I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
Season Eight: 1979-80
1979-80: THE EIGHTH SEASON
Year-End Rating: 25.3 (4th place)
Radar O'Reilly's decampment near the top of the eighth season sets
the stage for Klinger's emergence as a more believable, three-dimensional
central figure. The now fully balanced ensemble is poised for the series
of rich character studies that will comprise the best episodes of the
show's final seasons.
Burt Metcalfe is executive producer for the final four seasons, and
Stanford Tischler is the associate producer. John Rappaport and Jim
Mulligan sign on as producers, and Dennis Koenig is the season's story
editor. Thad Mumford and Dan Wilcox are the executive story editors.
Ronny Graham continues as program consultant, and Charles S. Dubin is
the staff director in season eight.
The staff is forced to reevaluate their opinion of a bumbling foot
soldier after he works wonders in the mess tent kitchen.
A witch-hunting Congressional investigator tries to uncover Communist
sympathies in Margaret's youthful past.
Thad Mumford and Dan Wilcox had written scripts, together and separately,
for Maude, Alice, The Electric Company, America
2-Night, as well as the miniseries Roots II. The hardworking
story editors would eventually become producers during the show's final
Hawkeye tries to prevent a South Korean officer from interrogating
a wounded woman being held at the 4077th as an enemy guerrilla.
Radar returns from furlough to discover that he's been discharged to
help out at home after a family crisis.
Gary Burghoff decided to leave the series at the end of the seventh
year, complaining that the monotony of the series had taken its toll.
Though few tears were shed when the hotheaded actor finally left, CBS
coerced him to return for this two-part farewell episode that was scheduled
to take advantage of the November ratings sweeps period.
Radar's gala farewell party is upstaged by the unexpected arrival of
incoming wounded, leaving the corporal to say his good-byes in silence
to an empty camp.
Writers Levine and Isaacs successfully avoid the mawkish in their
approach to Radar's farewell scene by opting for a more compelling treatment
that allows the little corporal only a muted last hurrah. The war arrives--an
uninvited guest at his good-bye party--and suddenly everyone is back
to the business of battle, with not a single tear shed. The character's
final moments at the 4077th are moving, yet refreshingly devoid of gushing
sentiment. If only they hadn't dragged out that teddy bear for the final
coda . . .
B.J. feels the pangs of homesickness when he hears how his toddler
daughter mistook Radar for her soldier daddy; and Klinger finds it rough
going when he takes over as company clerk.
The camp is in the midst of a drought, but Father Mulcahy finds himself
in plenty of hot water after he rebuffs the affections of a young nurse.
Hawkeye debates whether to send a dead soldier's black-market profits
home to the boy's parents; and Klinger's offer of financial support
to a young Korean girl is misinterpreted by her mother.
Charles returns from a lost weekend in Tokyo, stinging from a hangover--and
the possibility that he may have gotten married.
After Klinger's Thanksgiving feast yields a harvest of food poisoning,
Hawkeye and B.J. are sidetracked on their way to retrieve an antibiotic
The surgeons race the clock when a soldier's medical complications
force them to complete his delicate heart operation within twenty minutes.
An onscreen clock creates arresting suspense as it ticks off in real
time as the half-hour progresses.
The episode's script was co-written by Alda and Walter Dishell, the
show's medical adviser. The story is 100 percent medically plausible--one
of the more remarkable examples of the painstaking research that went
into almost every script. Dishell actually kept a 1953 medical textbook
in his office to ensure that the surgeons' procedures were never anachronistic,
and a registered Army nurse was always on the set to oversee the accuracy
of triage and O. R. sequences.
With all his new responsibilities, Klinger barely has time to write
a letter home to his family in Toledo.
Members of the staff tend bar after Rosie gets hurt during one of their
brawls; and Father Mulcahy skeptically awaits news of his long-awaited
B.J. and Winchester form a tempestuous partnership to write an article
for a medical journal; and Hot Lips is reunited with a macho front-line
The 4077th plays adoption agency when the staff tries to find a home
for an unwanted Amer-Asian baby abandoned on their doorstep.
Hawkeye's huge bar bill convinces him to go on the wagon; and Charles
frets when his sister plans to marry beneath her station.
As he struggles to release his grip on demon rum, Hawkeye examines
his last boisterous, irredeemable, and purely selfish habit--and completes
the final stages of his character's transformation. The lusty, hard-drinking,
quick-witted, and fallibly human doctor who'd been drafted eight seasons
earlier has finally emerged as the Jiminy Cricket of the Korean War:
the walking, talking embodiment of all human conscience in wartime.
Hawkeye and B.J. are delighted with a temporary surgeon who fills in
for the ailing Winchester, until the new medic begins to crack under
Colonel Potter toasts his old Army buddies after he discover that he's
the last survivor of his World War I battalion.
Potter challenges B.J. and Hawkeye to boost camp morale; and Winchester
tries to lift the spirits of a pianist who has a paralyzed hand.
Hawkeye volunteers for an emergency mission on the front lines, only
to fid himself paired up with an abrasive medical consultant with whom
he'd locked horns earlier.
Robert Alda returns to reprise his role as the medical consultant
Dr. Borelli, who previously appeared in the third year. Alan's brother,
Anthony, completes the family portrait in a small role as the medic
who referees the bickering physicians.
Dr. Freedman treats a wounded Asian-American war hero who would rather
commit suicide than return home.
The staff's worst fears and most desperate frustrations are explored
as they daydream during short catnaps away from the rigors of surgery.
B.J.'s dream features the first appearance of his wife, Peg, played
by Catherine Bergstrom.
B.J. wrestles with his conscience when he nearly forsakes his marriage
for an infatuation with an attractive war correspondent.
Actress Susan Saint James plays the reporter who tempts B.J. She'd
been Rock Hudson's TV wife for six seasons of NBC's McMillan and
Wife when she eventually joined the sitcom camp as one half of Kate
and Allie on CBS in 1984.
Hawkeye bills the Army $38,000 for his services to protest the profits
that civilian doctors are reaping from their own contributions to the
Potter warns the camp to be on their best behavior when a hard-boiled
colonel schedules his inspection during the 4077th's April Fool's Day