Season 6 Episode 5

The Winchester Tapes

Aired Unknown Oct 18, 1977 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Winchester Tapes

Hawkeye tries unsuccessfully to get to Seoul, to see Nurse Gilmore for the weekend. Meanwhile, Winchester has taped a letter home, asking for his influential parents to help get him back to the States. To get even, Hawkeye and B.J. switch Winchester's clothes, causing Winchester to alter his eating patterns.


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    Alan Alda

    Alan Alda

    Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

    Mike Farrell

    Mike Farrell

    Captain BJ Hunnicut

    Harry Morgan

    Harry Morgan

    Colonel Sherman T. Potter

    Loretta Swit

    Loretta Swit

    Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Houlihan

    David Ogden Stiers

    David Ogden Stiers

    Major Charles Emerson Winchester III

    Gary Burghoff

    Gary Burghoff

    Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (2)

      • In one of the taped sessions to his parents, Charles calls B.J. a 'cretin,' but in another, he says he is a 'relatively inoffensive chap.' Which is it, Major?

      • Charles mentions his "nephew Felix", who got discharged. But his only (living) sibling is his sister Honoria, his younger, unmarried sister. Charles is in his mid 30s, so there is no way Honoria, who is younger than Charles, could have had a son who grew up, got drafted and then discharged. Could he have had an older sibling who predeceased Charles who had a son named Felix?

    • QUOTES (15)

      • (B.J. and Hawkeye are switching Charles' fatigues again)
        Hawkeye: Now, whose are these?
        B.J.: Levine's.
        : 'Beanpole' Levine's?
        B.J.: The same.
        Hawkeye: I'm glad you're not my enemy.
        B.J.: Never assume.

      • Winchester: Interesting thing about military units...quite often, one discovers that the actual day-to-day routine is dependent on one small enlisted man. Here at 4077, it's a myopic farm boy, Corporal Radar O'Reilly.

      • Winchester: Dad, you have got to get me out of here. Talk to Senator Griswold. After all, you paid good money for him.

      • Winchester: One of my tent mates is a relatively inoffensive chap named B.J. Hunnicutt. Excellent surgeon, in spite of the fact that he was born, raised, and studied in...(sneeringly) California. Notwithstanding, he's certainly no adult delinquent like Pierce.

      • Winchester: (describing Father Mulcahy) Our spiritual guide through this Oriental purgatory is a cock-eyed optimist who sounds like Dennis Day.

      • Winchester: I am doing my best...to...(swats a fly) adjust to these bizarre people. There is a transvestite corporal with dreadful taste in clothes and a head nurse who is part seductress and part Atilla the Hun.

      • Winchester: I have endeared myself to the C.O., the man responsible for my presence in this...cesspool. He's a tough, bandy-legged little mustang, but guess what? He paints. He's somewhat of a primitive. He's no Churchill, surely, but I have agreed to pose for him.

      • Winchester: (continuing with his tape) Sorry, a brief interruption. Pierce and Hunnicutt were regaling each other with their wit, dirty laundry, and nose hair. Constant exposure to these two cretins annoys me and aggravates my...my misery more than I can tell you.

      • Winchester: Dear Mother and Dad. I have only been here a short while, but it seems forever. MASH 4077 is truly a nightmare. It is either too cold or it is unbearably hot. I needn't tell you again, I won't be happy until I am out of here. I have even contemplated shooting myself in the foot. But, you know how much I enjoy the annual Debs' Cotillion.

      • Winchester: (about Hawkeye) Why this constant preoccupation with sex?
        B.J.: Lack of occupation with sex.

      • (after switching Charles' uniform)
        Hawkeye: So, uh, what's next with him?
        BJ: Starting tomorrow, he gets taller.

      • Hawkeye: You've got to have a pair of pajamas, look around. You had a pair when you got here.
        BJ: I had a lot of things when I got here. Faith, hope, sanity, a liver . . .

      • Hawkeye: This woman... she--roses have fistfights to see who could smell like her! Her wit is so sharp you could shave with it! When they heard the sound of her laughter, six nightingales got out of the business!

      • Winchester: Father, you must know someone influential. I know, what about that former brigadier general who's now a doorman at the Plaza? I understand he's very close to Arthur Godfrey. Well, keep trying. Please.

      • Winchester: (finishing his tape) Finally, a peaceful moment to conclude this tape. The would-be Lothario Pierce is sound asleep, and the 38-hour day is done. Now, Mother and Father, I will put this as eloquently, and succinctly, as possible.... (pours tea pitcher but only a rubber chicken is inside it) Get me the hell out of here!!

    • NOTES (4)

      • Originally they didn't have an ending for the storyline with Charles's clothes being altered. They ran through the scene, and one producer came up with the line, "Tomorrow he gets taller".

      • In this episode Margaret begins to openly flirt with Charles. Perhaps the producers were trying to get Margaret involved in an affair with Charles; however, that idea was soon discarded.

      • Thomas Carter would go on to play James Hayward in the acclaimed series The White Shadow. However, it was through this show that would lead him to his second and most successful career as a director as he would go on to direct several episodes of that show as well as Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere, which were produced by his mentor Bruce Paltrow.

      • Colonel Potter paints the portrait of Winchester (in which Charles' mouth is wide open, as if yelling) that will be seen hanging in his office during the remainder of the series.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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