The appearance of Mr. T as B.A. Baracus unfortunately overshadows the rest of this show. Why is that unfortunate? Because Mr. T’s appeal mostly comes from his performance as the show-stealing Clubber Lang from Rocky III, and not from any major importance he had on this series. While people certainly tuned in to see Baracus, they were often disappointed by the back seat he would frequently take to the other stars – disappointed because they wanted to see Clubber Lang on the A-Team, and not the back-seat charact…r he plays here. But after watching more of his role as Baracus in The A-Team: The Complete Fourth Season, it becomes obvious why he wasn’t used any more than he was – he really is a one-trick-pony actor. He plays one role – plays it well, in fact – but he simply cannot add anything else to the character. The new quickly wears off, and all you’re left with is a supporting character stealing the spotlight by presence alone over the show’s real star, George Peppard.
Some of the episodes included in this latest release are solid, while others are childish – in fact, most are childish, but I won’t say they’re not all a little fun. It always amazed me how The A-Team’s battles with the bad guys – while often containing the use of machine guns, grenades, assault choppers, and dozens of other deadly militaristic weapons – most always resorted in their victory without the loss of one human life, good or bad. It’s also amusing the government has such difficulty locating them, but any yahoo gas station owner can track them down with ease – a shortfall of the series most loyal fans will overlook. Still, the nostalgia factor is huge with this show – it’s got to be – and it does still manage the occasional episode with deeper value (see the season finale). It’s certainly a stupid show, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying it. There are far worse things on our silver screens today.
The 1.33:1 full frame presentation contains frequent bouts of grain. The blacks, unfortunately, appear as hazy as a dust cloud. Colors also look somewhat faded. Classic eighties TV doesn’t have to look like classic eighties TV, and while I won’t accuse Universal of not doing any work in this department, they certainly didn’t do enough. It gets by, like the rest of the set; but I’m sure it isn’t up to fan expectations.
The 2.0 track is utilitarian in nature – it simply gets the job done. While it maintains balance between dialogue and action, it suffers from an occasional hiss of age. Parts of it, such as the narrator’s spiel from the beginning of each episode, sound muffled, and that doesn’t help the age factor one bit. Fans of the show, I’m sorry – this will sound just like it does on Nick-at-Nite. And while that’s not terrible, it just reflects the lack of effort Universal has put forth in taking this series digital.
The Great 80s TV Flashback featurette is nothing more than a 25-minute advertisement for other “great television” – all from Universal, of course. There are some classics (and a few clunkers) featured, along with interview segments featuring a few forgotten stars and producers – an all right promotional piece. Also featured with the extras content – “Point of No Return,” a fifth season A-Team episode, where Face, Baracus, and Murdock, hunt for their kidnapped leader Hannibal. It’s run-of-the-mill A-Team. Good or bad? I suppose that depends on your view of the show.
Universal’s run of The A-Team is one step away from completion with the arrival of this fourth season. (It ended with an abbreviated season five.) While the show lacks a ton of common sense, it does offer fertile ground to the minds of children in the mood for fun action, or adults out for entertainment that requires little to zero mental effort. The A/V is standard issue, with no improvements from the original airings aside from basic maintenance – great for rabid fans of the series, but will do nothing for the passing viewer.
Special Features List
- The Great ’80s TV Flashback
- Bonus episode from season 5: “Point of No Return”