Home Television Drama Trapper John MD

Trapper John MD

1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 6 (USA)
151 x 60 minute episodes

The huge popularity of M*A*S*H in the 70s paved the way for several spin-offs.

Trapper John MD began 28 years after Dr “Trapper” John McIntyre returned from Korea and was discharged from the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H).

In the intervening years, he had mellowed and become part of the establishment he had scorned as a young man, and was now serving as Chief of Surgery at San Francisco Memorial Hospital.

Trapper now dealt with medical and administrative problems alike with an almost zen-like calm, having learned to mollify the hospital administration, represented by bookish Arnold Slocum (Simon Scott).

In the pilot, however, he met up with a younger, wilder version of himself in Dr George Alonzo “Gonzo” Gates (Gregory Harrison), who had recently returned from another M.A.S.H unit in Vietnam.

Also featured was Trapper’s scrub nurse, Starch (Mary McCarty), who went all the way back to his M.A.S.H days (she was replaced by Nurse Shoop (Madge Sinclair) when actress Mary McCarty died during the hiatus between Trapper John’s first and second seasons); sexy young nurse Gloria Brancusi (Christopher Norris); and Doctors Jackson (Brian Mitchell) and Riverside (Charles Siebert), the latter a likeable but officious chief of emergency services who, it was rumoured, owed his job more to his father’s position on the hospital’s board of directors than to his own skill.

Trapper also had to deal with the occasional intrusions into his life by his ex-wife, Melanie (Jessica Walter). Their son, J.T (Timothy Busfield), recently graduated from medical school, arrived in 1984 to do his internship at San Francisco Memorial.

The following year saw the arrival of Libby Kegler (Lorna Luft) to replace Gloria, attractive, mature Catherine Hackett (Janis Paige) as the new administrator, and young surgeon and emergency service helicopter pilot Andy Pagano (Beau Gravitte).

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Early in 1986 Gonzo suffered a stroke (Gregory Harrison was leaving the series) and, although he regained most of his faculties, was unable to return to surgery.

Trying to put his life back together, and unsure that he wanted to stay in medicine if he could not be a surgeon, Gonzo left the hospital on an extended vacation with his new bride, Fran (Andrea Marcovicci).

The series ran for seven seasons, from 1979 until 1986, and was popular around the world. It was an excellent mix of drama and humour, with a good group of characters and talented writers.

With the exception of Bonanza star Pernell Roberts, who replaced M*A*S*H actor Wayne Rogers in the title role, the cast was comprised mainly of young unknowns.

They would not remain unknown for long. Trapper John, MD would launch several of its stars into very successful careers.

Wayne Rogers was approached to reprise his role of Trapper John from M*A*S*H but turned it down saying he did not want to play a doctor on TV again.

Oddly enough he then went on to play another doctor in the sitcom House Calls.

Dr “Trapper” John McIntyre 
Pernell Roberts
Dr George Alonzo “Gonzo” Gates
Gregory Harrison
Nurse Ernestine Shoop 
Madge Sinclair
Dr Stanley Riverside II 

Charles Siebert
Dr Justin “Jackpot” Jackson
Brian Mitchell
Nurse Gloria “Ripples” Brancusi
Christopher Norris
Nurse Clara “Starch” Willoughby 
Mary McCarty
Dr J.T. McIntyre 

Timothy Busfield
Arnold Slocum 

Simon Scott
Melanie McIntyre 

Jessica Walter
Nurse Shapiro 

Marion Yue
Dr Sandler 

Richard Schaal
Dr Charlie Nichols 

Michael Tucci
Nurse Clover 

Bebe Kelly
Nurse Andrews 

Sarah Cunningham
Andrea Branscusi 

Robin Ignico
E.J. Riverside

Marcia Rodd
Nurse Libby Kegler 

Lorna Luft
Fran Brennan 

Andrea Marcovicci
Catherine Hackett 

Janis Paige
Dr Christmas 

Kenneth David Gilman
Dr Andy Pagano
Beau Gravitte