Top positive review
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For Some, The Finest Season!
on 4 March 2004
By the shows’ third season the regular cast members of MASH had evolved into a homogenous ensemble who inhabited their characters with a comfortable finesse. During this season the show was honoured with the prestigious Peabody Award, the judges praising the series "for the depth of its humour and the manner in which comedy is used to lift the spirit and, as well, to offer a profound statement on the nature of war."
Season three is memorable in several ways. Harry Morgan makes his first, and Emmy nominated appearance, as a mad general in the opening episode "The General Flipped at Dawn" In "The Consultant," Robert Alda (Alan's father) guest stars as a visiting doctor who cracks under the pressure of operating so close to the front. Many of the cast are given space in which to shine in their own right here, but as ever Alan Alda steals the show (he was awarded a Golden Globe that year) Perhaps the closing of series three is most notable for the fact that it is the last time we see both Colonel Henry Blake and Trapper. The season closer, "Abyssinia Henry" is regarded by many as the finest ever episode, and certainly one of the most poignant. In my view "classic" MASH came to an end here in the same way as "classic" James Bond ended with the departure of Sean Connery. Not to decry the following seasons, which are also well worth purchasing, but the appearance of BJ Hunnicutt and Colonel Potter in series four does change the mood and tone.
On a technical note, there are three discs here, each containing eight episodes. Transfer is good as always - do remember these shows are old! When first aired, MASH was intended to play without a laughter track. The US networks panicked as usual though. Mercifully the BBC insisted on the show being fake laughter free for British audiences. You have the option on all the MASH series DVD’s to switch off the laughter, and I urge you to do so - it's far better for it.
So in summary, a vintage year for MASH, and certainly one that most fans will want to own.