Universal Studios Home Video presents
The A-Team: Season Two (1983)
"I'm not nuts, I'm condiments. I've been promoted."- Murdock (Dwight Schultz)
Stars: Dirk Benedict, Mr. T, George Peppard, Dwight Schultz
Other Stars: Melinda Culea, Carl Franklin
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 18h:28m:00s
Release Date: 2005-04-12
DVD ReviewThe A-Team is one of those shows that I just couldn't wait to see every week. From the incredibly catchy opening theme song to the inevitable first appearance of the awesome (back then) Mr. T, this was a show that never disappointed.
First airing in 1983, The A-Team was a huge ratings hit for NBC during its five-year run. Even though the show featured an all-star ensemble cast, the main person fans tuned in to see each week was the immortal Mr. T. Actually, Mr. T seemed to be everywhere in 1983 and the surrounding years, appearing in Rocky III, making countless guest appearances on other TV shows, and even having his own cereal.
The cast consists of Mr. T playing B.A. Baracus, with George Peppard as the leader of the team, Hannibal, Dirk Benedict as Templeton "Faceman" Peck, Dwight Schultz as "Howling Mad" Murdock, and the lovely Melinda Culea as Amy.
As far as I'm concerned, Dirk Benedict (Battlestar Galactica) was the key component that made the show appealing. His character, Face, was a suave, ladies' man that always kept his cool, regardless of the situation, but never backed down from a fight either. Benedict simply became the Face character, slipping in and out of various disguises with ease, and just oozing coolness in an age when it had become hip again to be cool.
The A-Team: Season Two begins with The A-Team still in hiding from the government, but still being available for hire for those who need their help fighting evil. These 23 episodes begin with Diamonds 'n' Dust, as we find a miner's daughter employing the team to transport some explosives to a Zimbabwe diamond mine after her father was killed trying to do the same thing.
Recipe for Heavy Bread reunites the A-Team with the cook from their POW camp, who tips them off about a drug deal between another important figure at that camp and another prisoner. A Face-centered episode is up next, as The Only Church in Town he convinces the team to help him find a woman who disappeared 15 years ago.
Bad Time on the Border focuses on Hannibal posing as an illegal alien to find a sick woman who was left behind by illegal alien smugglers. A two-parter is up next, called "When You Comin' Back, Range Rider?" Having an obvious Western flair, these episodes have the team trying to stop wild horse rustlers, while at the same time avoiding their Army pursuers.
Mr. T must have had D.C. Cab flashbacks while filming The Taxicab Wars, while Labor Pains has the team helping migrant workers stop a landowner who is treating them like slaves. Old nemesis Decker (Lance LeGault) is back in There's Always a Catch, and Water, Water Everywhere hits close to their heart, as three disabled Vietnam veterans are being run off the desert property that they are renovating.
In Steel, suspicions of sabotage at a construction site springs the A-Team into action, and Face is once again (thankfully) in the spotlight in The White Ballot, this time replacing a candidate who was killed while running for sheriff.
There's an Asian feeling to The Maltese Cow, a huge test for B.A.'s fear of flight in In Plane Sight, and a daring rescue in "The Battle of Bel-Air. A mysterious death comes under investigation by the team in Say it With Bullets, there's poisonous moonshine in Pure-Dee Poison, and a deadly gang of robbers in It's a Desert Out There."
N.Y.P.D. Blue's Dennis Franz makes an early TV appearance in Chopping Spree, and a mysterious kidnapping comes under suspicion in "Harder Than it Looks." A group of criminals who have felt the A-Team's wrath in the past come back to get their revenge in Deadly Maneuvers, and "Semi-Friendly Persuasion" finds the team with clients that don't want them to use violence to complete their mission.
The season finale brings Decker back into the mix, and Curtain Call turns out to be the best story of the season. Murdock is severely hurt, so the A-Team flashes back to their past while they try and find a doctor to help their fallen friend.
The A-Team would continue on for three more seasons following Season Two. Still, this batch of episodes has the show really hitting its stride and becoming one of the best, albeit campy action shows in TV history.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A-
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: All 23 episodes are in their original full-frame format, and, while they don't look spectacular, these transfers are still slightly better than the show appeared on TV. Black levels are solid, yet not extraordinarily sharp, and shadows are consistent. Image detail is impressive, but there are quite a few specks of dirt and some grain pops up from time to time as well.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix that stays up front for the most part, but is given some room to spread out to the surrounds at times. The action sequences even feature some tight, aggressive bass too, which adds to their impact. Dialogue is always clear and fits in nicely with the music cues and other sound effects in the mix.
Audio Transfer Grade: B+
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 92 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Magnum P.I.: Season Two, Knight Rider: Season Two, The A-Team: Season Two, Miami Vice: Season One, Meet the Fockers
- Knight Rider Episode: Brother's Keeper: From the Knight Rider: Season Two DVD set.
Extras Grade: C-
Final CommentsThe A-Team: Season Two comes to us from Universal Home Video, and once again, they present the show with the best possible audio and video. Again, there are hardly any extras, with the lone extra being a bonus episode of Knight Rider. Hopefully the amount of extras will increase with future sets of the show.
Chuck Aliaga 2005-04-11