|Episode:||Kommandant of the Year|
|Original Airdate:||October 01, 1965|
|Written by:||Laurence Marks|
|Directed by:||Robert Butler|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman & Bernard Fein|
- Colonel Hogan - Bob Crane
- Corporal Louis LeBeau - Robert Clary
- Corporal Peter Newkirk - Richard Dawson
- Sergeant James Kinchloe - Ivan Dixon
- Sergeant Andrew Carter - Larry Hovis
Camp Personnel Edit
Guest Stars Edit
- Doctor 'Colonel' Schneider - Woodrow Parfrey
- Major Hauser - William Allyn
- Courier - Kurt Lewin
- Commando 1/Captain Hockenburg - James Beggs
- Commando 2/Lieutenant Smithberg - Victor French
- Commando 3/Lieutenant Brauer - uncredited
Plot Details Edit
At the start of the episode, a staff car and a motorcycle enters the camp, along with a truck, which is already parked inside the compound, that is carrying under a huge camouflage-patterned tarpaulin a new V-weapon rocket. The motorcycle and staff car eventually parks in the compound, before a German officer and his men exits the vehicles. The officer then heads for Klink's office, after arranging his men to protect the truck. The heroes, as they hear Schultz tell Carter that he shouldn't be out of the barracks after roll call, else he'll be shot, are told by him that none of them will be allowed outside. Carter then tells the others about the rocket laden truck inside the compound. Their curiosity piqued, Hogan and his men, after Schultz leaves, goes to the sink and then Hogan starts to look through the sink periscope, soon looking over the truck. As they look at it and the guards, LeBeau asks why it is in the camp. He is told by Hogan and Newkirk that by being there it would keep the Allies from destroying it, since such an attack would kill the prisoners. Carter's idea of them contacting London and ordering a bombing raid on the camp in order to destroy the rocket, after finding out how important it is, is very strongly rejected by Hogan and the others, as it would end up in also killing them.
Hogan and his men then go to his office and then try to listen in on the coffee pot listening device to find out what is going on. But they can barely hear the conversation that is taking place inside Klink's office between Klink and Major Hauser, as it seems that someone has recently used the pot to make coffee. What they are able to hear is that Major Hauser tells Colonel Klink that while he and his men are in the camp with the rocket, he is to have Klink's full cooperation, via orders from General Burkhalter, to protect the rocket before they finally take it over to its launch site on the French coast two days later and aim it at England. Hauser also tells Klink that the rocket contains very volatile material and that he would give Klink a very favorable mention for his cooperation when he makes his report, which makes Klink happy.
After learning that the rocket is to be used against England, Hogan contacts London, via the sub, telling them about the rocket, and asking permission to destroy it. They are told to do nothing at the moment and to await further instructions. A short time later, inside his office, LeBeau and Newkirk tells him that they can't get near the rocket because of the strong guard around it. As Carter's idea of tunneling under the truck in order to destroy it is rejected, Kinch appears, while passing on to Hogan their expected new orders from London: they are to expect the arrival by parachute of three commandos and an American scientist, who are to take care of the rocket. But having already been unable to get close to the rocket themselves, they come up with a plan to help the scientist and the commandos complete their mission: they would make a medal and a scroll for Klink, with the scroll claiming that he is Kommandant of the Year and that Stalag 13 is to be considered one of the top ten POW camps in Germany. It is also decided that LeBeau would go out and meet the commando team upon their arrival, although he would later complain about the call signs that is to be used for the mission. With that settled, the only question left is how to get the soon to be created 'fake' announcement about the award from General Burkhalter safely into Klink's hands. Newkirk volunteers to do the deed, which would involved him slipping the message into Klink's incoming mail.
The next day, a couple of the prisoners 'accidentally' bump into the soldier who is carrying in the day's mail, soon slipping in the 'fake' announcement. The announcement is then placed on Klink's desk with the rest of his mail. As Klink works in his office, Schultz comes in, telling him that Hogan wants to see him. Klink reluctantly lets Hogan in. Hogan, after coming in, says that he is there on behalf of his men, to protest about the truck now parked in the compound, saying that its being there is against the Geneva Convention, as whatever it is carrying is probably a danger to his men. He then makes his point by impaling the particular page that mentions that rule onto Klink's helmet. Klink refuses to listen to Hogan's complaints. As Hogan watches, Klink discovers the announcement and after reading it, is now a very happy man, claiming that he deserves the honor that he is soon going to receive. Klink then approves Hogan's suggestion of a prisoner's parade and then accepts with feign reluctant Hogan's further suggestion of making a speech during the ceremony. Klink then gives Hogan some schnapps to drink to his good fortune which Hogan eagerly accepts.
A short time later, LeBeau is sent out to make contact with the three British commandos and the scientist. But, once inside the woods, he is unable to make contact with them either at the earlier agreed upon drop zone or via walkie-talkie. He immediately informs Hogan of this. Hogan then sends Carter out of the barracks to tell Schultz that LeBeau has escaped. Schultz is at first reluctant, but once Carter informs him that he should take the credit for the capture, Schultz announces that LeBeau has escaped. The guards are soon sent out, along with the camp's dogs, a few of whom soon find LeBeau. LeBeau gets them to help him find the commandos and the scientist, who they soon find, after chiding them. He then learns why they have been unable to contact him earlier: their radio had been destroyed during their landing away from their intended drop zone. LeBeau then proceeds to take their measurements for their fake German uniforms while informing them that they would be entering the camp the next day in a staff car to perform a ceremony while taking care of the rocket. After completing his mission, LeBeau returns to camp with the dogs and surrenders at the front gate. He soon gives the measurement information to Hogan.
The next day, a staff car enters the camp, carrying "Colonel Schneider" and his staff (Actually the scientist and the three commandos). They are met by Klink, who, after some quick introductions, offer them some refreshments in his office. The award ceremony then takes place, with Klink being given the medal and then the scroll, during which Hogan directs the other prisoners to cheer. Klink then starts to begin his speech. As Klink speaks, Schneider walks away and soon slips under the tarp, shortly followed by Hogan, who is carrying a timer/bomb, while Schultz looks away after stopping him to find out why Hogan is near the rocket. The timer is soon set for two minutes, as Schneider gets a good look at the rocket's instruments, while also taking pictures of it. Hogan then leaves, soon followed by Schneider, whose coat gets stuck in the tarp before he is intercepted by Major Hauser. After hearing Schneider's (phony) claims that he has worked on the rocket's original prototype, Hauser excitedly takes him back under the tarp to show him the rocket, in spite of Schneider's protests. Hauser soon proceeds to show Schneider the machine's controls. As he does, Schneider slowly backs away and eventual exits the tarp. Hauser then presses a button just as the bomb explodes, which helps to launch the rocket in the air. The rocket then leaves the camp, leaving behind in its wake Hauser, who is now in tattered and smoking clothing, while Klink complains about his medal now being missing. Hogan promises Klink that they would make him a new one.
Later, inside Klink's office, while eating some grapes, Hogan suggests to Klink, who fears that the incident has just destroyed the camp's reputation, that Hauser got a bit drunk during the ceremony and then accidently launched the rocket towards England. Klink accepts Hogan's idea, at first, but then goes to see if Hauser has a better idea after hearing from Schultz that the rocket has actually landed in Hamburg, destroying half of the airfield there. Still inside Klink's office, Schultz chastises Hogan for the airfield's destruction, to which Hogan replies that he has lousy aim when he's in a hurry.
Story Notes Edit
- This is the fourth produced episode of the series, but the third one to be shown on television.
- This is the first episode in which none of the series' semi-regular appear.
- This episode features the first appearances of both the 'sink periscope' and the photo of Hitler with a microphone planted in it (for listening in on conversations inside Klink's office via their coffee pot).
- The signal used for opening up the rising bed entrance is revealed in this episode.
- This is the last episode in which Larry Hovis' (Carter) opening credit shot is him cranking a radio antenna (even though Kinch was always the radio operator). That footage is lifted from episode 7 (which has not been aired yet).
- In this episode, in Colonel Klink's acceptance speech, he mentions that his father has suggested that he goes to a military academy since he'd failed several entrance exams for other professions - in particular law, medicine, and bookkeeping.
- This is the first episode where the Germans would attempt to hide something at Stalag 13, with most attempts being done in the knowledge that the Allies would not bomb the stalag for fear of killing their own men.
- This is the first episode to make mention of the German V-Weapons, with this on being a fictional V-3. The actual V-3 was a giant rocket gun that was never finished by the time the war ended.
- There is no bulletin board in Klink's office.
- General Burkhalter is mentioned by name in this episode, but does not physically appear. This is also the first episode, production-wise, in which his new rank of general is mentioned.
- The rocket and carrier rig shown in the episode were inspired by the real-life V-2 and its Meillerwagen transport/launch system.
- Newkirk tells Hogan that the Germans are guarding the rocket like the "ruddy Bank of England". The Bank of England, formally the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. It is the second oldest central bank in the world, established in 1694, and the world's 8th oldest bank. The Bank's headquarters have been in London's main financial district, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, since 1734. Sarah Whitehead’s ghost is said to haunt the Bank's garden. During the Second World War, the German Operation Bernhard attempted to counterfeit denominations between £5 and £50, producing 500,000 notes each month in 1943. The original plan was to parachute the money into the UK in an attempt to destabilise the British economy, but it was found more useful to use the notes to pay German agents operating throughout Europe – although most fell into Allied hands at the end of the war, forgeries frequently appeared for years afterwards, which led banknote denominations above £5 to be removed from circulation. The vault, beneath the City of London, covers a floor space greater than that of the second-tallest building in the City, Tower 42, and needs keys that are three feet long to open.
Timeline Notes and SpeculationsEdit
- Burkhalter has been promoted to the rank of brigadier general (Generalmajor). This implies a date some time after The Informer, in which he is still a colonel (Oberst).
- This episode appears to take place sometime after the Allied bombing of the German rocket research facility at Peenemünde on August 17, 1943. This may have been one of the early deployments of the Meillerwagon. It could be as late as mid-1944, given Schultz's joking and the fact that the rocket is being deployed for use against Great Britain.
At the start of the episode:
- Schultz: Don't you know no one is allowed outside after roll call?
- Carter: Schultz, I was just going into town for some beer. I'd been back by, say, June - July at the latest.
- Colonel Hogan: (seeing the truck with the rocket through the periscope) That *is* bigger than a piano. It's even bigger than a bread box.
As the prisoners discuss what could be inside the truck and what to do about it:
- Hogan: Maybe some kind of new secret weapon?
- LeBeau: Then why are they bringing it here?
- Hogan: They know it's safe. The Allies won't bomb a prisoner of war camp.
- Newkirk: Now you see that wouldn't be cricket.
- Carter: Hey gang! What about if we find out what it is and if it is important enough, we get London to bomb the camp? Now, that be great.
- Hogan: Carter. Out!
- Carter: Schultz says I might get shot.
- Hogan: That's right.
As they inform London about the secret German rocket:
- Hogan: Little Miss Muffet has a big new tuffet that goes boom. Little Miss Muffet moving tuffet in 48 hours. Goldilocks request permission to make tuffet go boom before move! Over!
Colonel Klink trying to remind Schultz whom is suppose to be running the camp:
- Klink: Really? Tell me, Schultz, which Colonel is running this camp, Hogan or me? I sometimes wonder.
- Schultz: Me too, Herr Komman… (Klink gets up)
- Klink: I am the Colonel who will sign your transfer for the Russian Front.
- Schultz: Boy, are you running the camp.
Klink pours Hogan some schnapps as he celebrates being told that he had been made Kommandant of the Year:
- Klink: And, what does it say in your little Geneva book about that?
- Hogan (looking through his notebook): Well, let's see? Schnapps...Here it is. Page 5, Chapter 4, Section 1. Only the good stuff.
Klink stops, and then picks up the bottle with the better tasting Schnapps in it.
- LeBeau: Hello, I am the Big Bad Wolf... And they must answer, We are Little Red Riding Hood... terrible, no imagination!
- Hogan: You want to be a writer, go into Special Services.
- LeBeau: I'm ashamed of you.
When Klink is meeting the "award committee"
- Klink: Colonel Schneider, (saluting) I’m Colonel Klink. It is a great honor and privilege to welcome you to Stalag 13.
- Schneider: Danke schön, Klink. My officers: Captain Hockenburg; Lieutenant Brauer; Lieutenant Smith… Burg.
Major Hauser, as he's speaking to 'Colonel' Schneider as the later is sneaking off so that he wouldn't get caught in the explosion that he knew was coming:
- Hauser: I can even press the firing button with complete safety.
After the rocket has been launched:
- Klink: What happened?
- Hogan: One of your rockets is missing.
Major Hauser, now wearing tattered, smoking clothing after being caught in the backwash of the launching rocket:
- Major Hauser: Colonel! It is a catastrophe! It is a catastrophe, Colonel!
- Klink (Upon discovering that his medal is gone): It IS a catastrophe--my medal is missing!
- Hogan: Don't worry, Colonel, we'll make you another one.
- Schultz: You said England. You made a big hole in the Hamburg air field - Tsk, tsk, tsk - naughty, naughty!
- Hogan: What can I do, Schultz? My aim is lousy when I'm in a hurry.
- The reason for the rocket being hidden at Stalag 13 is so it could be protected from Allied bombing until the construction of its base on the Atlantic coast is complete. Considering the actual distance between the German state of Bavaria and the Atlantic Ocean, its obvious that the episode's writers aren't too worried about reality. Although it could also feasibly be argued that, as a prototype system, the Germans were taking the utmost care and caution in protecting a potentially valuable military asset which may have had exceptional military applications.
- The German city of Hamburg, which is located in northern Germany at the southern tip of the Jutland Peninsula, is not located as close to the village of Hammelburg, in the state of Bavaria, as it is made to sound at the end of the episode by the writers.
- The antenna that Kinch raises pushes the mast of the flagpole up. While Kinch pumps the hydraulic fluid, the pole rises smoothly, not a pumping motion as would be seen with a real hand operated hydraulic pump but more like would be seen with a mechanical pump. The flagpole is coming through the roof of Klink's quarters. Either the radio room in the tunnel is directly under Klink’s quarters, or there is a hydraulic line running to the flagpole. And if there is a line running to the flagpole, why does a pole rise in the tunnel? In later episodes, it is shown that when the prisoners descend into the tunnel using the bunkbed entrance, they descend directly into the radio room.
- Kommandant of the Year at TV.com
- Kommandant of the Year at the Internet Movie Database
- Kommandant of the Year episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Commadant of the year at ein Kafig voller Helden
- Kommandant of the Year episode on YouTube
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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