ST. ELSEWHERE: PILOT {SERIES PREMIERE} (TV)

Summary

The premiere of this medical drama series set in St. Eligius hospital in Boston. In this episode, first-year resident Jack Morrison tends to his patients late at night, exasperated to hear that he is to cover for another doctor, White. He checks on a teenage girl, Sandy, who has been experiencing unexplained nausea since returning from a trip to South America, but then is summoned when a patient in the hallway stops breathing, and the man dies despite Morrison's attempts to revive him. In the morning, Morrison is late for rounds with Dr. Westphall, the hospital's director, and explains that he believes Sandy to have dysentery. Dr. Fiscus gossips that their colleague Samuels has a venereal disease, and Ehrlich worries about working under irascible heart surgeon Mark Craig. Samuels is forced to talk to his many sexual partners within the hospital, and Craig vents his rather bigoted feelings about anesthesiologist Vikay Kochar to Westphall. Morrison jokes with Sandy as he performs a scan on her, and Westphall acknowledges that Chief of Services Dr. Auschlander does indeed have liver cancer, but states that he will likely beat it.

Luther, an orderly, informs Dr. Annie Cavanero that her patient Henry Smith, a drug addict and mental hospital resident, has gone missing. Morrison confronts White about his sudden absence on the previous night, and Fiscus teases Cavanero about her missing patient, much to her annoyance. Morrison tells Sandy that she has an abscess on her liver that requires a biopsy, and she complains that her mother will overreact to the news. Samuels awkwardly tells Nurse Shirley Daniels about his gonorrhea, and he is deeply relieved when she informs him that they never actually slept together. Cavanero continues searching for Smith, and Morrison angrily confronts Robinson about his plans to operate on Sandy, frustrated at his hasty diagnosis, and Westphall agrees that they should wait for the biopsy results. Morrison is then pleased to find that Sandy can be treated with simple medication, and he bonds with her as they chat about his experience as a new doctor. Westphall learns of the "panic" over Smith and confronts Cavanero, who admits that she feels particularly responsible for the man, as most people consider him to be "trash." Samuels then treats a woman injured in a bombing at a bank, and Morrison talks to Sandy's mother, who thanks him for his kind treatment of her daughter but then states that she plans to have her moved to the rather more prestigious Boston General for the rest of her treatment.

Fiscus flirts with the eccentric Cathy Martin, and Cavanero is furious to find that Smith is dead and that Morrison, who failed to revive him in the night, forgot to file his death certificate. Craig suggests that they should take advantage of the bank bombing and use the bomber's presence in the hospital to gain some much-needed publicity, noting that the hospital is scathingly referred to as "St. Elsewhere" because it is a "dumping ground" for unwanted cases. Sandy declares that she will not leave St. Eligius, but Morrison gently convinces her to go, saying that her health is the more important thing. Fiscus and Martin share a romantic encounter in an unusual spot in the hospital, and Cavanero apologizes to Morrison for her anger over Smith, though Morrison then explodes with frustration that he has "had it" and is tired of being overworked and away from his wife. As Westphall leaves for the night, however, he looks into Sandy's room and spots a sleeping Morrison, clearly still committed to his patients' wellbeing. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: October 26, 1982 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:49:15
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:66241
  • GENRE: Drama, medical
  • SUBJECT HEADING: African-American Collection - Drama
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1982-1988
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

  • Bruce Paltrow … Executive Producer
  • Mark Tinker … Producer, Developed by
  • John Masius … Producer, Developed by
  • Joshua Brand … Producer, Created by, Writer
  • John Falsey … Producer, Created by, Writer
  • Beth Hillshafer … Associate Producer
  • Thomas Carter … Director
  • Dave Grusin … Music by
  • Ed Flanders … Cast, Dr. Donald Westphall
  • David Birney … Cast, Dr. Ben Samuels
  • G.W. Bailey … Cast, Dr. Hugh Beale
  • Ed Begley Jr. … Cast, Dr. Victor Ehrlich
  • Terence Knox … Cast, Dr. Peter White
  • Howie Mandel … Cast, Dr. Wayne Fiscus
  • David Morse … Cast, Dr. Jack Morrison
  • Christina Pickles … Cast, Nurse Helen Rosenthal
  • Kavi Raz … Cast, Dr. Vijay Kochar
  • Cynthia Sikes … Cast, Dr. Annie Cavanero
  • Denzel Washington … Cast, Dr. Philip Chandler
  • William Daniels … Cast, Dr. Mark Craig
  • Norman Lloyd … Cast, Dr. Daniel Auschlander
  • Barbara Whinnery … Cast, Dr. Cathy Martin
  • Kim Miyori … Cast, Dr. Wendy Armstrong
  • Ellen Bry … Cast, Nurse Shirley Daniels
  • Heather McAdam … Cast, Sandy Malin
  • James O'Sullivan … Cast, Dr. Robinson
  • Cotter Smith … Cast, Dr. Rowe
  • Rafael Campos … Cast, Ramon
  • Jack Murdock … Cast, Professor
  • Eric G. Laneuville … Cast, Luther
  • Sagan Lewis … Cast, Dr. Wade
  • Ben Slack … Cast, Louie
  • Richard Marcus … Cast, Ralph
  • Roxanne Reese … Cast, Nurse Louise
  • Mary Armstrong … Cast, Mrs. Malin
  • Estelle Omens … Cast, Erma
  • Lisa Rafel … Cast, Nurse
  • Pearl Shear … Cast, Mrs. Sussman
  • Alma Beltran … Cast, Nurse Vela
  • Al Berry … Cast, Patient
  • Peter Van Norden … Cast, Patient
  • Ernie Sabella … Cast, Patient
  • Paco Vela … Cast, Doctor
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