Tuesday, July 24, 2007


So I was clicking around on the internet during lunch today, and, as I am sometimes wont to do, I was reading about M*A*S*H. Specifically, I was reading about "AfterMASH", the lame, ill-advised spin-off that ran for just over a year from September 1983 - December 1984 and featured Col. Potter, Corporal Klinger and Father Mulcahy (ie; the characters no one gave a shit about) working together in a veteran's hospital after the Korean War.

Anyway, something caught my eye. In discussing a two-part episode that featured special guest star Gary Burghoff reprising his role as Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly (appparently "Match Game" was on hiatus that week), the article mentioned that it wasn't Burghoff's last appearance as Radar, and that the same character "was also the star of a pilot called W*A*L*T*E*R, in which Radar moved from Iowa to St. Louis and became a cop."

What the?! This was unknown to me. I grew dizzy...how had this escaped my notice until now? How, in all my hours of acquiring worthless trivia, had this gone undetected?

But it's true. "W*A*L*T*E*R" was indeed a pilot for a spin-off of M*A*S*H made in 1984 that mercifully, was never picked up. It aired only once, in July of 1984 (prime viewing time, hey?) and was pre-empted on the West Coast by the Democratic National Convention.

The summary of the pilot, which paints a powerful and compelling picture with but a few strokes, is as follows:

"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 (his mother having died). Taking root in St. Louis, Missouri, he had become perhaps the world's gentlest police officer."

You know what happened next: dying to see the adventures of "the world's gentlest police officer", I went racing to youtube, hoping some social miscreant had posted the pilot. But alas, it was not to be. In fact, none of my usual sources could dig up a clip. All I found was a blurry screenshot, as seen above.

More strangeness: the credits for this nightmare state that it was created by Bill Bixby! Yes, "The Incredible Hulk"-"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" Bill Bixby. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say.

Rest assured that I will marshall all my forces in pursuit of a clip from this show.

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