As the sixth season opens, Margaret?s marriage has finally driven Frank Burns over the edge. Unfortunately, his subsequent replacement, Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, soon drives B.J. and Hawkeye over the edge as w... more »ell. From his fur-trimmed coat to his shiny French horn, he almost makes B.J. and Hawkeye wish Frank were still there. Almost. But as Winchester slowly finds his place within the OR, things get back to normal ? or as normal as they ever get. Radar goes off in search of the perfect tattoo. Black marketeers steal all the unit?s penicillin. Hawkeye and B.J. refuse to shower unless Charles stops blowing his horn. And Hawkeye and Margaret find comfort in each other?s arms...if only for one night.« less
Jeffrey D. Messer | Asheville, NC United States | 05/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MASH survived many casting changes, and did so with style and grace. Season 6 brought the final "new" cast member to the show -- Winchester. And it breathed new life into the series in it's 6th year. Remember, the war itself only lasted 3, and the show nearly got cancelled early on. No one expected it to be this successful. So here they were, six years in and looking at many more. Sure, eventually the stories got a bit too serious and hokie, but for now, they still kept a fine balance between the serious and the silly. this season finds an almost pitch perfect balance.Early seasons had more characters and lots of silliness, but as time went on, they whittled things down to a more managable size. This season shows that at it's finest.And of course we get Sid Freedman back this year, as well as the infamous Hawkeye and Hotlips romantic encounter. Plus more glimpses at the chinks in Hawk's humor-armor.A great show that will never be outdone.They should release the seasons more than two a year though."
Out with Frank, in with Charles
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom | Minnesota, USA | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the opening episode, "Fade Out, Fade In," we learn that Frank Burnes has gone totally bonkers and won't be coming back to the 4077th. He is replaced by Charles Emerson Winchester III (played by David Ogden Stiers), an intellectual Bostonian snob. Like Frank, Charles is also a class-A jerk, but he's a jerk with more sophistication. For example, in "The Smell of Music" (one of my all-time favorites), he insists on playing his French horn [badly], to the annoyance of Hawkeye and BJ, who, in turn, refuse to bathe until the music stops. A feud ensues. Charles doesn't rant and rave like Frank -- he just calmly goes on playing through it all. The wit here is more subtle than in previous seasons, but still hilarious. Frank was basically a schoolyard bully, and he never outgrew that role. When he left the 4077th he was pretty much the same jerk he had been when he arrived. Charles, on the other hand, will grow and mature as the series progresses. He learns in "The Light that Failed" that he is capable of making mistakes like anybody else. In "Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde" his self-abuse of amphetamines to keep up with the hectic pace (and his facade of perfection?) has disastrous results. By the end of the season, he comes down off his high horse a bit and joins the team -- but never loses his upper-crust dignity. Other characters also begin to grow in new directions during this season. Margaret becomes more humanized, and is no longer merely a foil for sexist jokes. Much of this was due to Alan Alda having his own consciousness raised on feminist issues. This season aired in 1977-78, remember, and the times they were a'changing. Frankly speaking (pun intended), much of the crude humor in the early seasons was based on jokes that would now be considered sexual harrassment. After "Comrades in Arms" in this season, Margaret and Hawkeye reach a truce of sorts, and treat each other with more respect.While some fans deplore the sixth-season switch from heavy comedy to more serious drama, I applaud it wholeheartedly. Had the show continued with its original form of verbal slapstick, it would probably have gone off the air long before it did. As the actors and audience matured over the years, so did the show -- and that was its strength. I love this season, and look forward to the rest."
One of the BEST seasons of M*A*S*H
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom | 04/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The SIXTH SEASON of MASH is, in my opinion, one of the best, if not the best season of all!It contains one of the best episodes, "Fallen Idol", where Hawkeye and Radar's friendship is transformed.I believe that the arrival of David Ogden Stiers as Major Charles Emerson Winchester, brought a new life and energy to the show. Not to diminish the efforts and contribution of the Larry Linville. But I believe he took the Frank Burns as far as it could go.I am a fan of all eleven seasons of the show - a show which I believe was the classiest and most consistently high-quality of any television dramatic/comedy series. The show and its characters grew over time. Each season, impressive in its own right.I anxiously await season six - as well as the rest!"
David Ogden Stiers' First Season as Major Winchester
M. Hart | USA | 11/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The success of the 1970 film "MASH" (directed by Robert Altman) inspired the production of one of the most successful and longest running TV series of all time: "M*A*S*H". While most of the main characters from the original film were portrayed in the TV series, only one of the film's actors reprised his role for the TV series: Gary Burghoff. Like the film, the show was about the men and women working in a fictitious U.S. Army "Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" (or MASH unit) known as the 4077th during the Korean War in the early 1950's.
Having been on the air for so many years, it was not surprising that some of the original characters/cast members were no longer part of the show. This included Lt. Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson, 1929-1996) and Capt. "Trapper John" McIntyre (Wayne Rogers) following the show's third season, and Major Frank Burns as played by Larry Linville (1939-2000) at the end of the show's fifth season. Hence, coming into its sixth season, the original characters/cast members still part of "M*A*S*H" included Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit), Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce (Alan Alda), Father Francis Mulcahy (William Christopher), Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly (Gary Burghoff) and Cpl. Maxwell Klinger (Jamie Farr). Col. Sherman T. Potter (Harry Morgan) had replaced Lt. Col. Henry Blake and Capt. B.J. Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) replaced Trapper at the beginning of the show's fourth season and to begin the show's sixth season, yet another new face would emerge as a principle character: Major Charles Emerson Winchester, III (David Ogden Stiers).
Whereas Major Burns was a completely hypocritical and a poor surgeon, Maj. Winchester was a much better surgeon, had a wealthy family, but was not married and developed no adulterous affair with Maj. Houlihan. Thus, the departure of Maj. Burns changed the flavor of the show considerably as Hawkeye & B.J. could no longer tease him, but they did enjoy playing a number of practical jokes of Maj. Winchester. What I give David Ogden Stiers much credit for is the ability to come into a very popular TV show that had already been on the air for five years and blend in beautifully with the other cast members and make his portrayal of Maj. Winchester flow smoothly, comically and emotionally.
Though the cast had changed, as in the original 1970 film and the first five seasons of the TV series, "M*A*S*H" continued to demonstrate a total lack of respect for the U.S. military by portraying many of its officers as being inept and incompetent. However, with the departure of Maj. Burns, Maj. Houlihan, who got married at the end of the fifth season, was more focused on her husband stationed in Tokyo. B.J. continued to be Hawkeye's best friend and as they had disliked the departed Maj. Burns, Maj. Winchester and his pompous attitude gave them many reasons to dislike him. Col. Potter was not particularly fond of Maj. Winchester either, but appreciated his medical skills (far more than Frank's). The special bond that had developed between Col. Potter and the 4077th's lowly company clerk, Radar, continued and, as always, it was essentially Radar's responsibility to help keep things running smoothly. Father Mulcahy was always polite and helpful while Cpl. Klinger continued to wear women's clothes in an attempt to get a "Section 8", which would give him a discharge from the Army.
The sixth season of "M*A*S*H" that aired between 1977 and 1978 featured the following 24 episodes:
1. "Fade Out, Fade In". After Maj. Houlihan's honeymoon, Col. Potter sends Frank on some much needed R&R; but the distraught Frank gets himself into trouble and when his return to the 4077th is delayed, Col. Potter receives word that not only has Frank received orders to return to the states, he's been promoted to Lt. Col! In the meantime, Radar manages to get a temporary replacement for Frank: Maj. Winchester, but to his chagrin, his temporary assignment to the 4077th quickly becomes permanent once it's obvious that Frank is never returning.
2. "Fallen Idol". Radar's high opinion of Hawkeye is tested when Radar is accidentally wounded and has to have surgery, but Hawkeye is so upset and hung-over that Maj. Winchester has to take over for Hawkeye. This leads to some rough words from Hawkeye to Radar, but the two make up in the end.
3. "Last Laugh". A friend of B.J.'s visits, Leo Bardonaro (James Cromwell), who loves to play practical jokes just as much as B.J. & Hawkeye.
4. "War of Nerves". When everyone's nerves at the 4077th are heating up, some of the troops start to build a giant bonfire, which Col. Potter isn't sure is a good idea until Sidney Friedman (Alan Arbus) visits.
5. "The Winchester Tapes". Hawkeye & B.J. battle Maj. Winchester while he's recording messages to his family begging them to help him get out of Korea.
6. "The Light That Failed". When supply trucks run low, everyone gets hooked on a mystery novel that B.J. receives, but the book is missing the final critical page.
7. "In Love and War". Hawkeye falls in love with a Korean woman named Kyung Soon (Kieu-Chinh), but the war forces her to take her family south.
8. "Change Day". Winchester comes up with a scheme to make money when the Army switches monetary scripts, but his plan backfires.
9. "Images". Radar wants to get a tattoo while Margaret deals with a nurse who can't stand severe injuries.
10. "The M*A*S*H Olympics". With the talk of the Olympics on the radio and everyone at the 4077th getting out of shape, Col. Potter decides to hold a 4077th Olympics and Margaret's visiting husband, Lt. Colonel Donald Penobscott (Beeson Carroll), becomes her team's superstar.
11. "The Grim Reaper". Hawkeye loses his temper when a visiting colonel discusses casualty predictions as just numbers. This leads to a possible court martial for Hawkeye, but the charges get dropped.
12. "Comrades in Arms (Part 1)". While on a mission, Hawkeye & Margaret come under fire and seek refuge in an abandoned hut. They quickly wrap their arms around each other and kiss during the heat of battle.
13. "Comrades in Arms (Part 2)". Upon the return of Hawkeye & Margaret to the 4077th, the romance that seemed to have started under fire quickly ends.
14. "The Merchant of Korea". No one can figure out why Charles is so good at playing poker until Radar figures him out.
15. "The Smell of Music". To protest Charles poorly playing a French horn, Hawkeye & B.J. stop bathing. Things come to a head while Col. Potter tries to stop a wounded soldier from committing suicide.
16. "Patient 4077". When the Army Corp. of Engineers won't help Hawkeye & B.J. design a new surgical clamp, they turn to a Korean metal worker.
17. "Tea and Empathy". With the 4077th running low on penicillin, Father Mulcahy goes with Klinger to retrieve a hidden stash.
18. "Your Hit Parade". With a record number of wounded coming through the 4077th, Col. Potter asks Radar to act as a disk jockey to keep up spirits.
19. "What's Up, Doc?". When Margaret thinks she's pregnant, she gets Radar to let Hawkeye use his pet rabbit to test with on condition that Hawkeye not kill the pet rabbit. In the meantime, an upset patient holds Charles and B.J. at gunpoint.
20. "Mail Call Three". Five heavy sacks of mail arrive after a delay of three weeks. Some is good news, some bad.
21. "Temporary Duty". A temporary transfer of personnel swap between the 4077th & the 8063rd leaves Charles missing Hawkeye thanks to his replacement: Captain Roy Dupree (George Lindsey).
22. "Potter's Retirement". A disgruntled soldier tries to get Col. Potter replaced.
23. "Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde". Winchester becomes a superman for a while after he gets hooked on amphetamines.
24. "Major Topper". A lack of morphine encourages Col. Potter to try giving the patients placebos in spite of Col. Winchester's misgivings. In the meantime, an enlisted soldier on guard with Klinger goes berserk and Col. Potter gives him a Section 8.
Overall, I rate the sixth season of "M*A*S*H" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it. In its eleven years of production, "M*A*S*H" was one of the best TV shows of its day and remains one of the best TV shows of all time."
I LOVE M*A*S*H
cascadegorge | United States | 04/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was just 15 when M*A*S*H first aired, and fell instantly in love with the show. Even now, I can only find a few faults with the program. The one that persistently bothers me is the fact that during the first 5 seasons, Larry Linville's character was never allowed to grow, or mature. When I contemplate how WELL he handled the character of Frank Burns as a pathetic, sad, jerk; I often wonder what it would have been like if he had been allowed to make Frank 'grow up'.
The producers of the show were fortunate indeed when they found David Ogden-Stires to play the role of "Charles Emerson Winchester, III; he was a fresh and hilarious version of the necessary "jerk' character, and I am really looking forward to receiving my copy of the 6th season!"