Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: The Missing Klink
Original Airdate: January 04, 1969
Production Number: 5784-104
Written by: Bill Davenport
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan plans to kidnap Burkhalter to trade him for an underground agent but ends up with Klink. Will Klink escape being shot by the Underground only to be executed by the Gestapo?

Plot Details Edit

It is late at night and the Heroes, along with a local Underground unit have massed outside a military encampment. Hogan deems it impossible to successfully raid the encampment, which is met with protest by one of the Underground leaders, Karl Wagner. Wagner's brother Hans is scheduled to be executed in two days time, and he is anxious to have his brother freed. Despite his fears, Hogan manages to persuade Wagner into letting him come up with a more suitable plan, assuring him one will be made. Wagner agrees to wait until he has heard from Hogan, who has no idea how he will free the captured Hans Wagner.

The next morning at Stalag 13, the Heroes are cleaning Klink's car. Hogan informs the Heroes that Wagner's execution has been scheduled for 8 o'clock tomorrow morning, which isn't a great deal of time. They are interrupted by Schultz who has orders to bring Hogan to the Kommandant's office, prompting Hogan to order the Heroes to stall their work on the car, as they might need it later. Hogan receives a barrage of complaints from Klink who is incensed that his car is not ready for his use. Klink demands to know why the Heroes are one and a half hours over their deadline, and balks at Hogan's suggestion that it would take that long to wash and wax a car. Klink irately informs Hogan that he has to pick up General Burkhalter at the local train station in forty minutes, causing Hogan to declare the car will be ready by then, much to Klink's astoundment. Hogan immediately returns to the motor pool and orders the Heroes to finish cleaning the car. After some words with Newkirk, Hogan explains that he has had an idea: the Underground will ambush the car on the way back from the train station and take Burkhalter as a hostage to trade for Hans Wagner. He promptly instructs Kinch to radio Karl Wagner to arrange the ambush, before helping the Heroes finish work on the car.

However, the Berlin Express comes and goes with Burkhalter nowhere to be seen. Klink is astonished, as Burkhalter very rarely is late for anything. Schultz (who was driving) remarks that the trait is something Burkhalter has in his favour, before hastily adding that it is among many things in his favour. Klink reproaches Schultz' toadying speech and orders him to drive them back to camp. As they make their way back however, they are blocked on the Hammelburg road by Karl Wagner and several Underground operatives. Schultz demands Wagner move his car out of the way, but his is soon met face to barrel with a Luger for his trouble. Wagner orders Klink to get out of the car, not realising that he isn't General Burkhalter. Klink staunchly insists they will have to drag him out, which they do. Wagner gives Schultz a piece of paper and orders him to wait five minutes before delivering the message to Gestapo headquarters. Despite Klink's plea for help, the cowed Schultz gives in to Wagner's demands and starts to count. 

Later at Stalag 13, Schultz returns and quickly informs Klink's adjutant Captain Gruber of the ambush. Hogan, believing that Wagner captured both Klink and Burkhalter, runs interference to try and fix the damage, however his assumption that Burkhalter and Klink were captured merely draws suspicion on Gruber's behalf, as the letter only lists Burkhalter. Schultz informs Hogan that Burkhalter was late at the train station, causing the usually staunch Hogan to feel quite poorly. 

Klink meanwhile is being held in a wine cellar, and his demands for release go unheard. Klink boldly declares he will break out, which he actually manages to do, but fearful of what to do next, he unwisely draws the attention of Wagner and another Underground operative Ilse. After a conversation between the two Underground members, Klink realises the mistake in identity and informs the two that he is not Burkhalter. Wagner asks Klink about the importance of his friends, as he doesn't believe Klink earned his rank through his own merits, and thus might have influential friends who could make the trade. Klink, not understanding the situation explains that his friends aren't the slightest bit important, and neither is he more to the point. Wagner, resigning himself to the worst, declares that he will shoot Klink as a small method of avenging his brother. The hapless colonel, now realising what situation he is in, tries to claim that he is in fact close friends with General Burkhalter, even going as far to claim a father-son relationship with him. His claim falls through however when the Underground receives a message from the Gestapo declaring that Hans Wagner will be executed as scheduled.

Later at Stalag 13, Schultz is being questioned by Major Hochstetter regarding the identity of the Underground agents. Schultz is unable to give an accurate description of any as he can only remember the gun pointed at his face, earning the ire of Hochstetter. They are met by Hogan, but the American colonel is surprised to find Burkhalter there with them. As it turns out, Burkhalter did not catch a train, he instead was flown in, and had to wait at the airport for two hours as Klink had not shown up. Hogan gets to the point of trying to convince Hochstetter and Burkhalter to trade Klink for Wagner, however the idea is laughed off by both men. Even Schultz cannot think of one good reason to make the trade, prompting Burkhalter to dismiss Hogan.

In the tunnels, the Heroes ponder their grim situation. Unless they can find a way to make Klink important enough to trade, both he and Wagner will be executed. After some reflection, Hogan gets an idea and asks the Heroes what they know of "Nimrod." As Hogan explains, Nimrod is one of the greatest undercover Allied agents and is personally responsible for the defeat of Germany in two major campaigns. Hogan wraps up his musings by declaring that Nimrod is in fact, Colonel Klink, or at least, that's what they will make Burkhalter and Hochstetter think. 

As Burkhalter is preparing to leave Klink's office, he asks that Hochstetter do what he can to apprehend the Undeground agents responsible for Klink's capture, not out of loyalty to Klink, but merely to avenge the upset to the German Army. Klink's private phone starts to ring, Hochstetter answers it and receives coded instructions from a British officer (actually Newkirk) of "Mairzy Doats Little Boy Blue" for Nimrod. Believing he has struck gold, Hochstetter memorises the message and begins to eat it. The exasperated Burkhalter demands an explanation, which Hochstetter gives, happily declaring that "we've got him" before remembering that the Underground has Klink. The Gestapo major muses that they could still make the trade and attempts to decode the message, as he was the top cryptologist in his unit. He confidently declares it will take "no time at all" and after two hours, and the entire desk filled with incorrect scraps of paper, Hochstetter triumphantly declares that the message is "I am foul, clerch let in cradnick." Burkhalter instantly knows Hochstetter has failed and orders him to summon a proper cryptologist. The entire conversation has been overheard by the Heroes on the coffee pot listening device, and they send Newkirk in to drive the nail home. The English corporal, under the guise of cleaning the office, "realises" that the code is the Wellington cipher and offers to decode the message for them. Leaping on the opportunity, Burkhalter agrees, and Newkirk translates the code as "secret plans hidden Hilda's desk." The two Germans soon find the plans, which confirms in their minds that Klink is truly Nimrod, prompting them to arrange the prisoner exchange. Some time later as they are looking over the plans, Klink is brought into the office. The Prussian colonel is overjoyed to see the two Germans, but his joy soon turns to fear as he is "unmasked" as Nimrod and locked away in the cooler, pending trial. As Hochstetter declares he will get a full confession from Klink, Hogan enters the office, informs the two that the plans are for model kits of the Hindenburg before leaving, kits in hand. Burkhalter promptly rounds on Hochstetter, who tries to the use the phone call in his defense. However, the phone rings once more and the "British officer" thanks Hochstetter for his cooperation and gloats that Hans Wagner was safely spirited away. Hanging up, Hochstetter dejectedly requests how to volunteer for the Russian Front, to which Burkhalter insists he will personally arrange.

Later that night, the Heroes finish dinner, and Carter who was working on the model, abandons cleaning the dishes in favour of finishing the model. Kinch notices that the model looks nothing like the Hindenburg, as it includes rocket mounts, turbo jets and cannons. Hogan quickly examines the plans and finds that they are instead for a new model Messerschmitt, he also finds a note reading "My dear colonel, clever the way you got Wagner out of that prison camp, kindly be just as clever and get these plans out of this one. Until we meet again." Hogan turns to the others and incredulously reads the signature on the note: "Nimrod."

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the one hundred and fourth episode of the series, but is the one hundredth and seventh episode to be shown on television and is the fifteenth episode shown for the Fourth Season.
  • The title is a word play on the phrase, the missing link.
  • Hochstetter reveals in this episode that he is a cryptographer, and graduated at the top of his class cryptography school.
  • Wagner's car is a 1935 Vauxhall 14/6. This vehicle would also be seen in a few later episodes.
  • Captain Gruber makes a brief appearance in this episode, his second in the series. Gruber is played by Dick Wilson, who went on to achieve fame playing Mr. Whipple in over 500 Charmin toilet paper commercials.
  • The plans that are discovered in the episode by the Heroes were of the Hindenburg, a German dirigible that exploded and burned in Lakehust, New Jersey in 1937. Hence Burkhalter's remark that they were plans of a "big bag filled with hot air," just like Hochstetter.
  • The following novelty song is used as a password: Mairzy Doats.
  • The following nursery rhyme is also used as a password: Little Boy Blue.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This episode appears to take place in the fall of 1944.
  • This episode happens after Will the Real Colonel Klink Please Stand Up Against the Wall? due to the Berlin Express reference, as well as Don't Forget to Write, due to the presence of Gruber, who obviously has been retained at the camp by Burkhalter as Klink's adjutant.
  • Despite the fact that Hochstetter is resigned at the end to getting the shaft for being tricked into letting an important underground leader to escape, and Burkhalter guaranteeing likewise, he apparently is given another chance by his superiors though probably not without at least a reprimand. However, this is but one more nail being driven into his proverbial coffin, which will finally climax in the episode War Takes a Holiday.

Quotes Edit

Bloopers Edit

  • The model kits on which our heroes are working are made of wood, which is historically correct. Plastic model kits made of polystyrene did not become common until after World War II. However, all of the boxed model kits we see are plastic kits from the late 1960s.
  • During the opening scene, the shots of the military encampment shows a parking lot full of 1960s vehicles along the upper edge of the frame. Shot was not cropped correctly. 

    60's parking lot behind set

  • There exists no such Messerschmitt product of the WW II-era called the "XL 12", let alone one with "[...]turbojets and rocket-mounts". The only operational rocket fighter in history was the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. During the final years of the war, however, Adolf Hitler was obsessed with the development of Wunderwaffen (wonder-weapons), such as the Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus (the heaviest tank ever built) and the Silbervogel (a planned sub-orbital bomber), amongst many, many others. In addition, Nazi policy was to destroy all useable matériel, from completed production models down to experimental plans, if there was a serious danger of them falling into enemy hands. The writers probably decided that the wide auspices of fearsome Nazi super-science would and could cover any forays into fantasy that they indulged in.
  • Karl Wagner and his underground posse mistake Colonel Klink for General Burkhalter - as Klink was in uniform at the time, this is unlikely to the point of impossibility.  Although Klink's uniform is mostly obscured by his greatcoat, not only does his Schirmmütze (officer's visor) have the distinctive Luftwaffe Eagle emblem on the brow (instead of the Wehrmacht one), but the piping, chinstrap, and all bullion embellishments are in silver, not the dull gold of a General Officer. Not only that, but Klink's greatcoat has military shoulderboards, showing his rank even while his actual uniform is obscured - the difference in shoulderboard color and design between a Colonel and a General are significant, and can not be mistaken. As a final blow, his dress uniform's color scheme, both exposed and unexposed portions, are in the Dress Blue color of the Luftwaffe, instead of the distinctive Feldgrau (Field-grey) of the Wehrmacht! Unless Karl Wagner is completely ignorant of his enemy's colors and insignia, there is no possible way he could have overlooked this!

External links Edit

Previous episode:
Man in a Box
Next episode:
Who Stole My Copy of Mein Kampf?

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