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The Prince from the Phone Company

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The Prince From The Phone Company
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: The Prince from the Phone Company
Original Airdate: March 18, 1966
Production Number: 5784-26
Written by: Richard M. Powell
Directed by: Gene Reynolds
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & Bernard Fein

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Kinchloe masquerades as an African prince, whom Hogan has kidnapped, in order to ask the Germans for money to open a submarine base. Complications arise when the real prince's wife arrives.

Plot Details Edit

At the start of the episode we learn that Hogan and his men have a problem. Hitler has just recently ordered a recall of all German Marks currently in circulation, so that they could be replaced with a new version that could not be counterfeited. Because of the recall, the heroes now have no money, or rather no counterfeit or real versions of the new currency, which they could past on to escaping prisoners who could use them to make monetary payments while they were traveling through Germany in disguise.

While trying to work out an exchange with Schultz for some of the new Marks, the prisoners and Schultz witness a dogfight over the camp between a German plane and an Allied plane. A short time after the German plane is shot down near the camp, the plane's passenger, Prince Maka Bana of Africa comes steaming into camp, furious about his plane being shot down. He soon informs Colonel Klink and Hogan that he has been in the country negotiating with the Germans for the building of a secret submarine base for the Germans somewhere along the coast of his country to be used against Allies' shipping. The negotiations have broken down and he was heading back to his country when his plane was shot down by the Allied fighter and he was now stuck in Stalag 13 until further transport could be arranged to take him back to his homeland. Hogan and the others, upon seeing the Prince's facial appearance, quickly notice how much he and Kinchloe look alike. Hogan then comes up with a plan: they would replace the Prince with Kinchloe, have him finish the negotiations with the Germans for the building of the submarine base, they would then take the new Marks that they would receive as payment from Berlin to help future escaped prisoners move around the country, while they contacted London to set up a trap for the U-boats that would be sent to the base.

Kinchloe, once his mustache is shaved off, is soon outfitted to replace his arrogant doppelganger and Hogan arranges the switch to take place right in front of Klink's office. During an altercation which lands Hogan in the cooler, the Prince is kidnapped, and is soon replaced by Kinch, while the real Prince is placed inside the tunnels. A short time later, the fake Prince is shown Hogan in the cooler, as Klink expects the prince to press charges. The "new" prince instead pretends to recognize Hogan, claiming that he was an old school chum and orders him released from the cooler, which Klink does. In the meantime, the Prince is informed that he would have to wait for new transport to be found for him to take him out of Germany. In the meantime, a negotiator would be sent from Berlin to continue the negotiations. Since that was the case, the "Prince" decides that he would stay in camp to await the negotiator's arrival. Hogan and "Prince" Kinch lounge in luxury while they wait until it is revealed to both of them that along with the negotiator, Count von Sickle, the Prince's wife, Princess Yowanda, would be arriving at the camp. The prisoners almost panic upon hearing the news, but Hogan decides that they should continue with the plan, hoping that they will be able to deceive the Princess and the Count just as easily as they have so far been able to deceive Klink and Schultz.

When the pair arrive in camp, the Princess receives her "husband" warmly, only to inform Kinch during their embrace that she is aware that he is not her husband. When the pair are alone to speak, she explains why: Kinch isn't as cold and arrogant as her husband is. But she promises not to inform on him, since she also likes him better than her husband, for those very same reasons. At the same time, Kinch tries to convince the princess that her people should be helping the Allies and not the Germans. She tells him that she would think that idea over. A short time later, the negotiations with von Sickle proceeds, with Hogan looking on, along with the Princess. During the negotiations, Count von Sickle pressures Kinch to telephone his country and immediately arrange for the docking of the submarines. This put both Kinch and Hogan in a bind, since Kinch doesn't know the native language. At this point, the Princess decides to help Kinch and the Allies by placing the call for her "husband". She makes the call, but when she speaks on the phone in her native tongue she tells her countrymen on the other end to help the Allies and not the Germans. The Princess then hangs up the phone and tells the count that its done. She later tells Kinch and Hogan what she had really done. The heroes then inform London to spring the trap. When the German submarines pull into the African port, they are met by a squadron of Allied destroyers and are completely wiped out. Because of this failure, Count von Sickle is ordered to return to Berlin so that he could be shot for treason. Instead, he and the real Prince Maka Bana are shown leaving camp in disguise, to be taken out of Germany by the underground. The Princess leaves with them, after hearing Kinch agree to meet up with her in Toledo after the war.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the twenty-fifth produced episode of the series, but is the twenty-sixth episode to be shown on television.
  • Ivan Dixon plays the dual role of Kinchloe and Prince Maka Bana.
  • The Prince's first name is "Maka," because his wife Princess Yowanda addresses him by this alone during the episode.
  • In this episode Kinchloe mentions having once worked for Bell Telephone, thus the reason for part of the episode's title.
  • Also in the episode, Schultz appears to suggest that he is, or at one time was, a monarchist -- based on his comment to the prince that life in Germany was so much better under the Kaiser.
  • Kinchloe spends most of the episode without his moustache, since Prince Maka Bana didn't have one.

Background Trivia Edit

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This is the twenty-fifth episode in chronological order, per the series timeline. It follows Psychic Kommandant, and is in turn followed by The Great Impersonation.
  • Events and characters in the episode imply a date of February 1943. This would be the latest that an African country that was under European control, (possibly Western Sahara, given the ports references, would have been interested in joining the Axis cause. Germany still has to have a strong presence in North Africa for this episode to be plausible.
  • Just as the Germans did with Operation Bernhard, the British were actively involved in the counterfeiting of German paper money via its Fakes and Forgeries Unit - just on a considerably smaller scale. This would have been the outfit that supplied our heroes with their new printing plates.
  • SPECULATION: While helping Kinch to establish his impersonation of Prince Maka Bana before Klink, Hogan mentions that the two of the attended an Army-Notre Dame football game together before the war. Kinch picks up on this and continues the conversation. Hogan had no reason to lie, since Klink would not have known any better, and Kinch could have easily (and did) follow Hogan's lead. If Hogan was in fact telling the truth, then this is evidence that Hogan and Kinch knew each other before before they wound up together at Stalag 13.

Quotes Edit

When Schultz is talking to Prince Makabana and remembering Imperial Germany:

  • Schultz: I have the highest respect for royalty! Oh, things were so much better here in Germany when we had an Emperor...what am I saying?

When Kinchloe, now disguised as the prince, is talking with Klink about Hogan:

  • Kinch (Prince Maka Bana): I went to school with this man in America.
  • Hogan: You've changed. You had a mustache then.
  • Kinch: Don't remind me.

Hogan, Kinch and LeBeau talking among themselves in Klink's office as they await the arrival of the real prince's wife, Princess Yowanda:

  • Kinch (as Prince Maka Bana): Look, Colonel, why don't we do this? We'll bring up the real Prince from the tunnel, tell him it was all a big mistake, and let him take my place?

Hogan: I think you've got it. And when he tells Klink what's going on down below, Hitler gives us all a medal.

(Hogan and Kinch start pacing between LeBeau)

  • LeBeau: How about some more champagne?
  • Hogan and Kinch (Prince Makabana): Forget it!
  • LeBeau: It was just an idea.

While Kinchloe is talking with the Princess after learning that she knows that he's a fraud:

  • Princess: You come on real strong...or do you only look strong? You know, I, I always get hung up on looks.
  • Kinch (as Prince Maka Bana): Alright, let's make a date for after the war and compare hang-ups.

Kinchloe dressed as the prince, in Klink's quarters drinking wine with Hogan says to LeBeau:

Bloopers Edit

  • At the end of the episode it is never explained how Kinchloe got his moustache after having cut it off to impersonate Prince Maka Bana. It can be safely speculated, though, that he wore the fake one until his real one grew back.
  • Count von Sichel's uniform is a strange conglomerate. The uniform jacket is that of a Heer colonel (shoulder boards), but his trousers are those of a Heer general (red stripe and color).
  • The prince's transport aircraft appears instead to be a Ju 88 bomber.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
Psychic Kommandant
Next episode:
The Safecracker Suite

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