It has been revealed that B.A. Baracus, one of the stars of The A Team, never was an ex-Vietnam veteran. Bryan Amis, his real name, was in fact a Careers Advisor for the British Territorial Army.
Talking to Bryan’s mum she suggested that BA’s most well known phrase ‘Ain’t Getting on No Plane, Fool’ was just something he made up. In real life Bryan was genuinely scared of flying and this fear was revealed when The A-Team was in pre-production.
The programme makers asked the cast to provide any fears or flaws they could use as part of their characters.
They were all put through a series of tough and scrutinising psychological tests; Dirk Benedict, the actor who played Face-Man, admitted to fears of infidelity and loneliness. As with all great shows, the writers exploited these in full. It seemed appropriate that he should play it in the style of a Romeo.
Subsequent fears to emerge included that of Dwight Schulz, the actor who played Mad Murdoch; although he was meant to have a multiple personality disorder, he only had a slight paranoia complex. As for Hannibal Smith (George Peppard),the so-called ‘brains’ of the outfit, only displayed the flaw of being unable to conduct himself without plugging the gap in the side of his mouth with a cigar.
So how did Bryan Amis, of Leamington Spa, become one of the stars of a poorly plotted and badly acted TV show about four ex-Vietnam veterans, fighting the evils of modern (well, 80’s at least) villainy? The answer lies with the Territorial Army;
Bryan was invited to America to co-ordinate a training programme alongside the US volunteer core, AmeriCorps. He soon found himself going from lowly
Co-ordinator to official trainee. The exercise regime was designed to establish how the men would cope under pressure when trapped in a large shed, housing an Acetylene torch, some pipes and a few hundred rounds of ammunition. The other objective was to see if, against the odds, four (ill equipped) men were able to out-wit a group of corrupt city slickers who were extorting money out of honest, hard working farming folk.
This led to a chance meeting with Mr Stephen J. Cannell, who just happened to be scouting for men to star in a new primetime US TV show.
At the time, Bryan spoke with a broad Leamington Spa accent. This proved a slight problem for Mr Cannell as he “couldn't understand a word he says”
When asked how he feels about his mum's revelations B.A. instinctively suggested “I pity the fool”.