Very little is known about HM Murdock. Even the names that are signified by his dual initials are unknown, usually given, if at all, as "Howlin' Mad". His mother probably died when he was 5, and he might have been raised by his grandparents. At some point in his life he joined the army
. On two separate occasions in the late 1960s and early 1970s he worked with the CIA
in an unspecified capacity. He also flew with a unit of the US Air Force
called the Thunderbirds. He served two tours in Vietnam
, and while with the US Special Forces
he joined the A-Team
. He was on the team when they were arrested for a crime that they did not commit. While the other three were sentenced to jail time for their alleged crime, Murdock was declared legally insane and committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Murdock was created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J Cannell.
Major Story Arcs
Throughout the various series Murdock acts as the team's pilot. Also, due to not actually being a wanted fugitive, he is often able to get the team out of trouble, often rescuing them from the clutches of an enemy single-handedly. He is incarcerated in a VA hospital, where he lives for most of the series, though he escapes on a fairly regular basis.
Powers and Abilities
He is said to suffer from paranoia, hallucinations and intermittent memory loss, perhaps deriving from post-traumatic stress disorder, often manifesting as surrealist diatribes about subjects such as the supposed intelligence of inanimate objects, an insistence on the existence of an invisible dog named "Billy", or a fixation upon a random object or concept, such as an episode spent rhyming. Despite this it is never made clear if Murdock is actually insane or if he is just a very competent, very dedicated actor.
Despite his eccentricities, Murdock is a very gifted pilot, though he often pulls aerial stunts that leave other pilots and passengers uncomfortable. He flew helicopters in Vietnam, though he is able to fly almost anything with wings, and often did throughout the series. He apparently has an eidetic memory. He is also fluent in several languages, including Spanish, German, Russian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese, the last of which he claims to have acquired spontaneously following a headache. He is a skilled mimic and actor, often assisting Face in his various schemes and cons.
In Other Media
Murdock was originated on the television series by American actor Dwight Schultz, who played the part during all five seasons, which aired from 1983 to 1987. In the 2010 movie, which retained many of Murdock's character quirks, he was played by South African
actor Sharlto Copley. Dwight Schultz appeared in the film in a minor cameo role, where he played Murdock's neurologist. Though it cannot be considered canon, the movie showed that Murdock is proficient in Swahili, a very competent chef, and the cause of BA's