|Episode:||The Meister Spy|
|Original Airdate:||January 17, 1971|
|Written by:||Harvey Bullock & R.S. Allen|
|Directed by:||Bruce Bilson|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman, William A. Calihan & Jerry London|
- Colonel Hogan - Bob Crane
- Corporal Louis LeBeau - Robert Clary
- Corporal Peter Newkirk - Richard Dawson
- Sergeant Andrew Carter - Larry Hovis
- Sergeant Richard Baker - Kenneth Washington
Camp Personnel Edit
Guest Stars Edit
- Lt. J. B. Miller - David Morick
- Major Martin/Hans Strasser - Alan Bergmann
- Herr Schneer - Oscar Beregi
- Herr Mayerink - Ray Hastings
- Fräulein Kissinger - Eva von Fielitz
Plot Details Edit
It is a bright sunny day at Stalag 13, and the prisoners are taking advantage of the weather to do their laundry. As they do this though, a truck pulls up in the compound carrying a new batch of American prisoners. Hogan finds this very unusual as there haven't been any air raids in the area lately, so he and the Heroes go to investigate. Schultz brings one of the prisoners, Lieutenant Miller to them and the lieutenant introduces himself and gives Hogan's serial number as his own along with the week's recognition code as a means of proving he is not a plant. According to Miller's explanation, their plane was not shot, but it did lose power. Major Martin, an observer from headquarters managed to spot an empty field for them to land, an act which Miller credits as saving their lives. Martin is in Klink's office as they speak, so Hogan decides to listen in, Heroes style. Hogan explains the coffee pot radio to Miller and they listen in to overhear Major Martin speaking on the telephone. Martin is calling a Herr Mayerink and gives his name as Hans Strasser, and explains that he had to leave London as he has exact plans of the next Allied offensive. Hogan declares Martin to be a hero, but for the wrong team. The man is a spy.
Strasser arranges for his report to be collected from a local hotel and explains how he managed to arrange the plane failure. He cut the fuel line and then directed them to the field he had already chosen, laughing at the fact that his men consider him a hero. Miller however thinks considerably less of "Martin" now and has to be restrained by Hogan to avoid an altercation. Hogan explains that they might be able to do something else about the situation however. Klink meanwhile converses with Strasser and claimed that he knew Strasser was a German, professing his supposed talent for espionage (using invisible ink). Strasser ignores Klink's pandering and points out that Klink hasn't asked him for his credentials. Klink insists he has no need to, but Strasser gives him Mayerink's private number anyway. He asks to use Klink's quarters to wash up in, and for a car to be ready in fifteen minutes. Klink tries to worm his way into Strasser's meeting, but Strasser simply slams the door in Klink's face on his way out. Hogan meanwhile has the Heroes monitor the switchboard to intercept Klink's call and rushes Miller over to Klink's office. As Klink calls the motorpool to have his staff car brought over, Miller and Hogan burst into the office with the former claiming to be "Hans Strasser, German Intelligence." The astounded Klink watches as Miller goes on to say that he urgently needs to get in touch with Herr Mayerink as he has the plans for the next Allied offensive. Hogan laughs at the story, and then points out the next bit (and the best according to Hogan) where Miller will ask him to provide a car for him to leave in. Hogan "explains" that the routine is taught to Allied pilots as an escape method. He insists that the plan could not possibly fool an "intelligent" man like Klink and asks Miller to save himself the trouble of telling Klink the plane sabotage story, or handing over the fake phone number. Klink asks about the phone number, and Miller "explains" that the number is always made up as no one ever bothers to call it. Exactly what Klink has done. Hogan seemingly escorts Miller out of the office, but stays behind to overhear Klink actually call the number the real Strasser gave him. Klink makes the call and is answered by the owner of Schimmel's Bakery aka Newkirk. After a completely one-sided argument where Newkirk accuses Klink of being the man seeing his daughter Helga behind his back, he hangs up and then berates Carter for his annoyingly tearful impression of Helga. Klink meanwhile rounds on the returned Strasser, and when the latter asks him to call the number, Klink angrily repeats what he heard from the call. Hogan goes to Schultz and tells him that Klink is about to ask for him to put "Major Martin" in the cooler. Schultz denies this, asking how Hogan could know what Klink is thinking, just before Klink does exactly what Hogan said.
A little later, when the prisoners are playing a game of horseshoes, Baker approaches Hogan with a message from London. They are planning a massive attack next Wednesday night (the offensive Strasser mentioned) and are none too pleased that there is clearly a spy very high in the chain of command. Newkirk suggests they beat the truth out of Strasser, but Hogan instead opts to go to the meeting with Mayerink as Strasser (since the two have never seen each other) and try and find out the spy there. Carter is chosen to go with him to subtly take photos of all the undercover agents at the meeting.
That night, Hogan and Carter arrive at the hotel for the meeting. Hogan explains that Carter is also a spy and was the pilot on the downed plane. They are introduced by Mayerink to his partners in crime, Herr Schneer and Fraulein Kissinger. Before they get down to business however, Schneer announces that he is well versed with Strasser's history and recalls a hunting accident which left Strasser without the tip of a thumb. As a means of verification, Schneer demands "Strasser" reveal which thumb. Hogan bluffs however, and claims he has since had surgery to cover the injury, a claim Schneer accepts. Hogan then hands over a falsified report of the impending Allied attack, claiming the attack will come from the opposite direction from where it is to occur, which surprises Schneer. Mayerink goes to report these findings to his superiors while Hogan and Carter take pictures of the German spies. As Mayerink returns, he reveals he has a surprise for "Strasser." A Fraulein Wesser, whom the real Strasser worked with and was very close to is in the hotel and Mayerink gives Hogan the keys to her room. Hogan pretends to be glad, but then stops at the door and "reveals" that he made a pledge to not see Wesser as long as the war still waged. The sentiment greatly impresses Kissinger and Mayerink, who declares "Strasser" has done an excellent job. Hogan quickly but unobtrusively points out that since Schneer seemed uncertain about the battle plans, Mayerink should tell him who the contact in London is to ease his mind. Mayerink misinterprets the idea however and informs Schneer that the contact is so high placed, he cannot be identified. Mayerink himself doesn't know and Strasser can reveal him only with permission from Herr Keppelman, a contact in Berlin.
The next day at Stalag 13, having made the Germans vulnerable, but lacking the name of the spy in London, Hogan decides to take drastic action. Since Strasser can only talk to Keppelman in Berlin, they will take Strasser to Berlin.
LeBeau drives up to the cooler, and draws away Schultz long enough for a German uniformed Carter and a plainclothed Hogan to sneak inside. Hogan enters Strasser's cell under the guise of Mayerink and claims that what Strasser has learned is so important that they must report in Berlin. As they leave, Strasser demands "Mayerink" verify himself, and Hogan does by asking which fingertip was lost in the hunting accident (the left) and impresses him by saying that he will be with Fraulein Wessen again soon. After getting into the truck, which LeBeau drives away, Hogan offers Strasser some coffee. As he drinks and comments on the bumpy road, the "bumps" are revealed to be the Heroes rocking the truck. Strasser soon falls asleep from the spiked coffee and Hogan quickly orders the Heroes to rearrange Klink's office and clear all evidence that the truck was used.
Hogan soon finds the office decorated so it is unrecognisable, courtesy of "SS Colonel Newkirk" and Adolf Carter-Hitler. With Newkirk and Carter taking their places, Hogan brings in Strasser and cryptically states they are in "the summer place." Hogan introduces Strasser to the supposed SS Colonel and asks if they can see "him." Newkirk very nervously gets up and goes into the inner office. When Strasser asks whose summer place they are in, his question is seemingly answered when he sees an angry "Hitler" at the door of the office. Newkirk comes out of the office and claims "Hitler" doesn't believe the story as his gypsy astrologist has told him otherwise. Newkirk then asks Strasser to name his contact to verify his story, but Strasser is reluctant, still obeying his orders. "Mayerink" informs Newkirk that Strasser cannot reveal his contact without permission from Keppelman, to which Newkirk nervously protests because he will have to tell "Hitler" as such. As Newkirk goes into "Hitler's" office, Hogan and Strasser are interrupted by Schultz, who Hogan quickly removes from the room. The wily colonel claims that Strasser has lost his mind and rearranged the furniture since he believes Hitler is in the next room. He also explains his plainclothed state and asks for a couple of minutes to calm Strasser down before they take him to the cooler. When Hogan returns, Strasser brings up the fact of Schultz' presence. But Hogan claims the man is in fact Hitler's personal assassin Kurtz and that a lot of prison guards impersonate him, including Schultz. Strasser asks why Hitler's assassin would be there, to which Hogan gives a cryptic answer. Newkirk returns and claims that "Hitler" has been extremely agitated due to his mistress having an affair. He claims that "Hitler" has shot two people at dinner and he always does things in threes. Fearing that he will be next, and since "Kurtz" has arrived, Strasser names his contact as Medwin, the undersecretary of the Allied war council. Hogan takes off his coat revealing his uniform and Strasser realises he has been duped.
Some time later, when Klink's office has been restored to its former glory. Schultz asks that Hogan not tell Klink (who was asleep the whole time thanks to the spiked coffee) the events of the evening, as it will look bad for him. Hogan promises that he won't tell a soul, and Schultz wonders how Strasser could think that Hitler was in the next room, just as "Hitler" makes one last appearance, leaving Schultz shocked and Hogan telling him to get some sleep as he looks like he's seen a ghost.
Story Notes Edit
- This is the one hundred and sixty-fourth produced episode of the series, but is also the one hundred and sixtieth to be shown on television, and is the sixteenth episode shown for the Sixth Season.
- This is the last time that Carter does his Hitler impersonation.
- Lt. Miller uses a unique series of coded recognition signals to bypass the subtle interrogation that Hogan usually gives incoming prisoners (to weed out any Gestapo agents). He gives Hogan's own serial number as his own, names Hogan's former command (the 504th Bomb Unit) as his own, and Hogan's former second-in-command, Lt. Colonel Pruitt, as the 504th's new chief of operations.
- Martin goes into Klink's quarters through the door in his office. This is one of the few times, and the last time, that this door is used in the series.
- Carter (Larry Hovis) plays four roles in addition to himself -- Helga Schimmel (voice only), Johan Carter (Hogan's / Strausser's pilot), a Luftwaffe guard when the real Strausser is sprung from the cooler, and, finally, Adolf Hitler.
- Hogan (Bob Crane) plays two roles in addition to himself -- he takes on the part of Hans Strausser when meeting the real Herr Mayerink, then becomes Mayering when meeting the real Strausser.
- Newkirk (Richard Dawson) also plays two roles in addition to himself -- the propriertor of Schimmel's Bakery (voice only), and then Colonel Beyer, Hitler's / Carter's secretary.
- Three other characters find themselves in one disguise or another, sometimes inadvertently -- Strausser has the undercover alias of "Major Martin," then Lt. J.B. Miller, at Hogan's behest, plays the role of Strausser, while Schultz is (re-)introduced to Strausser by Hogan / Mayering as "Kurtz -- the Fuhrer's personal hatchet man . . . a real killer."
- Perhaps the most complex episode of the series -- instead of a single plot, there are no less than six:
- Finding out what information Strausser has
- Preventing Strausser from passing on the information to the Germans
- Uncovering Strausser's contact in the Allied High Command
- Unmasking Strausser's cohorts in Germany
- Feeding the Germans the wrong information
- Silencing Strausser when the mission is accomplished (at least long enough so that the Allied attack is not known in advance).
Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit
- This appears to take place sometime in 1943. Klink tells Martin, "I should be in espionage work," which puts this before the events depicted at the end of the year in Easy Come, Easy Go. Otherwise, he might not have made such a statement.
- As part of his acting to fool Martin, Newkirk (disguised as an SS officer) claims that "Hitler" (Carter) is upset because he's just learned that Eva (Braun), his mistress, is carrying on with one of the sergeants in the motor pool. There were rumors about such affairs, and the usual reason given in most of these stories is that Braun did it out of sheer boredom during Hitler's long absences.
- Filmed mid-November, 1970.
When Carter (as Hitler) goes into Klink's office, the sign on the door says "COL WILHELM KLINK KOMMANDANT" (18:45 on DVD release). Without any cuts, edits or breaks, Colonel Hogan brings Major Martin into the office, Newkirk (dressed as a Nazi Colonel) walks into the office where "Hitler" is, the sign on the door now says "PRIVAT" (19:18 on DVD release).
In Klink's Office, Maj. Martin (Hans Strasser) is seen speaking on the phone. His right thumb is seen clearly as he snaps at Klink to silence him. As he takes off his jacket his left thumb can be seen. So apparently Hogan is correct, fine German surgery makes it impossible to tell which thumb was lost in the hunting accident.
- The Meister Spy at TV.com
- The Meister Spy at the Internet Movie Database
- The Meister Spy episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
- Hogan's Heroes at Sparky's Classic Tv
Easy Come, Easy Go
That's No Lady, That's My Spy