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?
Watch The A-Team on MeTV!
Weeknights at 6P*available in most MeTV markets
Wish you would've done a Story on Season 5, Episode 6 though. Are there any print articles chatting about 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 backstory??
I could possibly dredge one up, but wouldn't be as good as your Stories are!! Especially with the images.
I won't spoil the episode for the viewers!
Yes....for this particular article it would have been interesting to see the accompanying news clip. I know the phrase they are referencing " According to a 1986 article from the Lexington Herald-Leader", is from that newspaper on the day the episode first aired. However the only thing you can see with an archive search is a few sentences. For this particular story they could have included an image (similar to what they do in some of their quizzes, like retro images of items from decades ago, you get the idea). It's just an image, and it would have been interesting to see it. I don't personally want to subscribe to a newspaper archive service to see an occasional image.
Not to burst anyone's bubble though, my hunch is, they already figured out which ending to play. And just wanted the feedback. Those episodes need quite of bit of lead time to go through post production and other details. I'm not sure they could just switch up the endings that easily. I wonder if MASH (another very novel series) tried doing it. The best they could do regarding last minute production, was withholding the last page of the script where Henry Blake never made it home. Were they afraid some of them would've refused to participate, or were they all 100% on board. We'll never know.
I really appreciate you speaking to this event! Very cool you were part of the event at that time, and can recount how it really played out. Haven't yet rerun the DVR'd episode so far, but am now looking forward to enjoying it even more!
How so are you a writer, FSU? Just curious, as I can identify!! 😉
I love the A-Team especially Season 5 for obvious reasons.
"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 [Family Reunion] by calling special 900 prefix numbers... The winning ending will be telecast.''"
The Fifth season of A-Team is known to be not as popular as the original Four seasons. However the Story referenced was very complicated, and helps to have this explanation. I sort of remember the outcome, but because it didn't make any sense, need to watch the Episode again. Those who do remember, should wait though for 2/3/23 (Ep. 8 Family Reunion).
For the few MFU original fans [still alive] too bad a Story wasn't written about S5 Ep 6. I'd never seen it before, and was shocked.
Since MeTV has run it now for two cycles, and it's the beginning of February, am guessing this is Good-Bye for the A-Team too. One hint comes under the Shows tab when the "Remind Me" button goes away. It hasn't yet, but did for the PM: Movies.
Was waiting for the Schedule link for two weeks from today 2/13/23. Looks like it is starting back @ episode 1. . So hopefully another cycle @ least.