Youtube Channel: THE LEGACY OF PERNELL ROBERTS - By NSimiao -TRAPPER JOHN MD -- Ep: PILOT -- September 23, 1979 - Season 1 - Episode 1- Trapper John, M.D. focuses on Dr. "Trapper" John Xavier McIntyre (Pernell Roberts/Bonanza) twenty-eight years after his discharge from the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) in the Korean War. In the nearly three decade interim, the character had mellowed considerably. He didn't just learn how to stop fighting the system but became a part of it, in a sense, as the Chief of Surgery at San Francisco Memorial Hospital. Trapper showed tremendous compassion toward his patients, often violating "established hospital procedures." Working with Trapper was an aspiring young professional named Dr. George Alonzo "Gonzo" Gates (Gregory Harrison). Gates had a lot in common with Trapper, as he too had served in a M.A.S.H. (albeit during the later Vietnam War). His sense of humor and love of life also reflected elements of Trapper's younger days. In the show, Gonzo resided in a motor home in the hospital parking lot.
The show also involves many supporting characters that served as hospital staff. One was Clara "Starch" Willoughby (Mary McCarty), a nurse who had served in the Korean War with Trapper (McCarty died after the first season, in real life). She was replaced by Ernestine Shoop (Madge Sinclair). Other characters included young nurse Gloria "Ripples" Brancusi (Christopher Norris) who later adopted a sickly, homeless girl, Andrea; Stanley Riverside II (Charles Siebert), a pompous, but nonetheless capable doctor (whose father was the head of the hospital board of directors) who later married a dentist named E.J. (Marcia Rodd); and Justin "Jackpot" Jackson (Brian Stokes Mitchell), a young doctor always interested in wagers. Character actress Lurene Tuttleguest starred six times in different roles.
In the 1984--1985 season, Trapper's son, J.T. (Timothy Busfield) graduated from medical school and arrived at the hospital to work on his internship. When Gloria left the next fall, she was replaced by Libby Kegler (Lorna Luft). Subsequent additions included the beautiful and mature administrator, Catherine Hackett (Janis Paige), and ER service helicopter pilot and surgeon, Dr. Andy Pagano.
Pernell Roberts as Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre, M.D.
Gregory Harrison (1979--1985) as Dr. George Alonzo 'Gonzo' Gates, M.D.
Charles Siebert as Dr. Stanley Riverside, III, M.D.
Mary McCarty (1979--1980) as Nurse Clara 'Starch' Willoughby
Madge Sinclair (1980--1986) as Nurse Ernestine Shoop
Brian Stokes Mitchell as Dr. Justin 'Jackpot' Jackson, M.D.
Christopher Norris (1979--1985) as Nurse Gloria "Ripples" Brancusi
Timothy Busfield (1984--1986) as Dr. John 'J.T.' McIntyre, Jr., M.D.
Lorna Luft (1985--1986) as Nurse Libby Kegler
Simon Scott as Arnold Slocum, Hosp. Administrator
Jessica Walter as Melanie McIntyre