Four M*A*S*H Characters That Should Have Had Spin-offs
I've been spending a chunk of my free time re-watching episodes of the television series M*A*S*H in order. As I have done this and have been reminded of the various characters on the show (both starring and supporting), I've noticed several that had the potential to keep the series going in spin-off form.
Yes, I am aware the show already had spin-off attempts, including AfterMASH and W*A*L*T*E*R (both failures). However, if used correctly, some of the characters mentioned below might have been successful.
Nurse Meg Cratty - Even though she only appeared in two episodes and was played by two different actresses (Hope Summers and Ann Doran), the civilian nurse, who cared for pregnant Korean women and ran an orphanage, could have been a great subject for a spin-off series.
The show, in addition to giving us a little more backstory about how she ended up in Korea doing what she did, could have focused on some of the challenges she faced - trying to find medical supplies and other resources (not necessarily by legal means), avoiding artillery barrages from both sides and even the personal dangers she faced being an American (and woman) in a war-torn foreign country.
Major Sidney Freedman - As a recurring character, Freedman (Allan Arbus), added a little something extra by bringing focus to the psychological side of war instead of just the physical damage it could cause. A show that focused solely on that could have been entertaining.
The series could have focused on the psychiatrist and some of the methods he used to treat his patients, including putting his life in danger by going up on the front lines with them. Much like M*A*S*H, the overall scenario could have given the show opportunities to be funny or serious depending on the situation.
Lorraine Blake - Though she never actually appeared on the series, except in home movie form (played by actress Kathleen Hughes), we learned enough about Col. Henry Blake's (McLean Stevenson) widow during the first three seasons of M*A*S*H to form a good foundation for a spin-off.
The show could have started with Lorraine planning Henry's welcome home party when she receives the news of his death. It would then focus on the newly-widowed mother of three, who can't even keep a checkbook balanced, as she tries to pick up the pieces and raise her family, including an infant that never had a chance to meet his father, on her own.
Col. Sherman Potter - OK, I know, Potter (Harry Morgan) had a starring role in the previously mentioned AfterMASH. However, I'm not talking about a spin-off featuring the retired Sherman Potter, I'm talking a prequel spin-off featuring a much younger Potter during his time with the U. S. Cavalry with a focus on his service in World War I and/or World War II.
I envision this series being done in a format similar to The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, with the older Potter giving a short intro leading into a story that elaborates on some of the things he casually mentioned in M*A*S*H, such as his group of friends in World War I and the incident that led to the group saving a bottle of brandy or him learning about foot care from Harry Truman.