Was Paul Burke lined up to replace Robert Lansing from the get go?
I find it interesting and maybe more than coincidental that, while Joe Gallagher was a recurring character rather than a series regular in the first season, he was in the very first episode which was basically adapted from a subplot in the original 1949 Gregory Peck movie, in which the character was named Ben Gately and was a lieutenant colonel rather than a captain. Gallagher and Gately were both generals' sons, accused of cowardice by General Savage and banished to a crew of deadbeats in a plane named "The Leper Colony". At the end of the movie, after Gately redeems himself, Savage has a nervous breakdown and Gately takes over the 918th, and at the beginning of Season 2 of the series, after Gallagher has redeemed himself and has risen to lieutenant colonel, Savage is KIA and Gallagher takes over the 918th.
Did Quinn Martin and the rest of the production crew have Paul Burke lined up as a potential replacement for Robert Lansing from that first episode and have him waiting in the wings when Lansing and Martin had a falling out? Or did Martin decide to follow the movie and was Burke just lucky that essentially his character took over the 918th in the movie?