Monster M*A*S*H

Pilot (Trapper John, M.D. episode)[]

Trapper John, M.D. episode
“Pilot aka New Day”
Season 1, Episode # 1
Number (#1) in series (151 episodes)
Guest star(s) Jack Gilford

Barbara Stuart Jessica Walter, and Roddy McDowall

Network: CBS-TV
Production code: A-910
Writer(s) Don Brinkley
Director Jackie Cooper
Original airdate September 23, 1979
IMDb logo.png IMDB Pilot aka New Day
Episode chronology
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Season 1 (Trapper John, M.D.)
List of Trapper John, M.D. episodes

Pilot was the fist episode of season 1 of the TV spinoff series Trapper John, M.D. The episode title was changed to 'New Day' in some broadcasts. Directed by Jackie Cooper and written by Don Brinkley, it fist aired on CBS-TV on September 23, 1979.


After a gas line explosion leads to a hotel chancing fire San Francisco Memorial Hospital is overrun with burn victims and other inured. Newly arrived surgeon George Alonzo 'Gonzo' Gates ends up swept-up in the before even getting the chance to apply for a job.

Full episode summery[]

28 years after his discharge form the Korean war the sounds of helicopters still conjure up memories of the 4077th Mobil Army Surgical Hospital in the dreams of Dr. John Francis Xavier 'Trapper' McIntyre. At 'San Francisco Memorial Hospital' Nurse Clara 'Starch' Willoughby wakes Trapper for his wistful slumber, informing him that the incoming wounded are from a fire, not the war. She hands him a stethoscope and lab coat as they leave Trapper's office.

The corridors outside E.R. are pack with injured people, overworked medical staff scurry around tearing as many as thy can. Dr. Justin "Jackpot" Jackson dose triage with assistance from Nurse Gloria "Ripples" Brancusi and various Orderlies scatter about. The only one not working Dr. Stanley Riverside II who spends his time chatting. The Hospital is so overrun no one pays any mind to the arrival of a new mystery Doctor who ends up performing an emergency tracheotomy on a patient Riverside had been neglecting.

Trapper and Starch examine an elderly man with saver internal injuries, upon questioning the man insist that his name is 'John Smith' and that he has no family nor any other relevant contacts. Trapper instructs one of the orderlies to prepare the man for surgery as soon as possible.


Research notes / Fun facts[]

  • The photos of the 4077th MASH on the wall in Trapper's office are production stills from the then still ongoing M*A*S*H TV series rather than shots from the 1970's film.
  • The nameplate on the door to the office is incorrectly labeled "CHIEF OF SURGERY- John T. McIntyre" Trapper's middle name is Xavier and thus the sigh should have an 'X' not a 'T' as the initial.
  • After surgery Trapper meets Gonzo in the shower room. Gonzo is intended to be in the nude but Gregory Harrison is clearly wearing white shorts and being shot from the waist up.
  • Trapper refers to patience being 'stacked up like cords of wood' paralleling a similar line from The M*A*S*H episode Heal Thyself