Script Spotlight 2: “Hey, Look Me Over”

This month’s Script Spotlight is for the episode “Hey, Look Me Over” from season 11 (11×01). This episode is the first episode of season 11, but it is interesting to note the date of the cover of the script: March 22, 1982. This episode was originally intended for season 10, which we can tell based on the script date and the production number (1G64). There are other episodes with similar dates and production numbers that were held for season 11 since it was decided there would be a shortened final season (season 11 only has 16 episodes vs. a typical season of 24). This is a great episode as it features the talents of Kellye Nakahara, the actress who played Nurse Kellye for most of the series. Sadly, we lost Nakahara in February 2020.

The Script

This script is not like last week’s in that it is not complete. It does not include the shooting schedule, set requirements, or wardrobe pages. But what it does feature is many revised pages. The revised pages were provided to cast and crew on set with a cover page (pictured here) advising them to “discard old pages and insert the attached” revised pages in their script. In most cases, and as was the case for last week’s script, the original pages were removed. What is great about this particular script is that the person who had it did not toss the pages. They kept the revised pages and the original page, so we can see what changed.

The original script was printed on an off-white paper, which was typical of final draft scripts. The revised pages are dated March 24, 1982 (two days after the date on the script’s cover) and were printed on blue paper to differentiate them from the original script pages. This particular set of updates included 14 pages of the 35 pages of the script. That is a pretty substantial number of pages that needed to be revised, but that was not uncommon when compared to other scripts I have. What I do not know is whether there were any other revisions after March 24. It is possible that other revisions were made and printed on another color (yellow, pink, green) of paper and dated later in the filming process. This script only contains the 14 blue revised pages.

So what kind of changes are in the script? To be honest, most of the revisions are like the revision in the comparison image above. Take a moment to take a look. Can you spot the difference? It took me a minute! The only change that I see on this page is one word: Kellye’s original line, “It’s your pal” is a typo. It was changed to the correct “It’s you pal” on the revised page. That’s it! Just one corrected typo, but it was important that lines be correct as a simple typo can change the meaning of a sentence and how the actor delivers the line.

There were a few pages where more changes were made. The pages below, for example, in the episode’s tag (the final scene before the end credits). BJ and Margaret are having a drink in the Officer’s Club. Two small lines were added to the opening dialogue, and I think it made the scene feel more authentic. BJ asking if she was okay feels like something BJ would do before asking about the report from Colonel Bucholtz. As a side note, since page 34 was technically extended by adding two lines, they added a page 34-A for the remaining two lines before jumping into page 35. Sometimes, the revisions added and/or removed pages from a script.

It is very unusual to find a script with both the original pages and revised pages still present. If you were a member of the cast or crew, you wouldn’t want to confuse lines or actions on the page and cause a scene to be reshot because you were reading an old line. It makes sense that old pages were just tossed in the trash, but I am glad I have a few scripts that have both as they demonstrate the attention to detail the writers and producers had when producing the series.

The Final Episode

When comparing the final episode as aired to the script, there are number of minor changes that were made throughout. Of course, no actor is perfect, so getting every line word for word is rare. The vast majority of the pages have a word or two changed, but nothing that changed the storyline. To her credit, Kellye Nakahara nailed all of her lines! Her conversation with Hawkeye in which she describes her positive qualities is a substantial paragraph in the script, and she hit every word with the right pacing and emotion. She really shines in this episode.

There were a few changes that I noticed that were not in the final episode. The scene in the photos above on the bottom of page one and the top of page two is not in the final episode. There are a couple of possibilities for this. The scene could have been cut in a future set of revised pages that I do not have, or the lines could have been filmed and cut from the episode to meet time requirements. Either way, the lines pushed the joke of the “things you can swallow” box farther than necessary.

I have only had this script in the collection for a little over a month, but I wanted to use it to highlight the page revision process used by the writers. I think we would all agree that M*A*S*H was very well written, and it is interesting to see that the writers were perfecting the scenes as the episode was filmed.

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