St. Elsewhere

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Unknown Oct 26, 1982 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • 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.

  • Quotes

    • 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.

  • Notes

    • 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.

  • Allusions

    • 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.