A great cast rises above some stupid material in this series based on 1953’s “Stalag 17.” Werner Klemperer won two emmys as the clueless Col.Wilhelm Klink. Bob Crane is Col.Robert Hogan. The other players are John Banner as Sgt.”I know nothing” Schultz, Robert Clary as Cpl.Louis LeBeau, Richared Dawson as Cpl.Peter Newkirk, Larry Hovis as Sgt.Andrew Carter and Ivan Dixon as Sgt.James “Kinch” Kinchloe. Kenneth Washington replaced Dixon in the 1970-71 season. He played Sgt.Richard Baker.
Typical episodes: “Bombsight” – Bombs have been delivered to Stalag 13. They have a new tracking device that allows them to zero in on any radio transmissions. General Burkhalter (Leon Askin) puts the blueprints in Klink’s safe. Earlier Hogan brought some flowers in so he could hide a microphone. As he and his men listen Burkhalter starts to sneeze and Klink throws the flowers out the window.
Hogan comes up with a plan to steal the blueprints. He takes Klink outside while Newkirk starts to open the safe. Klink is in a hurry to get back to his office and when he and Hogan walk in, there’s Newkirk. Hogan tells Klink Newkirk must be the sneak thief the men have been looking for and he’ll deal with him.
Time for another plan. This one involves switching the blueprints with a similar rolled up paper so Newkirk can take pictures of the plans. It works…..almost.
“Eight O’Clock And All Is Well” w/Monte Markham – Hogan and his men have been commiting acts of sabotage. Gestapo Major Hochstetter (Howard Caine) says everything points to Stalag 13. Hogan is listening in and decides to halt all activity.
Klink assigns a new man to Hogan’s barracks. He’s Captain James Martin (Monte Markham) from a bomber group. Everyone is suspicious of him and ask him a lot of questions that a German may not know the answers to. Martin passes all their tests and Hogan shows him their operation.
A munitions train is passing near the area and Hogan agrees to blow it up. At roll call, Martin shoves Sgt.Schultz and he’s taken to Klink’s office. As he talks with Klink he’s writing a note. All Hogan hears is Klink letting him off with a warning.
The note says for Klink to call Hochstetter. While returning from Klink’s office, Martin walks past a Gestapo guard. The guard goes to salute Martin out of instinct. Hogan’s sees this and now he knows. What can he do? This episode had more of an edge than usual and was one of the best of the series.