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!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

A Nice Place to Visit s1ep13

co-starring: Joanna Kerns as Trish Brenner, Burton Gilliam as Sheriff Jeff, Ted Markland as Logan Watkins, Kelbe Nugent as Lianne, Sandy Ward as Lianne's Father, Robert F Lyons as Harold Watkins, Don Stroud as Deke Watkins, M.C. Gainey as C.W. Watkins
Written by Frank Lupo
Directed by Bernard McEveety

Arriving in a small town for the funeral of former army colleague Ray Brenner, the team find they are given a hostile welcome.

One of the more serious A-Team episodes, this is also notable for being one of the more believable as far as the threat from the gang in control of the town is concerned. The A-Team van is run off the road at one point and there is a real sense of menace when Trish and Amy are forced to defend themselves against two men trying to break into Trish’s house.

Among the strong supporting cast, Kerns is excellent as Ray’s widow, as is Lyons as the garage attendant and fans of “Blazing Saddles” will recognize Gilliam who plays the town’s sheriff. The start is a little strange, using chase footage from “The Rabbit that Ate Las Vegas” to pad out the running time and stop the end credits being even longer than they already are. There is also an odd moment when the team borrow a car from an elderly couple but a stand-in is playing Face and he tries to hide himself from view as best he can.

The level of tension is kept high throughout and this is also one of the few episodes to mention the Vietnam War in detail as the team remember their fallen comrade over documentary and film footage. There is an over-riding message about not forgetting the sacrifices made by Vietnam veterans but also an underlying one about the way veterans were often treated on their return from the conflict. It’s a brave move for what was considered to be a standard action series and a kick-in-the-face to anyone who says The A-Team was just a kids’ show.

The series had a habit of finishing seasons with more serious episodes such as “Curtain Call” (in which Murdock was shot) and “The Sound of Thunder”, which was also written by Lupo and takes some of the issues touched upon here to the next level. This is a genuinely great episode, one which may have washed over you when you were younger (too much talking and all that) but viewed now you realise it is exceptionally well-handled. 10/10.


  1. I totally agree with your review, H.M., about this being a more serious episode, and a metaphor for the mistreatment at home suffered by many American veterans of the Vietnam war.

    This episode has quite a few reversals, as the upper hand continually shifts back and forth between the Team and the Watkins Brothers.

    There's an odd make-up effect at the very end when all of the Watkins' faces are bright red. When I first saw this episode, I thought perhaps the actors got sunburned? Rewatching the ep in digital format on a flat screen, it looks like their faces are made up to look red with embarrassment.

  2. Their faces are spray painted. It was a scene that was ultimately cut from the final version. They allude to it in the epilogue where they each have a say in what color Hannibal should have painted them. There is also a snippet from the scene in the end credits sequence. Wish they had left that in or at least put it as a bonus feature on the dvd.