The A-Team (1983–1987)
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When a friend of B.A.'s ends up in a prison in Strykersville, FL, the team goes in with an elaborate plan to rescue him. The warden has developed a fight program and he forces prisoners to ... See full summary »


Ron Satlof


Frank Lupo (created by), Stephen J. Cannell (created by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
George Peppard ... John 'Hannibal' Smith
Dirk Benedict ... Templeton 'Faceman' Peck
Melinda Culea ... Amy Amanda Allen
Dwight Schultz ... 'Howling Mad' Murdock
Mr. T ... B.A. Baracus
Clifton James ... Warden Beale
William Smith ... Jase Tataro
Paul Koslo ... Deputy Sneed
Red West ... Lt. Trask
Hugh Gillin ... Sheriff
Ken Norton ... Jackhammer Jackson
Meeno Peluce ... Joey
Elsa Raven ... Dr. Marian Ericson
Michael Greene ... Deke
Phil Proctor ... André


When a friend of B.A.'s ends up in a prison in Strykersville, FL, the team goes in with an elaborate plan to rescue him. The warden has developed a fight program and he forces prisoners to duke it out with the loser ending up dead and the winner on the run for his life while prison guards hunt him down. Face masquerades as a prison psychiatrist to gain the warden's trust, while Hannibal, B.A. and Murdock get themselves arrested and infiltrate the fight program. Written by R. Bernard Ment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

8 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In this episode, Face pretends to be Dr. Pepper. Clifton James, who plays Warden Beale is famous for playing Sheriff Pepper in two James Bond movies. See more »


At the end of the adventure, Hannibal is back in Los Angeles and sees a local news story about the team's recent mission in Florida. It is highly unlikely that a California television station would be carrying a story from across the country in Florida. See more »


Amy Amanda Allen: We found a book called 'The Reformed Convict' by Dwight Pepper.
Col. John "Hannibal" Smith: Dr. Pepper? Are you kidding?
Amy Amanda Allen: It's his first book. He's a doctor of psychology from L.S.U
Col. John "Hannibal" Smith: Face, you're the good doctor.
See more »


Featured in The A-Team: Curtain Call (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Trash bags!
4 January 2014 | by philosteinSee all my reviews

It's disappointing that Hannibal Smith neglects to say 'I love it when a plan comes together' – because this episode's plan puts Escape from Alcatraz to shame.

A prison warden is running 'fights to the death' with inmates as contestants. If the losers fail to die, the warden finishes them off himself. The 'winners' are allowed to escape, giving the authorities the perfect excuse to hunt down and kill inconvenient witnesses.

However, one inmate (who happens to be an old friend of B.A.'s) does manage to escape and contact his kid brother. The kid (who happens to be in B.A.'s ashtray making class(!?) starts acting screwy, so B.A. follows him – only to see the escapee taken away by the warden's deputies. B.A. 'persuades' the A-Team to help his friend escape from prison. But how to do it?


B.A. is a big guy, so the A-Team figure on getting him into prison to fight in the warden's death matches.

But how to get into prison? Drive a car through the sheriff's window.

How can Hannibal stay with B.A.? Pretend B.A. is a deaf mute, and Hannibal is his signer.

How to escape from prison? Construct *hot air balloons* out of everyday materials and float over the wall.

Where to get the balloons? Have Murdoch 'fail' a Rorschach ink blot test, get committed, howl for "trash bags!" until the warders cave in through lack of sleep and provide enough of them to carry the weight of 3 or 4 men.

But what about the chairs, hot air, and other balloon-making equipment? Have Hannibal pretend to be a hairdresser to gain access to hairdressing chairs for the baskets, and *hairdryers* to inflate the trash bag balloons with hot air.

What if there isn't any hairdressing equipment in the prison? Have Face pose as an author of a book on prison reform and con the warden into setting up a prison hairdressing salon under the threat of an unfavourable report on the prison's practices. And hope the supplies arrive *before* the big fight.

But Murdoch and the trash bags will be in the psychiatric ward! Tell Hannibal to trick the doctor into allowing him in to give Murdoch a haircut, and overpower the doctor – facilitating Murdoch's escape.

Why does B.A. have to be chosen to fight, if the escape's going to happen before then? Might his presence cause the next fight to be brought forward, giving you less time to prepare the escape anyway? Er… don't worry about that.

But what if the fight's outside the prison and not in the prison gym as planned for, throwing the whole plan into disarray? Hope that Amy (who'd support Face) has the foresight to follow the warden and his cronies to the fight arena and alert the others to its location, make the hot air balloons as originally planned, float over the walls in them, wait for the warders to helpfully shoot the balloons allowing a gentle descent to Face's getaway car, and hightail it to the fight to threaten everyone involved with a big machine gun. Get B.A. to punch the warden. The end.

Genius. Pure genius! :D

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