|Episode:||Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London|
|Original Airdate:||October 7, 1967|
|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
- Captain James Roberts - Lloyd Bochner
- Lieutenant Baumann - Lloyd Bochner
- Gestapo Agent - Peter Hellmann
Plot Details Edit
The episode opens with Klink and Schultz discussing whether the camp is ready to receive its newest prisoner and whether the prisoners should be confined to quarters. Klink decides to allow the prisoners to watch the newest inmate's arrival as he wants Hogan especially to be paying attention. The Heroes are indeed watching, wondering why Klink seems to be quite happy. Their question is soon answered as Major Hochstetter arrives in camp with an RAF officer in tow. The officer is taken to the guest quarters of the camp, causing even more wonder for the Heroes, who soon resolve to contact London to find out what they can about the new prisoner. Hogan however already knows who the new prisoner is and informs the Heroes that he is Group Captain James Roberts, a good friend of his. They soon listen in on the coffee pot receiver to overhear Klink and Hochstetter in a rare moment of camaraderie as they toast the impending death of the greatest threat to the German war effort: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Horrified at what he has just heard, Hogan races over to Klink's office and demands to speak with Roberts, and is surprised when his demand is granted with little resistance from either Klink or Hochstetter. Hogan meets with Roberts, who explains that he was on a recon mission on the French coast two months ago when his unit was attacked and they were forced to bail out. He was captured and held at Stalag 9. During his stay, he was photographed and his voice recorded in between weeks of interrogation. He has no idea why. Suspicious, Hogan subtly looks around the room and finds a listening bug. Feigning his departure, Hogan covers the bug and then asks Roberts what he was interrogated about. As Roberts puts it; everything. The Germans know Roberts is on Air Marshall Arthur Tedder's staff, and that he attends meetings with Winston Churchill. Hogan declares he will find out what Hochstetter is planning before leaving.
Hogan, meeting with Newkirk and LeBeau, explains what he knows to them and the question of Roberts being a traitor is brought up. Hogan doesn't feel Roberts is, and Newkirk patriotically defends his fellow countryman, but LeBeau thinks Roberts has turned traitor. They are soon met by Kinch who tells them that there is activity in Klink's office. They listen in and hear Hochstetter, Klink and Roberts talking. Roberts asks what mission he is about to be sent on, and Hochstetter tells him he is to kill Winston Churchill. Roberts declares he is honoured to receive such an opportunity, causing the once staunch Newkirk to go back on his earlier patriotism and declare Roberts a "bleeding traitor." As they listen, Hochstetter gives Roberts a hidden gun to be worn under his sleeve that will activate from the muscular action of a handshake. Roberts will be flown to the Belgian coast and take a boat across the English Channel as part of his "miraculous escape" from Stalag 13. During a meeting with Churchill, Roberts simply has to shake Churchill's hand to deliver the fatal shot. Hochstetter instructs Roberts to seek Hogan for help in his escape out of camp, to help in his cover story. Klink protests that if they do this, Stalag 13's perfect escape record will be ruined, but is cowed when Hochstetter "offers" Klink a trip to the Russian Front as an alternative. Hochstetter then instructs for "our guest" to be brought it, and the guest is none other than James Roberts who is shocked to seemingly be looking at himself. As it turns out, the man instructed to kill Churchill is Lieutenant Baumann, a German spy who has had plastic surgery to look like Roberts, and has imitated his voice perfectly. The real Roberts, suddenly realising why pictures and recordings were made, declares that Hochstetter's plan will fail before being sent to the cooler. The Heroes, now knowing what is truly happening, resolve to stop Baumann and save Roberts.
A little later, the Heroes are enjoying a game of basketball after making sure the tunnel to the cooler is in working order. They are soon met by Schultz who is there to take Hogan to see "Roberts" at the latter's request. "Roberts" wants Hogan's assistance in an escape, claiming to be in fear of his life. Hogan feigns doubt that an escape could be made from "the toughest P.O.W camp in Germany" but "agrees" to provide a diversion to cover the escape.
That night, Carter goes outside the camp and finds a Gestapo staff car waiting for Baumann. He reports it to Hogan as the Heroes ready to perform their various tasks. LeBeau complains that he is relegated to cooking, but Hogan assures him that his task is of utmost importance and jokingly offers to have Charles de Gaulle give him a special medal for his service. Newkirk and Kinch spirit Roberts out of the cooler and put a dummy in his place, Hogan meets with Baumann and begins the "escape" while LeBeau bribes Schultz with potato pancakes in exchange for being let into the cooler to give some to Roberts. In doing so, LeBeau tricks Schultz into finding the dummy in Roberts' cell, as well as guiding him to the "fleeing" Hogan and Baumann. Schultz (not knowing about Baumann) takes "Roberts" back to his cell, despite his protests, and the real Roberts makes a clean getaway from Stalag 13.
The next day, Baumann is brought before Klink and Hochstetter (who think he is the real Roberts) and declares his true identity. The doubting Hochstetter challenges "Roberts" to reiterate what his mission was, in German. Baumann does so, and the bewildered Hochstetter angrily vows to pin the blame entirely on Klink for the mission's failure. Baumann approaches the nearby Hogan, "congratulates" him for his cleverness and offers to shake his hand. Hogan (aware of Baumann's hidden gun) grabs Baumann's hand in such a way that the gun merely shoots Klink's hat off. Klink rounds on Hogan for this, but the wily Hogan simply claims "I didn't know his arm was loaded."
Story Notes Edit
- This is the sixty-ninth produced episode of the series, but is the sixty-seventh episode to be shown on television and is the fifth episode shown for the Third Season.
- Captain Roberts' double is noticeably taller than Roberts himself.
- The episode title is inspired by the farcical Broadway musical of 1962, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart). The play was made into a movie directed by Richard Lester in 1966.
Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit
- This appears to take place in March of 1944, not long after Sergeant Schultz Meets Mata Hari. Roberts' description of his mission is consistent with the many pre-Normandy recon flights made by Allied forces in the months leading up to D-Day.
- Group Captain Roberts appears to have been shot down in January of 1944. He spent the next two months as a POW in Stalag 9, undergoing intensive interrogation, before being transferred to Stalag 13.
- Winston Churchill is called Sir Winston by Roberts during the episode. Churchill was not knighted until 1953.
- Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London at TV.com
- Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London at the Internet Movie Database
- Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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