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A Russian Is Coming

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ARussianIsComing
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: A Russian Is Coming
Original Airdate: November 25, 1967
Production Number: 5784-79
Written by: Phil Sharp
Directed by: Bob Sweeney
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan tries to get a Russian pilot, who refuses to escape to London, back to Russia.

Plot Details Edit

The Heroes have assembled in the tunnel as they have heard an intruder, the intruder happens to be their old friend DuBois, who along with several other Underground agents, is carrying a tied Russian officer. The Russian had been shot down half a mile from Stalag 13, but despite his and the Heroes respective countries being allies, the Russian considers anyone who doesn't speak his language the enemy. DuBois leaves the Russian to Hogan for processing and they try to assure the Russian that they aren't his enemies. Despite their efforts, the moment they untie him, he bites LeBeau's hand, steals his gun and holds the Heroes at gunpoint. Hogan once again points out their combined nationalities, none German, and that they are working alongside the Underground. Kinch drives home the point by asking "do I look German to you?" The Russian, seeing sense gives LeBeau his gun back. He introduces himself as Lieutenant Igor Grygorovich Piotkin and shakes hands with all the Heroes. LeBeau asks him if he is hungry, and tells him that he knew by the way he bit LeBeau's hand. 

Sometime later as Piotkin is being served a meal by LeBeau. The rest of the Heroes begin to question if Piotkin is legitimate, and decide to ask him a few questions until they are satisfied he is not a spy. Carter asks several questions on American pop culture, which Piotkin fails to answer, causing Carter to believe he has uncovered Pitokin's true nature as a spy. Hogan curtly reminds Carter that all it really proves is that Piotkin is not American. Hogan then makes a show of "reminding" everyone that Alexander Graham Bell's birthday is coming up. Piotkin has no idea who Bell is, so Hogan reminds him that he is the man who invented the telephone and claims he is American. Piotkin is incensed, and declares that the telephone is a Russian invention, prompting a small argument which confirms Piotkin as being Russian. Kinch asks what is to be done with the Russian and Hogan decides they will fix his plane so he can return to Russia. Piotkin muses that the Heroes couldn't possibly know how to fix his plane as it is "the newest most advanced model." Hogan merely replies that it is the same model the Allies have been using for two years, much to Piotkin's chagrin.

The next day, General Burkhalter arrives at Stalag 13, informs Klink that a Russian plane had been brought down the night before, (which Klink had mistaken for German as it had engine trouble) and orders Klink to begin a search for the missing Russian pilot. He also tells Klink that he will be held liable if the Russian gets away. 

Meanwhile in the barracks, Piotkin enters the barracks and demands to know when he will be able to return to Russia. Hogan explains that his plane has been captured by the Germans and that he will have to be sent to England instead. Piotkin refuses, insisting he will only go to Russia, just as Schultz arrives for barracks inspection. As there is no time to hide Piotkin, they wrap a sheet around him and disguise him as a prisoner getting a haircut. Schultz opens with some banter about the Russian plane before counting the prisoners and realising there is one extra. He goes to leave and report it to Klink, but Hogan stops him and reminds him in story, that he has twelve pounds of coffee and a dozen pairs of nylons in his possession, all of which are American. After his story, he poses that Schultz would get in serious grief if caught. Schultz takes the point and decides to leave without reporting the extra man. The Heroes force Piotkin into the tunnels before Schultz returns and announces he is going to return the coffee and nylons, and then report the extra man. Hogan asks him to do another count, which Schultz does, and finds that the numbers are correct this time around. Schultz then passes his decision to return the contraband off as a joke and leaves. Kinch quickly informs Hogan that Piotkin has escaped from the tunnels. The Heroes can't look for him in broad daylight, and knowing he will eventually be caught by the extra patrols, Hogan goes to Klink's office to stall him.

Klink is coordinating the search with his patrols concentrated east of the camp. His reasoning being that Russia is in the east, and a Russian would logically try to return to Russia. Klink receives a call from one Lieutenant Huber, aide to Field Marshal Gruneke. Huber takes a brief status report from Klink before unceremoniously hanging up on him. Hogan then poses the "problem" of Klink's search parties: Why should the Russian return to Russia when it would be easier for him to go west, where there is less resistance and receive help from the French Underground to go to England. Klink chides Hogan for his supposed lack of military tactics before dismissing him, and promptly calls all his patrols to search west of the camp.

Hogan, back in the barracks, relays what has happened to the rest of the Heroes, before they receive a signal that someone is in the tunnels. They promptly go down to find DuBois, once again leading Piotkin. DuBois asks Hogan to keep a better watch on Piotkin and declares that if Piotkin escapes again, he will hand him over to the Gestapo in self defence before leaving. Piotkin continues to insist that he will not go to England, but Hogan distracts him by asking him about Russia, which prompts Piotkin to give a detailed explanation of Russia and its history. Hogan meanwhile has Kinch hook a telephone wire from Klink's office to his own. Kinch asks if he will send Piotkin to England, with Hogan simply replying "nope, Russia."

Half an hour later, Piotkin is still giving his explanation of Russian history, and Kinch returns with the telephone wire connected. Hogan phones Klink, who has ordered the patrols stop searching. Hogan, under the guise of Lieutenant Huber, asks for another status report. Klink lies and claims they are still searching, and then ends the call to order his search parties back on the hunt. Klink muses that he should not have to be ordered around by Huber, a significantly lower ranked officer, and goes to phone Field Marshal Gruneke about Huber's disrespect. Hogan arrives, and lying claims that Huber is not only Gruneke's aide, but also his nephew. The horrified Klink hangs up immediately and asks Hogan what he knows about Huber. Hogan claims that Huber's sister is married to Joseph Goebbels' cousin, that his mother went to school with Hermann Goering's wife and was her best friend. To top it off he claims that Huber is also the illegitimate son of Adolf Hitler, much to Klink's horror.

Later that night, Piotkin is still talking about Russia to Carter, as Newkirk and LeBeau are falling asleep. Hogan meanwhile, under the guise of Huber again, informs Klink that he is near the camp and threatens to personally take over the search if Klink cannot find the Russian pilot. Klink assures him that he can before hanging up and musing that Huber must definitely be Hitler's son. Hogan calls Piotkin into his office and informs him that they will get him back to Russia, but that Piotkin will have to trust everything Hogan says, which the Russian agrees to.

Klink receives a call from "Field Marshal Gruneke" aka Kinch. He claims that the Piotkin has been caught in Berlin. Klink asks about Lieutenant Huber, prompting "Gruneke" to angrily declare Huber a disgrace and that he has been disowned from the family. He further goes on to say that Huber has been stealing money. Klink informs "Gruneke" that Huber is near Stalag 13, as per his previous call. Klink is ordered to have Huber shot if he is seen, but "Gruneke" changes his mind and declares that he has a better idea and tells it to Klink, which puts a smile on the Prussian colonel's face.

Hogan leads Piotkin, who is dressed in German uniform to Klink's office. Klink gives "Huber" an evil look, informs him that he has been phoned by "Field Marshall Gruneke," and has "Huber" arrested. Lieutenant Huber aka Piotkin is to be sent to the Russian front immediately. After Piotkin is taken away, Klink declares victory. Hogan joking muses what would happen if "Huber" really did want to go to the Russian front, earning a laugh from the clueless Klink.

Story Notes Edit

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This episode appears to take place in late 1944, most likely in October. Hogan says that the Russian front is getting closer every day. The Russians launched their greatest offensive of the war against German forces on June 22, 1944. In October, they entered Prussia and made steady progress in southeastern Europe.

Quotes Edit

Trying to convince Igor that the heroes are allies:

  • Kinch to Igor: "Do I look German to you?"

Trivia Edit

  • Though the show's writers couldn't have their characters swear on television at the time, in this episode they managed, quite cleverly, to get around this. When Klink, upon being 'informed' that Lieutenant Huber is 'Hitler's son', protests that Hitler isn't married, Hogan responds with a dry "So what?".  Klink then makes the shocked statement "Then that would make him..." with the last, unspoken phrase being, of course, a bastard. Hogan snidely retorts with "So's his old man". 
  • Piotkin's plane that went down was most likely a Bell P-39 Airacobra. It was an American fighter plane lend-leased to the Soviet Union during World War II. It was a favorite fighter plane among pilots of the Soviet Air Forces at the time.

Bloopers Edit

External links Edit


Previous episode:
Is General Hammerschlag Burning?
Next episode:
An Evening of Generals

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