The summer movies are in full swing now and that means it is time for some re-makes.
One of the biggest movies of this year is a re-make of a television series that originally aired back in 1983. This TV show was called "The A-Team" and it centered around 4 main characters who were all fugitives for crimes that they did not commit. The episodes followed the theme that each show the A-Team would try to put wrongs right and generally do good while still running from the law. Believe it or not, this show ran for 5 seasons and a total of 98 episodes.
The new A-Team movie hits theaters on June 11th and features an entiely new cast that are paying homage to the originals by maintaining some of their signature looks and personality traits. There is some debate about just how good the casting is for the new film but this is only an illustration of just how much fans enjoyed the original show. It was an over-the-top action comedy that stayed true to the 80's concept of gratuituos violence with no casualties. Its not believable or realistic and that is exactly why it endures. Let's all take a moment to remember the characters and actors that made the original so awesome.
The Original A-Team
The original 1983 team of A-Listers. These guys set the bar pretty high for action shows on TV and confused the network that was produicing them. The executives never quite understood why The A-Team was successful. They wanted to get rid of The Murdock character almost immediately but he was so popular amongst the test audiences that they were afraid to make any substantial changes. The 4 stars of this show did not fit in with the rest of the crowd at the hollywood production offices and Peppard's constant (and admittedly obnoxious smoking) flew in the face of the liberal leaning community around them. The network kept trying to turn the show into a more serious action series but the actors refused to let that happen. They understood that they had stumbled into a careful mix of comedy and action and fought tooth and nail to keep things from changing too much. For 5 seasons, the boys put on a great show and we all remember their efforts with fondness and affection. The A-Team was rediculous but so was everything else in the 80's. Perhaps this show was so memorable because it showed us all just how absurd everything was and made it ok to laugh about it. The A-Team endures...
The Late, Great George Peppard - (John 'Hannibal' Smith)
I absolutely love this guy. He was the coolest guy on the planet. I remember watching this show when I was a kid and thinking about how bad ass Hannibal was. I wanted to be this guy. I hoped that one day when I grew up I could be half the man that he was. This is the guy that made this show great and really gave a definite credibility to the show. Without him, we would be watching sensless mayhem with sub-par acting and no breaks of competent craftsmanship. Peppard was a pro in every sense of the word. He was an accomplished and trained theater actor who was never afraid to state his mind about things or to smoke on live television. He strongly believed in free speech and addressed this live during a game show on NBC. He was married 5 times and some would say that his relationships with women were his weakness. He was charming but not perfect and had an ego that he struggled to keep in check. This man was a great actor above all as evidenced by the energy contained in his welcoming smile. Peppard died in 1994 and is irreplaceable. Liam Neeson (another great actor) will pay tribute to him as he fills the shoes of one of Television's legends and one of my personal heroes.
Dirk Benedict - (Templeton 'Face' Peck)
Some people remember Dirk from The A-Team and some people will recall his face from Battlestar Galatctica but pretty much everyone knows his face. It is appropriate that his character took on this name. Dirk is actually a very serious guy and has commented on how his experience with The A-Team was unlike anything else he has done. He often joked around and got into trouble on set with Mr. T and Dwight Schultz. Most people do not know that Dirk is a cancer survivor and had to go on a special diet to beat it. He is still on that diet today. Face was the con-man of the bunch and often worse disguises and such. His character got the ladies to watch and kept the rest of us interested in his crazy actics. He is also making a cameo appearance in the new movie but not as the character of "Face". Bradley Cooper will take that role on this time around and should do justice to it.
Dwight Schultz - ('Howling Mad' Murdock)
Murdock was the best chopper pilot out there and boy was he out there. We were all kept entertained by the wild and wacky shinanigans (yes I went there) of 'Howling Mad' Murdock. His character was great because you were never quite sure if he was really crazy of if he was just pretending to be. Dwight Shultz played this brilliantly and has gone on to have an extensive career in nerd culture. He has appeared on numerous Star trek shows and has done a vast amount of voice acting for films, anime and video games. Murdock is being played in the new movie by Sharlto Copely. He is the massively talented actor that starred in District 9 and his star continues to rise. I am looking forward to how he tackles this character the most. Dwight Schultz will also have a brief cameo in the new movie.
Mr. T - (B.A. Baracus)
If you don't know who Mr. T is then I pity you. Seriously. This guy is an icon of TV and movies. He has been around for a long time and keeps finding work even though his popularity has faded. He still remains a very interesting and unique actor and will definitely be remembered for his style, one liners and over-the-top attitude. The character of B.A. Baracus is being played by Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson. He is a UFC fighter turned actor so he should bring quite a bit of ability to the action sequences in the new film. Unfortunately, Mr. T will not be doing a cameo for the new movie but we all would be better off if he did. Love ya T.
If you have never seen this show then this is a perfect tiem to get caught up on the old episodes. You can watch them for free at www.hulu.com
Go to this link to watch full length free episodes:
For a complete description of the show and detailed information about the characters and episodes then please check out the following links. There is more information here than you will ever want but if you are curious about the new movie or the old show then why not visit these sites and spend a few minutes in deep reflection... or something.
The New A-Team Movie
Official Web Site - http://www.ateam-movie.com/
Wikipedia Page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_A-Team_%28film%29
IMDB Listing - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0429493/
Cyrus Martin is a founding contributor of OneManAsylum.com. He is also the co-host of the Group Therapy weekly podcast. Cyrus is author of Ethan Eternal, the first book in the Perry Long saga. Cyrus has also written and self-published a book, Deceit & Conquest, programmed a video game based on Deceit & Conquest and self-produced a full length movie, Dawn of Twilight. You can follow him on Twitter @cyrusmartin.