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Colonel Klink's Secret Weapon

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You're out of uniform!
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Colonel Klink's Secret Weapon
Original Airdate: March 24, 1967
Production Number: 5784-58
Written by: Phil Sharp
Directed by: Gene Reynolds
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

None

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

The staff and prisoners suffer at the hands of a tough sergeant sent to improve discipline.

Plot Details Edit

Hogan, Kinch and Stalag 13's latest escapee Lieutenant Bigelow are in the tunnels taking down numbers of a tank column outside camp. Bigelow is to take the report with him and deliver it to London. The sheer force of the tank column causes the tunnel supports to weaken, hastening Hogan's decision to send Bigelow on his way. Just as Bigelow is escorted through the tunnels by Kinch, LeBeau informs Hogan that they are due for roll call. Hogan and Kinch quickly return to the barracks just as the tunnel collapses. Hogan enquires about Bigelow but Kinch informs him that the lieutenant was past the safety zone and "he's alright." The two quickly take seats just as Klink and Schultz arrive. The Prussian colonel berates Hogan for not falling out, pointing out that Schultz has been trying to get their attention with a whistle for some time now. Hogan points out that the sound of the nearby tank column drowned out the sound of the whistle, a point Schultz agrees with. Klink changes the subject to the state of the barracks and the prisoners themselves. Recently Stalag 13 was visited by the Inspector General who gave a efficiency rating of G minus (the second lowest passing mark). He then asks the prisoners to fall out for roll call "whenever you find the time." As the Kommandant leaves, the Heroes voice among themselves their mutual concern that Klink is up to something because of his unusually calm manner while addressing the camp's problems.

After roll call, Hogan meets with a unusually happy Klink in his office and pretends to congratulate him for his good sportsmanship regarding the low efficiency rating. Taking the bait, the gullible Klink reveals the reason he is so happy. He has taken possession of a "secret weapon" which will guarantee him an efficiency rating of EE++ (the highest rating). Klink then introduces Hogan to Sergeant Reinhold Franks, an expert on military efficiency who knows every regulation in the book. 

Franks' knowledge of regulations is brought to bear the very next morning as the prisoners fall out 64 seconds longer than the permitted time (48 seconds), prompting him to announce roll call will be held an hour earlier the next morning as punishment. The prisoners naturally complain about this, which is also against regulations causing Franks to schedule roll call two hours earlier the next morning. Franks quickly orders all the men (even Schultz) to run to the morning work detail. Hogan confers with Klink and asks where the Kommandant found Franks. The delighted Klink reveals that he is a "gift" from the Kommandant of Stalag 8, recently the lowest ranked of all the Stalags before Franks was stationed there. Klink confidently declares that Stalag 13 will receive perfect ratings in the future and laughs off Hogan's assertations that Franks will give Stalag 13 a bad name.

Later that day, the exhausted prisoners return from their work detail (which involved running all day with one rest break to pull weeds). Hogan muses that they need to clear the collapsed tunnel but since none of them are in condition to work it will have to wait. Schultz soon arrives exhausted and with many complaints about Franks. Hogan points out that as they are both sergeants, Franks cannot order Schultz around. The heavyset sergeant agrees to tell Franks off the next time he sees him just as Franks arrives. He promptly makes a report for the prisoners resting in their beds during the day and also reports Schultz for fraternisation as well as taking an unauthorised break. The cowardly Schultz not only fails to tell Franks off, but even agrees to join yet another work detail before insisting to Hogan that he will stand up to Franks "next time." 

Hogan complains to Klink about Franks, but Klink laughs off the complaint and insists that Hogan and his men have had life too easy. They are interrupted by Franks and Schultz, the former there to make his report on the latter. Schultz tries to defend himself, but Klink boldly insists that "no one is too big for regulations." This statement is soon tested as Franks has another report for Klink to sign, one about Klink himself. As it turns out, the Kommandant's efficiency reports are overdue by six weeks. Klink's attitude quickly changes and he threatens to break Franks, but the sergeant smugly insists he will write to his cousin if Klink tries anything. As it also turns out, Franks' cousin holds an important position in Field Marshal Goering's office, causing Klink to recant his threat and agree to write the efficiency report. Hogan remarks that Franks would turn in his own father, to which Franks replies that his father is currently serving a term in an East Prussian labour camp. Franks then reminds Klink that Hitler's portrait must be hung eight inches above eye level which anyone can hang provided they wear gloves. Hogan agrees to this last part, insisting "I wouldn't touch it myself without gloves."

Hogan returns to the barracks to find the prisoners resting at their beds again. Hogan decides they have to get rid of Franks as he is ruining their operations, but the conversation quickly ends as the prisoners fall asleep, prompting Hogan to tuck them in. Franks soon arrives to perform a barracks inspection and finds the bunks are 28 inches apart (regulations allowing 27 inches at most) and that the walls and bunks are dirty. As punishment he orders the barracks be given half-rations and all recreational privileges revoked for a month before demanding the prisoners clean the barracks with toothbrushes.

Hogan meets with Schultz who is now terrified of Franks and asks Hogan to "get rid of him." After discussing the idea, Hogan soon leaves Schultz and meets with Max, an Underground agent posing as a general deliveryman, bringing supplies to the camp. Max informs Hogan that the Underground is still waiting for Bigelow and have been watching the tunnel entrance for any sign of him. Fearing the worst, Hogan returns to the barracks to rally his men. The Heroes are naturally concerned, but have to start digging without Hogan who is summoned to Klink's office.

Klink as it turns out is now as afraid of Franks as Schultz, and likewise asks Hogan how they can get rid of him. Klink has tried to have Franks transferred back to Stalag 8, but the Kommandant there refuses to take him back, being only too happy to be rid of him. Klink has also tried to send Franks to any other Stalag, but all the other kommandants are aware of Franks' reputation and are unwilling to take him. Klink offers Hogan a cigar and asks what he thinks they should do. After some thinking, Hogan suggests they perform a drive-by shooting on Franks when he's out walking, much to Klink's dismay. The Kommandant has six months of paperwork to catch up on and is in no mood for Hogan's shenaningans, and so dismisses him.

The prisoners meanwhile are working hard clearing out the tunnel. With no other place to put the dirt, they have bagged it and are hiding it in the bunk beds. Carter quickly informs the returned Hogan that Franks is approaching, and all but Hogan hide in the tunnels. Hogan converses with Franks who performs a superficial check of the barracks (not realising the "sleeping prisoners" are bags of dirt.) The conversation soon turns to the Inspector General who will be making another visit the next day at Franks' instigation through his cousin. Franks openly reveals to Hogan his plan to take all the credit for the camp's improvements and make Klink look bad at the same time. Hogan simply remarks that he hopes Franks gets everything he deserves before leaving. 

The next morning, the Heroes have managed to dig their way to the safety zone of the tunnel and find Bigelow alive and well (albeit having lost his taste for rations). As it turns out, both ends of the tunnel collapsed, except the safety zone. Newkirk soon discovers at least another week's worth of digging will have to be done to clear the emergency tunnel and since they need some place to put the dirt, Hogan orders the men to hide the bags in the rafters of the barracks. As they are working however, they are summoned to roll call (having forgotten about the earlier time). With no choice, the men fall out. Franks announces the Inspector General will be arriving that day for inspection, but he insists he will check Hogan's barracks first. Hogan tries to stall Franks, but the sergeant bursts inside to find the barracks spotless. He then demands LeBeau iron his spare uniform for him and threatens to shoot him if he doesn't before leaving. Bigelow soon meets with the Heroes and explains that he moved the dirt bags back into the tunnel after hearing that Franks intended to make an inspection, for which the Heroes are grateful. Since they won't be able to clear the tunnel for a while, Hogan decides they will get Bigelow out through the front gates. Hogan asks to use some of Carter's invisible ink before declaring they will get rid of Franks and help Bigelow to escape at the same time. 

The Inspector General arrives and speaks with Klink in his office, commenting that the last Kommandant to receive a G minus rating twice in a row was Colonel Feldkamp, formerly of Stalag 5 and now "of the Russian Front." Franks assures the Inspector General that he has seen to everything, and when they leave the office they find the camp has been trashed (in a space of two minutes). Franks orders the prisoners to fall out, which they do slowly. Franks tries to restore order, but as he does so, his uniform falls apart revealing a large V for Victory sign on his undershirt. The Inspector General declares it to be treason and has Schultz arrest Franks to be turned over to the Gestapo (which he is more than happy to do). Franks protests that he has done nothing wrong, but Hogan smugly recites the regulation code concerning uniforms.

Later that night, as they await the Gestapo to take Franks away, the Inspector General assures Klink that he will not be blamed for Franks' incompetence and treason. Disguised in Gestapo uniform, Bigelow arrives to "arrest" the hapless sergeant, who once again claims innocence and declares he will prove it at his trial. Bigelow simply points out "what trial?" before having him locked up in the back of a truck he "acquired" as he leaves. A very happy Klink approaches Hogan and boasts of how he got rid of Franks on his own, before declaring that no one gets the best of him.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the fifty-eighth episode produced in the series, but is the sixtieth episode to be shown on television and is the twenty-eighth episode for the second season.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

Quotes Edit

Hogan and Klink are discussing how to rid themselves of Sergeant Franks:

  • Hogan: I've got it.
  • Klink (grinning): You have? What is it? Tell me, oooh, I like it already!
  • Hogan: We rub him out.
  • Klink (smile evaporating): Rub him out.
  • Hogan: Bump him off.
  • Klink (deadpanning): Bump him off.
  • Hogan: He's standing in the street. We come by in a car with a tommy gun and let him have it. (mimics machine gun firing)
  • Klink: Hogan, are you out of your mind? The Gestapo would get to you in ten minutes!
  • Hogan: Oh, I don't know. Cagney always did it and the Gestapo never got him.

Bloopers Edit

External links Edit


Previous episode:
The Tower
Next episode:
Top Secret Top Coat

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