It’s that time again. Time to look back at everything that happened relating to our favorite show in 2018. This is my 16th annual Year in Review post; unfortunately, those published prior to 2007 are missing. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the anniversaries, the deaths, and all the M*A*S*H news from 2018.
Goodbye to Charles Emerson Winchester, III
Sadly, we lost another member of the M*A*S*H cast last year. David Ogden Stiers died on March 3rd at the age of 75. Scriptwriter Ken Levine, Alan Alda, and actor Jeff Maxwell paid tribute to their friend and co-star. Also, both MeTV and WGN America aired special episodes of M*A*S*H in honor of Stiers.
The past few years have been rough for the M*A*S*H family and fan community. Wayne Rogers died on December 31st, 2015. William Christopher died exactly a year later on December 31st, 2016. The loss of David Ogden Stiers means there are just five members of the cast still with us: Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Gary Burghoff, Jamie Farr, and Mike Farrell.
Other deaths in 2018: actor Mickey Jones (February 7th), actor Soon-Tek Oh (April 4th), actor Tim O’Connor (April 5th), 20th Century Fox publicist Chuck Panama (May 13th), scriptwriter Thad Mumford (September 6th), and actress Pat Gelbart (December 11th), who was Larry Gelbart’s widow.
The pivotal Season 1 episode “Sometimes You Hear the Bullet” celebrated its 45h anniversary in January. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” celebrated its milestone 35th anniversary in February. In September, M*A*S*H marked its 46th anniversary.
M*A*S*H in HD (and Widescreen)
M*A*S*H began streaming on Hulu on June 29th. The newly remastered episodes are in high definition and widescreen. The same episodes became available for purchase on iTunes in November. There’s been no word on whether these new high definition and widescreen episodes will be released on Blu-ray or air on television.
The Hollywood Reporter published a lengthy oral history of M*A*S*H in February to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the series finale. A follow-up was published a week later, with additional stories from the cast and crew.
In April, Kritzerland Records released a partial M*A*S*H soundtrack on CD, part of a compilation containing music composed and conducted by Johnny Mandel.
Alan Alda revealed he has Parkinson’s Disease on July 31st.
The outdoor M*A*S*H filming location burned down in November when the devastating Woolsey Fire tore through the Malibu Creek State Park.
20th Century Fox re-released M*A*S*H on DVD in October with a new 34-disc complete collection set.
In November, Alan Alda announced plans to reunite the surviving M*A*S*H cast members on his “Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda” podcast. No date has been set. Later that month, a prop painting from the Season 10 episode “Picture This” sold for over $16,000 at auction.
Happy New Year
I’ve been concluding my Year in Review posts with a quote from Season 9’s “A War For All Seasons” for years:
Colonel Potter: “Here’s to the new year. May she be a damn sight better than the old one, and may we may we all be home before she’s over.”
I’ve tried to find a happier reference to New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day on M*A*S*H but there simply weren’t very many. There was this exchange from “Hot Lips and Empty Arms” during Season 2:
Margaret: “Did either of you ever kiss Frank?”
Trapper: “Not me. How about you?”
Hawkeye: “I was hoping maybe this New Year’s Eve.
Margaret: “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but Frank Burns is a lipless wonder.”
Also, there were jokes about New Year’s Eve or Day in “Yankee Doodle Doctor” (Season 1), “The Army-Navy Game” (Season 1), “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” (Season 5), “Your Hit Parade” (Season 6), and “Communications Breakdown” (Season 10).
Happy New Year, everyone. I’m in the early stages of redesigning the layout for MASH4077TV.com but can’t make any promises about when it will be completed. If I can find the time, I’ll be updating the Music of M*A*S*H section as well.