The Virgin's Guide to MASH

Best Care Anywhere


Almost everyone with a telly watched M*A*S*H at some point in their lives. The program which started as a series of books, developed into a film and then became a television show has proven to be one of the most popular and durable programs ever made. But there's always going to be something you can't quite remember. Ever wondered which episode it was when Klinger first showed up wearing a dress? Or perhaps who was the only character to appear in every episode? Ever sat there and thought 'I really wish someone would write a decent guide to this series'? Well, this may not be that guide, but it's a start at least...

As with most things, this is a work in progress. I love the show - I think the vast majority of people do - but even though I own all the DVDs it's taking its time. I can only beg your patience as my DVD player and my laptop and I work our way through the massive archive that there is of this show. I'm enjoying the work, and I trust that you'll enjoy the fruits of it!

You can just go straight to the Episode Index, or read on for an explanation of the categories.

EPISODE: Original airdate and production code.
This is pretty standard stuff, you work out what it's for. Production codes indicate the order the episodes were made in, which is often nothing like the order they were shown in.

BY: Writer, director, screenplay, teleplay.
A lot of creative effort goes into producing a show like this - this segment is for the people who made the episode happen.

GUEST STARS: Actors who turn up only once.
This segment consists of the actors playing characters who are not regular (ie not in the opening titles) and who are not semi-regular (ie the same character doesn't turn up again). There is room for confusion here, in that a number of different actors have played different characters. I've gone with my gut instincts here; if the same actor plays Nurse A in one episode and Nurse B in the next, I'm not counting her as a guest star. However, if Actor A plays Private Joe Bob Smith in one episode and then turns up again as Lieutenant Colonel O'Jones in another, then both get guest-star status. Other than that, work it out for yourselves; it's too confusing.

SEMI-REGULARS: Recurring characters.
This segment is for characters who turn up more than once but who aren't regular cast (ie not in the opening titles). In both this and the previous segment, I've limited it to people who actually get a line or who are featured in some way (for example, if Nurse Kellye turned up in episode 45. standing in the background not doing anything in particular, she doesn't rate a mention, cool though she may be).

PLOT: A fairly detailed account of what goes on in the episode.

GLITCHES: Little slip-ups within the episode.

AWOL: (Absent Without Leave) Regular cast members who are mysteriously not there.

BIMOL: (But It's My Only Line!) When a regular cast member only turns up for maybe one scene or one line. This is often a symptom of the actor in question also being the director of the episode.

GREAT LINES: Just what it sounds like.

THE KLINGER COLLECTION: A description of Klinger's lovely outfits and occasional sartorial commentary.

CONTINUITY IS FOR WIMPS: Anything which is consistent within the episode but not with the rest of the series (and let me tell you, there's a LOT).

THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME TO ME: Recurring oriental actors.
As with any series about Korea made in America, there were only a finite number of Korean actors around to use (or just plain oriental - a lot of the 'Koreans' are actually Japanese or Chinese). This section is a running tally for how many different roles each actor gets to play. At the end of the guide we'll have a special prize for the one with the most.

JE NE PARLE KOREAN... DO I? : When the characters don't stay particularly consistent with how much Korean they can or can't speak.

SUCTION: Early on in her career as a fan of M*A*S*H, Ratbat posed the idea that the most frequently called-for surgical tool was suction. So we've kept count for you.

NOTES: Points raised in the episode (for example: Hawkeye lives in Crabapple Cove, Maine).

COMMENTS: A wrap of what we thought of the episode, including critical points. (Note: Sometimes our opinions differ significantly on this. That's what you get when you collaborate.)

Now that you understand what we're doing, head on into the Episode index and enjoy!