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The totally unofficial A-Team electronic mail newsletter
***** Now in it's second year of publication !! *****
Submission address: [email protected]
Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
Please use the following addresses for subscribe/unsubscribe
and back issue requests:
[email protected], [email protected]
*NOTE* It is now possible to subscribe JUST to the newsletter and not receive messages sent out through the reflector. If you wish to change your subscription type, just email me.
The A-Team Homepage(s):
DATE: January 1, 1996
Happy New Year everybody!
And welcome to the first issue of On the Jazz for 1996. First, as always, in the administrivia department:
A-TEAM NEWS / MAILING LIST NOTES
While I'm back from winter break now, subscription status is still frozen until I hear that our umich-site administrator is back from break as well. New subscribers are on the list for the newsletter but are not yet on the message reflector, and unfortunately I still can't unsubscribe anybody from the reflector, but it won't be much longer. Thanks for all your patience.
The big news of late, which our reflector-subscribers heard of before Christmas, is the unknown state of Mr. T's health. He has apparently pulled out of his scheduled appearance in Aladdin in the UK, but the exact cause of his ill-health has not been made clear (at least not to my knowledge yet.) Rumors tend to be that he either has some form of cancer or is suffering the effects of an "unnamed virus" - AIDS would be the one that seems to be hinted at.) One of our subscribers posted this article to the reflector, which seems to summarize the situation pretty well:
From: [email protected] (Eilish A. McCormick)
Subject: Mr. T's health
Okay, folks, this is from the STAR (12/26/95 issue), so take it with a grain of salt, but they don't make any wild claims, just more of the news that T's suffering from something, but no definite information. The accompanying B&W photo shows him in an American Airlines wheelchair holding crutches, but he doesn't look too sickly. I have done some editing of the article...(Please pardon any typos)
Muscleman Mr. T is battling a mystery illness and could be facing the toughest fight of his life. [mentions cancellation of Brisith stage engagement] "He has been suffering a long-term health condition," his agent Peter Young told STAR. "It has worsened quite recently and he just isn't well enough to go to Britain. He isn't even well enough to make the journey. I don't know exactly what's wrong with him."
[mention of a nameless British reporter who claimed T had cancer and was undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments.]
His mother, Lee Tero, told STAR from her home in Chicago, "I called up his home yesterday and was told that he was ill, but I don't know exactly what's wrong with him. I'm worried about him."
[T was to play the genie in a pantomime production of Aladdin at the Palace Theater in Manchester, England] Kate Parkes, spokeswoman for the theater told STAR the theater company didn't realize at first just how ill the actor was. "At first we tried to keep him to his contract," she said. "But then his agent made it quite clear that Mr. T is very sick....We even pointed out there are excellent medical facilities availabel in Manchester, but he still decided he had to stay. Now we realize his is in such a serious condition, all we can do is send our best wishes to him."
The health scare comes at the end of a year in which Mr. T has been ravaged by a leg injury which forced him to cut back on numerous guest appearances. In addition, he has since spent thousands of dollars on exercise equipment to rebuild the muscles in his legs.
"Yes, he did hurt his leg back in the summer during a bad fall," his mom confirmed.
[general info on playing BA on the A-Team, being a boxer in Chicago and starring in Rocky III, as well as recent appearances as a celebrity guest at a WCW extravaganza]
I received another e-mail this week from a fan to forward on to the group concerning T:
Subj: Mr. T
Date: Fri, Dec 29, 1995 6:32 AM EST
From: [email protected]
X-From: [email protected] (Marla Corinne R.)
To: [email protected]
I read on Saturday, December 24th via a Knight Ridder press release, in the Toronto Star that Mr. T was ill, with cancer, and therefore unable to fulfill his role in the Manchester England, Palace Theatre's production of Aladdin, this same month. I am beside myself with concern, as I have met him many times and he is without a doubt, the sweetest, most honorable and special man I have ever met.
I have been trying to find a way to find him, as he is "missing in action" I would like to send him something from all his supporters, do you know his home
address, or do you have anyone on this list in Chicago that can find it??
I am hoping that this isn't true, or is exaggerated somehow, but knowing him rather well, I fear that it is, I can't imagine him condoning that kind of misinformation. The info came from his agent.
Please PLEASE however, let's not go overboard, he is a private man, but if he is sick, I think a polite and thoughtfully planned gift or donation in his name, to the right charity, would be greatly appreciated, by him. (and by myself, his friend)
Please let me know if any members of this list etc...can answer any questions and/or would like to participate in a demonstration of our appreciation for his work and the man himself.
Personally I think it would be a wonderful idea for those who might be so inclined to work together on *something* for T...a group donation or gift, perhaps, or just a lot of "Get well soon" messages?
As far as a home address...well, I've been holding onto a little piece of information for a few months, not really sure if it would be proper to post to a fairy open forum such as this, but given the situation I think it's about time I did. Someone sent me the following address, claiming that it was T's... I have no idea of its validity, but I also have no reason to doubt that it's a put-on either:
Mr. T's home address is 395 N. Green Bay Road, Lake Forest, IL 60645
So, like the lady said, let's not go overboard, but let's do whatever we can to be supportive!
Last issue's question was:
>In which A-Team episode did Face's corvette make its very first on-screen
We had one very close guess of the answer ("Steel"), but the actual first appearance of the 'vette was a few episodes ealier in "The Taxi-Cab Wars."
This week we'll continue with a "last" question:
>In which episode did Melinda Culea make her final appearance on the show?
Now, it's time for the conclusion of
The Visitors vs the A-Team
by Laura Michaels
* * *
The Resistance took the Team to their current base. They then started the introductions.
"I'm Juliet Parrish. That's Willie." She motioned to the corner where someone was playing around with a blender. Just then, a young man came in to pick up some equipment.
"Nice to steak you," Willie said to the Team. To the kid who entered the room he asked, "How'd your meat out go, Kyle?"
"He all right?" B.A. asked.
"Yes." Julie smiled. "That's steak out, Willie, and it's nice to meet you."
"But I already know you," Willie replied uncomprehendingly.
"No," Murdock said to Julie, "don't you get it, steak, meat. It makes sense."
"You're crazy fool," B.A. told him, "and I think he's crazy too."
Murdock went over to look at the contents of the blender.
Several types of assorted foods, that generally don't go together, were being chopped up in it. "That's great, but I think you forgot the crickets and chocolate covered ants," Murdock told him.
"Oh no," replied Willie, "I'm a vegetarian."
"Willie's with the Fifth Column," Julie explained.
"The Visitor Resistance?" asked the lieutenant.
"Well that explains it." The lieutenant seemed relieved at the news.
"I'm Kyle." He came over to shake their hands.
"Kyle, do you want some help?" a girl called from outside.
"No I'll be right out, Elizabeth. You'll have to excuse me. I have a party to go to."
"Some of our people are going to highjack one of the Visitors' supply convoys," Julie told them.
"That's where Chris is, but he'll be back soon," Ham told the Team.
"I'm Mike Donovan," the man from the truck said. "I think you already know Ham Tyler."
"His name fits him," the lieutenant said low enough that only Hannibal, B.A. and the girl could hear him.
"Well," said the colonel, "I'm Hannibal Smith. This is Sergeant B.A. Baracus, Captain Murdock, and Lieutenant Peck. Your operation is impressive. I think I have a plan to put the Visitors out of business for you."
"All right, Smith," said Tyler, "what is this great plan of yours?"
"First, what we need is someone on the inside," Hannibal explained.
"You mean an infiltrator?" asked Julie.
"We could make contact with the Fifth Column," suggested Donovan.
"No," Hannibal replied, "we can't. Too much risk involved. We can't ask them to do this."
"Sounds like someone would have to be crazy to do what you have in mind," Ham stated.
The A-Team was all staring at Lieutenant Peck. "Now wait a minute. Murdock's the crazy one. I'm not going near any of those Visitors without a gun pointed at them." He knew it wouldn't matter how much he argued, what he said, or how well he said it. It would do him no good. The Team had already made up their minds, especially Hannibal. When Hannibal had an idea, no matter how crazy, he couldn't be stopped from going through with it. Today just wasn't his day.
"Face you know you're the logical one for this mission. You're the only one who has a chance of successfully completing it. Besides," Hannibal added reassuringly, "the Visitors won't kill you or anything. They'll want to know who you work for and what you know about the Resistance, first. You'll be fine."
"Yeah, sure. They won't kill me, at first. They'll just torture me, or try that conversion thing, or experiment on me," Face explained. "I should have stayed home in bed."
"I'm glad you agree to accept this mission, Lieutenant," Hannibal informed him.
"I didn't accept!" Peck exasperatingly exclaimed. He sounded scared and desperate.
Hannibal told him, "I accepted for you. You'll do fine, Face. Now the first thing to do is get a phony Visitors' uniform."
The lieutenant cried out, "Now wait a minute...!"
"I could create one," Murdock said with a somewhat phony French accent. "Willie will be my assistant. It will be a marvelous design...."
"Ain't no way," B.A. started in, "we can put in the armor, Hannibal. We couldn't get that kinda material."
The lieutenant was getting highly discouraged. This impossible job was turning out deadly, too. Maybe he should just leave and let them find another guinea pig. A poor choice of words, 'guinea pig', but he didn't realize it at the time. He knew he couldn't leave; he was needed. As immodest as it seemed he was probably the only one who could do this job. /Besides, the Team has never let me down yet. Well there was that time when.... Scratch that. Anyway, sooner or later I'll be up against the Visitors. Better to do it having back up, then alone,...and also better to get it over with.
* * *
He was on his own. He had to get up to the mother ship, infiltrate its ranks and find something they could use to defeat the Visitors. What that something was, Hannibal was unfortunately vague about in his plan.
He knew the uniform the Team and the Resistance had provided him with, even though it might hold out under close scrutinization, wouldn't be good enough to get him through this job. He wanted something with a little more rank so he could get around easier and not have to worry about everyone elses' orders. He also desperately wanted something that could give him a little more protection. Visitor uniforms were supposed to be armored.
He saw a Visitor standing guard alone. "This is more like it," he said to himself. The guy looked about the right height. What he had seen so far were either too many Visitors in one area to try to handle or Visitors that were too large he wouldn't fit the uniform.
He got behind the Visitor and gave him a judo style blow to the neck. He wound up shaking his hurting hand, his arm sore as well. The Visitor turned around to see who wanted his attention. Before the alien could ask what the lieutenant wanted, Peck tried to hit him on the head with his gun. It had no effect. This was like a nightmare. He kicked the guy, with a knee to his most vulnerable section.
The Visitor then got enough wits together to attack. He put his fist into the lieutenant's stomach.
The lieutenant stumbled back and hit the wall, the wind knocked out of him from the punch. He didn't know what else to do. He couldn't fight. He brought up his gun and shot the lizard. It kept coming. He shot it twice more. This was worse than a nightmare. The alien picked him up, getting ready to throw him. He repeatedly clubbed at its head with his gun. It put him down only slightly affected. He used some judo tricks he'd watched Hannibal do before, and got the Visitor into a position whereby he could smash its head against the wall.
Five minutes of smashing later, the Visitor was unconscious.
Oh man, these things are going to be hard to kill./
He traded uniforms with the alien. At least it fit, even if it wasn't tailored. More importantly, he knew for sure now, it would stand up to bullets well.
This was turning out to be one of the most awful missions he had ever been on. He decided he'd better make sure this Visitor didn't come to. The only way he could think of to handle him was to bring him to the hospital, and keep him drugged. He lugged the creature to the nearest one. It was a lot of hard work, and things seemed at their worst.
When he got to the hospital, one nice thing happened to him. He ran into a pretty nurse who helped him get rid of the Visitor. They set up an I.V. at ten times normal human strength. He wanted to be sure the thing stayed unconscious. She promised she'd make sure it did. Then she gave him her address and phone number, and told him she hoped to see him again.
* * *
He got on board a shuttle headed for the mother ship as soon as he could. Once aboard, he and some other returning Visitors were getting assigned to work details.
Lydia came by to inspect the troops. He could tell from her uniform she was one of the top brass. She noticed his uniform as well. "You run into a lot of trouble down there?" she asked with what he would swear was a slight English accent. She was referring to the gun shots he had put into his uniform.
"Nothing I couldn't handle," he replied nonchalantly as he tried to give her his most charming smile. He had to keep telling himself these were lizards he was with, not pretty women.
Lydia seemed satisfied with his answer even slightly impressed. That may have been a mistake. He went off to do the task he had been assigned. It wasn't long before two armed Visitor guards came for him. Lydia must not have remembered seeing him before. She probably ran a check on him and found out he wasn't one of them.
He'd have to be more careful. He'd have to try to remember these weren't pretty women he was dealing with. What he was dealing with was trouble. They played rough and they played for keeps, or so he had heard.
He was sent to Diana's quarters for questioning. He had his mind all made up and he was ready for anything. He was brought into the room. He saw the lizard lady and forgot everything he had just told himself. Why couldn't they be human? I wonder if....
"Welcome to the mother ship," Diana greeted him cordially, temporarily interrupting his train of thought. "What is your name?"
"Uh...uh...just call me Lieutenant," he stammered, afraid he'd say the wrong thing.
"You really try to live your part," Diana replied. She was referring to the fact that he was wearing a Visitor lieutenant's uniform. "Well, Lieutenant,...."
Just as Diana started getting to the subject uppermost in his mind, they were disturbed by a message. "Well it seems some of your friends have decided to join you. I'll be back to finish our conversation as soon as we have them in custody."
Great. Just when things were getting interesting....
A short time passed. Hannibal burst through the door with a machine gun in his hands. Behind him in the corridor Face could see B.A. with an M16 holding up rear guard.
"Hannibal, what are you doing here?" he asked.
"We're trying to save your hide. Let's go. Out of here." Hannibal motioned toward the door with his huge gun.
"Why?" he asked rhetorically. "Why now? Things were finally getting partially decent again and you come runnin' in here and mess up everything."
"Get moving, Lieutenant. That's an order," Hannibal said stiffly.
"Move or I'll come get you and drag you outta there," B.A. growled.
Face slowly walked out of the room.
"Come on!" Hannibal urged testily.
He got through the door, and saw Murdock down the hall with a Visitor laser gun in his hand and an M16 slung across his back.
"You know Diana's kinda nice. Ruthless, psychotic, sociopathic, but nice."
"Great, Face. You stay there much longer and she'd probably have you for dinner," Hannibal said sarcastically.
"As a matter-of-fact, she did say something to that effect," the lieutenant said as a joke.
Murdock put in his two cents, matter-of-factly explaining, with a slight German accent occasionally cropping up. "Face, lizards do eat humans, for dinner, lunch time or anytime, including snack time. Besides, they don't eat the same kind of food you do. If you had a steak with Diana, you'd be eating it live. They eat mice, guinea pigs and stuff like that, you know."
Face turned noticeably whiter. "Let's get out of here." Then a few seconds later, he added, "I was so busy keeping my attention on Diana, and my work, I didn't bother to remember their eating habits."
The way he emphasized 'and my work', someone who didn't know the lieutenant better might believe his bluff that everything had been strictly business. Hannibal noticed it and knew better than that. He figured Face had been paying attention to Diana and had not even wanted to consider work. "We're not leaving," said Hannibal, "yet." He could tell Face didn't look too happy about it. "Now what did you learn?" he wanted to know, hoping Face had found the lead he needed to stop this operation.
"Well, you know, it would help if you would tell me what I was looking for," the lieutenant answered Hannibal.
"B.A. has perfected a device," Hannibal informed him, "that when hooked in to the right spot, will cause the computers to take the mother ship out of orbit and send it on a course back to its home world. What we need is the right place to attach it."
"Well it just so happens," said the lieutenant happily, "I know a place." He took them to one of the places the Visitors had sent him to work maintenance. "Well?" he asked.
"It'll do," said B.A.
"The Resistance," Hannibal continued, "is working on getting more of these units built. Then they'll get the Fifth Column to install them. With this ship already taken care of, the rest of the work should be a snap."
B.A. finished installing the device.
* * *
"Murdock, can you fly this thing?" the lieutenant asked as he got in the gleaming white shuttle.
"No problem. I got it up here," Murdock replied.
"But," he reiterated, "can you fly this thing?"
"I get the feeling you don't have any confidence in me," Murdock told him.
"I get the feeling you don't want to answer my question."
He ignored the usual procedure of strapping B.A. down, leaving it to Hannibal and Murdock. Instead, he fastened his own safety belts very carefully. This ride wasn't going to be fun; he just knew it.
Murdock went forward to start the craft. Hannibal took over the job of strapping in, and purely as a precautionary measure, tying up B.A. If Sergeant Baracus woke up, it didn't matter whether Murdock could fly of not, they'd all be dead. B.A. would kill them for being forced to fly. He hated flying.
The engines were fired up and Captain Murdock eased the shuttle out of the bay. Outside of the ship, just for fun, he started doing some acrobatics; barrel rolls, loops, and other assorted tricks. The lieutenant's stomach was killing him. Hannibal was obviously affected as well since he wasn't smoking his usual cigar. B.A. was unconscious. Murdock was having the time of his life.
The mother ship decided to interrupt his fun by firing lasers at the shuttle. If Murdock hadn't been flying stunts, they would have been incinerated by the first shot. If everyone, except Murdock, was having a bad ride before, they were having a worse one now. When Murdock realized they were being shot at, he started pulling maneuvers one doesn't even see in T.V. spaceship dogfights. (In T.V. spaceship dogfights, they use maneuvers that can't be done in real life.) By now, even Murdock wasn't totally enjoying the trip.
Hannibal called up forward, unable to get out of his seat. "Murdock, call the Resistance, and tell them to activate B.A.'s device," he hollered.
"They're already on the line, Colonel," Murdock replied. "They'll have it activated in a few minutes. In the mean time, hold on." Everyone regretted those last words.
* * *
They got down safely, thanks to Murdock's crazy flying which left them all sick, and the fact that the mother ship had to stop firing since it was out of range.
The lieutenant decided he wasn't so crazy about Diana. After all, he knew she was responsible for shooting at them. Maybe he should start thinking about the girl, Julie. After all, she was human. He didn't want to forget that nurse either.
The Resistance had things well under control when they got back.
"We ought to have a party to celebrate," said Murdock. "Willie and I can cook."
That's one party the lieutenant figured he might skip. Well he didn't have to eat anything, and it would give him a chance to see Julie and the other ladies in the Resistance.
"We still have a lot of work to do," Julie said. "A lot of things have to be cleaned up."
Time to leave,/ before Hannibal drafted him again, he thought.
"We should have everything taken care of by tomorrow," Kyle stated.
"And then," added Elizabeth, "we could have a celebration."
"We'll see you tomorrow," Hannibal told them.
The lieutenant didn't believe it. His luck was finally straightening out.
"Take Murdock back to the V.A., Face."
There it goes again./ "Hannibal, I got him out," the lieutenant complained.
"So," Hannibal replied, "you can take him back."
"Oh no. I just remembered," he said in a very upset tone.
"I left the T.V. running. Come on, Murdock, I'd better go home first and turn it off."
"Don't worry about it, Face," Murdock told him. "I'll help you turn your T.V. off."
The lieutenant's reply was a sarcastic, "Great."
They got back to the lieutenant's apartment. He sat down. He picked up the phone receiver. He had left the phone off the hook too. He hadn't realized he was so tired. He hadn't slept in what...forty-eight hours?
A loud noise jarred him awake. He couldn't remember what had happened. The T.V. was on. Oh yes, Murdock had told him he had to watch some supposedly great science fiction T.V. show, and he wouldn't leave him alone 'til he did. He had the phone in his hand. He vaguely recalled talking to Murdock. He hung up the phone. Then he remembered; the Visitors, the Resistance. "What a bad dream," he told himself.
He heard another loud noise. He turned around and saw Murdock playing with the door. "What are you doing here?" he asked him.
"Don't you remember?" was the reply. "I came over to help you turn your T.V. off."
...Next issue, some more original fiction, this time a reprint of "The A-Team Owns...Castle Greyskull?" by Tracy Revels.
Finally this issue (yes, there's *still* more!), the first part of a recent interview with Dwight Schultz:
"Secret Master of the Holodeck" from Starlog, Jan 1996
by Stuart Banks
Whether it's Barclay, Mad Murdock or Robert Oppenheimer, Dwight Schultz just likes to do the roles.
There's no way to underline it -- Dwight Schultz, the acclaimed actor who shot to prominence as H.M. "Howlin' Mad" Murdock in 'The A-Team,' is *really* a science-fiction fan.
Of course, STARLOG readers know him best as Reg Barclay, the brilliant Holodeck-obsessed engineer occaisionally seen on 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and recently on 'Star Trek: Voyager' ("Projections"). He has also guested on 'Babylon 5' and 'The Outer Limits.' And he has his own surprising opinions on the craft of acting.
STARLOG: Everyone has come to know about you mainly as Murdock from the 'A-Team.' What's your background in acting?
DS: I've been an actor for almost 28 years now. I worked strictly in the theater for 15 years in the United States. I went from city to city -- Houston for a year, Princeton for a year, St. Louis for a year, New Jersey for 2 years, Baltimore, my home town, for a year. Then, I went to New York in 1976, and stayed there working on Broadway, until 1982 when I went to Los Angeles. In 1982-83, the first television work I ever did was 'The A-Team.'
STARLOG: Are you a 'Star Trek' fan?
DS: I'm a big 'Star Trek' fan.
STARLOG: Even when you were younger?
STARLOG: Who wqas your favorite?
DS: Out of the originals, I didn't have a favorite. I loved the relationship between -- and I *really* mean this -- Kirk, Spock and Bones. Those three. The balance of the relationship. The humanity, the failings, the fire that Kirk had. The sheer intellect of Spock. The passion the doctor had between the two of them. I don't think the show would have worked with one of them missing.
STARLOG: How did you get the part of Barclay? Were you specifically chosen for it?
DS: This is my belief that this is the way it went. I was making a movie with Whoopi Goldberg called 'The Long Walk Home,' and I told her what a big 'Star Trek' fan I was. I asked her what it was like to work with Patrick Stewart. I knew Brent Spiner from New York and she said, (at this point he mimics Goldberg) 'You gotta be on that show.' She went back and told them. Before I knew it, I got a call from my manager asking me if I would like to do it.
STARLOG: Do you actually enjoy science fiction roles, as opposed to normal, straight acting roles?
DS: I *love* science fiction. It's what I've *always* wanted to do. It's my favorite genre. I grew up seeing every science fiction and horror film that there was. I started off as a kid -- I've always wanted to be an actor. But I spent hours and hours in front of the mirror putting on makeup. I went through more rolls of toilet paper and glue. My parents, they still have photos of me as a kid as this monster or that monster. I had a box of clay and I used to sculpt every monster that I saw. So, I was into this. I don't know if you remember 'Famous Monsters of Filmland.' I collected those magazines each month. And this is it. This is what really got me into wanting to be an actor.
STARLOG: Since 'The Next Generation,' you've gone on to appear in 'Babylon 5.'
DS: That was really fascinating, because it's precisely the opposite of 'Star Trek.' 'Star Trek' is shot on this big studio backlot. Very classy. *Incredibly* classy sets. Huge budget. 'Babylon 5' is shot in this warehouse. And most of its effects are done on computer -- an Amiga, which I have. It's great. They're really neat people, particularly Jerry Doyle, a really interesting character. And 'Babylon 5' is the first thing he has ever done. He went from being a pilot, to a Wall Street broker, to an actor in a hit TV series.
STARLOG: So, how do you rate 'Babylon 5,' say compared to 'Star Trek'?
DS: How do I rate it? Well, I like it alot. It's right up there. It's the dark side, very different. It's very crowded, like 'Blade Runner.' With all these strange faces and strange noises and different cultures clashing and bashing. That, probably, is more realistic. But 'Star Trek' is idealistic. That's what is was meant to be: idealism. And there's room for that. I love 'Star Trek.' 'Babylon 5' sometimes doesn't do it for me. Sometimes I want to see 'Babylon 5.' Other times I want to see 'Star Trek: The Next Generation.' And sometimes I want to see the old 'Star Trek.' So it's like a feast, you know?
...to be continued
Well, that's more than enough for this issue, see you again in 2 weeks!
Quote of the Week:
BA:You crashed this plane with me in it!
Murdock:Don't be so cocky-I could have crashed this plane
with or without you aboard.
(from "Moving Targets")