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St. Elsewhere was an American medical drama series created by Joshua Brand and John Falsey for NBC. It ran from October 26, 1982 to May 25, 1988 for six seasons. It originated the character of Tommy Westphall, upon whom the Tommy Westphall Hypothesis is based.

Series summary

This blackly humorous drama was set in St Eligius' Hospital, Boston; an institution so looked down upon by the medical establishment that it had been given the derisive nickname of 'St Elsewhere'. Characters included kindly Dr Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders), irascible Dr Mark Craig (William Daniels) and the roguish Dr Ben Samuels (David Birney).

The final episode of the series revealed that the entire series had existed entirely in the imagination of Tommy, the autistic son of Dr Westphall. As the series had crossed over with so many shows - including Homicide: Life on the Street, which was itself connected to many TV series - it could thus be construed that all the connected series exist inside Tommy Westphall's mind. Hence this website!

Westphall connections in St. Elsewhere

  • In "Cheers", doctors Westphall, Craig and Auschlander pop into the bar from Cheers for a drink, meeting Carla (Rhea Perlman), Norm (George Wendt) and Cliff (John Ratzenberger) in the process.
  • Several episodes feature a psych ward patient named Elliot Carlin, played by Jack Riley. Carlin - played by Riley - originally appeared in The Bob Newhart Show, where he was treated by Newhart's chracter, Dr Hartley.
  • Dr Mark Craig is an old associate of Doctor BJ Hunnicut, a character from M*A*S*H.
  • The character of Warren Coolidge (Byron Stewart) from The White Shadow became a porter at St Eligius' Hospital; a small piece of dialogue in one episode suggested that he'd given up on his basketball career after sustaining an injury.

Westphall connections to St. Elsewhere

  • In "Mercy", an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street, St. Elsewhere's Dr Roxanne Turner (Alfre Woodard) is investigated by detectives after possibly performing a mercy killing. In a later season, detective Tim Bayliss receives medical attention for his bad back (offscreen) from Elsewhere's Dr Ehrlich.
  • Dr Mark Craig won the Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award in "Samuels and the Kid". Dr. Kathryn Austin from Chicago Hope also won the award in "Women on the Verge". Additionally, Dr.Austin mentions in another episode that she was mentored by Dr. David Domedion; Domedion mentored Dr. Craig, and was played by two actors in the show: Dean Jagger and (in flashback) Jackie Cooper.
  • Oswald State Correctional Facility, the prison in Oz, was ultimately taken over by Weigert (formerly Ecumena), the company that owned St Eligius' Hospital in St Elsewhere.
  • After Dr Elliot Axelrod (Stephen Furst) died, another Axelrod (Wayne Knight) turned up in Tattingers complaining about how his cousin had died over in Boston.
  • Boston Public's Billy Deegan says that his mother receives a pension from St Eligius' Hospital.
  • An episode of Crossing Jordan featured a priest from the chapel at St Eligius'.
  • St Elsewhere's Warren Coolidge appeared in an episode of Method & Red.
  • On the series finale of Providence, Dr Sydney Hansen was told that he could apply for a job at St Eligius'.
  • In "Nothing to Fear" and "Sealed with a Kiss", episodes from Degrassi Junior High, Elsewhere's Dr Donald Westphall is paged over a hospital intercom (not St Eligius' though).

Disputed Westphall connection in St. Elsewhere

Dr. Morton Chegley on St. Elsewhere was played by Arthur Taxier. However, the Dr. Morton Chegley from Julia was played by Lloyd Nolan. The actors also have a nearly fifty year age difference.

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