|Episode:||Don't Forget to Write|
|Original Airdate:||December 9, 1966|
|Written by:||Laurence Marks|
|Directed by:||Gene Reynolds|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan|
- 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
The episode opens with Hogan directing Stalag 13's latest stowaway escapees around the tunnels, before telling them to settle in. When Hogan returns to the barracks, he finds the Heroes trying to coax their chicken Hermann into laying an egg, as they need one for a soufflé LeBeau will be making. Hogan orders the chicken to lay to no avail, but Schultz arrives to see Hermann's progress, as he has a vested interest in the soufflé too. Kinch asks Schultz' why he isn't on guard duty, to which the heavyset sergeant replies that Klink won't notice his absence as he is in a meeting with Colonel Bessler, a personnel officer from Berlin. After trying to coax Hermann with chicken noises, Schultz tries to leave, but stops when he finds that Hermann has laid and there will indeed be soufflé after all.
A little later, the Heroes are listening in on Klink's conversation with Bessler. Klink is touting himself up as usual, only he seemingly has a captive audience in Bessler. After showing Bessler a picture of his old bomber group, Klink starts to lay his touting on thick when he mentions he regrets no longer being an active combatant. Bessler praises Klink for his attitude and mentions that he is on a recruiting mission for the Russian Front. The Heroes have picked up on what the oblivious Klink has failed to see (that Bessler wants Klink) and practically scream at the coffee pot receiver for Klink to shut up. True to form, Klink touts himself so much that he has given Bessler every excuse he needs to have Klink filed for a transfer to the Russian Front after a physical examination sometime in the week. The Heroes ponder this alarming bit of news. Newkirk doesn't particularly care for Klink, but Hogan reminds him that their operation depends on Klink's stupidity. Carter suggests that Klink might not pass his physical and won't be transferred, giving Hogan an idea.
Hogan soon enters Klink's office to find the Prussian colonel looking justifiably shattered. At Hogan's prompting, Klink claims that he has just been in contact with an important general who is having his transfer revoked, but breaks down shortly after and tells truthfully that he hasn't been able to get in touch with anyone higher than the rank of lieutenant. Hogan makes a performance of giving Klink a wallet as a going away present, but declares it to be in bad taste once he finds a slip for an emergency contact in case of death. Klink once again goes to his shattered self, and Hogan leaps on the opportunity by suggesting that Klink should work extremely hard to fail his physical. Klink brushes off Hogan's suggestion and declares that he will do his duty... before practically screaming for Hogan's help.
One of Hogan's adjustments is apparent at lunch, when the hungry Klink finds that all he has to eat is bread and water (and a toothpick for dessert). Klink seeks out Schultz and orders him to share his lunch (consisting of two large sandwiches and wine) on pain of transfer to the Russian Front. Hogan arrives shortly after and reminds Klink that he must stay the course if he is to avoid the Russian Front. Klink reluctantly gives Schultz his sandwich back, and leaves before Hogan tells Schultz how hard it is to help people.
That night, Klink steps outside for the second portion of Hogan's plan: to contract pneumonia. Klink's bed has been moved outside and the Prussian colonel will be spending the night in it. Hogan and Schultz wish Klink a good night's sleep, to which Klink replies by telling the two to shut up.
The next morning as the Heroes are having a laugh about Klink's predicament, Hogan informs them that Klink's physical will be held in 48 hours time. The Heroes move into the third phase of Hogan's plan: to take turns to keep Klink as sleep deprived as possible. Carter keeps Klink awake with his story of how he enlisted in the army whike LeBeau and Kinch keep Klink awake with singing. Schultz tries his best to keep Klink awake, but finds it difficult as they have nothing to talk about. After failing to impress Klink with his talk on philosophy, the heavyset sergeant falls asleep and Klink has to wake HIM up. Newkirk keeps Klink busy with a game of Gin, but the hapless Kommandant passes out from exhaustion. Newkirk hurries to wake Klink up, but notices his cards and takes a laugh at them before waking Klink.
The two days pass and Klink is examined by a Luftwaffe doctor who declares Klink to be in terrible physical condition. Klink is overjoyed at this news, but his joy turns to horror when the doctor declares that he has passed the single most important test for anyone being considered for the Russian Front: he can breathe.
The next morning at roll call, Klink formally hands command of Stalag 13 to his adjutant Captain Gruber who gives a 30 day cooler sentence to a prisoner for speaking out of turn, and revoking the prisoners recreation privileges for the same period. Klink is particularly shocked at Gruber's display of toughness and General Burkhalter (who is in camp to oversee the transition) smugly suggests Klink could learn something from Gruber's example, if Klink ever returns from the Russian Front.
The prisoners are treated to a surprise roll call that night courtesy of Gruber. LeBeau complains to Hogan that they have to get rid of Gruber, and the quick thinking Hogan comes up with a plan. He instructs Newkirk, LeBeau and Carter to hide in the tunnels, then escape to the three emergency hideouts. When roll call is finished, Schultz informs Gruber that three prisoners are missing. Gruber gives a red alert order, only to be approached by Burkhalter who gives Gruber an earful. Klink is delightedly watching from his quarters, and is joined by Hogan who subtly offers him a way out of his transfer by suggesting that if he found the prisoners, Burkhalter would cancel his transfer. Hogan plants the idea that Klink would be clever enough to know where the prisoners would be hiding (a barn on the Hammelburg road, a cave next to a nearby bridge and a haystack on a farm outside camp).
The next day, Burkhalter and Gruber interrogate Hogan in the Kommandant's office. Hogan flatly denies any involvement in the escape and subtly suggests that Klink would be the only one who could find the prisoners. They are soon joined by Klink who ostensibly is there to get his copy of Mein Kampf before leaving camp. Burkhalter quickly considers Hogan's suggestion and offers to rescind Klink's transfer if he can find the missing prisoners. Klink gleefully expresses his joy when Burkhalter leaves and Hogan mentions that he couldn't have done it better himself, leaving Klink to wonder what Hogan meant by it.
Klink's search effort is carried out and Carter is found a little ways away from the haystack, LeBeau is found sleeping in the cave and Newkirk is characteristically found with a young lady in the barn. Klink declares each man will receive 30 days in the cooler, but Hogan blackmails the Prussian Kommandant into dropping the punishment lest he tell Burkhalter the real story. Schultz approaches Hogan and asks if this means that Klink won't be going to the Russian Front. Hogan replies in the positive and notes that Schultz has a smile on his face. Schultz looks at Hogan and declares that it's difficult to smile when one's heart is breaking.
Story Notes Edit
- This is the forty-sixth episode produced in the series, but is the forty-fifth episode to be shown on television and is the thirteenth episode for the second season.
- Although he was referred to earlier in the episode A Tiger Hunt in Paris, Part 2, this marks the first actual appearance of Klink's adjutant Captain Fritz Gruber, portrayed by Dick Wilson, best known as Mr. Whipple from the 'Please Don't Squeeze the Charmin' ads for Charmin toilet paper.
- Gruber wears glasses in this episode. He would go without them in his reappearances in two later episodes (The Missing Klink and Operation Hannibal).
Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit
- This episode appears to take place in March of 1944. This would correspond to a sharp rise in German casualties on the Russian front, which is mentioned in the episode.
- We learn more about Klink's prior military career in this episode. At one time he was assigned to the 410th Bomber Squadron and flew a Heinkel bomber. This was in all likelihood the Heinkel He 111 E, since Klink has a picture of one in his office in every episode. He also muses, "I wish I could fly a Heinkel again." This implies that he was grounded for some reason, or is merely false bravado to cover his increasing distaste for combat in the East. The exact nature of Klink's grounding is not revealed in this episode. A later episode will imply that his grounding might have been due to partial loss of vision (Will the Blue Baron Strike Again?), cause unknown.
- We learn that Carter was drafted. We also learn that his friend Charlie managed to avoid the draft for two years by hiding under the porch of his own home.
- SPECULATION: Bessler may have been recruiting Klink as a suicide pilot for a planned mission in Russia involving the KG200 experimental aircraft squadron. The mission in question would have involved using Mistel piggyback aircraft to attack Russia's largest hydroelectric power plant. Klink, given his service record and physical condition, would have been "perfect" for such a mission -- he was expendable.
- Don't Forget to Write at TV.com
- Don't Forget to Write at the Internet Movie Database
- Don't Forget to Write episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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