|Episode:||The Flight of the Valkyrie|
|Original Airdate:||October 15, 1965|
|Written by:||Richard M. Powell|
|Directed by:||Gene Reynolds|
|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
- Fräulein Helga - Cynthia Lynn
- Corporal Karl Langenscheidt - Jon Cedar
- Colonel Rodney Crittendon - Bernard Fox
Guest Stars Edit
Plot Details Edit
The episode begins with Oscar Schnitzer making a night delivery into the camp. Schnitzer stops his truck in front of the camp's dog kennel. After getting out of the truck, he opens up the truck's back doors, and after he gets one of the new guard dogs to exit the truck, it is quickly followed out the door by Baroness Lili, who is presently on the run for being a German traitor. After walking into the kennel, she is met by LeBeau, who, after getting a dog, Bismarck, to exit the doghouse that is covering the doghouse tunnel entrance, leads her into the tunnels. She is meet at the bottom of the ladder by Hogan. After welcoming the Baroness, he tells LeBeau to go back up to keep a look out, which the Frenchman does. The Baroness, before she asks Colonel Hogan to just call her Lili, thanks him for his help, while also apologizing to him for what she fears her sudden appearance might do to his organization since she knows that the Gestapo is now looking for her and she is afraid that they might actually find her there. Hogan goes about calming her fears, while also informing a surprised Lili that they plan to get her out of Germany by plane, when LeBeau returns to tell him that Klink wants to see him. Not knowing what Klink wants, he leaves Lili with LeBeau, before going up to head for Klink's office.
Once Hogan is inside Klink's office, Colonel Klink tells him a joke about two race track touts who talk about a third, rich man who is gambling on the horses at the track and wants to meet one of the touts for business reasons while that person jokes about wanting to lose that person since he is actually bad for business, before telling Hogan about all of the recent weird incidents that have been occurring around the prison camp since he has appeared there, including the recent incidents with the tank that suddenly burst out of the rec room and the train that blew up, as well as two more recent incidents: of an American pilot who has been shot down near the camp and that they have so far been unable to find either him or his plane and the sudden disappearance of a female friend of a cabinet minister, much to Hogan's amusement. Klink then introduces Hogan to Colonel Crittendon. Crittendon informs Hogan that he is a transfer from Stalag 18 and that he has been a prisoner for several months. Hogan starts to realize that something is up when Klink asks him how long he has been a Colonel. At this point, Hogan starts to realize what it is since he knows that Klink already knows the answer to that question, and he soon finds out what it is: Klink tells him that he is being replaced as senior officer among the prisoners by Crittendon, who is his senior in rank by several years. Klink seems to like the idea of demoting Hogan since he believes that it would help to calm things down around the camp, while Hogan, although he doesn't show it, doesn't like the idea as it may disrupt his organization's operations, especially after Crittendon's promise to shake things up after he learns that the prisoners didn't exercise or do parade. Klink also seems to like Crittendon as he appears to be a bit more disciplined officer than Colonel Hogan. Klink then rubs it in by offering Hogan a cigar from his cigar box, which Hogan refuses to take, much to Klink's enjoyment.
Hogan is soon back in his office, or rather his former office, starting to remove his personal belongings, while Kinchloe looks on, trying to convince his leader to not take this lying down. LeBeau, Newkirk and Carter, who are also in the room, don't like the idea of being under another leader either, and also suggest that Hogan protest the idea. In fact, Carter even suggests that they boycott the change over, since Crittendon has not been sent by London. But Hogan rejects all of his now ex-men ideas of not following Crittendon's orders, sure that he would lead them just as well as he has. At this point, Crittendon enters Hogan's former office, seeing Hogan getting his stuff together. Crittendon is formally introduced by Hogan to his senior men, telling Crittendon what each of their jobs is. The British officer quickly informs Hogan and his senior staff that he would soon be selecting his own men, before he tells them that he is surprised to learn that there has been no successful escape attempts from the camp, thinking that it is only because of a lack of discipline. Crittendon then says that it is the duty of every men to escape and rejoin his own national forces while mentioning that he has already made eleven escape attempts of his own, although he has always been caught and brought back. He then says that he is going to correct this by having the prisoners start on a new escape tunnel, soon volunteering Newkirk and Carter, in spite of the former's protest, to help him build it. Hogan tries to intervene, trying to tell Crittendon about what they are really doing by asking him a hypothetical question: What would he do if he heard that they are helping someone who has information on the German High Command? Crittendon's answer to this is quick and to the point: he informs Hogan that since he follows the rules of war, and if what Hogan has just told him ever actually happen, he would have no choice but to turn over to Klink anyone who is actually involved in such clandestine activities. This forces Hogan to not tell Crittendon about their organization, while he watches Crittendon take away a protesting Carter and Newkirk to help build his new escape tunnel. Hogan now has to figure out how to get Lili out of the camp while at the same time keeping Crittendon from finding out about their organization.
Hogan is soon back in the tunnel, talking to Lili as he shows her what they plan to do to get her out of Germany. He shows her their factory, where some of the prisoners were presently putting back together a damaged plane, while also showing her its pilot, Lieutenant Harris, who, once the plane is ready to go, would fly her out of the camp. Lili, although protesting that the idea might not work, praises Hogan on his organization. Hogan then informs her that he is not the one in charge, it is now Crittendon, although at the moment he is out building a new tunnel. At about this time, Carter and Newkirk are inside the tunnel that they are creating for Crittendon, taking a cigarette break, with Newkirk complaining about them building it. He is soon called back by Crittendon and the pair goes back to work. As Hogan continues to talk with Lili, Kinch and LeBeau soon hears some digging sounds which are headed towards them. As Lili queries if the Germans have found them, Hogan's replies it might actually be one of theirs, which is soon proven by Crittendon's head breaking through the wall. As the British officer starts to look around, Hogan reminds the men that Crittendon is now the man in charge, before he comments that accidents will happen just as he drops a wrench on the British officer's head, which knocks him out.
Crittendon later comes around, as a bandage is being wrapped around his wounded head by Newkirk. As it is being done, he says that he has no idea what has happened after he has burst out of the new tunnel, although the others tells him that the new tunnel have caved in, thereby being the reason for him being knocked out. He then mentions that he'd thought that he has seen another tunnel, within which he has seen an airplane and a female. Hogan quickly convinces Crittendon that he has actually had an hallucination and that the airplane he saw represents freedom to an airman while the female he saw is a reminder of him not having seen a woman for a while. Hogan and the others next convinces Crittendon to lead them in a new escape attempt, this one to go through the barbed wire fence, as well as suggesting to him what the cover plan should be, creating a lot of noise. Crittendon then heads off to see Klink to ask permission for the prisoners to be given a tent where the prisoners' Orchestra could practice, playing some Wagner's music. Crittendon then suggests that Newkirk and Carter would accompany him, while Hogan declines joining them, as he has his own ideas.
A short time later, Hogan is inside his former office, playing on a pair of kettle drums when Sergeant Schultz walks into the office. Schultz chastises a confused Hogan for allowing female spies to walk around the camp before bringing in Lili, then telling him to send her back to wherever he has found her before he leaves the room. Once they are alone, Lili apologizes to Hogan for leaving the tunnels and then the barracks, but she has to since before her arrival at the camp she has been placed in an underground cell by the Gestapo and it is still affecting her, so she needed to get out of the tunnel to get some air. After listening to her tale, Hogan accepts her apology, but tells her to be more careful and to go back to the tunnel. But before she could, Crittendon appears, which forces her to hide herself in the room, while wearing Hogan's hat on her head to act as a disguise. Crittendon, once he is in the room, informs Hogan that Klink has said that he would give them a tent for the Orchestra, before he realizes that the person that Hogan has earlier claimed to be one of the men is actually Lili. At first, Crittendon says that he is going to inform Klink about her being there, but Lili informs him that she is a German traitor and is fighting for the same cause and that she promises to surrender herself if he does tell Klink about her. After thinking it over, Crittendon agrees to let her stay for another 24 hours, by which time both of them should be gone from the Stalag. At the same time, he mentions that she reminds him of the woman that he had seen in his 'hallucination'. Hogan comments that it means that he has good taste.
The agreed to plan is now put into operation. The Orchestra's surprisingly excellent playing from inside the tent soon catches the attention of both Klink and Fräulein Helga, causing Klink to comment that their country's culture could best be summed up by the music that is presently being played. When Helga asks him if he plans to go back into front line service, he tells her to just listen to the music. But, what the listening pair did not know is that the music that they are listening to is actually being played on a Victrola, while the heroes proceed to finish fixing up Lieutenant Harris' plane under cover of the the tent and with the music masking the repair noises, while they have earlier nicknamed the plane Valkyrie for the occasion. Schultz, who is also enjoying the music, then goes under the tent to watch the Orchestra practice, and instead discovers that there is actually a plane under the tent. After Hogan asks Kinch to turn off the music, Schultz has a short debate with him, before he reminds Schultz that Crittendon is presently the one in charge. As this occurs, Crittendon leads Newkirk and Carter towards the barb wire, still assuming that the noise being made by the fake "Orchestra" is to help cover their escape attempt, when in reality it is to help cover the escape of Harris and Lili in the former's rebuilt plane. Crittendon, Newkirk and Carter soon reaches one part of the fence, planning to cut through the barb wire, just as the music restarts. After a short conversation, Crittendon goes over to a different section of the wire, one that has already been set up to collapse as soon as Crittendon starts to cut it with his wire cutters, while Newkirk and Carter ponders what his reaction will be when he sees the fence suddenly fall down. The pair didn't have long to wait, as Crittendon is soon surprised to see the fence fall down before him after he makes only one cut into it. He is then in for an even bigger surprise when he hears Newkirk tells him that he and Carter both plan to stay inside the camp, seeing as he is now no longer the senior officer as he is standing outside the camp, with Newkirk's comments being a big surprise to him. Carter then suggests that he gets out of the way, else he might get run over by the plane that would soon be exiting the tent. A surprised Crittendon then looks ahead and sees an American plane getting ready to leave the tent. He quickly decides to leave. At the same time, Klink, who hears the noises of an engine being revved up, finally realizes that something is wrong. He exits his office, as he orders the guards to stop whatever is happening, But, it is already too late, as the plane, with Lieutenant Harris and Lili inside, soon files out of the camp, headed for England, with Hogan, Kinch and LeBeau watching. Meanwhile, Crittendon starts his escape attempt, but is soon recaptured offscreen by the now alerted guards.
Later, once again inside Klink's office, as Helga prepares to do some dictation to write up a report for Berlin, Klink is speaking with Hogan about the previous day's happenings, soon informing him that the recaptured Crittendon, who is presently in the cooler, is going to be transferred back to his original camp, since he seems to have been the cause for the most recent troubles: the plane flying out of the tent and Crittendon's failed escape attempt. Hogan, who is once again the senior prisoner, convinces Klink to not make out a report to Berlin on the incident, but to instead write up one that would send Crittendon back to Stalag 18. Hogan then proceeds to throw back at Klink the punchline of the touts' joke that he has earlier used on him, in this case in reference to Crittendon.
Story Notes Edit
- This is the ninth produced episode of the series, but the fifth one to be shown on television.
- A couple of incidents from earlier episodes, Hold That Tiger and The Late Inspector General are mentioned during a conversation between Colonel Klink and Hogan which Klink claims are the reasons for Hogan being replaced as senior POW by Colonel Crittendon.
- In the episode, it is claimed that Crittendon outranks Hogan by 12 years. He has been shot down "months ago" and has just been transferred from Stalag 18. Reason: He keeps trying to escape.
- Corporal Newkirk mentions in the episode that he's part Welsh.
- The episode's major plot point is that while it is expected for POWs to escape from POW camps, it is frowned upon for them to be involved in sabotaging the enemies' war effort.
- The actress who plays Baroness Lili, Louise Troy, later marries and then divorces Werner Klemperer. She is the stepmother for his two children.
- An historical figure, Richard Wagner, is mentioned in the episode. Also, the episode's title, The Flight of the Valkyrie, is based loosely on the song, The Ride of the Valkyries, which is played before and during the third act of his play, Die Walküre (The Valkyrie).
- One of the guard dogs is named Bismarck after Otto von Bismarck who is the Chancellor of first Prussia and then Imperial Germany from 1867 to 1890.
- A fictional character, Eliza, from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, is mentioned in the episode.
- This is the first episodic appearance of Bernard Fox as Colonel Rodney Crittendon. A British buffoon, Crittendon will return numerous times in the series, always to the dismay of Hogan and his men. Bernard Fox has guest stars in numerous series over the decades, but is best known as Dr. Bombay on Bewitched (1964-1972).
- Crittendon's character is suppose to be a satire of the character "Big X" from the 1963 film, The Great Escape, which is thought of as being an inspiration for the series.
Timeline Notes and SpeculationsEdit
- This episode appears to take place in late 1943.
- Crittendon was promoted to "colonel" (group captain) sometime in the 1930s. Like Klink, he too never again advances in rank, and largely for the same reasons. He was shot down in mid-1943 ("months ago").
- This probably takes place after The General Swap. Otherwise, Hogan's reaction to Klink informing him that he was no longer the ranking POW might have been, "No ... not Crittendon."
- Hogan: Digging?
- Kinch: Sounds like it.
- Lili: Is it one of them?
- Hogan: Worse--I think it's one of ours.
This would be confirmed by Crittendon's head suddenly appearing out of a hole from a freshly dug tunnel.
- Schultz: Where did she come from? Don't tell me, but wherever it was, put her back!
Colonel Klink to talking to his secretary, Helga inside his office, while he listens to the prisoners' orchestra playing Wagner's music, not knowing that it is actually a record being played on a Victrola:
- Klink: You know, Helga… you know that the whole of our beautiful national soul, our culture is expressed in the Ride of the Valkyries.
- Helga: As a warrior, you must feel it deeply.
- Klink: I do. Perhaps someday, as a fallen hero, I shall be carried off to Valhalla across the saddle of a beautiful German war maiden… such as you, my dear Helga.
- Helga: Are you volunteering for active duty, Herr Kommandant?
- Klink: Be quiet and listen to the music.
- Newkirk: I'd love to see his face when he cuts that wire.
- Carter: So would I. Timber.
- Newkirk: I only hope that he doesn't get hit by the plane.
- Carter: Why?
- Newkirk: 'Cause he'd break a prop, that's why.
Klink talking with Hogan after Crittendon has been transferred back to his original POW camp:
- Klink: Colonel Hogan, just tell me one thing. Was it really Col. Crittendon who was responsible for yesterday?
- Hogan: Well, let's put it this way--we had to lose him. He was bad luck.
- There is no such rank as Colonel in the RAF. Crittendon's rank should actually be Group Captain.
- In the first of several examples in the series concerning nobility. Lili is addressed as "Baroness Lili" or simply "Baroness." Naming customs dictate that a noble be addressed as "my lord/lady" relative to their gender and their proper style feature their title after their name. In the case of Lili, her proper style would be Lili von Schlichter, Baroness X (the X referring to her barony). Clearly however, these customs were abandoned in the show for simplicity.
- The Flight of the Valkyrie at TV.com
- The Flight of the Valkyrie at the Internet Movie Database
- The Flight of the Valkyrie episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- The Flight of the Valkyrie at Ein Kafig voller Helden
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