As if General Hospital weren't stressed enough by an official emergency drill observed by state emergencies director Doug Hanson and five ambulances on the way after a real tunnel collapse,... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Mark Sloan
Amanda Bentley-Livingston
Dr. Jesse Travis
Steve Sloan
Peyton Cartwright
Maggie Dennings
Doug Hanson
Art Amador / Martin Beckman
Karin Hatcher
Adele Botsford
Nurse Hilliard
EMT #1
EMT #2
Vaughn Roberts ...
EMT #3


As if General Hospital weren't stressed enough by an official emergency drill observed by state emergencies director Doug Hanson and five ambulances on the way after a real tunnel collapse, ruthlessly ambitious bed-hopper nursing administrator Karin Hatcher is bloodily beaten to death and left in the morgue, but the splatters pass unnoticed among all the fake blood for the drill. She already got the hospital job head nurse Maggie Dennings wanted, but aimed at Hanson's. Jesse and his frisky girl-friend nurse Susan Hilliard still hope to get away on romantic trip to Carmel. Next schizophrenic chemo-patient painter Art Amador is killed, possibly as an inconvenient witness, but Steve finds his identity is stolen twelve years ago by more famous Martin Beckman, his death drastically changes the value of each's works. A prominent patient, hospital board member Peyton Cartwright, one of Karin's lays, also owns a Beckman collection... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Mystery | Drama





Release Date:

22 January 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Also, in keeping with the M*A*S*H theme is the appearance of Christopher Norris who played nurse Gloria "Ripples" Brancusi on Trapper John, M.D. (1979). See more »

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User Reviews

MASH, M*A*S*H, and Trapper John, M.D. fans delight:)
16 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a big fan of Diagnosis Murder, and Drill for Death is a veritable feast for fans of MASH, M*A*S*H and Trapper John, M.D.!!! We see the casting of Elliott Gould and Sally Kellerman from MASH; Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr and William Christopher from M*A*S*H, and Christopher Norris from Trapper John, M.D. (which legally is a spin- off from MASH, not M*A*S*H). Actually Jamie and Christopher were also in AfterMASH, so technically Drill for Death reunites actors from four MASH universe series.

Unfortunately in this episode Loretta, Jamie and William don't share screen time together, but there is a scene where Loretta and Jamie share screen time, but they don't exchange lines with each other.

Sally, Loretta and Christopher play characters on the nursing staff of General Community, Elliott and William play patients, and Jamie plays the director of state emergency services. Christopher Norris plays a nurse administrator who is very, very ambitious and wants everyone's job above her title. This happens in the midst of an emergency drill, which is compounded by two real emergencies.

A subplot is Jesse Travis and his romance with Nurse Hilliard (Kim Little) and their plans to rush off to spend the weekend in Carmel. Unfortunately this doesn't happen, because Nurse Hilliard is exhausted at the end of a busy day and falls asleep in the staff lounge. This kind of reminds me of a M*A*S*H episode where Hawkeye was desperate to head off for a hot weekend with a hot nurse, but he falls asleep when Klinger is ready to drive him to the airport.

Season 5 really abounds with reunion or special casting type episodes: Malibu Fire (ep 3), Must Kill TV (ep 9), Discards (ep 10), and Food Fight (ep 23).

If Diagnosis Murder was really bold, they could have had a special episode featuring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, in an episode where Steve Sloan wakes up to find a bloodied ice pick beneath his bed after a hot one night stand. Michael and Sharon could have played up their Basic Instinct roles.

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