Hogan's Heroes - Title Screen
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: The Dropouts
Original Airdate: December 27, 1970
Production Number: 5784-157
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman, William A. Calihan & Jerry London

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan helps three German scientists escape to England.

Plot Details Edit

It is late at night in Germany and the Heroes are busy at work near a German bridge. Hogan and Carter in German uniform are keeping lookout, while the others rig the bridge with explosives. As Hogan and Carter discuss the quality of the dynamite, a staff car approaches with an S.S captain and two plainclothed men inside. Instructed by Hogan, Carter gets to work stalling the captain (in German) by demanding to see his pass. Captain Steiner, as he introduces himself, tries to talk his way out of it, but seemingly resigns to Carter's attempts as he gets out of the car. As he reaches for his pass, he stomps Carter on the foot and draws a gun on the two Heroes just as Carter blows his cover by painfully exclaiming in English. Steiner quickly orders Hogan and Carter on their knees off the side of the road before entering his car and leaving. Hogan quickly takes control of the situation and orders the rest of the Heroes to scrub the mission via walkie talkie before informing Carter that he has just blown World War Two. 

The next day at camp, Carter is enduring an earful from LeBeau while nursing his injured foot. He tries to justify his actions by explaining the incredible pain his foot was in at the time, and that his mind went blank, which the unsympathetic LeBeau waves away, declaring that he's not finished with his insults. Baker even chimes in to lambaste Carter but Hogan quickly settles the matter as the Heroes have bigger problems: what to do when, not if, the S.S arrive to investigate. Hogan orders Baker to monitor Klink's calls before musing why Steiner refused to show his papers, and didn't make an arrest. 

As Hogan predicted, the S.S captain and his two companions arrive. Hogan quickly orders Carter and LeBeau to gather all documents and equipment to be destroyed when he gives the order. When Carter asks what chance they have, Hogan simply tells him to keep a fire burning at all times.

Klink meanwhile is introduced by Steiner to Professor Bauer and Doctor Riemann, both distinguished scientists. Klink tries to cosy up to the two in his usual toadying manner, but only manages to come up with a feeble line about "science being so scientific." The two scientists get to the point of their visit: they are on their way to Paris to meet with colleagues and were asked by Hermann Goering himself to say hello to Klink. The Prussian colonel is naturally astounded by the gesture and immediately agrees to provide room for the three before summoning Schultz.

Hogan and LeBeau meanwhile are sorting through documents to be burned with only a small handful to be kept. They are soon interrupted by Schultz and hide the documents in time to hear that Klink wants Hogan to meet him in his office immediately. Hogan tells Schultz that he will go in a minute and LeBeau pushes him out of Hogan's office. Fearing the worst, Hogan orders LeBeau to burn everything and arrange for a plane from London to rescue the prisoners, but only in the event that he is arrested. Hogan soon arrives at Klink's office as he and his guests are enjoying wine, and Klink quickly introduces Hogan to the three before saying that he needs to discuss something with the American colonel. Hogan, resigning himself to his fate, declares that "it had to happen sometime," before Klink asks Hogan to have LeBeau prepare a gourmet French dinner. Relieved, Hogan happily declares he'll peel the onions himself, before waving away Klink's wonder as to Hogan's earlier comment of "it having to happen." 

Later that day, Steiner, Bauer and Riemann are shown Hogan's barracks by Schultz. The heavyset sergeant tries to talk up the barracks, and Hogan chimes in saying that it won first prize at the International Garbage Festival. Steiner orders Schultz to leave before discussing the events of the previous night. Hogan and LeBeau feign ignorance, but once again, Carter blows their cover when they ask about his foot. Steiner quickly gets to the real point of the matter: Bauer and Riemann have been working at Peenemunde, conducting atomic research. Since atomic weapons are very close to being a reality, they are determined not to let them fall into Hitler's hands and wish to flee Germany to Switzerland. The three, the previous night, were making their way to the Swiss border when Hogan stopped them, and as they couldn't afford to risk an alarm, they abandoned their plans and came to Stalag 13 as it was the most likely place to find English speakers, and therefore Hogan. Praising what they know of Hogan's operation, they ask to be escorted to Switzerland. Hogan points out that while they can't get them to Switzerland, they are capable of getting the three to England instead, but only if they can prove their story. After Hogan shoots down Steiner's suggestion that Bauer and Riemann's reputations are enough, the two scientists reveal they are carrying five flasks of Heavy Water, which satisfies Hogan. 

A little later, Baker informs Hogan that Klink has been called by the Gestapo and ordered to arrest Steiner, Bauer and Riemann on sight, and that Major Hochstetter will arrive shortly to handle the case. Hogan quickly approaches Klink to divert him by claiming that the three fugitives have been sightseeing and are currently in the barracks. Klink quickly orders his search party to check the barracks, where they find nothing. The three are really in Klink's quarters and have been outfitted with American uniforms as a disguise. Newkirk quickly gives them garbage collecting gear and instructs them to make their way towards the barracks as if they were cleaning. A tense moment occurs when they are stopped by Klink, but he simply informs them that they missed a piece of garbage before leaving to search the last unsearched building: Klink's quarters. The astounded Klink soon approaches Hogan and informs him that all three have vanished, clothes and all. Hogan simply declares the three to be magicians before moving on.

It isn't long before Major Hochstetter arrives, but his own search party are unable to find the three. Reconvening in Klink's office, Hochstetter informs the Kommandant that he has set up an office in Hammelburg and will search the camp daily until the three are found, as he has ruled out the possibility of them having left the camp as their car is still there. Klink insists he will give his fullest co-operation, something that Hochstetter insists will not discourage him. The entire conversation has been overheard by the Heroes, and the wily colonel has come up with an idea. Since Hochstetter would be entering and leaving the camp daily, why not hide the three in the back of his car one by one? The others are doubtful, but Hogan is confident it will work and has Baker contact the local Underground to get each of the three out from Hochstetter's car when the time is right. 

The first part of the plan goes off without a hitch, as the prisoners pretend to be moving firewood near the car, they quickly distract the guards in time for Bauer to enter it, just in time for Hochstetter to leave. The next day, Hochstetter returns and Newkirk distracts Schultz by asking him if he can hear anything unusual, which the heavyset sergeant cannot. While they are doing this, LeBeau quickly sabotages the water hose to the car, and a little later, Hogan convinces Hochstetter into letting them fix it. Newkirk quickly asks for a hammer, which Riemann is sent to retrieve from the trunk of the car, he quickly enters the trunk and job is soon finished. Schultz however demands to know where the hammer is, and the man who was sent for it, even having two guards hold them at gunpoint until LeBeau reveals the hammer, forcing Schultz to let them go.

Later that night, Hogan confers with Steiner over the importance of the Heavy Water, they go into discussion as Carter and LeBeau arrive informing Hogan that "it" is ready, having been planted with cigarette butts and water canteens. Hogan quickly orders Steiner to standby before telling the Heroes to relax as getting caught might not mean the firing squad, as they might be hanged instead, before leaving. 

"It" turns out to be the cooler, which shows all the signs of someone having been there recently. Klink, who accompanied Hogan in their search, asks how Hogan knew they were hiding in the cooler, and Hogan replies that he sometimes comes in there to think, and found it that way. The irritated Klink declares that he might "invite" Hogan in officially before ordering Schultz to have Hochstetter brought to the camp. Hochstetter arrives shortly thereafter and concludes that the three fugitives must still be in the camp, based on the evidence in the cooler. Hogan meanwhile helps Steiner into the back of the car, but is almost caught by a Gestapo guard. The wily colonel shows the briefcase filled with heavy water, claims it belongs to Hochstetter and that he was told to put it in the car, which the guard seems satisfied with. Steiner, and the briefcase are put into the trunk just in time for Hochstetter's departure. As Klink and Hogan discuss Hochstetter and the case, Hogan sarcastically suggests that the three might have climbed to the roof of Klink's quarters and escaped in a balloon, Klink almost laughs and suggests equally sarcastically that they might as well have escaped in Hochstetter's car, which Hogan makes a semi-truthful quip about, confusing the Kommandant.

A few days later, Klink reads to Hogan that the Gestapo is offering a fifty thousand Reichmark reward for the capture of the three fugitives, Klink expresses a desire to claim the reward as he could use the money, Schultz tries to muscle in on the deal and the two Germans begin a loud argument over the exact split of the reward with Hogan loudly causing a break in the argument by dismissing himself, just as the two begin arguing again.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the one hundred and forty-seventh produced episode of the series, but is the one hundred and fifty-eighth to be shown on television, and is also the fourteenth episode shown for the Sixth Season.
  • This is the second episode, the first one being Go Light on the Heavy Water, that deals with the use of heavy water by the Germans in their atom bomb research.
  • The sign on the chain link fence reads "EINGANG VERBOTEN" or "Entrance Forbidden".

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This appears to take place in the back half of 1944. You can quite clearly hear the sound of a jet in the sky as the episode opens (yes, it's a production blooper, but we're counting it as red, anyway). This means that German jet fighters have become operational. The Messerschmitt Me262 first became operational in April of 1944. Hochstetter's presence in the story also mandates a 1944 date. Winter has come, as Hochstetter threatens to send Schultz "on a long walk in snowshoes" (in Russia, that is). Also, Hogan fears death by hanging more than by firing squad, so the Propaganda Ministry's movie about the execution of the anti-Hitler conspirators has been shown in Germany.
  • This appears to take place right before "The Gestapo Takeover." At the end of this episode, Hochstetter orders his men to take over Stalag 13. At the start of that episode, Hogan and his men are having to deal with that very issue.
  • In real life, Germany had plans to develop an intercontinental missile, derived from the V-2, that could carry an atomic warhead. The end of the war, thankfully, kept this from coming about.

Quotes Edit

Bloopers Edit

  • Hogan forgets to re-latch the trunk on Hochstetter's car after Bauer gets inside.
  • Steiner changes back into his SS uniform before being sneaked out of camp. This makes no sense and the reason for it is never explained. Possibly Gordon Pinsent rehearsed the scene in costume, planning to do the final shoot in civilian clothes only to see it rained out -- lots of rain fell in southern California during November and December 1970 when the episode would have been filmed.
  • Captain (Hauptsturmführer) Steiner wears the insignia of a Major (Sturmbannführer).

External links Edit

Previous episode:
The Gypsy
Next episode:
Easy Come, Easy Go

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