W*A*L*T*E*R was a pilot for a spin-off of M*A*S*H made in 1984 that was never picked up. It starred Gary Burghoff.

The show related the adventures of Corporal Walter (Radar) O'Reilly after he had returned home from the Korean War. The woman he had romanced during his final appearance on M*A*S*H was nowhere to be found. More importantly, he was no longer calling himself "Radar" and he had moved away from Iowa. Taking root in St. Louis, Missouri, he had become perhaps the world's gentlest police officer.

Difficulties in showing[edit | edit source]

Since the pilot was never picked up by CBS as a series, it was shown as a "CBS Special Presentation" in July 1984. It was shown once in the eastern and central time zones of the United States, but pre-empted on the West Coast by CBS News coverage of the 1984 Democratic National Convention. This is the only known broadcast of the pilot.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

The episode takes place after the series finale of M*A*S*H, and a two part guest appearance on After M*A*S*H, in which Radar was forced to leave the family farm.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The episode opens with Walter O'Reilly in his apartment of his cousin, Wendell Micklejohn. They are getting ready for their workday while watching the start of a television interview. The interview shows journalist Clete Roberts following up on the members of the M*A*S*H 4077th. Last week Roberts interviewed Hawkeye Pierce and this week he is catching up with O'Reilly. At the police department and on the street in front of stores, O'Reilly and Micklejohn catch pieces of the television interview, giving viewers of the pilot a chance to sample the potential series and to build a bridge between the events of M*A*S*H and W*A*L*T*E*R. Viewers learn that O'Reilly returned to Iowa, where he failed at farming. He sold the farm and the animals and sent his mother off to live with his aunt. His bride left him after the honeymoon for another man. O'Reilly decided to commit suicide and went to a drug store to buy sleeping pills for an overdose, and aspirin (because the sleeping pills give him headaches). The drugstore worker, Victoria, cheers him up and they became good friends. His cousin Micklejohn helped him get a job on the police force. Walter solves a dispute between two strippers, and gets his wallet back from a young would-be thief whose older brother died in Korea. The pilot seems to show that W*A*L*T*E*R would have been light-hearted, simple comedy, in keeping with the O'Reilly character of M*A*S*H, but without the social value of the parent show.

Actors[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • TV Obscurities.com article on W*A*L*T*E*R, 15 Feb 2005 Archive URL
  • finest-kind.net article on W*A*L*T*E*R Archive URL
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