Trivia / The A-Team

Series
  • Acting for Two: Quite often, especially among actors playing villains. Notable examples include George Peppard playing Hannibal, and a mook that Hannibal fights in the episode "Judgement Day."
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In an episode with a science fiction con, a guy in a original Galactica Cylon suit walks past "Face". In the episode in question, it's actually Hannibal in the costume. The Actor Allusion was all Dirk Benedict's idea. While filming at Universal Studios for the second season episode "Steel", Dirk spotted a park employee dressed as a Cylon, and decided he wanted to film a little nod to his days as Starbuck. The director told him it was a dumb idea, but let him do it anyway. So, they had the Cylon-clad actor stroll nonchalantly across the frame while Face was all "don't I know you?" Fortunately for Dirk, the scene ended up being quite funny and they kept it in the credits up to season 5.
    • There was also George Peppard's allusion to his role as Banacek, where he played a similar role, by having Hannibal spout even more off kilter words of wisdom in "The Big Squeeze".
      • Another one for Peppard. In the Episode "The Rabbit Who Ate Las Vegas", Amy mentions that it's a shame Hannibal's being chased by the military as he is "a terrific actor" after Hannibal goes to great lengths explaining how he'll play his "character". A reference to Peppard's infamously stringent adherence to method acting, even when playing unchallenging roles.
    • The entire fifth season episode "The Say UNCLE Affair runs on this trope as not only was Robert Vaughn a series regular and David McCallum playing the villain of the week, but the episode was structured to parody and reference episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
    • In one episode, Isaac Hayes plays a prisoner at the mercy of the top of the prison's pecking order. This seems like a huge reversal of fortunes compared to his time as The Duke of New York.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: "I pity the fool!" Although this was pretty much Mr. T's personal Catchphrase outside the show, B.A. never actually said it.
  • California Doubling: As the team goes all over the USA and overseas, this trope applies in most episodes (the pilot is a rare exception, as some shooting (both kinds) did take place in Mexico where most of it takes place).
  • Cast the Expert: Three cast members have prior U.S. military experience: George Peppard served in the Marines, while Eddie Velez served in the Air Force, and Mr. T was an MP in the U.S. Army.
  • The Danza:
    • The Mexican Spanish dub of the series changed the name of B.A. Baracus with Mario Baracus, who was named after his voice actor, Mario Sauret (who later voiced Majin Buu).
    • Tia Carrere played a character named Tia in the season 4 finale, and was set up to become a member of the team, but that ended up never happening.
  • Dawson Casting: Inverted. Tim Dunigan was actually too young to realistically play Vietnam veteran Templeton "Faceman" Peck, who he played in the pilot episode. Dunigan was only 28 when the series started, and he was 17 (and still in high school) when the United States officially withdrew from Vietnam.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Dwight Schultz has said one of the scariest things during the filming was how blank the scripts would often be.
    • Also, the writers frequently would not write the tag and then would just say to the actors "just make something up," or told Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict to loosely write up a tag.
  • Hostility on the Set: Mr. T and George Peppard didn't get along very well on the set. Arguments were fed by the fact that Mr. T became the real star of the show, despite Peppard's being a 'proper movie actor'. Things got even worse when Peppard learned that Mr. T was paid more than he was.
  • The Other Darrin: In the feature-length pilot episode, Face was played by Tim Dunigan. The role was recast after the pilot as Tim Dunigan was much taller than the rest of the cast and the producers felt after the fact that he was simply too young to play a Vietnam veteran (as Dunigan noted, the war ended when he was still in high school). Since Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell had written the role with Dirk Benedict in mind (NBC hadn't wanted him - or George Peppard - initially), Dunigan's miscasting may have been on purpose...
  • Post-Script Season: The final season, which resolved the main premise of the show - the team is pardoned by the government, and works for them instead of hiding out in the L.A. underground. In turn, it also had a post-script finale.
  • Recycled Script: Several times, mostly due to the lack of scripts due to being Screwed by the Network.
    • While other details are different, the season 2 episode "Recipe For Heavy Bread" and the season 4 episode "Mind Games" bear many similarities. The villains are both Viet Cong war criminals turned mob bosses, both named General Chow (despite being separate characters), and the plot of both episodes revolves around the team trying to trick this elusive General Chow into revealing himself so he can be taken down. Both episodes, indeed, came from Stephen J. Cannell's typewriter.
    • Season 3's "Double Heat" and season 4's "Judgment Day" also share similar aspects, namely both episodes involve mobsters kidnapping the daughter of a character played by Dana Elcar, in order to manipulate a court decision. Like the above example, they did at least have the decency to change other details.
    • Season 1's "The Out-Of-Towners" and season 3's "The Big Squeeze" are both about the team being called in to fight off a mob running a protection racket, but when they arrive the shop owners being extorted tell them to go away, so they open their own fake shop in order to attract the mob's attention.
  • Screwed by the Network: More like Actively Sabotaged by the Network. The show was considered politically incorrect (showing a positive view of Vietnam veterans, among other things) and its success completely unexpected; it was subjected to Invisible Advertising, the network officials and producers actually badmouthing the show to the press, it was made a 'bad move' to write for, so despite its popularity it eventually succumbed to cancellation.
  • Stunt Casting: A special appearance by the game show Wheel of Fortune, in which Murdock won a truck and a trip to Hawaii.
  • Throw It In!: An extremely frequent occurrence, if grudgingly. There was a heck of a lot of Improv going on by the actors and notably Dwight Schultz, and though the writers frequently got mad by how the actors would go off-script or ad-lib lines, they often (if grudgingly) agreed that it should be kept in.
  • Trope Namer for:
  • Troubled Production: It didn't start out as one, but it sure flamed into one in a hurry. For starters, George Peppard, who had a reputation for being notoriously moody, made clear that he (and the other stars, with the exception of Dwight Schultz) did not want Melinda Culea (or any female) to be added as full on team members. Then, budgets were cut and scripts would be handed out with varying degrees of completeness. Finally, with ratings tanking, relations between Peppard and Mr. T grew so toxic that producers hired Peppard's friend, Robert Vaughn to try and smooth things over. It didn't work and the show was cancelled. T and Peppard eventually buried the hatchet before Peppard's death.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • James Coburn was originally considered for Hannibal.
    • Tia Carrere was supposed to join the cast in the fifth season as Tia, the daughter of General Fulbright. Carrere was under contract to General Hospital, and couldn't get out it. The role was soon dropped.
    • NBC executives originally wanted the character of Murdock to be removed from the show because they felt that he was too over-the-top. But test audiences for the pilot loved Murdock and gave him the highest ratings. The executives had to relent.
    • There was some talk about an A-Team reunion, a TV movie where the A-Team was given a full pardon, but after George Peppard died in 1994, the idea was dropped.
    • In his autobiography, Hulk Hogan wrote that the producers wanted him to make more appearances, because he was one of the few guys that got along with both George Peppard and Mr. T. He was unable to commit due to his schedule with the World Wrestling Federation.
    • Dwight Schultz revealed that he had an idea to shoot the show's finale in advance, and have the A-Team on a mission where, for once, the plan did not come together. The other members of the A-Team disappeared one by one, and ended on Hannibal like Davy Crockett in The Alamo. Nobody he bounced the idea off wanted to do it.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Jack Ging played single episode villains in two different episodes ("A Small and Deadly War" and "Bad Time on the Border") before taking on the role of recurring character General "Bull" Fullbright.
    • Clifton James also appeared as two different characters.

Film
  • Actor Allusion:
    • There are a couple of nods to Sharlto Copley's South African nationality. Observable when Murdock's blabbering in a South African accent early in the film to get past journalists. He also speaks Swahili at one point. It also alludes to his role in District 9.
    • There's the part where Hannibal lures Lynch into a trap in a container, reminiscent of Batman Begins where Ras also compares fighting styles they're both using on each other.
    • The "3D" film at a psychiatric hospital plays the show's theme tune, and one of the names of its opening credits read "Reginald Barclay" — referencing Dwight Shultz's role as Lt. Barclay in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Other names in the credits include G. F. Starbuck, a veiled reference to Dirk Benedict's Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, and two more not clearly seen but confirmed by Wordof God — Thomas Banacek (for George Peppard) and Clubber Lang (for Mr. T).
    • Less elaborate than the above, but when the team had to travel through customs disguised in hilarious ethnic gear, Hannibal basically went through as... Liam Neeson.
  • Approval of God: While Dwight Schultz was negative about the film, he was very complimentary of Sharlto Copley as Murdock.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $110 million. Box office, $77,222,099 (domestic), $177,238,796 (worldwide). Sadly the final film released during producer Stephen J. Cannell's life (he received posthumous credits on 21 and 22 Jump Street). Another one of the producers, Iain Smith, didn't have a major film billing until Mad Max: Fury Road, writer/actor Brian Bloom didn't deal with major league cinema again, and The A-Team series has yet to return to action outside of the video game LEGO Dimensions (a game driven in part by nostalgia franchises of The '80s, which may be a damning compliment for the A-Team).
  • Channel Hop: While the TV series was produced with Universal, the movie came from 20th Century Fox (possibly because Cannell's company had been bought by Fox in the 90s; Universal however still holds the distribution rights to the shows he co-produced with them).
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Mr. T rejected the chance to do a cameo supposedly because he thinks that the film is too violent, however he also said he would appear in the film... If he got to play B.A. again.
    • Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz also spoke out against the film, after their cameos were only included as The Stinger.
    • Averted with the show's actual creator Stephen J. Carnell, as he said that he wished the series had some of the character development seen in the movie.
  • The Danza: Agents Blair, Daly, and Kyle are named after their actors (though only in the credits).
  • Fake American: South African Sharlto Copley as Murdock, and Northern Irish Liam Neeson as Hannibal.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Sharlto Copley loved the A-Team as a kid and his favourite character was Murdock. It even got better from him getting the role: he and Dwight Schultz (the original Murdock) got a chance to meet and hang out, and simply loved each other. Dwight teared up watching Sharlto's audition video and after watching it got up and gave Sharlto a hug, told him he ''was'' Murdock, and promptly wrote on his (Dwight's) site "Murdock is dead. Long live Murdock!" because he loved Sharlto's portrayal so much.* Stillborn Franchise: While hardly a flop, the film only grossed $170 million on a $110 million budget. The cast and director expressed interest in making a sequel but ultimately concluded that it wasn't profitable enough to risk it.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • John Singleton was originally set to direct when the project was at Universal.
    • Whilst only Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz took up the invitation, a cameo was also offered to Mr. T - he declined, with Mr. T saying in different interviews that it was because he felt the film was too violent or because he wanted to actually reprise his role of B.A. Baracus.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheATeam