The A-Team Volume 3 cast: George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, Mr T directors: Michael O’Herlihy, Sidney Hayers, and Christian I. Nyby, Jr 137 minutes (PG) 1983, 1985 Universal Playback DVD Region 2 + 4 retail RATING: 4/10 reviewed by Donald Morefield

Good fun in its day, this light-hearted TV adventure series about four heroic, yet mercenary, soldiers – on the run from military police as escaped convicts, wanted for crimes they didn’t commit – has little to commend it to 21st century viewers, except (perhaps) for its retro nostalgia value as the classic example of a simpler style of US brand entertainment than audiences now want from studio networks.
Created by the prolific TV-genius Stephen J. Cannell, The A-Team starred the late George Peppard as guerrilla tactician Colonel John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, Dirk Benedict as smooth-talking conman and resources scrounger Templeton ‘Face man’ Peck, Dwight Schultz as half-crazy pilot ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock, and former wrestler Mr T as the army mechanic with attitude problems B.A. Baracus. Aimed at children of all ages, this offered juvenile shoot ’em up thrills; smirking catchphrase dialogues (“I love it when a plan comes together… He’s on the jazz… You crazy fool!”), unlikely but straightforward ways to right social and political injustices, and impressive DIY weaponry assembled with a miraculous efficiency from sundry hardware items.
This third volume in an ongoing series has three episodes from Universal’s TV archive. Bounty features kidnapping for human ransom when a hunting party of rednecks capture the A-Team, Waste ‘Em! has a blind girl menaced by crooks involved in the illegal dumping of toxic waste, Bad Day At Black Rock sees a lady doctor become suspicious of our heroes’ identities when she’s asked to treat walking wounded. None of these 45-minute stories are better than average small screen fodder, even by the show’s hackneyed standards, but they’re all reasonably watchable for throwaway comic asides, wholly uncomplicated plotting and larger-than-life characterisations. Unfortunately, there’s a lack of extra features on these DVD releases, so how much genuine interest is there likely to be from collectors?