Pity the fools: how A-list cameos killed off The A-Team

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The 80s classic arrived fully formed, but when its characters got hauled up in front of a court martial it ran out of steam

What is the best way to nutshell feelgood 1980s shoot-em-up The A-Team? Imagine a gang of fashion-forward dudes cruising around the US in a snazzy black van giving a leg up to those ill-equipped to help themselves. It was a paramilitary Queer Eye, basically, and a buzzy global hit from its 1983 debut onwards. Everyone loved the gung-ho panto of bloodless action and goofy catchphrases, a place where no Jeep remained unflipped and no fool would ever find themselves unpitied.

The A-Team was a primetime cartoon that just happened to be rendered in live action, featuring a cast that could pretty much be identified from their silhouettes: George Peppard’s cigar-wielding generalissimo “Hannibal” Smith; Dirk Benedict’s smooth-haired, slick-tongued grifter Templeton “Faceman” Peck, Dwight Schultz’s baseball-capped booby-hatch escapee “Howling Mad” Murdock and Mr T’s mohawked bruiser “BA” Baracus. All those wacky aliases and codenames hinted at the superhero appeal of the show, a stunt-filled study of duality and fluid perceptions.

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Read more: theguardian.com