In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The A-Team.
I love The A-Team.
I wish I could say it was a beloved childhood memory, but – as I creep up on 45 years of age this July – I have to say that Stephen J. Cannell & Frank Lupo’s The A-Team was more of a late-high school/early college pleasure.
The show debuted in January 1983, just as I was preparing to graduate college and enter the collegiate world, and I immediately dug it. Sure, it was cheesy. But, it was the 80s and most shows were. It was adventurous and fun. There was little to no swearing. Despite a lot of gunplay no one ever seemed to really get hurt. It was a lot like the Sunbow’s GI JOE cartoon come to life. There’s a certain charm to shows of that period, and programs like The A-Team and Magnum PI remain favorites to this day. I feel there’s far too much angst in most television shows today. The A-Team was pure escapism.
Like so many other things from those days gone by, once it was off the air I didn’t find myself giving much thought to the A-Team and the adventures of Hannibal, Face, BA and Murdock. Sure, every now and then when things worked out, I found myself exclaim "I love it when a plan comes together" or whistling the distinctive theme songs. Man, Mike Post and Pete Carpenter defined the sound of 80s television. But, despite the popularity of the series it didn’t continue on in other media. The only A-Team comics remain a 3 issue mini-series from Marvel released in 1984. There were a few episodes adapted into paperback novels. But, once the series wrapped…there were no continuing adventures of the team.
Then, a few years back the rumors of a big screen adaptation began to swirl. There was some starts and stops. Then, finally, those rumors became reality and production on the movie began.
Last year I hunted around to see if the show was still airing and found it on weeknights at 8:00PM on RTV. I’ve been DVRing episodes hear and there to watch in those rare minutes of downtime when I have the TV to myself. I still enjoy the show as much now as I did then.
The big screen adventures of The A-Team open on June 11th, and I can’t wait. I thought the production team did a fantastic job with casting. I confess that when I first heard that Liam Neeson would be playing Hannibal, I had some difficulty wrapping my head around it. But then I saw the first image released from the studio and I was sold.
I know when June 11 rolls around I will be sitting in my local theater, popcorn in hand, ready to take in the new adventures of some old friends. I can’t wait.
IDW is handling the comics for the movie version. They’ve released two mini-series (Shotgun Wedding and War Stories) which were both just collected into trade paperback. Nothing further has been announced, but I’m hoping there’ll be more.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, Florida-based toymaker Jazwares will be handling the action figure duties. They’ve got 4" and 12" figures coming, and the classic GMC van is coming as well, scaled for the 4" figures.
Now, if only Jazwares would make some classic A-Team figures! That’d just be the icing on the cake!
Feel free to share your thoughts on the A-Team…the original series, the new movie, the comics, whatever in the comments below.
As for the toys? You can discuss those in our General Toy Talk forum right here!