Discuss: Locations You Wish Had Been Used More


Monday M*A*S*H Discussions offers fans the opportunity to offer their opinions on a wide variety of topics relating to M*A*S*H. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. My hope is these discussion posts will continue to elicit comments in the weeks and months after they’re initially published. Have a suggestion about something you think might be worth discussing? Let me know and maybe it will become my next Monday M*A*S*H Discussion topic.

Today’s topic is: Locations you wish had been used more.

What Happened to the Camp Library?

Like nearly all sitcoms, most scenes in M*A*S*H took place in a small number of regular locations at the 4077th. There’s the Swamp, of course. The O.R. and the scrub room and the pre-op and post-op wards. There’s also the C.O.’s office, the company clerk’s office, the mess tent, plus quarters for various personnel (commanding officer, head nurse, camp chaplain, VIPs). Plus the showers, latrines, and supply tent. During Season 2, the producers and writers added a new location: the Officers’ Club. There was also Rosie’s Bar, located near the 4077th.

There were also several other rarely used locations, including the library, the x-ray room, the kitchen, the motor pool, the trash dump/garbage depot, the laundry tent, and others.

Which of these seldom seen locations do you wish had been used more on M*A*S*H? I’ve always wondered what happened to the camp library, seen for the first and only time in “M*A*S*H — The Pilot” when Hawkeye is pursuing Nurse Dish. Why wasn’t it used in later episodes? Did the writers forget about it? Did the producers declare it off-limits?

Hit the comments with your thoughts.

10 Replies to “Discuss: Locations You Wish Had Been Used More”

  1. I don’t know about specific locations, however, I have occasionally wondered what it would have been like if the 4077th permanently bugged out to a new location in one of the later seasons: Ken Levine has said one of the reasons they tried so many different things during Season 7 was because after six years, they were growing a little tired of seeing the same sets over and over and over again (hence things like filming at the Ranch at night, and episodes like “Point of View” and “A Night at Rosie’s”). I know logistically, it would have been a nightmare on the production to move the entire camp to a different spot on the Ranch, and re-arrange the layout of the Compound on Stage 9, but it might have been interesting to actually see more use of the “Big ‘M'” in Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.

    1. Funny Ken Levine would say that in season 7, considering he had only been there since season 5. He may have been speaking on behalf of others though, or he may have been around in some other capacity prior to season 5.

      Either way, while I kind of agree with this, I think the problem would be that it would either have one of two outcomes. Either one, you’d end up with the same exact interior with just a different shaped exterior, which probably wouldn’t be worth all the effort, or two, it would make the show seem so different that they’d risk alienating viewers.

    2. Having the 4077th bug out to a new location for a half dozen episodes could’ve been an interesting experiment but like 007 says, the interiors likely wouldn’t change much.

  2. Actually, I would have liked to see off-site locations such as Seoul, Tokyo, or Manilla when people were on R&R. How hilarious would it have been to see Klinger and Goldman’s misadventures in Seoul that resulted in the end scene of The Red and White Blues?

    1. Agreed! Loved the scenes such as in “To Market, To Market” where Trapper and Hawkeye are off-site or everyone fighting for the baby in “Yessir, That’s Our Baby”. Really any time we get any off-site scenes, it’s a treat because it shakes it up from the norm.

  3. I am trying to recall, was there ever an instance when we saw the quarters of the enlisted personnel (Igor, Klinger [season 1-7], Zale, etc)? That would have been interesting.

    I think the library should definitely have been used more — the constant hunger for letters from home, newspapers, and even a mystery novel should have been played up even more. Perhaps scenes with various personnel in the library arguing over the few items available there, or re-reading some lame book or magazine simply because it was all that was available. Maybe the library could have also been another location (like the supply tent) for romantic encounters.

    1. We see Klinger’s quarters a few times. A couple times of which it doesn’t make any sense as he appears to have his own quarters, and in one occasion he seems to be bunking with only one other person.

      I suspect the library was never shown again because it didn’t really make any sense. How or why would they have so many books at a forward M*A*S*H unit in the middle of a war? There was easily 75-100 books in that shot with Lt. Dish. It would have also partly invalidated episodes like The Light that Failed, or Communication Breakdown having so many books available. With 75 books in there, even if everybody read 2 per month, it would be enough to last the entire 3 years of the war.

      1. Klinger having his own quarters is one of those M*A*S*H quirks it’s better not to think too much about.

        I suppose the library would’ve housed medical texts and documents in addition to a limited number of fiction books.

  4. I would’ve liked to have seen the location of General Pershing General Hospital some more. Like, for another season and a half or so….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.