The A-Team

Season 1 Episode 1

Mexican Slayride (1)

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jan 23, 1983 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
105 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A desperate, but ambitious newspaper reporter, Amy Allen, wants to prove the existence of the A-Team, four ex GIs that help people in need. When she finds them she hires them, because her co-worker Al Massey is missing in Mexico.

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  • The feature-length pilot of The A-Team tells you what it's all about.

    Mexican Slayride is often lambasted for "fake Face", Tim Dunigan, so I figure we get critique of him out of the way first. Although Dirk Benedict is easily the better Face of the two, Dunigan does a more than passable job here. All of the Face hallmarks besides his womanising is nicely set-up, especially his friendship with Murdock.

    The other characters are nicely introduced through the eyes of Amy Allen. The initial reluctance to look up the A-Team, and their reputation, one shrouded in mystery, adds here a certain air that The A-Team loses once it becomes a real hit show.

    The members of the A-Team are urban legends, their specialities nicely described by Amy's reporter colleague. Face is "Mr. Ricky-Ticky", Hannibal the unorthodox leader and B.A. the angry mudsucker technician. Rumours are afloat about who they are and what they do, a nice contrast to the team's later fame. The offhand line of them breaking a senator's son out of a Turkish prison immediately intrigues.

    The plot is simple but effective. It is essentially a vehicle to set-up the characters, as a good pilot episode should do. The relationships between all the characters are established, their quirks (such as B.A.'s fear of flying) and all the other elements that would be a recurring part of the show.

    A show like this comes along once every decade and it is indicative of the spirit of that time. Had this been the pilot for a current show it would've been thrown to the rubbish shortly after airing. On the other hand, today's television climate could've made something out of this show that would've allowed it to go on longer than it did.

    Namely, the characters and situations set up in this pilot are rife with dramatic potential. Similarly, the team's manner of operating is quite frankly, badass. It's the only episode that truly delves into the way the team selects their clients, and the way the team comes together. The code language Hannibal uses over the radio to gather the team is brilliant. We can never be sure what would've happened to The A-Team had it been created in today's climate, but I believe it could've outdone itself even more. As it stands, The A-Team, although it became progressively cartoony, is still an outstanding show, and a personal favourite.

    Polished to the today's standards however, Mexican Slayride could've been a cinematic adventure. The characters draw you in and never let go. They have a mysterious edge to them that you can only feel as you meet them for the first time. They're quirky, they're adventurous and delightfully funny.

    The next time you see this episode, think not of what it lead to. Heck, do not think of it as an episode, think of it as a movie. Let yourself be blown away again in a manner you did not think of before.moreless
  • The pilot episode of what was a must-see show during my childhood... but I don't think I remember ever seeing the pilot.

    While this was a very important show for it's time, and while it does a pretty good job of trying to lay down the foudnations for what went on to be a seriously important series, there were too many moments from watching this episode recently where I said: "Man, this is terrible!"

    I can accept that this show is a product of it's time - so I can let certain things go, like the hamfisted approach of who gets along with who. But I thought I remembered these characters havgin some depth... What's the deal with the "orginal" Face? He mentions wanting to have a family someday and that's it? I mean, he poorly cast, but a lot of his limpness as a character came from a group of writers not really understanding his purpose.

    It was great to see Mr. T start to eek out the identity that so many children came to love over the course of the series - Great enough for me to wonder why it was that George Peppard was convinced that he was the star of the show.

    Murdock got a pretty good start too - and since he was just starting out getting the feel for the range of his character, I can accept that he didn't reach too far into his bag of tricks for a performance.

    Altogether, what was painful was watching the actors fumble around in the dark, struggling to realise that someday everyone would love them - but at least for the pilot there was only tough love in store.moreless
  • This is what i call Nice

    This is the first episode of The A-team.. where we learn every thing about them and what thir specialties are. :)I came to love this show nothing like this one... no one ever dies... witch makes it for the hole family :):) and they build spec things to take the enermy down :D :D
Dwight Schultz

Dwight Schultz

Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock

George Peppard

George Peppard

Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith

Mr. T

Mr. T

Sergeant Bosco "B.A." Baracus

Melinda Culea

Melinda Culea

Amy Amanda Allen

Tim Dunigan

Tim Dunigan

Templeton "Faceman" Peck

Guest Star

Sergio Calderon

Sergio Calderon


Guest Star

William Windom

William Windom

Al Massey

Guest Star

William Lucking

William Lucking

Colonel Lynch

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Goof:
      In the pilot episode, Hannibal is officially a Lieutenant-Colonel from the US Army. However, in "Firing Line" (episode 3, season 5) Hannibal is a Colonel.

    • We learn a lot about Murdock in this episode, including:

      His mother died when he was five,
      He has been diagnosed with paranoid delusions and intermittent memory loss, and that
      He was in the Thunderbirds before the Vietnam War.

    • Murdock's Shirt: "Napoleon"

    • Murdock's Obsession: He doesn't really have one in this episode, though he is often insists that he's crazy.

    • Goof:
      During the first chase scene (where the villains chase the reporter) the backdoor of the green pickup falls off. One shot later the backdoor is still on!

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Hannibal: Here we are, there they are. I love it when a plan comes together.

    • Col. Lynch: Well, who are we today? Harold Lloyd? King Kong? Napoleon's parrot?
      Murdock: I'm not nuts. I keep telling everybody. Don't you think I wanna get out of here and see E.T., just like everybody else?

    • B.A.: (About Hannibal) You learn to love him, Mama. But it takes a long time.
      Amy: That's the same thing he said about you.

    • Amy: (Referring to B.A.) He hates the pilot. Why?
      Face: Because our pilot is insane.
      Amy: So, he's up there now, flying us?
      Hannibal: Yes.
      (Murdock walks down aisle away from the cockpit)

    • (The team is being chased at a film studio and Hannibal is in his Aquamaniac Costume)

      Tour Guide: ...and look there the Aquamaniac. (people from the studio tour bus snap photos and Hannibal waves)

      B.A.: I ain't stoppin' for autographs Hannibal.

    • Director: (attempting to get Hannibal, who is in a Aquamania suit, to stay under the water longer) The guy we had in Aquamania One stayed down four minutes.
      Hannibal: Why isn't he doing it now?
      Director: He had a little brain hemorrhage or something.

    • B.A.: This road leads directly to the airport.
      Hannibal: This road is no where near the airport. (plane flies overhead)

    • (After flooding the MPs' car with water from the movie studio's "Red Sea" exhibit)
      Hannibal: Nice try, Colonel. But you ain't Moses.

  • NOTES (5)

    • During the opening credits of most episodes, you can see a "Cylon Warrior" pass by Dirk Benedict. Cylons were his enemies as "Starbuck" in the cast of the 1978-1979 series "Battlestar Galactica".

    • The original Face was played by a different actor, Tim Dunigan.

    • Music:

      Jumpin' Jack Flash, by The Rolling Stones

    • This episode first aired after the 1983 Super Bowl game.

    • Tim Dunigan was fired after the pilot for both being too tall (he towers over Mr. T) and for not being Stephen J. Cannell's first choice for the role (Benedict was). Dunigan maintains, though, that he was replaced because Brandon Tartikoff thought he looked too young for the part. Go figure.