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The A-Team - Season 1
/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 673 mins . M15+ . PAL

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Contract

I have to admit, I am addicted to the drug of nostalgia. I get my fix from DVD releases of my favourite '80s films and TV shows. The A-Team was one of my favourite TV indulgences as a child of the '80s and although I haven’t watched an episode in quite a while, the adventures of The A-Team are more entertaining than ever.

I love it when a plan comes together!

"In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, may be you can hire: The A-Team."

The A-Team is predictable, implausible, campy fun, and I love it! The basic formula of the series involves the A-team getting a job, investigating, forming a plan, defeating the bad guys and doing it all with a sense of humour. The first season of the show is one the best of the entire six seasons and all the improbable situations in each episode can be enjoyed if you just accept that '80s action comedies were never about realism. Anyway, The A-Team was never about original or inventive storylines, it was about the team members.

The characters are animated and humourous and each actor is perfectly suited to their role in their team. The enigmatic leader, cigar chomping 'Hannibal' Smith (George Peppard), the con artist “Faceman’ Peck (Dirk Benedict) and ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock (Dwight Schultz) who, provided he can break out of the army mental institution, is the ace pilot. Finally, there’s ‘B.A.’ Baracus (Mr.T) the muscle bound master mechanic whose fear of flying is a running gag throughout the series. It’s the combination of these four characters that made The A-Team successful in the '80s and the reason why, twenty years on from when it first aired, the show continues to gain fans.

I pity the fool who goes out tryin ‘a' take over da world, then runs home cryin' to his momma!

This DVD release of The A-Team contains all 13 episodes (including the two hour pilot episode) from the first season.

Mexican Slayride Part I&II
Children of Jamestown
Pros and Cons
A Small and Deadly War
Black Day at Bad Rock
The Rabbit Who Ate Las Vegas
The Out of Towners
Holiday in the Hills
West Coast Turnaround
One More Time
Till Death Do Us Part
The Beast from the Belly of the Boeing
A Nice Place to Visit

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

The A-Team is presented in its original Full Frame format and the transfer is clear, sharp and particularly impressive for a show from 1983. Aliasing and edge enhancement are apparent, but very minimal. Although never overly distracting, film artefacts and grain are present throughout all the episodes. The original print for this series has aged well over the past two decades and color depth is outstanding, with skin tones realistic and shadow details respectable. Overall, this is the best any fan could expect for the DVD release of The A-Team.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio mix, however, is a little disappointing. Although dialogue is clear and audible, explosions and gunfire sound very muted. The theme music does sound quite good, but there is no channel specification of any sort apparent. It’s an above average 2.0 soundtrack, but this show really deserves a 5.1 boom fest to go with the great video transfer.

Unforunately The A-Team Season 1 contains no extra features.

Fans of this ‘80s classic will not be disappointed. Although the lack of extras is a little discouraging, the fantastic video transfer and more than adequate audio make this a must have DVD for anyone who fondly remembers this decade defining TV Show.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Great video and audio transfers make this a must buy for every child of the '80s."
    - Rebecca Taylor
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DAV-S300
    • TV:
          Sony KDE 42XBR950 Plasma
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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