Talk:Abyssinia, Henry

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Passed GA[edit]

Congratulations on getting this fine article up to GA standards. Just when I was despairing that anyone was doing anything useful or encyclopedic with episode articles, I found this gem. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 17:32, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Agree completely. Fantastic use of sources. A model for other articles to follow.Michael DoroshTalk 21:21, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Failed GA[edit]

I have re-checked this article, and even though it is a GA in A Man In Black's view, it compares to the criteria in that way :

'1. Well written? Pass
2. Factually accurate? Pass
3. Broad in coverage? Pass
4. Neutral point of view? Pass
5. Article stability? Fail
6. Images? Fail

And for the reason that the article is not stable, it will fail the GA candidacy for now. Please re-nominate the article once the article has been present in WP for at least 1 week. Lincher 18:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I will do so. In terms of images however, I do not think that there are many relevant images to this specific article that are not copyrighted. To compare, Pilot (House) is now a GA and only has the one image. I will, however, clarify the fair use rationale on the current image's page. Thanks, Hotstreets 20:34, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
WP rules specifically state only one screenshot per article, so using a lack of images in order to fail an article for GS status strikes me as a bit absurd. If ever there was a GA, it was this one. Especially since the criteria linked to on this page state specifically "(b) a lack of images does not in itself prevent an article from achieving Good Article status. "Michael DoroshTalk 21:39, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm fairly sure it was failed because of the lack of a fair-use rationale on the single image, not because of a lack of more images. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 21:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I forgot about that until after I submitted to GA. The image now has a fair use rationale almost completely matching the one from Pilot (House), since that is the only other GA television episode that I know of. I think the other reason it failed was, as mentioned, the new status of the article... when I read the GA criteria though, I interpreted stability to mean no controversy or edit wars going on, not that the article had to be in Wikipedia for a week first. Hotstreets 21:51, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Factually accurate? I'm not so sure. See Snopes, and the references therein, especially to Gelbart's book Laughing Matters, on the shooting of the final scene (and whether most of the actors were kept out of the know about Henry's death.) Schissel | Sound the Note! 22:23, 11 April 2013 (UTC)


Anyone have any knowledge about the show name? I'm at a loss at understanding what the "Abyssinia" in "Abyssinia, Henry" means. -- 19:22, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I believe it is a slang term for "I'll be seeing you", but I don't have a source right now for that. However, that might make for an interesting note in the article, so I will look that up. Hotstreets 21:12, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Abyssinia actually means Ethiopia. As to why the show is called Abyssinia, I don't know but perhaps it's just a word that sounds like it might mean 'In abscence' even if it doesn't?
I have added a link to Wiktionary on "Abyssinia", which has as a definition referring to the word as slang word of the 20s and 30s when used as an interjection. Hotstreets 06:55, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
During season 3, Henry Blake would often say 'Abyssinia' (meaning I'll be seeing you). The death of Henry, makes that statement more emotional. GoodDay 04:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I had been wondering this same thing--glad to know I'm not the only one! I couldn't figure out what Ethiopia had to do with anything. I am going to add this factoid to the article.QuizzicalBee (talk) 05:20, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
That's because Ethiopian troops were involved in the Korean War as well Colombians participated in the 50-plus UN multi-national force alliance, but the Korean war was often viewed by world historians to been led by the USA or the US Armed Forces. + Mike D 26 (talk) 07:05, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

The expression "Abyssinia!" was a common US slang expression in the 50s and Sixties. Meant humorously, it's a pun on "I'll be seeing you" which was said by people when casually departing from anywhere. Sometimes it was used to cover emotional stress or sadness. I don't need to provide a reference, I was alive at the time (born 1942) and I remember it with great affection and nostalgia. My mother sometimes used it, so did various girlfriends. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Vietnam war[edit]

This article claims the series was meant to critique the Vietnam War. However the MASH article says:

Some said the series seemed to be an allegory for the Vietnam War (still in progress when the series began) rather than just about the Korean War,[citation needed] though the show's producers have said it was about war in general

These are not consistent and I suspect the MASH article is right (some people think the show was meant to critique the Vietname war but the producers just say it's about war in general) Nil Einne 22:53, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I have removed that phrase for now; while the producers may have said that the show was about war in general, there were many comparisons or references to Vietnam on the show, and there are many sources that have come to the conclusion that the show was, for at least the first few years, a criticism of the Vietnam War and the American military at the time. I guess it all comes down to wording, though. Please let me know what you think. Hotstreets 23:40, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

GA passed[edit]

1. Well written? Pass
2. Factually accurate? Pass
3. Broad in coverage? Pass
4. Neutral point of view? Pass
5. Article stability? Pass
6. Images? Pass

Additional comments :

May I add a little idea that would help the article, if the development or the filming or the producing of the show would be mentioned in the article. What led to the TV serie would also be a plus to the article, meaning what came before that episode if the serie is a continuous one. To dramatize the final OR scene it would be nice to have a screencapture of that scene. Lincher 13:56, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Digital remastering[edit]

Was the DVD release of M*A*S*H digitally remastered? It looks like the scene where they revealed Blake's death wasn't remastered on the DVD. --Kitch (Talk : Contrib) 16:10, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I can't say for sure whether they were remastered. However, I believe the DVDs were made from the original prints (which were far superior in quality to the syndication prints in circulation for a long while). One change of note that might be worth putting in the Welcome to Korea article, is that filming of M*A*S*H changed filming media... I cannot find a source right now, but I believe it was to full movie film quality... therefore, the episodes from season 4 on are much clearer. I will look into the remastered question though. Hotstreets 09:17, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
The DVD's are made from the original print, with the exception of "Our Finest Hour" (Season 7, Episode 4). On the DVD, there's a note before the episode starts saying the original print was too damaged and because of this they had to use a syndicated version which was split in two parts. The original episode was aired as one hour episode.
The difference in quality between all episodes and those two episodes (the syndicated version) is noticeable. Mariushm (talk) 23:10, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


Bravo, this article is amazing. -- Zanimum 21:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Hell yes. The first episode ever to make it. Hopefully there will be many more. CanadianCaesar Et tu, Brute? 03:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

"series anachronisms" redlink[edit]

The article contains the reference "see series anachronisms" which is a redlink. Where would I find this material? Thanks, Newyorkbrad 02:02, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed from article[edit]

Per FAR, more reliable sourcing needed. CanadianCaesar Et tu, Brute? 02:39, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

The filming schedule for "Abyssinia, Henry" dictated that the final scenes taped for the episode were the ones which took place in the O.R.: the first scene of the episode in which Henry is informed of his discharge and the final scene in which the cast is informed of his death.<ref name="mash4077uk" />

Due to a technical problem, the non-rehearsed scene was shot twice; the sound of a dropping surgical instrument, while not scripted, was left in the final episode due to its dramatic effect.<ref name="mash4077uk">[ Classic Episode — Abyssinia Henry]. ''''. (Accessed September 25, 2006).</ref>

In M*A*S*H: 30th anniversary reunion, there's no mention of shooting the scene twice, but the director says that at one point an instrument was dropped and that they left it on purpose in the scene, for its effect. Also, the director says at the end they showed the script *before* the scene was shot to the cast and Gary Burg then says in the show that he said to McLean Stevenson (or the director, I don't remember exactly now): "You'd probably get an Emmy for this!" So the cast (or a part of the cast) may have known about the scene before it was shot, it wasn't just Alan Alda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mariushm (talkcontribs) 22:58, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Possibly much of the cast, as noted above; see Gelbart's book e.g. (also Farr, The Complete Book of M.A.S.H.) Snopes doesn't provide page nos. but does provide lengthy excerpts esp. from Gelbart's book on these points; shouldn't be too difficult to add better citation therefrom.) Schissel | Sound the Note! 22:29, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

What probably needs to be removed[edit]

I have issue with these two sentences:

"Abyssinia, Henry" remains one of the most well-known and highest rated episodes of M*A*S*H, with a 9.8 out of 10 rating on the website (second only to the series finale, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"), as of September 2006.[8] Its events were famous enough to generate parody in the Family Guy episode "Fifteen Minutes of Shame" in 2000.

First is with User ratings are not allowed on film pages, so I don't see why they would be allowed here. Reasons, possible vote stacking. With only 72 user votes, it only takes a few people to vote more than once to sway the number (and yes people do that if they can). Most importantly, they aren't used because they usually are not a representative sample of viewers of the show. They are usually people that frequent the site often. For films the creed is "let the money talk", this can't be done with television, but an equivalent would be "let the Nielsen Ratings" talk, because when episodes are poor their ratings are generally poor as well. I understand you are comparing it to another episode, but even the other episode only has 80 votes. Shows get millions of viewers (don't know if it was in the millions when MASH was on, but I'm sure they had well more than 80 viewers), so 80 people doesn't begin to speak like a representation of what viewers thought.

The other part of the sentence is the "It's events were famous enough to generate a parody in the Family Guy episode...". Now, my only problem with this is the wording. It's written like being parodies in The Family Guy is something that is rarely done, or that The Family Guy is so great that it takes real effort to get a parody done by them. I don't believe that is the case. I think it just needs to be rewritten to be more neutral in tone, just stating the facts. Could probably simply say "In 2000, The Family Guy parodied "Abyssinia, Henry" in the episode "Fifteen Minutes of Shame", where they ...." (and briefly explain how it was parodied). Bignole 00:10, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree and removed the reference and rewrote the part about the Family Guy.--Svetovid 14:04, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for all the help, I am trying to research my entries more before posting them.

Thanks again, BORN_PMS —Preceding unsigned comment added by BORN PMS (talkcontribs) 09:09, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Is it plausible that Henry's plane would have been shot down over the Sea of Japan? The US had air superiority, and the other side's air forces devoted their effort to attacking US bombers over North Korean territory. Also, Soviet aircrews were there in secret, and they were ordered not to fly outside North Korean controlled territory. See MiG Alley. PatGallacher (talk) 01:47, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

No, the premise of Henry's demise is false. His plane would have flown south directly to Japan before heading back to the States. I am also not aware of any U.S. or U.N. passenger transport aircraft being shot down leaving Korea. There was however at least one C-124 that was heading to McChord AFB, Washington that crashed due to an accident some distance short of McChord, but nowhere near Korea. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:19, 18 March 2012 (UTC)


I'm not quite sure what the exact problems the article has but I do feel like there are some reference issues and the lack of some information. Like for example the "Production" section seems a little empty as it only mentions the famous ending of the episode and nothing else. GamerPro64 18:14, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Do you have reliable sources documenting other aspects of production? Ribbet32 (talk) 19:08, 31 August 2013 (UTC)