This series brought the character of "Trapper John" from M*A*S*H in as the Chief of Surgery at San Francisco Memorial Hospital. Joining him on the surgical staff was a brilliant young surgeon, G. Alonzo "Gonzo" Gates, who had also served in a MASH unit - in Vietnam. The show covered standard medical stories, but it also took chances with such subjects as AIDS, the Epstein-Barr Virus, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Written by
Linda Adams <Garridon@aol.com>
Pernell Roberts publicly denounced series television when he left Bonanza (1959) for theatre in 1965. He decided to return to television because his salary would help support his aging father. He also felt that he would be able to exercise his acting range and address social issues, two things he felt he was rarely able to do on "Bonanza". See more »
A very good medical drama ,hard to believe it first aired 30 years ago. i have caught some of it on youtube including the pilot and it was nice to see the handsome pernell roberts as trapper john. Gregory Harrison as Dr Gonzo Gates also starred - his farewell episode in the last season had to be one of the best episodes I've seen on TV. What I liked most about TRAPPER JOHN MD was how it differed from the other lame M*A*S*H spinoffs. We had AFTERMASH and WALTER -both terrible in the fact that the main characters were taken out of their element and put into stupid generic situations played for laughs with the only reason of getting high ratings due to the popularity of MASH. WALTER didn't even last beyond the pilot and AFTERMASH was done a year later. TRAPPER JOHN MD however worked because it was straight drama with good writing. They had serious situations and real emotion on the show. There would be some laughs and a joke here and there but it was not sitcom type crap ,it was done more to show that these people were human and had a sense of humor and needed to laugh amongst the stress. Especially Trapper who had to hold everything together while keeping his emotions in check. Gonzo also was a great character especially in the pilot where he just takes over in the emergency room.
It's a shame that the show only lasted 7 seasons. Harrison left midway through that last season because he was just tired of the show and then it only lasted 9 more episodes. There was no finale type to that final episode , it was just another regular episode. I do hope they air it in syndication again soon as I enjoy watching the reruns.
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