Murdock is adorable in a man childish way, especially when he has Billy around or is heading therapy sessions for walnuts in a German accent, or, well, doing just about anything really.
In "The Taxicab Wars" Murdock becomes a superhero called Captain Cab and even makes a cloth mask and cape for himself, all while talking to his sock puppet, Socky. Face is terribly embarrassed by his antics and B. A. wants to murder him (more so than usual), but the way Murdock goes about it is just so cute!
Ensemble Dark Horse: Murdock's character was almost written out of the series before it aired, as the producers found the character too "over the top". The popularity of the character among the test audience however convinced the producers to keep the part of Murdock. Fans of the show all over are glad they did.
The show was more popular in Belgium and the Netherlands than it was in the United States, and Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict are still going over there for interviews and conventions.
Was also very popular in the UK; its popularity for ITV contributed to the 1980s rating decline of Doctor Who. Mr. T appeared in panto as the Genie in Aladdin, as well as an advert for Snickers. Among the UK TV channels that have shown the series in reruns are Forces TV and 5USA. In 2017, Channel 5 would eventually begin to broadcast three to four episodes of the series every Saturday and Sunday
Ho Yay: These days, you could look back and spot quite a bit of it, especially between Hannibal and Face, Face and Murdock, and Murdock and B. A. (which might border on Foe Yay at times).
In the Season 1 episode "Till Death Do Us Part", Murdock has to help save the client from her evil fiancée by wearing her wedding dress and walking down the aisle. He spends the rest of the episode feeling broken up over leaving the groom at the altar and even writes the man a letter to apologize. It all culminates in these lines:
Hannibal: Murdock, he was lucky to have you for as short a time as he did. Murdock(sniffling): That's beautiful of you to say, Colonel.
Strongest example has to be in "In the Line of Fire" - Murdock is so happy to see B.A. that he kisses him all over his face, and when Stockwell tells them they have to move to Virginia, Murdock says "Virginia, that's so far away. B.A. and I, we just got back together." Awwww.
One of the earliest Internet memes was the "Mr. T versus" comic, which mostly involved editing stills from The A-Team and borrowed heavily from B.A.'s character to describe Mr. T (like claiming Mr. T also had a fear of flying). Some of them also included Murdock to be pitied by Mr. T.
I LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER.
"Don't let this [news article] distract you from that fact that 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."
More Popular Replacement: Colonel Decker. Colonel Lynch was the first who tried to catch the team in season 1 but Decker is the one all fans remember.
And most of the other celebrity appearances for that matter, with the worst probably being the infamous "Cowboy George", which culminates with B.A., of all people, grinning like a loon while bopping away to Culture Club's musical performance. Because nothing speaks to battle-hardened war veterans like the music of a camp, cross-dressing, British pop star. And that is nothing compared to the public Culture Club ends up playing for: a bar full of rough and tumble redneck cowboys who think nothing of lynching the team when they believe they have stolen their paychecks, and were originally promised a performance by country singer Cowboy George. And they end up LOVING Boy George's music.
Nightmare Fuel: "A Small and Deadly War": While not quite nightmare-inducing, sweet, kooky Murdock delivering a funeral wreath to one of the villains of the weeknote disguised as a funeral parlor worker and claiming it was a mistakewhile singing "The Hearse Song" is somewhat unsettling.
Replacement Scrappy: Tawnia is this to Amy. Amy at least had some fans; Tawnia was just shoved in because the networks wanted a female character and wasn't all that capable when the team was in the field.
Retroactive Recognition: Two one-off characters from the show are played by actors who would later land significant roles on Voyagers! — Meeno Peluce, who played Joey, Jase Tataro's brother from "Pros and Cons", became the protagonist Jeffrey Jones, and Stephen Liska, who played one of the minor antagonists in "Hot Styles" showed up as recurring antagonist Drake.
Tawnia Baker. While Amy did have some popularity, Tawnia was nothing but a boat anchor getting shoehorned into every situation and desperately wanting to be on the team for no reason. Despite the Character Shilling she got, the actors themselves clearly don't want anything to do with her.note Marla Heasley, the actress, later explained that from the first day she showed up on set, she was treated with hostility by George Peppard just for being a woman on what the cast felt should be an all-male ensemble. Melinda Culea, who played Amy, told a similar story of her own departure being essentially forced on her for daring to ask for something more to do and Peppard pushing heavily for her to be ejected. Both character existed entirely because the network was concerned about airing a show with so many male main characters and zero women. Eventually, Peppard won out, but one last attempt was made at the end of season 4 to integrate Tia Carrere's character of "Tia" into the show, but Carrere dropped out due to her obligations to General Hospital instead.
Frankie Santana, a fifth member added to the cast during its last season. His character is almost the same as that of both Face and Murdock. He's Casanova like Face and especially crazy like Murdock. In the first seven episodes of the same season, the writers thought it was a good idea to make Frank a new Murdock to BA (while the real Murdock has been Flanderized into a really sane man). BA even said/make the usual things/threats to Frank he usually says to Murdock. The writers seems to realize it didn't work, so they teamed up Frankie more with Face and Murdock for the remainder of the series.
General Hunt Stockwell, for apparently taking over the show, as well his attitude towards the team. Despite being played perfectly by Robert Vaughn, he still remains a Scrappy to many.
Season 5 had this, with the A-Team being caught and forced to work for the government (and most closely with Robert Vaughn), and then with the addition of Frankie Santana, an annoying mechanic who added nothing but minimized B. A.'s role. Even the opening theme got messed with—they did away with the opening monologue altogether and changed the theme's sound from orchestral/electric guitars to an almost entirely synthesized remix. This unfortunately led to the series's cancellation.
Season 4 was really the beginning of the end. After the first three strongly rated seasons, a major shift began to occur in Season 4, which relied heavily on guest stars and ratcheting up the camp (even for an admittedly campy show). On top of that the show suffered serious production problems during Season 4. Finally, mercurial lead actor George Peppard and breakout star Mr. T began to have serious problems with each other (which caused the aforementioned re-tool, and casting of Robert Vaughn, a friend of Peppard's, who it was thought would calm the waters).
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Mo/Maggie Sullivan, the doctor from "Black Day at Bad Rock", won over a devoted section of the fanbase. She's more active and assertive than the female characters often were, and seems even to have impressed Hannibal, given that he asked Tawnia to call her in during a medical emergency. Some portion of the fanbase also enjoys the chemistry between the two of them. Unfortunately, she was only in two episodes out of the entire series.
It's hard to imagine Hannibal getting away with yellowface or blackface disguises anymore as he did early in the show's run. The network seemed to be aware of this on some level, as the "Mr. Lee" disguise only appeared once on screen and disappeared from the opening credits past the first season. B.A. made a crack about the low quality of Hannibal's blackface disguise in the very episode in which it appeared, though even the joke itself comes off as bad taste now.
It's also hard to imagine Hannibal and Face being able to utter as many sexist comments as they did back then.
Main characters on network television aren't generally allowed to smoke on-screen anymore (at least not as often as Hannibal), especially when the show is aimed at children.
In the same episode where Hannibal is in blackface ("The Rabbit Who Ate Las Vegas"), while undercover Murdock mock-threatens to rape a woman associated with the bad guys.
Murdock also blatantly gooses one of the VA nurses in "Waste 'Em" (and promptly blames it on Lefty the glove).
The Woobie: Faceman. His father left him before he was old enough to even remember, no mention of what happened to his mother... all we know is that he wandered into an orphanage when he was five years old. From a young age, he taught himself to con people, seizing at every little opportunity he saw, only to miss out on the big ones because of it, most notably when he conned his childhood friend Barry into giving him concert tickets - while Face was at the concert, a family showed up at the orphanage looking to adopt, and they chose Barry (who was pretending to be Face as part of their deal).Granted, that was Face's own fault, but that kind of makes it worse. His college girlfriend Leslie (who he called "The only woman I ever really loved") disappeared with no explanation on the same day he was going to propose to her. He never allowed himself to get too close to another woman after that, so very few of his relationships ever made it past one-night stands. Leslie's disappearance led Face to drop out of college and join the Army where he went through the horrors of The Vietnam War, including spending time in a prison camp, and then he and the rest of the team ended up as fugitives because of something they were ordered to do (he laments in one episode, "Why is it that every time we try to serve our country, we end up behind bars?"). In "Family Reunion", Murdock discovers that A.J. Bancroft, a criminal the team is negotiating with, is Face's father. A.J. begs Murdock not to tell Facehe wants to do it himself. But A.J. chickens out and ends up dying before he can tell Face the truth, leaving Murdock to have to deliver what would have been good news had it come earlier. Plus the number of times Face has been hurt, kidnapped, beaten up by the bad guys... somebody give this guy a hug!
Acceptable Ethnic Targets: Played With and nearly invoked, as the Big Bad is apparently an Arabian business man (shemagh and huge-ass beard)... only to be neatly subverted when it is revealed that the "Arab" behind everything is actually General Morrison in disguise.