About this blog

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.

This was the introduction to one of the great TV series of the eighties. The purpose of this blog is to build up the definitive episode guide to the show across its five seasons which ran from 1983 to 1987. So this isn't too much of a burden, I'm intending to watch a couple of episodes a week and given that there were around 100 episodes made during its run, this will turn into a year-long project!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Pros and Cons s1ep3

co-starring: Clifton James as Warden Beale, William Smith as Jason Tatero, Paul Koslo as Deputy Sneed, Red West as Lieutenant Trask, Hugh Gillin as Sheriff, Ken Norton as Jackhammer Jackson, Meeno Peluce as Joey, Elsa Raven as Prison Psychiatrist
Written by Stephen J. Cannell
Directed by Ron Satlof

BA discovers an old friend is being held in a prison where the inmates are forced to participate in bare knuckle fights.

This is one of the best early episodes, much more like the A-Team we know and love. It's a pacy, well-written tale with the right balance of action and humour. Clifton James (best known for his role as Sheriff J.W. Pepper in the Bond film Live and Let Die) co-stars as the prison warden and is a first-rate bad guy, an essential ingredient in the best episodes. As a further in-joke, the prison reform academic who Face poses as in order to gain access to the prison is named Dr Pepper!

The action is well-staged, most notably the scene in which Hannibal drives a car into the sheriff's office in an attempt to get arrested, a great moment that became a permanent part of the opening credits. There's a strong comic vein running throughout the episode with Hannibal pretending to be an effeminate hairdresser and Murdock causing chaos in the jail’s hospital with his constant cries of “I want some trash bags!”. One of the best moments sees Murdock and Hannibal using the trash bags plus some hair-dryers to float over the prison walls. Top class. 10/10


  1. Hannibal: "Murdock, how'd I let you talk me into this?"
    Murdock: "I don't know. I have intermittent memory loss."

    This episode is so much fun! I definitely agree with the perfect 10/10 rating, H.M. It was great to see the A-Team attempt to get themselves arrested (unsuccessfully at first!) in order to stage a prison break. One of the best parts of the episode is that we the viewers are not let in on the plan. We have no idea what the Team is doing at first...Face posing as a prison psychiatrist? Hair dryers? Trash bags? Lawn chairs? It's a delight to see it all come together.

    The name "Dwight Pepper" is a play on the names of actors DWIGHT Schultz and George PEPPARD. However, the "real" Dr. Dwight Pepper pictured on the book jacket is none other than show creator Stephen J. Cannell!

  2. I love this episode. Murdock is my favorite, and the whole trash bags thing is just fabulous. I also like that the Team had to try to get arrested-very interesting.