Monster M*A*S*H

Trapper John, M.D. was a spin-off of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H that aired on CBS from September 23, 1979 to September 4, 1986. In this incarnation of the Trapper John McIntyre character, now the main character of the series, was played by Pernell Roberts, who ended up playing the character more than twice as much as Wayne Rogers (1972–75) in the television series M*A*S*H. Roberts assumed the role which was first played by Elliott Gould in the original Oscar winning film Robert Altman in 1970, MASH.

Plot summary[]

Trapper John, M.D. focuses on the life and career of Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre, 28 years after his discharge from the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H. or MASH) in the Korean War. The series had Trapper working as chief of surgery at the San Francisco Memorial Hospital.

One of the other characters in the show was Doctor George Alonzo "Gonzo" Gates, who was played by Gregory Harrison. Gonzo was a man who had just returned to the states after serving in a Vietnam-era MASH unit, and who was much like what Trapper had been earlier.

Trapper John, M.D. cast from Seasons 2-5: (left to right) Pernell Roberts as Dr. "Trapper John" McIntyre, Madge Sinclair as Nurse Ernestine Shoop, Gregory Harrison as Dr. George "Gonzo" Gates, Simon Scott as Arnold Slocum, Charles Siebert (back) as Dr. Stanley Riverside, Christopher Norris (front) as Nurse Gloria "Ripples" Brancusi, Brian Stokes Mitchell as Dr. Justin 'Jackpot' Jackson, M.D.

In this series, Trapper has mellowed somewhat, and had become more a part of medical establishment than what he had been in his younger days. Eventually his son J.T., played by Timothy Busfield, joins him at the hospital. While the show had a comedy element, it also dealt with serious subjects, such as AIDS - which had appeared in the developed world during the series run.

Legally, the show is considered a spinoff of the original movie MASH, rather than the M*A*S*H television show. This is due to a court case in which the producers of the series had sought royalty payments on the grounds that Trapper John, M.D. was a spinoff of their television series. However, the court found that the series was a spinoff of the original movie. As a result, the series producers did not receive any royalties from Trapper John, M.D.



Seasons Episodes Originally aired Nielsen ratings
First aired Last aired Rank Rating Tied with
1 22 September 23, 1979 March 30, 1980 19 21.2 N/A
2 18 November 23, 1980 May 17, 1981 17 20.7 Fantasy Island

Diff'rent Strokes

3 25 October 4, 1981 May 16, 1982 15 21.1 Hart to Hart
4 22 September 26, 1982 April 3, 1983 18 18.7 Gloria
5 22 October 2, 1983 May 6, 1984 30 17.0 N/A
6 23 September 30, 1984 May 5, 1985 29 16.8 N/A
7 19 October 6, 1985 September 4, 1986 N/A N/A N/A


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