Change of Command

Season 4, Ep 2, Aired 9/19/75
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  • Episode Description
  • Frank settles in as commanding officer, only to have a new one appointed over his head, one that, to his chagrin, fits in very well.

  • Cast & Crew
  • James Fritzell

  • Everett Greenbaum

  • Gene Reynolds

  • Alan Alda

    Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

  • Gary Burghoff

    Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly (Season 1-8)

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • remarks

    By noman, Aug 23, 2012

  • Potter in, Burns out

    By XMLarry, Dec 20, 2009

  • this was a great episode

    By kevinb4444, Jun 26, 2007

  • Good episode.......showed the reality of the sitution.

    By AuntRonda, Jun 23, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (8)

    • Col. Potter: Major Houlihan.
      Margaret: Yes, sir!
      Col. Potter: 10 years, spotless record.
      Margaret: Thank you, sir!
      Col. Potter: Major Burns.
      Margaret: Just friends, sir!

    • (Frank cries because he didn't get command of the camp) Frank: I already wrote mommy! Margaret: Oh, your mother will understand. Frank: I mean my wife. Margaret: Buzz off! (leaves) Frank: You'll all be sorry when I'm gone! You'll see! (holds his breath)

    • Hawkeye: Frank's run away from home? Margaret: (whispering) Shh. No. Not a word. Hawkeye: Oh, okay. BJ: My lips are sealed. Hawkeye: I won't say anything, really. Honest. Not a word. (picks up the PA microphone) Attention all personnel... Margaret: Oh, Pierce! Hawkeye: You won't believe this camp! (Margaret grabs the microphone) Hello, camp? Are you there, camp?

    • Radar: (giving mail to Frank) Oh. Um, nothing from Mrs. Burns, sir. Frank: I don't care what I didn't get. Radar: No, sir! Frank: What did I get? (after getting several other letters) Oh, what's this? It looks offical. Radar: Um...Oh. You're being replaced, sir.

    • (Colonel Potter's first meeting with Hawkeye and BJ) Colonel Potter: You two were reprimanded by Major Burns for setting fire to the latrine. Hawkeye: That was an accident. BJ: We were having a weenie roast. Colonel Potter: In the latrine? BJ: We're not allowed to cook in our tents, sir. Colonel Potter: Also, Pierce, it says you had a live chicken flown here by helicopter claiming it was a patient. Hawkeye: That was a rare bird, Colonel. It could tap dance. Colonel Potter: And a year ago, the Tokyo Provost Marshal claims you stole a steam shovel. Hawkeye: I couldn't get a cab. Colonel Potter: I gather you drink. Hawkeye: Only to excess. Colonel Potter: (to both Hawkeye and BJ) Colorful officers, I must say. Well, that is one thing I do not need! I would greatly appreciate it if for the next eighteen months you keep your noses clean. Dismissed!

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    Notes (5)

    • Another edit made to the show in syndication was the scene showing Frank sneaking back into camp; in the syndicated version, we don't see hide nor hair of him after hearing the news of Potter's arrival, until the end of the episode.

    • There were a few edits during the drinking scene with Hawkeye, BJ and Potter; one of which was right before they cut to the exterior. Just after Hawkeye says "seriously" (not "no, no really") about Klinger, the trio sing another verse of the song "There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding" before the pan out and the singing continues.

    • The reason for the on-going joke about Fr. Mulcahy doing methodist services comes from the fact that William Christopher is really methodist.

    • Ironically, Harry Morgan would go on to play the man who he toasted, Harry Truman. He played him in the mini-series, Backstairs at the White House.

    • With Frank now sleeping in the CO's tent, Hawkeye and BJ try to start a bar in the swamp, which they name after Henry. With Rosie's and the Officer's Club nearby, was another watering hole really necessary? It was because Hawkeye and BJ had a still.

    Trivia (4)

    • At the end of the previous episode, "Welcome to Korea", the P.A. announcement reports Col. Sherman Potter will arrive 19 Sept (1952). This episode, which introduces Potter, originally aired 19 Sept (1975).

    • Since there are 2 M*A*S*H timelines, one where Potter comes in late summer 1952 and one where he comes in late 1950, it's possible that in the 1950 universe, Hawkeye does report Frank for being AWOL. This explains how we so quickly get Winchester there for the start of 1951. This means seasons 4 & 5 must be squeezed into the time from Sept. 1952 to about Apr. 1953 to give time for Charles to be there for a few months of episodes and then for Radar to leave so Klinger can be in his job for a month or so before the July peace. But, it can be done by juggling episodes.

    • This shows that 2 different M*A*S*H timelines probably exist. One w/ Henry transfering early, then Frank, and most of the season 6-11 episodes taking place in 1951-3. The other timeline w/ seasons 1-3 taking place 1950-middle 1952, and Frank transfered maybe a couple months later, and some of the rest of 1952-3. This is understandable as they tried to cram 11 years of episodes into 3 years.

    • As Col Potter enters the camp for the first time, the PA announces the date as 19 September, 1952, but in Episode 200, Potter is seen at the end of 1950 as the old year?

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