MeTV Interviews: War’s Cost to the Characters

Back in May 2015, MeTV aired “MeTV Remembers the M*A*S*H Finale,” a three-hour special presentation of the series finale featuring new interviews with members of the M*A*S*H cast and creative team. MeTV uploaded those interviews to YouTube in December 2015. Over the next 10 days, I’ll be posting each of the interview segments for everyone to watch and discuss. Read more about the MeTV interviews here.

Today we’re watching and discussing “War’s Cost to the Characters,” which includes comments from Elias Davis, Mike Farrell, Alan Alda, William Christopher, and Jamie Farr:


For the record, MeTV originally referred to this segment as “The Cost of War” but when it was uploaded to YouTube the title had changed to “War’s Cost to the Characters.”

Scriptwriter Elias Davis talks about how “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” featured storylines for each character woven together into one episode. “What we tried to do was find dramatic or interesting and comedic ways that each of the characters would have an interesting story within that larger overall story.”

“I thought it was brilliant,” Mike Farrell says of the final episode, “because it showed in each and every case what war cost the characters.”

Alan Alda wanted to show viewers that even though the doctors and nurses of the 4077th were going home, they were all affected by the war. “They were all going home with some kind of a wound.” He gives Father Mulcahy as an example and William Christopher offers some thoughts on his character suffering hearing loss and becoming angry with God.

Also, Mike Farrell and Elias Davis discuss how the war cost Charles his love of music; Jamie Farr talks about Klinger falling in love and deciding to stay in Korea; and Mike Farrell points out that the war also cost Hawkeye his sanity.

Check back tomorrow at 12PM ET for the next MeTV interview.

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