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H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock

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H.M. Murdock
H. M. Murdock
Murdock, as played Dwight Schultz on the NBC-TV series "The A-Team".
Vital statistics
Gender: Male
Nationality/Race: American/Caucasian (White)
Age:
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown, slightly balding
Blood type: AB-
Nickname/Alias:
Career/Military Information:
Job/Career: Former Army pilot turned soldier of fortune with The A-Team
Years active in job:
Military Rank: Captain (O-3)
Family/Personal Information:
Related to: *Mother† (Died when he was 5)
*H. Emma Murdock (Grandmother)
Spouse(s):
Children:
Hometown:
Character Information:
Appeared on/in: The A-Team (TV Series)/The A-Team (2010) film
First appeared: Pilot (Season 1, TV series)
Last appeared: The A-Team (2010) film
TV episodes appered in:
Played by: Dwight Schultz (TV Series)
Sharlto Copley (The A-Team (2010))

H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock was a main character on the NBC-TV series The A-Team. The part of Murdock was played on the series by Dwight Schultz.


About "Howling Mad" MurdockEdit

The A-Team is a group of ex-United States Army Special Forces who were wrongly convicted of a crime during the Vietnam War. Managing to escape from the military police, they fled to Los Angeles, where, as fugitives, the A-Team work as soldiers of fortune, using their military training to fight oppression or injustice. Murdock, along with Hannibal Smith, B. A. Baracus, and Templeton "Faceman" Peck make up the A-Team.

Before the war, Murdock was a member of the Thunderbirds.[1]


AbilitiesEdit

Murdock's primary role in the team is as a pilot. He claims that he can fly anything with wings, and this seems to be borne out by the show. He can also drive a semi [2], and operate construction equipment (such as a crane[3] and tractor[4]) and a jet refueling truck[5]. Though he doesn't usually drive the team around, when it's necessary he can be very skilled at evading pursuit.[6] In addition to flying and driving, Murdock is capable of piloting a sailboat.[7] He knows how to ride a horse,[8] parachute,[9] and SCUBA dive[10] (in spite of B.A.'s claim that Murdock couldn't swim.[11]). He can pick a lock (though not as well as Face can).[12]

Murdock actually has extensive knowledge of various subjects and keeps up on current events, showing a genius level aptitude. He can speak many different languages such as:

  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Russian (not too well though)
  • Spanish
  • Swahili[13]
  • Vietnamese

He can communicate in Morse code[14]. He has photographic memory, is a talented actor, and often accompanies Face on his scams. He is also capable of impersonating the voices of famous individuals and mimicking many different foreign accents.

It is revealed in the Season 4 episode Wheel of Fortune that Murdock has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on at least two occasions, once in 1969 and once in 1972. The exact extent of Murdock's missions with the CIA was never revealed.

The Meaning of H.MEdit

Unlike B.A., the initials H.M. were never explained in terms of what Murdock's actual first and middle names were, and the nickname "Howlin' Mad" were simply attributed to them (although it is rumored that his name comes from World War II Marine Corps General Holland M. Smith, aka "Howlin' Mad", a nickname given by his troops). Not even his driver's license reveals what "H.M" stands for.

Sharlto copley as murdock

H.M Murdock played by Sharlto Copley

Note that in The A-Team (2010) it was suggested that Murdock's first name is James.

In Road Games of Season 3, Hannibal refers to him as Henry. This could have been just part of the acting, or it could have been his first name. You decide!

LikesEdit

  • Cartoons
  • Old movies
  • Animals
  • Flying
  • Video games
  • Music
  • Annoying B.A
  • Doing scams with Face
  • Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza
  • Cooking

DislikesEdit

  • Ammonia
  • Not being mentioned as a part of the A-Team

Romantic relationshipsEdit

  • Tracy Richter, played by Wendy Hoffman, was the target of Face's attentions in her New York neighbourhood, but she preferred Murdock. When the job was over she gave him a tour of the city for several days.[15]
  • Doctor Kelly Stevens (as played by Wendy Fulton, Dwight's actual wife) (Bounty, season 3 episode 22) - A veterinarian that Murdock falls in love with while on the run from a group of bounty hunters who mean to use him as bait against the A-Team. Over the course of the episode they flirt, and Murdock shows his interest numerous times, an interest that she returns. She is not seen again, but she is notable for the fact that she is the only woman to visit Murdock at the V.A. hospital.
  • Jody Klineman, aka Jody Joy, played by Lydia Cornell. (Wheel of Fortune, season 4 episode 13) picks up Murdock hitchhiking after he escapes from a group of men intent on robbing a Las Vegas casino. She recognizes him from the 'Wheel of Fortune' and becomes excited that she has met someone "famous". She helps Murdock hide and run from the robbers only to be caught and held hostage along with Murdock. She flirts with him throughout the episode, finally kissing him once B.A. and Face arrive to rescue them. Murdock takes her on the trip to Hawaii that he won on Wheel of Fortune.

(VA) Psychiatric HospitalEdit

Murdock was officially declared insane (possibly caused by post-traumatic stress disorder) when the other three are imprisoned for robbing the Bank of Hanoi. The symptoms of his "insanity" vary from episode to episode, but include self-identification with fictional characters, hallucinations, and belief in the "intelligence" of inanimate objects, among others. It is sometimes unclear if Murdock is truly insane or only exceptionally good at pretending he is. He is stated as having paranoid delusions and intermittent memory loss. It is suggested he was labeled as insane because of his stunts he does in his helicopter.

He routinely escapes the Psychiatric Hospital (generally with the help of Face and Amy) to accompany the A-Team on their missions.

Because he is not actually wanted by the military, Murdock is often the only team member to evade capture by a given episode's antagonists (or the military police), and he has single-handedly rescued the other team members several times. On the other hand, his visibility and location as a mental patient make Murdock an easy target, and he is kidnapped twice from the hospital. The first time, in the episode (Bounty), Murdock was taken by bounty hunters who wanted to capture the rest of the team. In the episode (Wheel of Fortune) Murdock was drugged and taken by thieves who wanted to use his expertise as a pilot to hit an armored car with a Russian helicopter.

HobbiesEdit

  • Bird watching
  • Painting
  • Fishing
  • Cooking
  • Plant raising

Actions of his InsanityEdit

  • He frequently refers to his invisible dog, "Billy".
  • He is shown of repeating a Looney Tunes's characters' catchphrase like Porky Pig's "th-th-th-that's all folks"
  • He often acts out characters from TV shows or movies he was watching before going into a mission with the A-Team.
  • Hannibal often uses his "craziness" to freak out their captives during their missions.
  • When he first met B.A and Face he was acting as a Doctor sewing up B.A's shot wound as a lightning-bolt; during which time he set Face on fire; he flips a helicopter upside down; and he tried to escape the hospital by trying to jump start a car engine by using medical equipment (a defibrilator). (The A-Team (2010))
  • He talks to plants and animals and tanks.
  • When he cooks he puts extra ingredients in food and uses stuff that most people would think hazardous (e.g. paint[16], shaving cream[17]soap).
  • When he needed to acquire a plane for a job he chose to take one waiting to be repaired.[18]
  • While painting a car to look like a police vehicle, Murdock painted his name on the side.[19]
  • When the A-Team was trying to get a cab company back in business, Murdock scared off customers by talking to a sock puppet while working as a driver.[20]
  • Murdock believed he can turn invisible. (The Road to Hope)

Memorable QuotesEdit

Murdock: Hang on, everybody - I wanna try something I saw in a cartoon once!

Murdock: [Murdock pokes his head out of the escape vehicle wearing 3D glasses] You should see these bullets in 3D!
B.A: Murdock, get in here!
Murdock: It's like we're actually being shot at!
B.A: We are getting shot at you crazy ass fool! (The A-Team (2010))

Hannibal: What's the matter, Captain?
Murdock: Colonel, I'm afraid I have some terrible, terrible... terrible news.
Face: What happened? Your dog Billy get hit by a car?
Murdock: [scowling] WORSE!
[gives Hannibal his hospital release]
Murdock: I have been kicked out. Caine has been kicked out of the harbour. So pull up the gangplanks, Mr. Roberts, and tell all the officers to meet me in the wardroom.
Hannibal: You've been found sane.
Murdock: You got it.[21]

Face: [The teams plane is starting to malfunction.] Uh, Murdock, uh, what's gonna happen?
Murdock: Looks like we're gonna crash.
Face: No, come one, really, what's gonna happen?
Murdock: Looks like we're going to crash and die.[22]

TriviaEdit

  • His first name is James in The A-Team (2010)
  • In the A-Team TV Series his actual initials were H.M. though his first and middle names were never revealed. He did call himself H.M. on occasion while the other characters called him either Murdock or Captain (mainly by Hannibal). B.A. most often just called him 'crazy fool' even while worrying about him. (The A-Team (1983-1987)
  • It is possible, though unconfirmed, that his initials stand for "Henry Mack". At one point in the TV series, season 3 episode 11, Hannibal calls him "Henry". Furthermore, in season 2 episode 14, Murdock calls himself "Mack Murdock". However, B.A. counters this later in the episode by saying, "Shut up fool, you ain't Mack Murdock! You just crazy!"  (However it is possible that he was just saying this because he was sick of Murdock's outbursts.)
  • He is also known as Henry M. Murdock or Henry Matthew Murdock.(French dub of the series).

ReferencesEdit

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