The Experts
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: The Experts
Original Airdate: September 27, 1970
Production Number: 5784-145
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 saves a German radio expert whom the Nazis want to kill.

Plot Details Edit

It is late at night at Stalag 13. A lone sentry walks guard outside the kommandantur, yawning. It is Schultz, and he appears to be guarding Klink's car. A closer look reveals that the interior curtains have been drawn around the back seat. There is no heater in the car, but the current occupants have made their own form of heat. Hogan and Hilda are inside, and Hogan is just getting warmed up prior to some serious foreplay with Hilda. For her, this encounter is a dream come true despite the circumstances. "Wunderbar (wonderful) ..." Hilda croons softly, quite happy. "This is the first time I've ever made love in a colonel's car." Hogan lovingly assures her, "Sometime we'll make love in a general's car." Before they even get started, however, they are interrupted by an arrival at the main gate. Hogan quickly promises to continue later, kisses Hilda goodnight, and darts out of the car. He spots another vehicle as it drives past and around the back side of the kommandantur, where Klink's private quarters are located. There is no mistaking the occupants. They are Gestapo, doing what they do best - intruding on people at the most inopportune times.

A soundly sleeping Klink is rudely awakened by three Gestapo men. Two are uniformed guards, while the third is an officer in stereotypical black fedora hat and leather coat. Schultz comes rushing in to warn Klink, having seen the car pull up, and runs smack into the Gestapo men before he realizes it. He beats a hasty retreat, and it is well for him - because they are not here to talk to Schultz. It is Klink with whom they have business. Major Stern, the Gestapo officer, is interested in the current whereabouts of two recent transfers to the camp staff - Sergeant Holtz, who is currently overseeing the guards at the main gate, and Captain Metzler - Klink's new adjutant, who is currently enjoying leave in nearby Hammelburg. He will not be back in three days. "We will take Sergeant Holtz tonight," Stern instructs his men. "Metzler will be taken upon his return." The charge? "Organizing black market activities," according to Stern. Klink seems dubious, since neither of them have been there long enough for such a thing. "If you don't like that crime, make up one of your own!" Stern barks at him. Klink is powerless as Stern goes outside with his guard and heads for the main gate. He calls the unknowing Holtz over to them, then his guards promptly machine-gun Holtz to death on the spot. The Unsung Heroes, who are witness to this from afar, are shocked. Klink is then informed that the Gestapo wants to see Metzler immediately upon his return - and it is all too evident what awaits Metzler once he appears.

Klink is not the only one badly shaken by what has just happened. The Unsung Heroes are somewhat unstrung, too, and Hogan is at his wits end to know why. The next day, Hogan tries to pump Klink for information but the scared commandant is hiding behind the Schultz defense - he "knows nothing," and he intends to keep it that way. Hogan next finagles a look at the personnel files of Holtz and Metzler - with help from Carter and Lebeau under the ruse of painting Klink's file cabinet. Upon examination, he discovers something interesting. Both of the men that the Gestapo want were recent transfers from Wehrmacht headquarters in Berlin, and both were communications specialists. These are the only common factors between them. These two men apparenly worked on something that was worth the Gestapo killing them to keep it secret. Holtz is already dead. Hogan decides to take a gamble, betting that Metzler will be more concerned about saving his own life than protecting whatever that secret is. He decides to track Metzler down, and sets the Hammelburg underground to the task. Hopefully, they can find him before the Gestapo does - else the young captain will have a very short life.

By the next day Metzler is located. He is staying in nearby Hammelburg at his girlfriend's apartment, right under the Gestapo's nose. That's why they haven't been able to find them. Since he was on leave, they have been looking everywhere else but nearby Hammelburg. There is still time to get in touch with Metzler before the Gestapo realizes its mistake, and Hogan acts at once. Within hours, he puts in a personal visit with Metzler, with Newkirk running interference outside. The camp adjutant and his girlfriend are both understandably shocked - an armed American POW in plainclothes surprising them on what was supposed to be a romantic get-together - but what is even more shocking is the news that Hogan has for Metzler. The two Germans are understandably suspicious and mistrusting, and stand their ground. Hogan decides to lay it on the line and tells Metzler what he and his fellow POWs are really doing at Stalag 13. Metzler is shocked beyond words. His girlfriend remains adamant in her disbelief and advises him to turn Hogan in, but they are interrupted by the arrival of an underground agent. The Gestapo are on their way. They are sweeping the area, searching house-to-house. They are out of time. Hogan quickly bundles Metzler away to safety, and also brings along his girlfriend at gunpoint, since she now knows too much. They flee town to an underground safe house as fast as they can.

Despite what has just happened, both Metzler and his girlfriend remain suspicious of the Unsung Heroes. Metzler in particular demands proof that they can do what they claim they can - spirit the both of them away to England. The proof he demands is a personal ad in the next day's edition of the London Times, reading: "Karl, Mother is very sick. Please come home. And it MUST be signed John!" Hogan is amazed at Metzler's attitude, given the events of a few hours ago, but agrees on the condition that he get "a sample of what we're buying." Metzler tells them that he, Holtz, and others that the Gestapo has since silenced were part of an operation to install new equipment in "the most important communications center in the world." He refuses to say more until he sees the Times. The next day, a special air drop is arranged for the Unsung Heroes - and that night, Metzler has both the newspaper and the personal ad he placed in his hand. "Satisifed now?" Hogan asks. Hogan takes them both back with them to Stalag 13 so they can fit them out while Metzler shares his information. It is an easy thing to do, and is rather a breeze given the events of the past few days. While the local underground misdirects the Gestapo with an anonymous phone tip, Hogan sneaks Metzler and his girlfriend into the tunnels with the help of the trusty Schnitzer and his dog truck. The plan is almost interrupted by a nosy Schultz, but Hogan quickly distracts him by making a deal for more time in Klink's car with Hilda, and even pays him with some candy bars. As the transaction takes place, Newkirk and Schnitzer help Metzler and his girlfriend out of the truck and into the doghouse tunnel entrance - while Schultz closes the deal with Hogan and munches away greedily on his newly won chocolate.

Despite his initial mistrust, Metzler is grateful for the risk the Unsung Heroes took to save his life. In exchange for their act, he tells them why the Gestapo is after him. The operation with which he was involved was part of the transfer of the German General Staff (OKW) to its new headquarters at Zossen. It is, or should be, a prime target for Allied bombers - and he was stationed there during the transfer. Thats makes him an intelligence risk in the eyes of the Gestapo, which is why they want him dead - and anyone else like him who is non-essential to the war effort, such as the late Sergeant Holtz. As the Unsung Heroes prepare to spirit Metzler and his girlfriend away to England, Metzler spills his classified guts. He tells them everything that he knows about Zossen - the layout, its operations, and so on. With the help of the Unsung Heroes and their underground contacts, the two of them are soon spirited safely away to England. Allied intelligence has netted quite a big fish today, and all by an act of kindness on the part of the Unsung Heroes. A loaded act, to be sure -- but a kind one, nevertheless.

As the episode closes, Hogan and Hilda are starting once again to consumate their relationship in Klink's car when Klink himself shows up, needing to go to town and looking for his car keys. Hilda slips out one side while Hogan bails out the other, and in the darkness neither one of them are spotted. Klink makes a fuss around the car, wondering where his keys have gone, when Hogan seeminly pops up out of nowhere and gives them to him. As Klink drives away, Hogan asks Schultz to fetch him another car. "Mustn't keep a lady waiting," he grins, as Schultz chuckles in reply.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the one hundred and forty-fifth produced episode of the series, but is the one hundred and forty-sixth to be shown on television, and is also the second episode shown for the Sixth Season.
  • Hogan and Hilda finally consummate their love affair in the back of Klink's staff car. Schultz apparently runs interference for them while this is going on, making sure that Klink doesn't walk up and surprise them. It is a novel experience for Hilda, who admits this to Hogan
  • Major Stern is but one of many SS and Gestapo officers played by actor Edward Knight in the course of the series. Most of these, unless otherwise noted in the episode in which they appear, are probably attached to the Hammelburg office of the Gestapo.
  • The clip used for Baker in the sixth season's main titles comes from this episode.
  • There are noticeable polish stains on the collar and cuffs of Carter's jacket.
  • One can infer from Hogan's dialogue that Newkirk earned a marksman's rating as part of his RAF training.
  • Three of the four major and recurring German characters at Stalag 13 - Klink, Schultz, and Hilda - all claim to either know or see nothing during this episode - in one of the best examples from the series of the Sergeant Schultz defense.
  • While in Hammelburg, Newkirk wears his bowler hat and fur-lined overcoat from The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery.

Background Trivia Edit

  • Three of this episode's guest stars - Noam Pitlik (Captain Metzler), Barbara Babcock (Metzler's girlfriend), and Edward Knight (Major Stern) - all appear in other episodes as other characters.
  • The name of Edward Knight's character, Major Stern, might be considered a pun of sorts. Stern never cracks a smile in any of his appearances in the series.
  • Klink pharaphrases a famous quotation by author Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain: "The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.
  • Hogan paraphrases a famous saying about trouble: "There's something rotten in Denmark" - or in Hogan's case, Germany.
  • Captain Metzler's military file photo is actually a publicity still of the actor who played him, Noam Pitlik.
  • Metzler's description of Zossen, its layout (in particular the Maybach I and Maybach II compounds) and OKW's move there in 1943 are all historically accurate.
  • By the way, Hitler never used the Maybach II section of Zossen despite its being built especially for him. He feared (and rightly so, as history has later shown), that the German generals might have used a visit to Zossen as an excuse to arrest him and seize power. Zossen was also the focal point, according to some accounts, of a failed plot by the German resistance to overthrow Hitler before he pulled Germany into an unwinnable war.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This is the twentieth episode of the series in chronological order, per the series timeline. It follows Never Play Cards With Strangers, and is in turn followed by Man's Best Friend Is Not His Dog.
  • Hogan worms a confession out of Newkirk that he's been sneaking through the emergency tunnel to socialize with the local frauleins in nearby Hammelburg. His first "big night" in Hammelburg a appears to have been the trip to deliver penicillin to wounded resistance leader Oskar Danzig (That's No Lady, That's My Spy).
  • Captain Metzler apparently replaced the unnamed (and uncredited) camp
    Captain Berger

    Stalag 13's original adjutant (from The Informer)

    adjutant seen briefly in the series pilot, The Informer. They are probably not one and the same, since the episode establishes that Metzler was a recent transfer to Stalag 13's military staff.
  • The event that Metzler describes is actual history, and can thus be used to date this episode. The transfer of OKW operations to Zossen was completed by the end of March 1943. The communications gear would have been installed and operational before OKW's move there, and some time needs to have passed for the transfer of Metzler and Holtz to Stalag 13. Furthermore, the transfers appear to have been fairly recent events, given the way Hogan and Metzler talk about them. Given these factors, an early 1943 date seems reasonable. A case could also be made for mid-August 1944, when the German military situation was rapidly deteriorating along large sections of the Eastern and Western fronts (however Paris was still in German hands as evident from a reference to girlie magazines that Klink apparently subscribes to) -- fear that the Allies would invade Germany in a few weeks could have prompted the Gestapo to take action as depicted in this episode.

Quotes Edit

Hogan, on the Gestapo.

  • Hogan - When the Gestapo goes into camp, love goes out the window.

The Gestapo wakes Klink up during a surprise evening visit.

  • Klink (angrily) - I do not appreciate being awakened in the middle of the night, major!
  • Stern (threateningly) - We are the Gestapo. You will cooperate ... or suffer the consequences.
  • Klink (now fawning) - Welcome to Stalag 13?

A burst of gunfire rings out from SS machine guns. Sergeant Holtz staggers back, hits the sentry hut next to the main gate, then falls over dead.

  • Hogan (shocked) - They shot him!
  • Carter - One of ours?
  • Hogan (still shocked) - No, one of THEIRS!
  • Newkirk (quietly) - Why?
  • Hogan - That's a very good question.

Hogan tries to discuss with Klink the Gestapo's execution of Sergeant Holtz. He doesn't buy Klink's story that one of the guard's rifles "went off," and has to come to the subject in a roundabout way.

  • Hogan - There are all kinds of rumors going around.
  • Klink (pretending to be busy) - I'm not interested in rumors.
  • Hogan - Not even about yourself, sir?
  • Klink - Not in the least. They do not concern me at all. (suddenly stops) What are they saying?
  • Hogan - Well, one rumor has it that you're being transferred to the Russian front, and last night you tried to knock yourself off.
  • Klink (false bravado) - Now why would I destroy a perfect war machine like myself?
  • Hogan - As a gesture to the world?
  • Klink - Hrmph! Obviously ridiculous! The rumor about my suicide is greatly exaggerated. Now leave, if you don't mind.
  • Hogan - Another rumor has it that Sergeant Holtz was shot last night.
  • Klink - Who is--?
  • Hogan (cuts him off) - By the Gestapo.
  • Klink - Who is the Ges--?
  • Hogan (cuts him off, finishes the sentence) - ... the Gestapo.
  • Klink (agitated) - Hogan! (quietly) Do yourself and me one big favor. Don't ask any questions.
  • Hogan - Why?
  • Klink (quickly) - And don't ask questions about questions!
  • Hogan (after a beat) - Why did the Gestapo shoot Sergeant Holtz?

(Klink moves back, then forces himself to look stern)

  • Klink - Hogan, this one time you're not going to get any information out of me.

(Klink quickly moves away from Hogan, heading for his desk)

  • Hogan - I'm not.
  • Klink - No! (abruptly turns) Because I don't KNOW anything, and as long as the Gestapo's here, I intend to keep it that way!
  • Hogan (after a beat) - In that case, commandant, you're dismissed.

(He salutes Klink. Klink salutes back, starts to leave the office, then does a double-take.)

  • Klink - Hogan! OUT!!! Before I have you thrown out!!

Hogan, on Klink.

  • Hogan - Condition normal - He doesn't know anything and he's scared.

... and later, to Metzler ...

  • Hogan - Klink and his monocle are still fighting World War I.

Carter and Lebeau, on Klink.

  • Carter (snickering) - He has a lot of work to do ...
  • LeBeau (smiling) - The new girlie magazines must be in from Paris.

Carter and LeBeau, on the German war effort.

  • Carter (to Schultz and Hilda) - Boy, you Germans can't get together on anything!
  • LeBeau (ruefully) - That's why it's taking them so long to lose the war.
  • Carter (to LeBeau) - So true! (to Schultz and Hilda) I mean, that's true.

Hogan ponders the death of Sergeant Holtz and the search for Captain Metzler.

  • Hogan - Okay, what have we got? The Gestapo's after two men. What do they have in common?
  • Carter (quickly) - They're both Krauts.
  • Newkirk - Andrew, you can't get shot for that, even in Germany!

The Unsung Heroes, on women.

  • Hogan - Where are the nearest girls?
  • Carter (grinning) - Heck, they're everywhere!
  • Newkirk (with conviction) - I wouldn't have it any other way.

Metzler argues with Hogan about going to England via Stalag 13.

  • Hogan (to Metzler) - You go to England my way, or (pointing his gun) you die my way.
  • Newkirk (matter-of-fact tone) - England's lovely this time of year.
  • Hogan (evenly) - If you don't like fog.

Bloopers Edit

  • Hogan's line "Great, get these back," spoken to Baker after the pictures of the personnel files are developed, sounds as if it has been looped in. (08:16)
  • The copy of the LONDON TIMES that Hogan gives Metzler looks nothing like what the paper did at this point in history. This was a bit of production license for its intended American audience. Some fans have cited the fake paper as reason for believing that it was never the real thing, and was created for Metzler's eyes only. Even so, it would have been a lot easier (and in keeping with the times) to just make a phone call and place the ad in the TIMES proper. There was enough time to do so, given the sequence of events in the episode.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
Cuisine à la Stalag 13
Next episode:
Klink's Masterpiece