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 to the Los Angeles underground… and into the hopes and dreams of every boy and girl who ever wanted to make their way in the world as a soldier of fortune. With lots and lots of bling.

The skills of “Hannibal” Smith, “Faceman” Peck, “Howling Mad” Murdock and B.A. Baracus helped many a desperate individual, further proof of their goodness? The team would often return the fee paid to hire them in the first place.

From running gags like the constant need to bust Murdock out of his home at the insane asylum, to the constant need to knock out Baracus to get him on a plane (he was afraid of flying), the show never strayed far from what worked. The formula of “person needs help, hires A-Team, A-Team helps, whoops, here come the police, A-Team escapes to fight another day” served the show well for four of its five seasons. Eventually recaptured, the team goes to work for the military and the series took more Mission: Impossible turn. It would prove to be the death knell for the series, but in the final episode, the team does come together to determine that should they win their freedom, they’d go back to doing what they were doing as The A Team.

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