|The A-Team character|
Templeton "Faceman" Peck as he appears in the second season opening credits
|First appearance||"Mexican Slayride"|
|Created by||Frank Lupo & Stephen J. Cannell|
|Portrayed by||Tim Dunigan (pilot episode)
Dirk Benedict (series)
Bradley Cooper (2010 film)
(occasionally "The Face")
December 7, 1950
|Awards||Bronze Star Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (2)
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
United Nations Korea Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Republic of Vietnam Medal of Honor
Overseas Service Ribbon
Lieutenant Templeton Arthur Peck, played by Dirk Benedict, is a fictional character and one of the four protagonists of the 1980s action-adventure television series The A-Team A recognized war hero, he is often referred to as (The) Faceman (or simply Face). Although creators Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo had Benedict in mind for the role, studio executives initially insisted that the role be handled differently;
Tim Dunigan played the role in the pilot episode, but after it was completed, he was thought by the same executives to look too young to be a believable Vietnam veteran, and he was, at 6'5" (198cm) much taller than the rest of the cast, particularly the show's 5'10" (178 cm) muscleman Mr. T. He was replaced by Benedict for the rest of the show's run. Bradley Cooper portrayed the character in the 2010 film, while Benedict appeared in a post-credits cameo.
Suave, smooth-talking, and hugely successful with women, Peck serves as the team's con man and scrounger, able to get his hands on just about anything they need, using various disguises - albeit less than Hannibal - and assuming a wide variety of personas and backstories as his scams require. Effectively second-in-command behind Hannibal (although Murdock outranks him), he is the one who arranges for supplies, equipment, and sensitive information using numerous scams and hustles; several episodes also suggest that he is also responsible for arranging the team's weaponry, especially when overseas, often via highly illegal means (see season three's "Skins" for one such reference). When Hannibal is elsewhere or captured during several episodes, Face is often seen to be at the helm of the team, planning their course of action (see season two's "Bad Time on the Border", season four's "Wheel of Fortune" and season five's "Point of No Return" for examples). He is also the team member who usually organizes the fees for their services, due to his aptitude with numbers, as demonstrated in a number of episodes, and at times is shown to have the ability to count large amounts of money or value expensive items within a matter of seconds.
In the pilot episode, it is revealed in a discussion with an elderly priest, who it is suggested was his mentor during his youth, that Face spent his youth at a Los Angeles orphanage run by the Catholic Church, although whether Face himself is actually Catholic is never revealed. Several later episodes also reference this orphanage, later named as "St. Mary's". The elderly priest is not seen again after the pilot.
In the fifth season episode "Family Reunion", it is revealed that Face is Richard Bancroft, the son of former presidential adviser and convicted criminal A.J. Bancroft. However, Face only learns this from Murdock after his father's death. Although Murdock found out earlier, Bancroft made him promise not to tell Face, who is furious that Murdock didn't tell him sooner about his father. Face is happy to find out about his sister, Bancroft's daughter, as it gives him at least one family member. (Note that for the original broadcast, two endings were shot, with viewers able to phone in and vote on the outcome on whether Bancroft really was Face's father or not. The alternative ending has never been aired or released in any form).
Face seems to have an affinity for heavier caliber revolvers as opposed to the rest of the teams .45 or 9mm automatic pistols. Face usually carried a Colt Trooper .357 Magnum with a nickel finish and rosewood grips although he sometimes used a blued Smith and Wesson Model 29. Face was usually seen to use a Ruger Mini 14 or an Uzi when he needed more firepower.
Although in the earliest episodes he is depicted very much as a suave but general hustler, often seen in leather jacket and jeans and merely trying to make a life for himself while on the run, by the second season his interests tend towards more cultural facets, such as country clubs, art purchasing, and wine tasting - albeit often obtained via, or used in, various cons - and his wardrobe reflecting this, containing more tailor-made suits and up-market designer items. He is sometimes also seen to be enjoying smoking expensive cigars, again a trait shared by Hannibal. This trait was written in to reflect Dirk Benedict's own love of cigars; the early first season episode "A Small and Deadly War" shows a contradiction to this - while smoking a cigar as part of his guise on a scam mission with Amy, he throws it away and comments "How can Hannibal stand those things?". The very next episode broadcast and produced, "Black Day at Bad Rock", shows him to be contently puffing on a cigar for the first of a number of times in the series, suggesting that the character may have grown to like them.
Face is the most gentle member of the main A-Team foursome, generally attempting to avoid conflict and reluctant to get into brawls - if nothing else to avoid damaging his clothes (he is sometimes seen to remove more expensive jackets or similar items as the team prepare to brawl opponents) and seeing fights as a nuisance, a contrast to the more gung-ho attitudes of Hannibal, Murdock and B.A., who are more typically seen to enjoy piling into a fight.
Nickname and origins
The character's full nickname varies in different media. Introduced in the Pilot and many other episodes, his nickname is clearly given as "The Faceman". Other examples drop "The". Many early episode scripts listed the character as "Face Man". In other literature, he is sometimes referred to as "The Face". In the 2010 movie, he is "Faceman", again dropping "the".
The name "Faceman" originates from a popular slang term used by girls for attractive male students during Stephen J. Cannell's high school years - i.e. "Look at that faceman" as in "Look at that good looking boy"; a hunk.
Character's name in other countries
- In some Spanish-speaking countries, his nickname is "Fas", coming from Fascinador ("fascinater") as it was stated in the pilot episode dubbed "Operation A.T." and "Black Day at Bad Rock" among many, many others.
- In Spain, his nickname was "Fénix" ("Phoenix").
- In Italy he was called "Sberla" ("Slap"), standing for "Faccia da Sberle" ("Slapface"), an Italian slang for "a lovable scoundrel".
- In Brazil, his nickname was "Cara-de-Pau" (literally "Wooden face", a Portuguese slang for "cheeky", "daring" or even "asshole").
- In Poland, "Buźka" ("Cute Face"), similarly to its Hungarian counterpart, Szépfiú.
- In France,"futé" which holds for "smart".
- In Russia, his name was "Красавчик", which stands for "handsome".
- In Korea, his name was "멋쟁이", which stands for "handsome and stylish".
- In Taiwan, his name was "小白", as in "小白臉", literally little white face, a phrase used to describe a good-looking, pampered, and sleek man.
- In Hungary, his name was "Szépfiú" ("Pretty boy").
Peck drives a custom white 1984 Chevrolet Corvette (released 1983) with red interior and a red stripe (to match B.A.'s van). It is equipped with a CB radio and a mobile phone. The license plate was S967238 in "The Taxicab Wars" and then changed to 1HJG851. The car first featured in the second season episode "The Taxicab Wars".
As well as a number of cameos in other stories, the car was prominently featured in several episodes, including season two's "Chopping Spree", where it was used as bait in an attempt to catch car thieves. The car's final appearance is in the fifth season opener "Dishpan Man", where it is heard, off-screen, to crash after new recruit Frankie Santana gives Face some bad advice about repairing the faulty brakes. However, as B.A.'s jewelry is also damaged via similar bad advice and yet reappears in subsequent episodes, it is never made clear whether the Corvette was too badly damaged to drive from that point onwards, or simply didn't happen to appear in any more stories before production of the series was cancelled later in the season.
In the 2010 film, Peck is played by comic actor Bradley Cooper. Like B.A., Hannibal, and Murdock, he has an Army Ranger tattoo (on his right arm). As in the TV series, Face is depicted as a handsome, smooth-talking ladies' man, but is also shown having a relationship with Captain Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel), who pursues the A-Team after they escape from prison.
Throughout the film, Face matures from a womanizing joker to a calculating professional - to the point that, in the film's climax, he, not Hannibal, plans the A-Team's legal redemption. Face plans the mission based on a classic confidence game including cranes and shipping crates, and involving Murdock being shot in the head. B. A. initially regrets the team's reliance on Face, but changes his mind after they learn Sosa has smuggled a key into Face's mouth with a kiss. Face also shows considerable maturity when he accepts his own punishment, rather than allowing Hannibal to take the full blame. Face ends the film by saying Hannibal's catchphrase, "I love it when a plan comes together."
Benedict had a small cameo, which he reportedly regretted. In the scene before Face's escape from the disciplinary barracks, he (Cooper) is approaching a tanning bed and asks Benedict's character what to do about his face. Benedict answers, "You don't mess with it, kid."
Awards and decorations
The list below contains Faceman's awards and decorations as seen in season 1 episode "A Nice Place To Visit". In reality, however, Peck could not have been of legal age to fight in the Korean War, making him ineligible for the United Nations Korea Medal. This and the number of identities Face has assumed in his life make the authenticity of some of these awards questionable.
|Army Presidential Unit Citation||Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation||Vietnam Gallantry Cross|
Badges and ribbons
- "Family Reunion", Season Five, Episode Eight
- "The Court Martial (Part 2): Trial By Fire", Season Five, Episode Two. Note that this is the birthdate of "Templeton Peck"; Richard Bancroft probably never learned his birthdate.
- Faceman's medals are shown in the season 1 episode "A Nice Place To Visit".
- "Mind Games", Season Four, Episode Nine
- Jerry Buck (1989-01-04) "Tim Dunigan Plays a Different 'Davy Crockett'". Associated Press
- The A-Team fan club (U.K. version) newsletter; 1986
- Monday, May 17, 2010, 16:05 BST. "Cult - News - Dirk Benedict criticises 'BSG' remake". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2010-05-17.