St. Elsewhere

NBC (ended 1988)
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261 votes
  • show Description
  • St. Eligius Hospital in South Boston was not exactly the world's best health care center. Despite its flaws, it featured some of the most caring doctors and nurses you could ever meet. Led by Dr. Donald Westphall (and later by Dr. Benjamin Gideon), St. Eligius became a sanctuary for the underdog and the downtrodden. "St. Elsewhere" ran on NBC for six seasons. Originally a ratings flop, NBC picked it up for a second season for the sole purpose of grabbing some additional Emmy nominations. It eventually became a minor hit for The Peacock, until burnout by the writers resulted in its 1988 cancellation. The series was nominated for 63 Emmy Awards and won 13.moreless

  • Latest News
  • Episode Guide
  • S 6 : Ep 22

    The Last One

    Aired 5/25/88

  • S 6 : Ep 21

    The Abby Singer Show

    Aired 5/18/88

  • S 6 : Ep 20

    Split Decision

    Aired 5/11/88

  • S 6 : Ep 19

    Requiem For a Heavyweight

    Aired 5/4/88

  • S 6 : Ep 18

    The Naked Civil Surgeon

    Aired 4/27/88

  • Cast & Crew
  • William Daniels

    Dr. Mark Craig

  • Ed Flanders

    Dr. Donald Westphall

  • Howie Mandel

    Dr. Wayne Fiscus

  • Christina Pickles

    Nurse Helen Rosenthal

  • Denzel Washington

    Dr. Phillip Chandler

  • Photos (1)
  • Top Contributor
  • maritimer00

    User Score: 486


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (82)

    • Sandy: (to Dr. Morrison) You look as bad as I feel.

    • Ehrlich: Dr. Craig. Napoleon had nothing on that guy. Every time I just think of him, I get my palms sweaty.

    • Ehrlich: My Aunt Charisse is in from Forestville, California. Morrison: Wine country? Ehrlich: What can I say, she's into grapes. She wants to take me out for an evening on the town. Anything I want to do. All I want to do is sleep. How do you ask your aunt to sleep with you?

    • Craig: (to Westphall) Do you know what people call this place? Not St. Eligius, St. Elsewhere! A dumping ground, a place you wouldn't want to send your mother-in-law!

    • Fiscus: Dr. Samuels has VD. Word is he's infected half the staff, Wendy. Armstrong: Don't look at me. I never went out with him. Fiscus: That's what they all say.

    • Ehrlich: Anything else I can do for you out in the free world? Morrison: Drop in on my wife. Tell her I'm alive and being held captive at St. Eligius.

    • Craig: I cut when I'm ready! Not tonight, not tomorrow, today!!

    • Ehrlich: (as his beeper goes off) The hours, oh, the hours. I used to fantasize about sex. Now, all I dream about is sleep. Losing my rabbit impulses...

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    Notes (209)

    • Also making a small appearance in this episode is surgical intern Dr. Jacqueline Wade (Sagan Lewis). As with Papandrao, Wade becomes an increasingly prominent character throughout the series and becomes a regular during the last season.

    • Although not credited anywhere in the episode, Jennifer Savidge makes her debut as Nurse Lucy Papandrao assisting Dr. Samuels in an operation. Although mostly a background character in the first season, Lucy's presence will grow until she becomes a permanent cast member and the wife of Victor Ehrlich. This makes her one of the few characters to appear in the series from the first episode to the last.

    • Save for the series finale, the series' end credits end with the MTM cat wearing a surgical cap and gown.

    • Director Mark Tinker and guest actress Doris Roberts provide audio commentary for this episode when it was released on DVD.

    • William Daniels does not appear in this episode.

    • James Coco and Doris Roberts each won Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

    • In the scene towards the end of the episode where Dr. Samuels speaks with a woman in a bar, "More Than a Feeling" by Boston plays in the background. However, the song was replaced on the DVD version.

    • This episode marks the first appearance of Ellen Craig, wife of Dr. Mark Craig played by Bonnie Bartlett (who is incidentally the real life wife of William Daniels).

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    Trivia (24)

    • New digital clocks are being installed at St. Eligius during this episode. The digital clock face will appear throughout the series giving the time for the start of every act. The new clocks were a gift from a grateful patient of Dr. Craig's.

    • Music in the episode Orderly with headphones: De Do Do Do De Da Da Da by The Police (1980) In Samuels' Operating Room: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (1975)

    • Dr. Daniel Auschlander is referred to in his introductory scene as being near death. The writers originally planned to kill Auschlander off but were impressed by Norman Lloyd's work and the character remained for the rest of the show's lifespan.

    • This episode marks the first appearance for Deborah White, who plays Nina Morrison, Dr. Morrison's wife.

    • At one point, a hospital worker is remarking about a bullet hole he is patching up. Given the location, this is probably referencing the event seen in Cora and Arnie.

    • This episode marks the first appearance of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Westphall, Donald Westphall's patiently self sacrificing eldest child. Played by Dana Short, Lizzie will eventually emerge as autistic Tommy Westphall's primary caregiver and the person most responsible for keeping the potentially chaotic Westphall household on an even keel.

    • In keeping with his bird fixation, Ralph mentions to a patient that his favorite baseball teams are the Cardinals (St. Louis), Orioles (Baltimore) and Blue Jays (Toronto).

    • Ralph mentions in a conversation with Dr. Beale that he attended MIT as a freshman at the age of fourteen.

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    Allusions (52)

    • Star Trek Chandler: Patient has vanished. Disappeared. Beamed right out of the hospital. In reference to a patient who seems to have vanished from the face of the Earth, Chandler references Star Trek and its transporter which "beams" objects out of any location and transfers them to another without regard to doors, windows or architecture.

    • The Gong Show Fiscus mentions to Cathy that, as an ambidextrous pathologist, she would have been a great contestant on The Gong Show. The Gong Show was a talent competition/comedy show that ran from 1976 to 1980. Hosted by Chuck Barris, it featured a wide range of zany and goofy contestants hoping to impress a panel of judges.

    • Nurse Daniels: So, Fiscus. How's the Affair to Remember? Teasing Fiscus about his infatuation with Cathy Martin, Daniels references An Affair to Remember (1957), considered one of the romantic movies of all time. Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, the movie tells the story of two strangers who fall in love on a cruise and then agree to reunite at the Empire State Building six months later. The movie is also serves as a romantic touchstone in the 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle.

    • Twilight Zone Fiscus: I saw a Twilight Zone once where a little girl rolls under her bed, through a wall into another dimension of space and time. The Twilight Zone (1959-1965) is one of the world's most celebrated television shows. Created and hosted by Rod Serling, the program was an anthology series featuring self contained stories of sci fi, fantasy and horror. The particular episode Fiscus recalls is Little Girl Lost (3/16/62)written by Richard Matheson. The episode also served as the inspiration for the 1982 motion picture Poltergeist.

    • Bewitched Beale: Mrs. Stephens. I don't think your daughter-in-law is a witch. Doing a phone consultation, psychiatrist Hugh Beale has a conversation with a woman who sounds suspiciously like the mother of Darren Stephens; husband of Samantha Stephens the suburban witch and central character of the TV series Bewitched (1964-1972). Although Samantha tried to refrain from using her magical powers (or at least hiding them), a number of people including her mother-in-law had suspicions about her supernatural abilities and origins.

    • The Old Man and the Sea At one point, Auschlander, in describing his vacation to Westphall, describes his adventures in fishing. The Old Man and the Sea (1952) was a novel written by Ernest Hemingway about an elderly man who struggles for days to catch a giant marlin. He feverishly works to fend off predators and laboriously rows his way back home, only to find his prize devoured by sharks before he reaches the shore. Hemingway based the main character on a real life elderly man who, like Auschlander, was dealing with cancer.

    • Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare Relating an anecdote about two doctors, Fiscus perserves their anonymity by replacing their real names with those of two contemporary fictional television doctors. Ben Casey (1961-1966) related the dramatic and controversial exploits of the eponymous young brain surgeon played by Vince Edwards. Dr. Kildare (1961-1966) featured the education and experiences of young internist James Kildare played by Richard Chamberlain.

    • Early on in the episode, Fiscus treats a faux astronaut named "Mr. Masius," his ailment being that he has his head stuck inside a water jug. This was an in-joke that poked fun at Masius' participation in the '60s counterculture (the spaceman outfit) and that he was "drowning in frustration" over the show's low ratings (the water jug).

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  • Fan Reviews (18)
  • The Hill Street Blues of medical dramas.

    By CalumBenson, Jan 08, 2010

  • Cutting edge, ahead of its time, paved way for other shows!

    By JPPT1974, Dec 31, 2007

  • A really good show from the 80's

    By CAPNDEL, Oct 03, 2007

  • I was pleasantly surprised!

    By osdawaya16, Jul 15, 2007

  • Loved this show, because it seemed so real! Definitely E.R.'s grandfather show!

    By cuddles3, Jul 08, 2007