M*A*S*H

Cease-Fire - S1-E23

Question: General Clayton says that he confirmed the news of a ceasefire with "CINCOMPAC" (according to the subtitles). What the heck is CINCOMPAC?

Chosen answer: It is actually Cencompac for Central Command of the Pacific. It is like the headquarters for all military activity in the Pacific Region (Japan, Korea, Okinawa, etc. The newer version of that is United States Pacific Command (USPACOM).

EMTurbo

Dear Dad - S1-E12

Question: A number of times it is mentioned that the outfit is unarmed, yet several times, Frank has a rifle, or a pistol, and once Klinger had a grenade, and the guards and Klinger, while on sentry duty, has a rifle. Was this standard, or is this a mistake?

Chosen answer: Even an Army field hospital would have SOME weapons for self-defense if the enemy attacked. What's meant is that it's not a combat outfit, and therefore wouldn't have enough weapons to actually attack anyone. (It's also mentioned a few times that the Officer of the Watch is supposed to carry a pistol at all times, but Hawkeye refuses to do it when he's in charge and Colonels Blake and Potter don't enforce the rule).

Captain Defenestrator

That's Show Biz - S10-E1

Question: Talking with stripper Candy Doyle, Potter remarks that he still remembers how she used to spin her tassels and that he is reminded of this every time he sees a C 42 revving up. On the net I do find references to a C40A, a C47 and others, but no reference to an aircraft of the time called a C 42. What would he have been referring to?

Chosen answer: The C-42 was a military variant of the Douglas DC-2. Very few C-42's were built, so it's questionable that Potter would specifically have seen that particular model, but, given his military background, it's not entirely unreasonable that he might use the military designation even when the aircraft in question is actually a civilian DC-2.

Tailkinker

Season 1 generally

Question: Why do the helicopters fly backwards? Is that just a filming mistake or did they do it for a reason?

judewhopper

Chosen answer: The helicopters aren't flying backwards, they are simply not moving through the camera view as fast as the camera is moving.

Greg Dwyer

Life Time - S8-E11

Question: There are several close-up shots of the wounded soldier throughout the episode and I've wondered for some time what the surgeons (i.e. Hawkeye, B.J., etc) are really working on during their parts in surgery.

Chosen answer: Throughout the show, you never actually see a wound, but some things about how they did it can be deduced from the shots: Hawkeye first simply sticks his hand under the rather thick, blood soaked pressure bandage. In the OR, they put the wounded soldier into a canvas bathtub, which of course is very handy for hiding prop tricks as well. We can see hawkeye juggling bandages and fiddling with sutures, but we can't really see where he puts them. Most probably, he put them into the bandages that he threw in, which probably the wounded soldier actor held in place for him. That guy probably also operated the squirting blood effect. Another possibility we know was used (because it's visible in one episode of Season 11) is prop-blood soaked polyurethane foam, which they either mounted onto the operating table or strapped onto an actor's body and could cut, sew and clamp it for real.

Doc

Show generally

Question: All through the series the doctors can be shipped stateside if they earn enough points. How did the points system work and how come Hawkeye never gained enough even though he was there from the beginning?

Chosen answer: Points are awarded for months in service, months overseas, medals received, combat stars awarded to their unit, and his number of children. Hawkeye, having no children, no medals, and no combat stars, would have a longer term of service than a soldier in combat. The episode 'Peace On Us' (Season 7, Episode 2)has the army upping the number of points needed to be discharged making Hawkeye angry because he needs to stay in Korea that much longer.

ChiChi

Show generally

Question: Why was Margret's last name changed from O'Houlihan in the film to Houlihan in the TV series?

Chosen answer: The sheer alliteration makes "Houlihan" a more natural match for "Hotlips" than "O'Houlihan," which the creators of the TV show recognized. The character was based on real-life MASH nurse "Hotlips" Hammerly, which also may have prompted the switch.

Show generally

Question: Who did the paintings that Colonel Potter was always working on?

Chosen answer: Its been said that Harry Morgan or Gary Burghoff actualy did the pictures, from a M*A*S*H special.

Season 1 generally

Question: Why was the song "My Blue Heaven" used so much in the first season?

Chosen answer: My guess is because Fats Domino's version was #17 on Billboard's charts for 1957. It helps identify the time period. And, I think, at the time copyright laws only protected material for 25 years after release so the song was free to use. Now, material is protected for 75 years.

Rlvlk

Show generally

Question: During the opening sequence, there are side shots of the incoming choppers that make the choppers appear to be flying backwards. When you see the choppers from the ground, they are flying forwards. Was this intentional?

Chosen answer: The first shot, that looks like the helicopter are moving backwards is a shot within a helicopter. The helicopter that is filming is moving faster than the others making it appear that the others are going in reverse.

Show generally

Question: When watching M*A*S*H over the air, why does it seem like some/most of the audio sounds like an echo, as if it was coming through a soup can?

smiley1958

Chosen answer: FOX wasn't always so sure M*A*S*H would turn out well. It was years before it achieved such success in syndication. As such, some of the earlier prints and negatives aren't in such great condition.

Greg Dwyer

That's Show Biz - S10-E1

Question: What is the title of the song Ellie Carlyle dedicates to Maj. Winchester, calling him "a swell guy - with a head to match"? Winchester's reaction implies the song is some kind of joke in its own right.

Doc

Chosen answer: The song is the accordion rendition of "Lady of Spain" by Robert Hargreaves and Stanley J. Damerell. It's Ellie's retort to Winchester's earlier quip in the mess tent, where he said "That's quite a retort from our lady of Spain"

LorgSkyegon

A War for all Seasons - S9-E6

Question: In the early part of this episode, what is the song playing on Pierce and Hunnicutt's radio, which Charles remarks that "They can neither sing nor spell!"?

Chosen answer: The song is "Rag Mop" written in 1950 by Deacon Anderson and Johnnie Lee Will. The song is also later mentioned in the season 11 episode "Hey Look Me Over," when Nurse Kellye reads Hawkeye the riot act.

Dear Mildred - S4-E7

Question: While writing to his wife, Col. Potter refers to getting a cup of Joe meaning coffee, why does he call it a cup of Joe?

Chosen answer: The term actually comes from the US Navy and made its way into modern civilian jargon today. Its origin comes from the following: Josephus Daniels (18 May 1862-15 January 1948) was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Among his reforms of the Navy were inaugurating the practice of making 100 Sailors from the Fleet eligible for entrance into the Naval Academy, the introduction of women into the service, and the abolishment of the officers' wine mess. From that time on, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships could only be coffee and over the years, a cup of coffee became known as "a cup of Joe".

Luna Negra

Show generally

Question: In which episode is it that Hawkeye sorts a lot of photographs of girls, for a soldier to send back to his girlfriend, who had cheated on him, making out that he couldn't remember which one was her?

Chosen answer: The episode is 'Identity Crisis' from Season 10.

ChiChi

Show generally

Question: Did Colonel Flagg have a first name?

Chosen answer: According to both IMDb and Answers.com, just to name a few, Col. Flagg's first name is Samuel.

OneHappyHusky

Welcome to Korea (60 mins.) - S4-E1

Question: Was there any particular reason for Trapper's sudden departure at the start of series 4?

Chosen answer: Wayne Rogers quit the show, feeling that Trapper had become more of a sidekick to Hawkeye, rather than them both being equals.

Cubs Fan

Show generally

Question: Can someone please tell me which season and the name of the episode is the one where Frank buys the two sets of pearl necklaces, (one to give to Margaret and one to give to his wife)?

Chosen answer: Season 3, "Payday" is the episode.

Myridon

Show generally

Question: Can anyone tell me the name of the episode in which Henry Blake is killed? Also, which series does this episode appear in?

Chosen answer: He dies in the last episode of Season 3, entitled "Abyssinia, Henry".

jle
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Quotes

Henry Blake: All I know is what they taught me at command school. There are certain rules about a war, and rule number one is that young men die. And rule number two is that doctors can't change rule number one.

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Mistakes

Hawkeye calls a number of people into the mess tent over the PA - the ones he allegedly suspects of being behind the thefts he is suspected of himself. Interestingly enough, Ho Jon, later revealed to be the guilty party, is not on Hawkeye's list - yet he shows up uninvited, just to be ensnared by Hawk's clever ploy. Note also that he had no way of knowing what the purpose of the meeting was, so we cannot ascribe to him the motive of wanting to find out how much Hawkeye knew.

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Trivia

Season 4. Episode 1 "Welcome To Korea". At the end of the episode the new commanding officer, Colonel Sherman Potter, played by Harry Morgan is introduced. In Season 3 Episode 1 "The General Flipped at Dawn", Harry Morgan played Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele.

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