Fans of The A-Team phoned in votes to decide the fate of this substantial episode
This drama-filled episode from season five had a pair of endings scripted. It was up to fans to decide which one was shown.
Generally speaking, plots to any given episode of The A-Team are pretty straight-forward.
Someone is usually being harassed, threatened or stalked in some sort of way. Through Hannibal's various disguises, he vets the potential client, sets up a meeting, and the Team agrees to the job. Whether the mission takes place out of the country or in the home-base of Los Angeles, the squad has to prepare for just about anything. We say anything, but we mean gunfights, chases and explosions.
Though that premise represents just about every episode of The A-Team, a handful goes beyond just the action-packed stereotype. The season five episode "Family Reunion" is a prime example.
It's Thanksgiving when General Hunt Stockwell, played by Robert Vaughn, strolls in on the Team's holiday preparations. Stockwell was contacted by a former political advisor who offered to trade a diary, which could damage the reputation of some big names in Washington D.C., for a reunion with his daughter. This criminal will hand over his little black book on one condition: The A-Team has to be the group to retrieve it.
This former political advisor and long-time criminal by the name of A.J. Bancroft hasn't seen his daughter in 20 years and is keeping a big secret: He's terminally ill. Bancroft is filled with regret about not seeing his daughter more throughout his life, but that's not the only regret he has.
Bancroft reveals to Murdock he has a son, one he hasn't seen since he was a boy. That son is said to be Templeton Faceman Peck. A series of intense, back-and-forth exchanges occur between Murdock and the ailing man on whether or not to tell Face this revelation. Because this is a new person to the Team, Murdock has his suspicions on if Bancroft is telling the truth.
To find out, Murdock calls Stockwell and demands he does a DNA test to confirm or deny the match, using Bancroft's little black book as a tool for blackmail. After Bancroft's death, Murdock informs Peck the former political figure was his father. Peck is furious with Murdock, and even throws him to the ground in one of the most heated interactions between Team members throughout the entire series.
There was still a twist to it all. This occurred as Murdock was awaiting confirmation of the DNA test from Stockwell. This is where the viewers come in.
According to a 1986 article from the Lexington Herald-Leader, viewers "will be able to choose one of two possible conclusions to the episode by calling special 900 prefix numbers... The winning ending will be telecast."
At the end of the episode, Stockwell phones Murdock with the DNA results. This part was going to be in the episode no matter what the fans' final vote was.
"What the Team doesn't know, and what viewers will have a chance to decide, is whether A.J. Bancroft, the wanted criminal, is really the long-lost father of Templeton Faceman Peck," the article stated.
Murdock learns the results of the DNA test and tells Face. Can you recall what those results were, and what the fans voted for? Was Bancroft really Templeton Faceman Peck's father?