctors gave him months to live if he was not treated immediately with chemotherapy sessions that could lead to significant side effects and lifelong erectile dysfunction. Dirk, ignoring the toilets, secluded himself in a cabin lost in the forest for several months and managed to overcome the disease thanks to a macrobiotic diet.
George Peppard died of lung cancer in 1994.
During a heated discussion George Peppard applied an immobilizing brace to Mr. T, which caused a significant neck injury that he still suffers today.
George Peppard and Mr. T did not get along well behind the scenes. George Peppard was rumored to be a racist, and fights with Mr. T were constant throughout the series’ five seasons. The fights got worse when George Peppard learned that the character of Mr. T (MA) was the most popular and loved by the public. In addition, there came a time when Mr. T charged more than George Peppard himself (who is supposed to be the protagonist). Ultimately, Peppard chose not to speak to Mr. T, and used Dirk Benedict as a “messenger.” It is said that during the filming of the fourth season, Peppard and Mr. T almost got into a physical fight.
George Peppard was always a difficult actor to deal with, as he had a tendency to fight with everyone. Still, Stephen J. Cannel had great admiration for him as an actor and insisted on hiring him.
Before accepting the role of Hannibal in The A-Team, George Peppard was to be the protagonist of the Dynasty series from which he was fired for fighting with the producers before even starting to shoot.
When Dwight Schultz (Murdock) went to the recording studios to shoot the first episode of the series, he entered the dressing rooms and met George Peppard, who introduced himself as follows: “Hello, I am George Peppard and I am bad people”.
Wrote for Junin24
Matias Ezequiel «MurDock» Copes
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