Trapper John, M.D. (TV Series 1979–1986) Poster


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The Best Medical Show of the Late 1970's
Sargebri2 October 2003
This show pretty much was the opposite of the show it spun off from. While it was primarily a drama, it still had some very humorous moments. As with most medical shows at the time, the conflict of the old doctor and the young doctor was the axis on which this show rotated. Also, it was interesting to see the character of Trapper John, who definitely was a maverick, acting as a member of the establishment while working with the not only with the younger Gonzo, but with the even younger Jackpot. The show really took off when Madge Sinclair joined the cast and also when they didn't concentrate on the obvious assets of Gloria (a.k.a. Ripples). This show is definitely worth watching again.
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One of best medical shows ever to come from the late 1970's-and survive through the early 1980's
raysond12 April 2002
Warning: Spoilers
One thing that I can say about "Trapper John,MD" was the best medical show ever to come out of the late 1970's and continued into the early 1980's. It was a Sunday night ritual at the 10:00 hour during its run on CBS-TV from 1979-1986. Pernell Roberts(who was Adam Cartwright on TV's Bonanza)was head of the chief of surgeons at San Francisco General Hospital who handled severe medical cases and always managed to keep his cool as well,which wasn't easy in some of the episodes. His assistant Dr.Gonzo Gates(played by Gregory Harrison,who was back then was a hottie with the ladies,and which women were watching the show just to see him in his thick glasses and 70's disco attire,all underneath his medical uniform!)was also in a M*A*S*H unit as well,but he always managed to get the best of it by helping out and always helping Trapper out in some of the bizarre cases. However,the show also featured Nurse Gloria,and also two other doctors that worked at the hospital as well(both played by actors Brian Mitchell and Chris(Christina)Norris who are now these days are very successful actors on Broadway and musical productions as well). The took on the some very tough case included a episode that dealt with the AIDS virus(a rarely during that time in the early 1980's where it became a serious issue among some folks). The last time this show was seen was on FX,and its playing somewhere around the country and on some local station. NOTE: The show was produced by the same individuals who brought you numerous other doctor shows including "Medical Center"(the executive producer was Frank Glicksman).
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Bring back Trapper John!
newyorkgal-445-8405419 August 2012
I adore this show, coming from a M*A*S*H fan of many years. It's a great medical drama and really should have gotten more recognition. I watched a few re-runs with my dad a few years ago because I was interested and he watched it (my mother was a fan of M*A*S*H too but she never watched Trapper John) and I adored it from the beginning! Of course the main leading men are not that bad looking either. ;) Gregory Harrison and Pernell Roberts are some team!

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.
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A very good TV show that ended too soon.
BigWhiskers6 December 2009
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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Shared war experience
bkoganbing21 June 2015
Medical dramas never go out of style. There's one or two for every generation from Drs Kildare and Christian on the big screen to House in this new 21st century. A really good one debuted in 1979 with its lead character borrowed from another medical drama that was on both the big screen and the small. MASH's Trapper John character left the show in the middle of its run and then popped up in his own series almost thirty years after war service in Korea. And of course Wayne Rogers became Pernell Roberts.

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.
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watching in 2018.....just meh...and a very liberal show
missjenniferd12 March 2018
Im a conservative, and in 2018 with political views getting further and further apart from the middle, i like watching older shows so i can drift back into the conservative good ol days.. this show is just a bunch of liberal preaching most of the time. Someone gets on their high horse, throws a tantrum, and complains on their uppity high horse attitude how close minded or awful everyone else is... Then of course, everyone sees the error of their ways and agrees with whoever was throwing the tantrum... I was like wow, what year is this show, its just like its 2018 all over again.and for the record, contrary to all the rest of the reviews, house is the best medical show, followed by e.r.
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