Trapper John, M.D.

Trapper John, M.D. Information

Trapper John, M.D. is an American television medical drama and spin-off of the film MASH, concerning a lovable surgeon who became a mentor and father figure in San Francisco, California. The show ran on CBS from September 23, 1979, to September 4, 1986.


Trapper John, M.D. focuses on Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre (Pernell Roberts) twenty-eight years after his discharge from the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) in the Korean War. In the nearly three decade interim, the character had mellowed considerably. He didn't just learn how to stop fighting the system but became a part of it, in a sense, as the Chief of Surgery at San Francisco Memorial Hospital. Trapper showed tremendous compassion toward his patients, often violating "established hospital procedures." Working with Trapper was an aspiring young professional named Dr. George Alonzo "Gonzo" Gates (Gregory Harrison). Gates had a lot in common with Trapper, as he had served in a M.A.S.H. during the Vietnam War. His sense of humor and love of life also reflected elements of Trapper's younger days. In the show, Gonzo resided in a motor home in the hospital parking lot. Interestingly, Harrison was featured in a 1976 episode of the television series, M*A*S*H, as Lt. Tony Baker, the husband of one of the nurses at the 4077th.

The show also involves many supporting characters that served as hospital staff. One was Clara "Starch" Willoughby (Mary McCarty), a nurse who had served in the Korean War with Trapper (McCarty died after the first season, in real life). She was replaced by Ernestine Shoop (Madge Sinclair). Other characters included young nurse Gloria "Ripples" Brancusi (Christopher Norris) who later adopted a sickly, homeless girl, Andrea; Stanley Riverside II (Charles Siebert), a pompous, but nonetheless capable doctor (whose father was the head of the hospital board of directors) who later married a dentist named E.J. (Marcia Rodd); and Justin "Jackpot" Jackson (Brian Stokes Mitchell), a young doctor always interested in wagers. Character actress Lurene Tuttle guest starred six times in different roles.

In the 1984"1985 season, Trapper's son, J.T. (Timothy Busfield) graduated from medical school and arrived at the hospital to work on his internship. When Gloria left the next fall, she was replaced by Libby Kegler (Lorna Luft). Subsequent additions included the beautiful and mature administrator, Catherine Hackett (Janis Paige), and ER service helicopter pilot and surgeon, Dr. Andy Pagano (Beau Gravitte).


  • Pernell Roberts as Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre, M.D.
  • Gregory Harrison (1979"1985) as Dr. George Alonzo 'Gonzo' Gates, M.D.
  • Charles Siebert as Dr. Stanley Riverside, III, M.D.
  • Mary McCarty (1979"1980) as Nurse Clara 'Starch' Willoughby
  • Madge Sinclair (1980"1986) as Nurse Ernestine Shoop
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell as Dr. Justin 'Jackpot' Jackson, M.D.
  • Christopher Norris (1979"1985) as Nurse Gloria "Ripples" Brancusi
  • Timothy Busfield (1984"1986) as Dr. John 'J.T.' McIntyre, Jr., M.D.
  • Lorna Luft (1985"1986) as Nurse Libby Kegler
  • Simon Scott as Arnold Slocum, Hosp. Administrator
  • Jessica Walter as Melanie McIntyre

Production notes

Legally, the show is considered a spin-off the original motion picture, MASH, rather than the M*A*S*H television series. This is due to a court case in which the producers of the television series sought royalty payments on the grounds that Trapper John, M.D. was a spin-off of their series. The court found, however, that the series was a spin-off of the original movie " itself an adaptation of Richard Hooker's MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. As a result, the producers of the M*A*S*H series did not receive any royalties from Trapper John, M.D., with the common thread between both television series as their common production company.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Trapper_John%2C_M.D." and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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