Trapper John, M.D. (1979–1986)
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Either way, this show is great and really should be brought back to re-runs so everyone can remember it. There is so much horrible shows (mainly reality TV..*cough* Jersey Shore) that they really should consider putting a good show on the air. And on DVD... that would be so much better. This show ran for 7 years, why is it not on DVD? It deserves it.
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.
I'm sure I'll hear from someone who will know the answer. But I don't ever recall why Dr. John McIntyre was ever given the nickname of Trapper. Not on MASH and not on Trapper John. But apparently it is the culture to give medical personnel who did war service nicknames. Trapper's protégé Gregory Harrison was Gonzo, Brian Mitchell was Jackpot and in that very first season nurse Mary McCarty was Starch. Sadly McCarty died right after the first season. She was replaced by Madge Sinclair as a senior nurse on the show. Sad that she died, she had an interesting character developing.
The shared war experience between Roberts and Harrison is a lot of what drove the show. These two had a bond that no one else had and the others in the show knew and respected it. Other than a mention of Hawkeye and Radar in the pilot episode there was no reference at all to MASH. Both Trapper and Gonzo had a lot of contemporary medical issues to deal with to wax nostalgic about their wars neither of which was anything glorious.
Roberts of course was Adam Cartwright in Bonanza and he left mid point in that show, dissatisfied with his character's development and the trend of the show. No complaints about him were ever uttered about Trapper John. What I always found interesting was that Roberts who was a good guy in both of his successful television series played some really bad dudes on the big screen and small in between. A tribute to him as an actor.
Trapper John, MD always stood on its own as a medical series with no reference to MASH. Had there not been a connection it still was fine television drama.