The T.V. series which started in 1972, (Pictured left to right ) Larry Linville (Frank Burns), Loretta Swit (Margaret (Hotlips) Houlihan), Alan Alda (who only signed up 6 hours before filming started), who starred as Dr. Benjamin Franklin (Hawkeye) Pierce, McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col Henry Blake), Wayne Rodgers ((Trapper) John McIntyre), William Christopher (Fr. John Patrick (Dago Red) Mulcahy ), Gary Burghoff, (Walter (Radar) O'Reilly) who was the only cast member from the film, and Jamie Farr (Max Klinger), lasted 11 years and made household names of some of the cast. The series dealt with some sensitive issues as it progressed, poignant scenes such as the loss of friends, wounds inflicted on men just so some officer could say his men captured a hill, colour prejudice, sexual prejudice and perhaps one of the most tearful when in 1975 McLean Stevenson left, his character of Henry Blake was discharged then his plane was reported shot down with no survivors.
Lt Col Henry Blake was replaced by Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman Potter), Wayne Rodgers also left at the end of season 3 and was replaced by Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicutt), Larry Linville left later and David Ogden Stiers (Charles Emerson Winchester), arrived to replace him, when Gary Burghoff left he was not replaced although Klinger took over the position of company clerk. The character of Oliver Harmon (Spearchucker) Jones was also dropped early in the t.v.series when it was revealed that there were no black surgeons in Korea and Tom Skerritt's character of Augustus Bedford (Duke) Forrest never made the transition to the small screen when it was deemed that 3 principle leads would be too many. The final episode, Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, showing them all leaving when a truce was declared, was one of the most watched shows in television history.
"Look, all I know is what they taught me in Command School, there are certain rules about a war and Rule Number 1 is, young men die and Rule Number 2 is, doctors can't change Rule Number 1."
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake, Commanding Officer, MASH 4077.(From the episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet")
If you want to find out more about the real story read the book "MASH. An Army Surgeon in Korea", by Dr Otto F. Apel Jr.
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