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After Walter "Radar" O'Reilly returns home from Korea, he joins the local police force. His adventures include tracking his stolen wallet, breaking up a fight between two strippers, and helping out a homeless boy. Written by
W*A*L*T*E*R was just plain terrible. They lamely brought back Clete Roberts to do 'follow up' interviews with MASH personal, as he had done in the WILDLY over-rated 2-part episode "The Interview" in MASH. He starts off by saying
"Last week we talked with Dr. Hawkeye Pierce...this week, we look in on former Coporal, now rookie law officer, Radar O'Rielly." zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Somehow I doubt that America was really wondering how MASH personal were doing in civilian life - to the extent Clete Roberts keeps following them around asking boring questions. As the episode progresses, we keep running into TVs that have this never-ending interview with Radar continuing to play, apparently in an endless loop. The only thing more dull than the Clete Roberts interview is the rest of this pilot.
According to Wikipedia, and another site called www.tvobscurities.com stated...
"Since the pilot was never picked up by CBS as a series, it was shown as a "CBS Special Presentation" on July 17, 1984. It was shown once in the Eastern and Central time zones of the United States, but pre-empted on the West Coast by CBS News coverage of the Democratic National Convention. This is the only known broadcast of the pilot."
The main problem with this series, as with AFTER MASH, is that the producers try to change supporting characters into lead characters. I can't imagine turning in every week to follow the story of Radar. Or for that matter, my least favorite MASH character - Klinger in AFTER MASH. Even the good Father Mulchahy isn't anywhere near strong enough to carry a show. The only one I can see doing that is Potter, and in AFTER MASH they saddled him with "the worst of MASH" characters, and terrible new characters.
Some things are a product of their time, and should be left alone. That's what should have been done with MASH, and Radar.
One of the many issues with W*A*L*T*E*R* is that Gary Burghoff was FORTY ONE years old when this was filmed, and he looked every bit of it. Radar should have been about 22 or so. There's only so far that can be pushed. Back in Season 8 of MASH, when they finally showed "GOODBYE RADAR", he was already way too old to be playing that character. To attempt to pick it up again in 1984 was nuts. I'm frankly shocked Burghoff even took part in this mess. Must have needed the money.
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