Nostalgia can be a fickle mistress.
Anyone old enough to remember the original run of The A-Team will have fond memories of Saturday evenings spent in front of the television.
We’d wait to find out which poor, desperate individual tried to hire the self exiled soldiers of fortune - seriously, anyone on the street seemed to be able to find them, but the army was always one step behind - and why. Then we’d watch as Hannibal, Face, Murdock and B.A. ran through a gamut of moralistic stories, only to come out the other end relatively unscathed as they helped the helpless.
We now find ourselves in a rich era of television, where networks are prepared to allow screenwriters to create a slow-burn story arc that could end up reaching over numerous series. Those networks are also willing to push the boundaries of what we can expect to see on these shows. This wasn’t really possible with syndicated shows in the past. Turn back to the 80s and The A-Team and shows of its ilk are the simple cousins by comparison. The episodes were family friendly - remember that considering the amount of ammo and explosives used in each episode, no one ever died, honestly, Stormtroopers would have felt right at home on set - and helped parents and kids alike suspend disbelief just long enough to entrust that four men could create an armoured tank out of a lawnmower, some metal plating and a potato gun. Every week.
There are only a couple of extras within this set; an interesting look back at ‘80s television as a whole, as well as a short interview with the series creator, the late Stephen J. Cannell. It looks like these have been made available elsewhere before though, so there’s nothing new on show.
The transfers of the episodes onto Blu-Ray are as clean as they could be and look crisp, but with only those two extras, no episode commentaries or new interviews with any surviving cast or crew, the retail price of nearly £150 may make even the most diehard fan baulk at upgrading their DVD sets.
That said, if you loved the series the first time around, this’ll bring back some really happy memories, as the camaraderie is all still there, but whereas this set had an opportunity to be a fan’s delight, instead it’s more C-Team than it should have been.
THE A-TEAM / CERT: 12 / DIRECTORS: VARIOUS / SCREENWRITERS: VARIOUS / STARRING: GEORGE PEPPARD, DIRK BENEDICT, DWIGHT SHULTZ, MR T / RELEASE DATE: 17TH OCTOBER