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On the Jazz - Vol 02 Issue 22

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On the Jazz
 · 1 Sep 2020


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The totally unofficial A-Team electronic mail newsletter
***** Now in it's second year of publication !! *****

Reflector submission address: onthejazz

Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
PLEASE use the following address for subscribe/unsubscribe
and back issue requests (do NOT send them to onthejazz!!):
*** pellegri ***
Also use that address if you wish to change your subscription status
to receive the newsletters only (or go from newsletter to news + reflector).

The A-Team Homepage:
*The A-Team On the Web:
*The A-Team Hawaii Page:

*Homes of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives
DATE: July 29, 1996
Hi gang!

News is the name of the game this week, so let's get it started...


Time to recap all the latest tidbits reported via the mailing list
and elsewhere the past two weeks.

A-TEAM MOVIE UPDATE: Lots more rumors but little hard facts to report still.
There is now a web-page at
for rumor-control on the movie, and the latest report included these details:

>Mel Gibson is the current top-choice of the producers for the Hannibal role.

This rumor has been heard elsewhere and may have been confirmed by Cannell
himself in a recent interview.

>"[The producers] would like the other three main actors to reprise their
characters, *but only in cameo roles.*"

It seems pretty definite that they are *not* planning on using Dirk, Dwight and
T as the main characters - but if they will be appearing in their original
roles, what does this mean about the movie? That it *won't* be featuring the
same "A-Team" that we know: Hannibal, BA, Murdock and Face - but a completely
new Team of characters instead? The plot thickens (and, IMO, gets more
disappointing by the minute)...

Now, if you have a thing or two to say to Cannell about the movie and are a
subscriber to America On-Line, then ***PLEASE*** show up Tuesday for

Tuesday, July 30th at 5:00pm, Stephen J. Cannell, LIVE in the ABC CyberPlex on
ABCOnline/America Online. Keyword: ABC Live.

Unfortunately I'm going to be on a business trip and unable to make the
chat, but I'd really love to see some OTJazzers show up and try to get a few
questions through the moderators. If there's enough of us there at least
*some* of our questions - and hopefully a few comments about what we'd like
to see done with the movie - will get through.

In any event, I'll post the transcript of the session in the next newsletter
for our non-AOL members.

"ALASKA," starring Dirk Benedict and Charleton Heston, hits the theaters
this week in the States, I'm told. Look for more details and reviews a in
coming issue of the newsletter. Anyone else in the Philly-area planning on
seeing it?

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, noticed by

"Mr. T was ordered to pay 4.9 million dollars to two men who sued him claiming
they developed the famous mr T mohawk and jewelery image that we all have come
to love. He is vowing to appeal."

Another one of our subscribers noted that the judgement was by "default,"
because T and his lawyers never showed up or responded to the suit.


The model vans I ordered for the group have arrived - twelve in total - that
was all the models the store had. They are Matchbox-car size and on the
original package card. This week I will contact those who were the first
to write me to reserve a van, and hopefully evenyone who wanted one will
get one.

Also, I *still* have a stack of A-Team comic-book "trade paperbacks", with
all three issues of the comic under one cover. The coloring is off on a
few of the pages in the back, but other than that they are in fine
condition. These have been sitting around here since Frank originally
found them *months* ago, because people never sent in their money to buy
them. So, they are still for sale. $3 each plus postage takes however
many you want - there's at least about 10-12 here still. Contact me for


Plans for our new fanzine, "The A-Files," are moving forward and we're
looking towards a late-fall publication. This 'zine will feature original
fiction and more, all crossovers between 'The A-Team' and 'The X-Files.'
The final deadline
for contributions has now been set at **OCTOBER 1, 1996** and the 'zine will
be in print by November. So, if you've been stewing over any story ideas,
would like to contribute some artwork, or wouldn't mind proofreading, please
contact me before the deadline. Also, I'm already accepting material for
"Plans Scams and Vans 3," which will take any A-Team based fiction/articles/
etc. I am aiming for an early 1997 publicaton date for PSV3, but please
contact me ASAP if you think you might be interested in contributing. The
sooner we get material the sooner it will "come together."

That's all for the news, now on to a feature I promised in the last issue...

"The Plan" is SJC's first novel, which has just recently been released in
paperback. Is it worth the cover price? This reviewer says definitely,

Cannell once mentioned that one of the major influences on his writing and style
since his early TV-days was author John D. MacDonald (who, incidentally,
happens to be one of my absolute favorite authors as well). MacDonald was
one of the
greats of the mystery/crime-novel genres, his work always a stand-out
because of his incredible ear for dialogue, ability to create fleshed-out
and memorable characters, and also the strong sense of "good vs. evil"
morality that would
play itself out in his stories. MacDonald's influence on Cannell was clearly
evident to me while reading this novel in all of the above regards, yet
Cannell's unique style that we all know from his television writing and
production was also quite clearly on display.

The underlying plot of the novel is a straight-forward political thriller:
the mafia has been planning an elaborate scheme to run their own candidate
for president, to act as their puppet. When their original pick for the
candidacy has a change of heart (and then an encounter with some hungry
sharks), a new candidate must be found quickly, and the campaign begun in
earnest. That's where ex-TV executive Ryan Bolt comes into the picture,
hired to shoot a "documentary" on the new candidate, Haze Richards, and
help create the media stir necessary to land Richards in the White House.
When Ryan backs out, keeping a potentially campaign-ruining video tape in
his custody, he becomes Enemy Number 1 of Mickey Alo, his former
prep-school roomate and new boss of the New Jersey mafia, also the
ring-leader of the Richard's scam.

Along the way Ryan joins forces with a rag-tag group that have also fallen
into the ill will of Mickey and his associates: Lucinda, Mickey's sister;
Kaz, an Ex-Fed who has made the Alo family his obsession for the past few
decades; Cole Harris, a TV reporter sacked after running too hard on a
story about the mafia controlling the media. Together and separately they
work to stop "The Plan"
while running from Mickey's hired assasins, and later what seems like the
entire East Coast police force.

Lots of fast-paced, Cannell-style action? Yes, especially in the final
third of the novel when everything hits the fan. The first third of the
novel focuses primarily on the Richard's campaign itself, and is
fascinating in that it is not difficult to believe that such a bid for the
presidency could really take place. Haze's "issue-free" platform, focused
around the vague sentiment of "making America work," being the political
"outsider" trying to break the Washington beurocracy, brings to mind the
strategies of Ross Perot in our 1992 elections, and also the popularity of
such non-candidates as Colin Powell in this election year.

Great Cannell dialogue? Absolutely. I was laughing out loud at numerous
passages, and reminded more than once of the sarcasm and over-the-top humor
of current mystery-genre authors such as Carl Hiassen and Laurence Shames.

Any complaints? Well, the character of Lucinda was definitely the weakest of
the "Team" - besides her apparent beauty and occaisional ability to make a
witty comeback, she was a rather typical 1-D Cannell heroine. And
occaisionally Cannell goes a bit *too* overboard on his descriptive
language, espeically early on in the book. But this can be excused, I
think, as simply a bit of over-enthusiasm on his part for his new chosen
career as a serious author.

Overall, I give it an A-. I enjoyed it enough to go out and buy Cannell's
new book, "Final Victim," in hardcover, something I only do rarely and when
I *really* have enoyed an author's previous work. Look for a review of
this novel in the future, and in the meantime treat yourselves to a good
summer read and get a copy of "The Plan."

[Final note: if you *really* want to treat yourselves, go pick up a few John
MacDonald books too - any of his Travis McGee series, "The Empty Trap,"
"The Girl, The Goldwatch, and Everything," "The Only Girl in the Game," and
far too many other wonderful stories to mention. Even if you don't
normally like mysteries, you *will* enjoy these books and understand
Cannell's affection for MacDonald as well.]


Last issue's question was:
>What did Hannibal call his "hobo" disguise character, which he used with some
>resulting confusion in the episode "The Road to Hope"?

The answer is JACK DANIELS. Congrats to Andrew <squatch> and
Jennifer <bc062> for their quick correct responses. This
issue's question is:

>What was the name of the company Tawnia had "infiltrated" in the
>episode "Battle of Bel-Air"?

Send your answers in to me and receive much praise and recognition in the
next newsletter!

"Medallions" by Rita Ractliffe, typos by me.
(Originally published in "Everything But the Kitchen Sink 5," Markalaine Press)

(NOTE: Rita mentioned to me about this story: "I wrote this to explain all
of Hannibal's medals - both Korea and Vietnam...had to research every medal
- every last one of them! Was interesting...")

Hannibal sat, up in the musty attic, listening to the patter of rain
drops on the roof, the cloudy grey day precluding doing much of anything.
They were on a rare visit to Kid Harmon, Dana, and little Johnnie. The
guys were downstairs by the fireplace, enjoying the enforced rest.
Hannibal could hear the faint sound of voices wafting up the stairs, and
smiled at the homeyness of it. His fingers were idly playing with a bunch
of small brightly colored ribbon bars. He'd found them quite by accident
while looking for some old family photo books. He seemed lost in thought
as he looked at the small, emblematic representations of his life and
He picked up the purple one, let his thumb slide over it, feeling the
small silver star, then looked at it for a moment, remembering the day he
was shot down. The guys had been there - saved his butt, otherwise he
would've still been there - buried. He remembered the surprise of the
Claymore exploding, no chance to react, and being thrown aside like a rag
doll. He'd been semi-conscious, unable to move. VC snipers had started
using him for target practice. BA had come charging out like a mad bull,
scooped him up and carried him back to the ditch where the rest of the
squad lay, hiding. He still didn't remember too much about it, other than
the medic had forced him to be taken back to base, due to a large shard of
steel buried in his arm. It had broken the bone and cut a vein, sealing
its own bloodflow, and they had no way of taking it out - AND stopping the
bloodflow - in the field. He remembered how he'd protested, just wanting
to get back in action, not to leave his men up for grabs to the VC just
over the hill. But it had been taken out of his hands. He shook his head
slightly, remembering the pain and the aggravation he'd felt. He'd gotten
a long leave for it, but coming back home for a visit had been
uncomfortable for everyone. Jan's husband, Jack, in particular, had hated
and envied the handsome soldier, and didn't bother to hide it. Hannibal
had finally gone back to 'Nam, where he felt he belonged. He pursed his
lips at the bittersweet memory.
He looked into the satin-lined box, shook it around. The silver and
bronze stars lay at the bottom, each with their own memory...'conspicuous
gallantry and valor in action" in Vietnam. Hannibal had never seen it that
way. He'd just done what everyone else did. He merely survived where so
many hadn't. He really hadn't wanted the small merits, but others higher
than himself had insisted. "Accept them in memory of those you think
earned them more, then," he was told. It made sense, and so he did.
The small, plain Korea Service and National Defense medallions lay to
one side, plainer and less gaudy than the others, but potent reminders of
his early youth in the service. He'd been young and raw and eager. Like
so many others, he felt inspired at being able to go out and personally
strike a blow for freedom against "those Commies." It had been a brutal
awakening. Korea had been unlike any war before it. The vagaries of the
Oriental mind became more apparent as it dragged on. The drain on
everyone, the emotional stress, all combined to exhaust even the most eager
recruit. The cold - the never-ending cold - had gotten to the young
lieutenant more than anything. Hannibal was from good midwestern stock,
raised in the snowy drifts of the upper Great Lakes states, but the Korean
cold had been an insidious rot that slowly ate away your resolve. He'd
thought once that duty in a hot-spot, warm jungle and the like, would be
heaven compared to that. He smiled ruefully to himself. Little did he
know he would get his wish so resoundingly.
A voice came up the stairs. "Uncle John, diner'll be ready in about
fifteen minutes, OK?"
Hannibal answered cheerfully, "Sure thing, Kid. Be down in just a bit."
He shook the box again. The small bars rattled around, tumbling over
each other. He spotted the standard issue, the Joint Service Commendation,
Bronze and Silver Stars, the Soldier's Medal, Vietnam Service, Vietnam
Capaign with bar, Distinguished Service, US Army Commendation, National
Defense, Armed Forces Expedition. Once they had represented a world of
honor and integrity to him. Once - when he was still somewhat idealistic.
Then he saw IT...the medal that had been the worst ache in his heart.
He reached down, took the simple blow andsilver grosgraine bar out of
the box, set the box down. He looked at the medal for a long moment. The
Congressional Medal of Honor. The highest award a grateful nation could
bestow on its warriors. He'd never felt he earned this one either.
Escaping the POW camp had been a simple fact of life; something you did
just because. But somehow the brass had felt that because he'd brought out
three other men with him, he'd done something special. He'd always been a
little bemused by that - if the self-same brass could have only seen the
times when the Team had to carry *him* along, he being so very wasted and
sick with dysentery and from the residual abuse he'd suffered as a POW -
they might not have been so quick to honor him thus. He'd protested --
loudly -- that on this one, the guys deserved equal honor. None of them
could have done it without the others. But the military had only wanted
one figurehead, and he'd been chosen.
He smiled at the memory; after the award ceremony, he'd been
interviewed - asked how it felt to be finally out of the war. Hannibal had
looked askance at them. He wasn't out of it...he still had six months to
go on his current tour. He was then informed that it was standard
operating procedure that Congressional Medal of Honor recipients did not go
back to battle - they'd done their share, and would stay at home and be an
inspiration to other young men going into battle. Hannibal hadn't liked
that idea at all, and his answer had been to re-up for yet another tour.
He had nothing Stateside to really keep him there - to come home to. Mom
and Dad were dead, Jan was 'happily' married to Jack (although sometimes he
wondered if that was really true), and since Jack hated his guts, going to
them had never been a possible consideration. He'd missed seeing Kid grow
up, but that was the way of the world. It was more politic to leave them
alone. She had her baby; it was enough. She didn't really need him to be
Besides, he'd hated the idea of breaking up the Team. They worked
well together and none of the guys had any reasons to go home either. So
he'd gone back to fight again. This time, however, things turned out in a
way that none of them would have ever dreamed of. That damned mission to seemed like a bright ray of light at the time. A way of doing
something positive to force the end of the war (never mind the sheer,
unadulterated jazz of it!) Then everything had screwed up, the war came to
an end *while* they were in Hanoi, and they found themselves criminals,
condemned by the very government they'd served so well. What good did
Congressional Medals of Honor do you then? He remembered his journey back
"home" - to face trial...
/...Hannibal sat in his seat, manacled hand and foot to it, staring
morosely out the plane's small window at the endless water below. At one
point he shifted his position, having to grapple with the manacles to do
so. Face was seated next to him, watching him; the long trip over the
Pacific Ocean had given him plenty of opportunity. Since they'd been
arrested on their return from the Hanoi job, Hannibal had been reticent,
silent, holding it all in. Face sensed that he still didn't understand -
even yet - what the hell had gone wrong. All he knew was Morrison was
dead, and he and the boys were going to jail for obeying their orders.
There was something more wrong here than usual and for once Hannibal had no
answers, no comprehension of what had happened. He felt betrayed and
conversely, felt that he'd betrayed the guys who had merely followed his
orders. He was still confused and hurt about it all; and mad as hell
because he was now going to face 10 years in the brig for serving his
country too well. If Hannibal had ever been truly bitter in his life, now
was the time. They faced a short, sweet "trial" at Bragg and then would be
incarcerated for a very long time. //Not necessarily,// Hannibal thought,
the beginning of a plan forming in his mind. Had he been guilty of treason
against his country, as charged, then fine - he'd have taken his lumps
without a word of protest - but he'd be damned if he'd give in meekly to
*this* travesty. He wasn't sure how the guys would react to his plan or if
they would even want any part of it. But no matter - he had determined
that he was not going to stay around for the final act - not the way they
had it written right now.../
...and he hadn't. The guys elected to go with him, smarting every bit
as much at the injustice of it all. Because they'd given their trust, and
*faith* so willingly, Hannibal had always felt afterwards a particularly
great need to watch out for them, take care of them. They were almost like
the "sons" he might have hah, had things worked out differently.
A noise from downstairs shook him out of his melancholy reverie.
Sighing regretfully, Hannibal rubbed his fingertips lightly over the
amassed collection of 'honor' one more time, then wrapped them in the
tissue and convered the box, put it away. He retreived the book he had
come up for originally, adn started to open the pages. His reverie was
broken again by Kid's voice hollering up the stairwell.
"Unca' John. dinner's ready. Come on down."
Yeah, he was on the run - branded a fugitive and felon by the very
people who had so honored him once upon a time. Where was the sense of it
sometimes? But that was OK; he still had Kid, Dana and little John, his
'real' family; and of course the guys, the 'family' he'd made for himself,
and Maggie Sullivan, who was as much a dream come true as this old warhorse
could wish for. It was enough...more than enough. He smiled to himself as
he went downstairs to join the crowded kitchen group, hearing the hub-bub
of animated voices.
Little John had come to the stairwell to get his uncle, and Hannibal
bent down, scooped up the youngster in a bearhug. "God Bless America..."
he said softly, without any bitterness. Face stood around the corner and
heard him.
"What was that?" he asked, curious.
"Nothing," smiled Hannibal as he lifted the baby to a more comfortable
position and went into the dining room, his face wreathed in smiles.

<The End>

That's all for this issue...stay tuned for more in the future and until then,
stay on the jazz!

Quote of the week:
Decker: "My Christmas present is *you*, Smith."
Hannibal: "You have expensive taste."
(from "Battle of Bel Air")

Sockii, aka Nicole
My twisted web world:
"You want to know what's safe in this life? Sitting around in
church and eating lots of raw fiber. The rest - well, you take
your chances." - H.M. Murdock

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