This hour-long dramatic series featured life at St. Eligius Hospital, headed by Drs. Donald Westphall and Daniel Auschlander. Every year, new residents would walk down the halls of St. Eligius; learning to deal with perfectionist Cardiovascular Surgeon Mark Craig was only the beginning of the way the hospital and its interesting patients would change their lives forever.Written by
The elevated train seen in the opening titles is the Orange Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston's public transportation system. During the final season, the Orange Line was moved to an underground route and no longer ran on elevated tracks, thus making its appearance anachronistic. See more »
Throughout the series, Dr. Daniel Auschlander suffers from late-stage Liver Cancer and yet he is seen repeatedly as drinking "very good" Scotch after hours with his staff in his office. Alcohol consumption only aggravates Liver Cancer and hastens death. See more »
After the credits, they show the MTM kitten wearing a surgical mask and smock to match the show. In final episode, the MTM kitten is shown underneath the credits, hooked up to life-support. At the end of the credits, the kitten flatlines. See more »
The VHS "Best of St. Elsewhere" version of the final episode, "When the Fat Lady Sings," uses the standard surgical-mask MTM logo for the series, and not the flat-lining kitten logo. See more »
St. Eligius is a poor Boston teaching hospital often derided as St. Elsewhere. It refers to the perception that it's the elsewhere where unwanted patients and staff end up. Dr. Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders) is the kindly chief of medicine. Dr. Daniel Auschlander (Norman Lloyd) is the constantly dying chief of services. Dr. Mark Craig (William Daniels) is the pompous arrogant chief of surgery. The show starts with Dr. Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley Jr.), jokey Dr. Wayne Fiscus (Howie Mandel), caring Dr. Jack Morrison (David Morse) and serious Dr. Philip Chandler (Denzel Washington) as residents. Helen Rosenthal (Christina Pickles) is the head nurse and Luther Hawkins (Eric Laneuville) is the always present orderly.
Medical dramas have been around since forever. There are medical mystery procedural, movies, and also soaps. St. Elsewhere serves as an important transition into darker and more realistic TV hospital dramas paving the way to later shows such as ER. It follows multiple parallel intersecting stories which some are procedural and others serials. It also doesn't hurt that some interesting actors are on the show as regulars as well as guest stars. It doesn't have many female doctors which keeps the romantic intrigue at a minimum. It was another era. I remember liking the lesser character Peter White who seems to have a darker hidden side until they made him a rapist. The most lasting effect is its evolution of the medical drama although its most memorable aspect may be its controversial and much-derided finale. It's definitely a problematic ending but I refuse to deduct points for it.
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