‘Goodbye, Farewell and Amen’ was an emotional, feature length episode, directed by Alan Alda. It is still the single most watched episode of a television series in American history, garnering a staggering 106m Americans -2 in 3 households.
On the night this episode aired, large areas of California were affected by power outages resulting from unusually strong winter weather. This prevented many viewers from watching the series finale.
Last week in the US, fans from all over the world joined with cast members from the TV show in Malibu Creek State Park, the actual location used for the series. It was a 2 mile trek to see the original site.
Mike Farrell, who played the smiling Capt. B.J. Hunnicut, made his first visit to the set in 25 years.
“All of us realized we did great work, and never realized it was to become the social phenomenon it became,” Farrell said.
“Visitors come from all over the world to see where it was filmed,” said Al Pepito, Malibu superintendent for the state parks department. “We want to give them something more.”
The original tents and buildings were removed when filming ended in 1983, but decades of overgrowth have been cleared away, markers show where the major tents stood, educational panels display the layout of the camp, the helipad roadway was opened and the iconic signpost that pointed the way home for the characters has been rebuilt and stands again at the site.
Park rangers also want to hail the film legacy of the old Fox Ranch, where such films as Planet of the Apes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and How Green Was My Valley were shot.
The series still airs in Australia, 5pm weekdays on the Seven Network.