M*A*S*H episode
“Fade Out, Fade In (Part 1)”
MASH episode - 6x1 - Fade Out, Fade In - Charles arrives
Charles Winchester, a new surgeon from Tokyo General, arrives at the 4077th, meeting his new surgical colleauges Hawkeye, B.J. and Colonel Potter in part one of "Fade Out, Fade In" in the Season 6 opening episode of M*A*S*H.
Season 6, Episode # 1
Number (#123) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Rick Hurst
Raymond Singer
Robert Symonds
Tom Stovall
William Flatley
James Carroll
Joseph Burns
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: Y101
Writer(s) Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum
Director Hy Averback
Original airdate September 20, 1977
IMDb logo IMDB Fade Out, Fade In (Part 1)
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Margaret's Marriage" (U820) 
(Season 5 finale)
"Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (Y102)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"Post Op" (U825)  "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (Y102)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 6 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Fade Out, Fade In, Part 1 (also called "Fade In, Fade Out") was the 123rd episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H. "Fade In, Fade Out", which was part one of an hour long two-part episode arc, was most notable for its off-screen departure of the character of Major Frank Burns and the arrival of a new surgeon, snooty Boston blueblood Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, played by David Ogden Stiers. The episode was written by Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell and directed by Hy Averback. It originally aired on September 20, 1977.


Despondent over the marriage of Margaret Houlihan to Donald Penobscot, so Colonel Potter sends Frank Burns to Seoul for some R&R. While he is gone, casualties begin to arrive and Frank has apparently fallen out of touch (with only scattered reports of him acting strangely and accosting women who resemble Margaret). Desperately needing a new surgeon, the upper-crust Bostonian Major Charles Emerson Winchester is promptly shipped from Tokyo, Japan to South Korea by a colonel who owes him several hundred dollars from playing cribbage. Winchester’s assignment becomes permanent when Major Burns is finally caught and sent stateside, only to be cleared of all charges, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and given command of a veteran's hospital.

Full episode summaryEdit

Radar is worried that Frank isn't back from his R&R yet—which is very odd, since for all of Frank's faults, he's always been punctual. Col. Potter tells him not to worry about it... yet.

Wounded arrive, and since neither Frank nor Margaret (who is still on her honeymoon) are back, the 4077th is very short-handed. One of the wounded is a doctor himself, Dr. Berman (Raymond Singer), whose chest wound is so severe that even Hawkeye isn't sure he'll be able to patch him up.

During surgery, Potter complains aloud about Burns being missing. B.J. offers the theory that maybe--just maybe--Burns went to Tokyo to interrupt Margaret's honeymoon?

Shortly after, Margaret comes back--early--from her honeymoon, in a very surly mood. She won't say why, and quickly heads off to the O.R.

Meanwhile, Col. Potter gets a call from M.Ps in Seoul, who say that a Major Frank Burns accosted a blonde WAC, but ran off before he could be apprehended. Potter thinks Frank is going nuts, and asks Radar to call a Col. Baldwin in Tokyo so he can send a fill-in surgeon while Frank is gone.

In Tokyo, we see Col. Baldwin (Robert Symonds) receive the call, as he is playing Cribbage with a doctor, Major Charles Emerson Winchester (David Ogden Steirs). Winchester is smug and arrogant, and he enjoys pointing out that he has beaten Baldwin in Cribbage to the tune of $672.17. Baldwin realizes he has the perfect candidate to send to the 4077th.

On the way to the camp, Winchester and his driver are shot at, and have to take cover. Their jeep is then hit, reducing it to a smoldering hunk of metal. The driver points the direction Winchester needs to travel, and heads back to his unit.

Back at the 4077th, Col. Potter gets another call from the Seoul MPs, relating another tale of Frank flipping out and accosting various women, acting as though they're Margaret. He's still on the loose, unfortunately.

Later, Winchester arrives at the camp riding an ox-cart, striking quite a contrast to his surroundings since he is wearing his dress uniform and carrying all manner of personal items. Radar is the first person to greet him, and his general feeling of superiority over Radar is obvious.

He is introduced to Col. Potter, Hawkeye, and B.J. as they are having a drink, and his stand-off-ishness immediately grates on everyone, insisting on calling everyone "Doctor" even after they introduced themselves by their nicknames. He then states he doesn't plan to "stick around long enough to get chummy."

When Dr. Berman goes into heart failure due to a ventricular aneurysm, everyone rushes out. Winchester wonders what the "panic" is, and then states that he's performed the necessary procedure successfully over a dozen times.

He performs the surgery, and it goes off without a hitch, except for the fact that Winchester spend a lot of time complimenting himself. Margaret is impressed, but Hawkeye and B.J. are less than thrilled.

Frank calls Col. Potter, and tells him some news. Hawkeye and B.J. follow, just as Potter is getting off the phone. He tells them that Frank accosted another woman and her companion, except this time it was a Brigadier General and his wife! Burns is now being held for psychiatric evaluation.

But that's not all the news--Frank is being transferred out of the 4077th.

The news hits Hawkeye and B.J. like a bomb--they toggle back and forth between delight and outrage that they're losing their favorite punching bag. As B.J. points out, "This reduces the enemy to just North Korea!"

The doctors and Radar have a toast, ended with abject glee, and they all throw the piles of paper on Potter's desk into the air with wild abandon.

Later, Hawkeye and B.J. have to pack up Frank's stuff. They keep all the good stuff, and Margaret comes in to take back a picture he had of her. They tell her to leave it there to keep Frank crazy, but when Margaret is complimentary towards him--and says there are some things he has over her new husband--Hawkeye and B.J. ask her what happened on her honeymoon.

After some cajoling, she tearfully tells them that, during the honeymoon, Penobscott seemed to shut down completely--he stopped talking, smiling..."everything."

They comfort Margaret by telling her that meeting all of his new wife's old friends and former beaus (like various generals) probably intimidated Penobscott, and it shook his confidence. They tell he'll get over it.

When she wonders why Frank didn't have this problem, Hawkeye and B.J. offer that's because "He had every other one." Margaret defends Frank, until she sees that, among his belongings, was an alarm clock Frank told her was stolen. Enraged, she says one last goodbye to Frank by pouring what's left of her martini in his suitcase. The episode ends with Potter, in a bind because of the lack of a needed surgeon when Frank is reassigned to a stateside V.A. hospital and promoted to Lt. Colonel, calling up Colonel Baldwin, and making a deal to permanently assign Charles to the 4077th, as the first part of that hour long saga concludes.

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • Lots of minor characters with large speaking parts but they somehow didn't merit named characters. These are depicted in the gallery below.
  • In which scene does Joseph Burn's unnamed patient character appear?

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit


External linksEdit

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