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    A Regular Star Trek Guest Actor Played A Very Different Role On The A-Team

    The titular A-Team was, by the description of the show’s opening sequence, a “crack commando unit” that was “sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit.” When said commando unit escaped from prison, they went on the lam, having no recourse but to use their military skills to help beleaguered citizens in trouble (without killing anyone). If you have a problem, yo, they’ll solve it. I was personally always tickled by the opening narration’s assertion that “if you can find then, you can hire the A-Team.” This implies that they’re really hard to get hold of. 

    The A-Team’s four members were a typical ragtag group of mercenaries, with each one of them fulfilling a necessary role. John “Hannibal” Smith (George Peppard) was the playful leader. Templeton “Face” Peck (Dirk Benedict) was the handsome charmer. B.A. Baracus (Mr. T) was the muscle. Schultz played “Howling Mad” Murdock, the wild card of the group. He was always quick with a quip, was often unpredictable, and was constantly called “crazy” by his teammates. Murdock was the comic relief character. There was always a lingering question as to whether or not Murdock was genuinely insane or if he just enjoyed behaving in a wacky manner. 

    For instance, Murdock often speaks in strange voices, implying that he might have dissociative identity disorder. He also refers to an invisible dog named Billy, implying he may be schizophrenic. Like Hamlet, I suspect he is merely putting on an antic disposition. 

    Despite Murdock’s odd behavior, he is incredibly capable, having been called one of the best helicopter pilots of the Vietnam War. He might be considered Hannibal’s second-in-command. Murdock is essentially the polar opposite of Reginald Barclay. Kudos to Schultz for playing both roles so capably.

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