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The A-Team - Season Four


TITLE: THE A-TEAM - SEASON FOUR


Info:

DVD Release Date: April 4, 2006 (Universal Home Video)
Color/1985-86
MSRP: $49.98
Number of Discs: 3 (double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 22 (23 hours, one was a two-hour episode)
Running Time: approx. 18 hours and 30 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 77 minutes
Audio: English
Subtitles: English SDH; Closed Captioned.
Special Features: Bonus episode from season 5 “Point of No Return” and “The Great ‘80s TV Flashback.”


Introduction:

I love it when yet another DVD set comes together! Mr. T and the rest of the team are back again with more great adventures in the fourth season of the fun filled show The A-Team on DVD. Let’s take a trip back to 1985 and 1986 for 23 hours—including the two-part season premiere! New season, new missions, new action! So, jump back into the black van and rejoin the A-Team! 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, maybe you can hire: THE A-TEAM.

Pile into that famous black van for another season of adrenaline-pumping adventure with Hannibal (George Peppard), Face (Dirk Benedict), Murdock (Dwight Schultz) and B.A. (Mr. T) as they fight for justice against dangerous criminals, while staying one step ahead of their archenemy, Colonel Decker (Lance LeGault). If you crave action, adventure and fun, and no one else can help - you must rehire The A-Team! Melinda Culea as Amy Allen and Marla Heasley as Tawnia Baker also star.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Some memorable episodes this season include: The season premiere “Judgment Day,” “A Lease with an Option to Die,” “Body Slam,” “There Goes the Neighborhood,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Cowboy George,” “The Trouble with Harry,” and “The Sound of Thunder.”

Memorable guests for this season include Della Reese in “A Lease with an Option to Die,” Isaac Hayes, Rick James & James Avery (“The Heart of Rock n’ Roll”), Hulk Hogan & other wrestlers (“Body Slam,” “The Trouble with Harry”), Lydia Cornell, Jack Clark, Pat Sajak, & Vanna White (“Wheel of Fortune”), Boy George (“Cowboy George”), David White & Nedra Volz (“Mission of Peace”), William Perry & Le Tari (“The Trouble with Harry”), and Tia Carrere (“The Sound of Thunder”).


Packaging:

Like seasons two and three, we got a box with three slim cases. I personally think this is great packaging. The box art has a shot of Hannibal, Face, Murdock, and B.A. The logo is beneath the picture, in green. The back of the box art has a synopsis of the show and the set itself, with a blue box indicating the extras. There is one photo each of B.A., Face, Murdock and Hannibal on the left and the van at the bottom. The set has a color scheme of blue and black. The three slim cases have the same cover as the box art. The back of all three cases has episode info for each disc. Episode title and a brief synopsis are provided in an A-Team style font! When we open the cases, we get the discs, but surrounding that is just plain white color. They should have done something better than that. The discs are doubled sided, so there are no photos or graphics on the discs itself. One other note: There is also an enclosed insert when you open the box, with three coupons to save $5 each on season 5 sets coming in fall 2006 of The A-Team and Magnum, P.I.

Disc one side A has episodes 1-3; side B has episodes 4-7. Disc two side A has episodes 8-11; side B has episodes 12-15. Disc three side A has episodes 16-19; side B has episodes 20-22 and the extras. Each episode runs about 47-49 minutes in length. The two-part episode runs about 1 hour 34-35 minutes.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is similar to the first three sets. But first, for disc one side A only, they have three trailers that automatically play. You can fast forward or skip the chapter at any time, though. In case you want to watch, you’ll see previews Magnum P.I., Knight Rider and A-Team Seasons 1-4; SNL sets for David Spade and Alec Baldwin; and Law & Order Trial by Jury DVD. For season three there were no o automatic previews to start. The menu screen starts with bullets shooting at the A-Team logo, and then various clips from episodes are playing with the catchy and cool theme song in the background. The options for this set are: Play All, Episode Index, Bonus Material, Languages, and Sneak Peeks. Sneak Peeks has different DVD trailers than the ones that auto play before D1 SA. Trailers for: Columbo; Murder, She Wrote; Northern Exposure; Quantum Leap; House; Battlestar Galactica; and Sleuth TV. Yes, “Bonus Materials” is on each disc, though the bonus materials are all on disc 3 side B. When selecting Episode Index for The A-Team, you get to a screen of episodes, with a screenshot from the episode. When selecting the episode it automatically goes to the episode. In the previous sets, we got an episode summary screen. When you select Languages, you can turn on closed captioning or have subtitles in English SDH.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video is again marvelously crystal clear. I am very impressed with it. It looks very good and re-mastered. Fans will be happy to hear them continue to give us the best copies. The audio is in mono, but it sounds good, especially when that opening theme is playing! Fans will also be happy that the brief 30 second highlight of the episode is intact before the opening credits, but not for every episode it seems. The episode highlight is missing for a lot of episodes: The Heart of Rock n’ Roll, There Goes the Neighborhood, and for every episode after Member’s Only. So, it is missing for 11 episodes. I’m not sure if it was like that originally. Like mentioned before, each episode is about 47-49 minutes or so, counting the opening & closing credits and the 30 second episode highlight. There are chapters on this set as well. There are about 4 chapters or so, even for the two-part episode. No mentions on the box this time about music missing.


Special Features:

Season one had no bonus material. Season two was slightly better, with the Knight Rider season two episode. But for season three there was nothing; not even sneak peeks were placed! This season it is better but still nothing spectacular. We get a bonus episode from season five titled “Point of No Return.” It runs 47:22. I think by season five, The A-Team didn’t have any 30 second episode highlights before the episode. There is also a new theme song for that last season along with new characters ­ Stockwell (played by the great Robert Vaughn) and Frankie “Dishpan” Santana. I’ll talk about them when the season five set comes, but be prepared to see them in this bonus episode!

Also, we have the 29:01 featurette on “The Great ‘80s TV Flashback.” If you have some previous Universal sets like Charles in Charge, you have seen this featurette already. The featurette talks about all of the Universal ‘80s TV series on DVD (example: A-Team) or are coming soon to DVD (Simon & Simon). The shows featured are: Miami Vice, Magnum P.I., The A-Team, Knight Rider, Simon & Simon, Murder She Wrote, Quantum Leap, Gimme a Break, Charles in Charge and Kate & Allie. Interviewed are: Ray Richmond (Writer, The Hollywood Reporter), Alex Ben Block (Columnist, TV Week), Robert Ward (co-executive producer, Miami Vice), Stephen J. Cannell (executive producer, A-Team), Debbie Matenopolous (Host of “The Screening Room,” TV Guide), Julie Cobb (Charles in Charge), Glen Larson (executive producer, Knight Rider), David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider), Jack Gill (stunt coordinator, Knight Rider), and Lara Jill Miller (Gimme a Break!). Chapter breaks are on this feature even!


Final Comments:

Overall, I think the set is worth the buy. The episodes are completely unedited. I’m not 100% sure if the episode highlights were gone from the middle of the season and on, but it is not a big deal. This set has probably the best extras of the four seasons so far. The most important thing is that we get every episode on DVD. And Universal will deliver us the last season, season 5 this fall! But before all that, make sure you have this season and the previous seasons, too. You will have a blast with this action packed ‘80s action-adventure drama!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 04/09/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E5KQLY/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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