Before Scandal's White Hats, before the Clone Club, before Buffy's Scooby Gang, and even before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, arguably the best funny-but-serious television hero crew was the A-Team.
The adventures of John "Hannibal" Smith, Templeton "Face" Peck, H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock, and Bosco "B.A." Baracus were the perfect melding of high adventure, Robin-Hood do-goodery, buddy comedy, and a zero casualty count. Basically, ideal prime-time viewing circa 1985.
Although reporters Amy and Tawnia provided token female contributions to the team's missions in Seasons 1 and 2, the show was written to be a boys' club but, today, we can clearly envision those four iconic roles portrayed by women from all over the television landscape.
Ground rules for this draft:
1) No superhero characters. Too easy.
2) Three picks per team member, designated "first-string" for the top pick, "back-up" for one with good potential, and "benchwarmer" for a character with some of the traits but who lacks something essential for the role.
3) They gotta be field agents. Although I love my behind-the-scenes geek-girls dearly, the A-Team was 100% hands-on. Not even Hannibal got to spend an entire mission calling the shots from a secure location. (And no one considers the van as a secure location.)
Hannibal — "The Boss"
Needs to be: a supreme multi-tasker with a pragmatic, almost ruthless, vision and an awesome ability to roll with the punches; persistently optimistic.
First-String - Olivia Pope (Scandal) Nothing, but NOTHING, makes her blink when a plan is coming together.
Back-Up - Elizabeth McCord (Madame Secretary) Before she stepped into the political arena, she was C.I.A. and damned good at it. Her ability to run a team continues to be her greatest asset.
Benchwarmer - Clarke Griffin (The 100) Saddled with huge responsibility and shouldering more than her share of tragedy, she is a leader but lacks the confidence to really fill Hannibal-style boots.
Face — "The Con"
Needs to be: able to charm and misdirect the mark; adept at hiding true intentions behind a pleasing demeanor.
First-String: Bonnie Plunkett (Mom) Although she's learned a lot about herself and relationships in recovery, Bonnie's first instinct will always be to help herself on a needs-must basis.
Back-Up: Maddie Jonson (The Imposters) When we meet Maddie, she's a loaded weapon of confidence wielded by a mysterious puppet-master to bilk men and women out of their fortunes and hearts. Because she's not in control of her own narrative, she runs into challenges trying to get out of the con.
Benchwarmer: Dr. Smith (Lost in Space) She's the consummate performer, able to impersonate anyone in order to get what she needs. Drawback: definitely not a team player.
Murdock —"The Savant"
Needs to be: highly intelligent and capable but mentally scrambled; easily distracted and highly unpredictable; seemingly harmless but razor-sharp when push comes to kablooey.
First-String: River Tam (Firefly) Incapable of eating a frozen festival treat on a string but capable of not only co-piloting the Serenity but cutting down an entire horde of Reavers, single-handedly.
Back-Up: Helena (Orphan Black) Although Helena's allegiances are (eventually) clearly Team Sestra, her means to her ends are incredibly random and most definitely outside of anyone's idea of a box.
"My story is an embroidery, with many beginnings and no end. But I will start with the thread of my sestra Sarah, who stepped off a train one day and met herself."Helena
Benchwarmer: Doctor Donna (Doctor Who) She was briefly infused with the mental ability of a Timelord. And her brain nearly melted. It was both the most exhilarating and tragic instance in her tenure as The Doctor's Companion.
B.A. Barracus — "The Muscle"
Needs to be: more than a goon but a physical threat to enemies; mechanically-minded; strong in both body and temperament.
First-String: Agent Melinda May (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) Despite her dislike of the moniker "The Cavalry," she has shown herself to be exactly that, the powerhouse defender that the team depends on. Beyond her gladiator status, she is a pilot, mechanic, and effective operative.
Back-Up: Michonne (The Walking Dead) In response to her life's tragedies, she made herself into a warrior to stand against the zombie enemy. However, she still suffers and struggles against the damage she has survived. Also, not really a team player either.
Benchwarmer: Fiona Glenanne (Burn Notice) It seems unfair to put Fee on the bench but this category is kind of stacked and although she is a force to be reckoned with, she needs weapons and tools a bit more than May and Michonne.
And there you are, a slate of brilliant, capable, and kick-ass women who could outfit the best-ever mercenary team we could dream of. There were rumblings in 2015 of an updated reboot at FOX although no other news has emerged recently. So we really can dream.
After all: If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find them... maybe you can hire... The A-Team.
What's your dream draft line-up? Let me know!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.