H.M. Murdock

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Dwight Schultz as H.M. Murdock on The A-Team.



Captain H.M. (Howlin' Mad) Murdock is a character from The A-Team portrayed by actor Dwight Schultz. "Certified insane" after his experiences in Vietnam (although the question of whether his madness was real or cleverly faked was never answered), Murdock was a resident of the V.A. Hospital in Los Angeles, California and "secret" member of The A-Team. He had to be broken out of the V.A. before every mission with the team, up until the events which took place in the fifth season of the series where the team relocated to Langley, Virginia under the supervision and control of General Hunt Stockwell. Despite--or perhaps because of--his insanity, Murdock is a highly skilled pilot who could fly "anything with wings". His wild antics could also provide useful distractions for the team in confusing enemies, though they also often earned the disapproval and ire of B.A. Baracus.

Originally feared to be "too over-the-top" by network executives who wanted the character written out of the series after the pilot episode, Murdock quickly proved to be a fan favorite to many. This was largely due to Dwight's ability to bring subtle depth to a character which could have easily been nothing but a comedy-relief cartoon, and the character's perfect foil to Mr. T's B.A. as well as sharp contrast to Dirk Benedict's smooth operator, Templeton Peck. Though rarely given an on-screen love interest (in contrast to Templeton's near weekly one), the third-season episode "Bounty" which featured Dwight's wife Wendy Fulton as "Kelly", would in fact be the series' last Number One-rated episode for the show's run.[1]

Although it is difficult to quantify numbers, it can be estimated that both Murdock and Face have been the most popularly featured characters in A-Team fanworks today, including gen, het and slash fiction. There have been websites devoted to Murdock and Murdock's fans, and Dwight Schultz's fandom is still active today.


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