St. Elsewhere


St. Elsewhere

Show Type: Medical Drama

First Telecast: October 26, 1982

Last Telecast: August 10, 1988

Cast

Dr. Donald Westphall..... Ed Flanders

Dr. Mark Craig..... William Daniels

Dr. Ben Samuels (1982-1983)..... David Birney

Dr. Victor Ehrlich..... Ed Begley, Jr.

Dr. Jack Morrison..... David Morse

Dr. Annie Cavanero (1982-1985)..... Cynthia Sikes

Dr. Wayne Fiscus..... Howie Mandel

Dr. Cathy Martin (1982-1986)..... Barbara Whinnery

Dr. Peter White (1982-1985)..... Terence Knox

Dr. Hugh Beale (1982-1983)..... G.W. Bailey

Nurse Helen Rosenthal..... Christina Pickles

Dr. Phillip Chandler..... Denzel Washington

Dr. V. J. Kochar (1982-1984)..... Kavi Raz

Dr. Wendy Armstrong (1982-1984)..... Kim Miyori

Dr. Daniel Aushlander..... Norman Lloyd

Nurse Shirley Daniels (1982-1985)..... Ellen Bry

Orderly Luther Hawkins..... Eric Laneuville

Joan Halloran (1983-1984)..... Nancy Stafford

Dr. Robert Caldwell (1983-1986)..... Mark Harmon

Dr. Michael Ridley (1983-1984)..... Paul Sand

Mrs. Ellen Craig..... Bonnie Bartlett

Dr. Elliot Axelrod (1983-1988)..... Stephen Furst

Nurse Lucy Papandrao..... Jennifer Savidge

Dr. Jaqueline Wade (1983-1988)..... Sagan Lewis

Orderly Warren Coolidge (1984-1988)..... Byron Stewart

Dr. Emily Humes (1984-1985)..... Judith Hansen

Dr. Alan Poe (1984-1985)..... Brian Tochi

Nurse Peggy Shotwell (1984-1986)..... Saundra Sharp

Mrs. Hufnagel (1984-1985)..... Florence Halop

Dr. Roxanne Turner (1985-1987)..... Alfre Woodard

Ken Valere (1985-1986)..... George Deloy

Terri Valere (1985-1986)..... Deborah May

Dr. Seth Griffin (1986-1988)..... Bruce Greenwood

Dr. Paulette Kiem (1986-1988)..... France Nuyen

Dr. Carol Novino (1986-1988)..... Cindy Pickett

Dr. John Gideon (1987-1988)..... Ronny Cox

SYNOPSIS

St. Elsewhere was a hospital show with a difference. There was high emotion, there were dedicated, caring doctors - but there were no miracles. Sometimes the patient made and sometimes they didn't. As in real life, they weren't always brave about it either.

St. Eligius was one of the seedier hospitals in Boston - a big-city dumping ground for patients not wanted by the higher-class and more expensive medical facilities. In a typical day, the staff would deal with things like: a drug addict trying to raid the pharmacy; a doctor being mugged in the emergency room; a mentally ill patient who wandered away and the wealthy, snobbish parents of an ill child who insisted the she be transferred to a fancier hospital.

Whatever St. Eligius' reputation was, the staff was first-rate. The older doctors included: Dr. Westphall, the chief of staff, and seasoned doctor and father figure to the young interns and residents completing their training there; Dr. Craig, an egotistical heart surgeon who was a brilliant doctor, but totally oblivious to his patients' feelings and Dr. Auschlander, a veteran doctor who found he must fight his own battle with cancer.

Among the younger doctors were: Dr. Samuels, a free spirit who had slept with practically every nurse in the hospital; Dr. Fiscus, who was having an affair with pathologist Cathy Martin, who insisted on making love on a slab in the morgue - among the sheet-draped corpses!; Dr. Morrison, who was so dedicated to his work that he neglected his young wife, who died tragically in 1983; Dr. Cavanero, who tended to become too involved with her patients; Dr. Axelrod, who was constantly fighting a weight problem and Dr. Chandler, the young resident who was always afraid he did not quite measure up to the high standards of medicine.

St. Elsewhere's stories could be funny yet tragic. In one episode, sexually active Dr. Caldwell decided not to wear any underwear under his pants and proceeded to catch his most private part in the zipper. It had to be surgically freed and stitched up by a female colleague. Meanwhile, young resident Dr. Wendy Armstrong, overwhelmed by the pressure and the rage of a woman whose baby was lost through her misdiagnosis, committed suicide.

Continuing stories included: Dr. Auschlander's coming to terms with his own illness; Nurse Rosenthal and her breast surgery; Dr. Ehrlich's progression from a bright but inexperienced intern to a confident doctor and new husband and Dr. Peter White, a troubled young doctor, who, after having difficulties in his marriage, turned rapist - and was eventually shot to death by Nurse Daniels.

In 1987, St. Eligius was taken over by the huge, profit-oriented Ecumena Hospitals Corporation, subjecting the staff more than ever to the pressures of medicine. The new Chief of Services, Dr. Gideon, orchestrated a showdown with Dr. Westphall, who responded by "mooning" him and quitting. Dr. Craig pursued an artificial heart project (the "Craig 9000"), but found his marriage to Ellen was collapsing.

The shows final episode in May 1988, was bizarre to say the least. Dr. Auschlander saved the hospital from closing, then died of a stroke; Dr. Westphall returned; Dr. Craig moved to Cleveland and in a final, surrealistic scene, the entire six-year run of St. Elsewhere appeared to have been a figment of the imagination of Westphall's uncommunicative, autistic young son.

St. Elsewhere was produced by the same people responsible for Hill Street Blues and it had much of the same reality and filming techniques of the police show. It also won several Emmy's during its run.

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