|Episode:||The Reluctant Target|
|Original Airdate:||April 7, 1967|
|Written by:||Phil Sharp|
|Directed by:||Bob Sweeney|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan|
- Colonel Hogan - Bob Crane
- Corporal Louis LeBeau - Robert Clary
- Corporal Peter Newkirk - Richard Dawson
- Sergeant Andrew Carter - Larry Hovis
Camp Personnel Edit
Guest Stars Edit
Plot Details Edit
Hogan is in a meeting in the tunnels with Underground agent Pierre. The Heroes have uncovered intelligence suggesting the Germans are planning a major offensive and so the Heroes have drawn up a map of where the staging point for the offensive is to occur. Pierre is to have his men delay the attack as best as they can, with Pierre suggesting sabotage of all roads, bridges and airfields in the surrounding area. The plan made, Pierre is sent on his way, with his departure to be covered by the camp dogs being released by LeBeau. Hogan enters the barracks just as the dogs are released. However, the sound of gunfire soon reveals that something has gone very wrong. LeBeau enters the barracks and informs the Heroes that the dogs chased after a rabbit and accidentally found Pierre, who is being hauled into camp. The Heroes quickly move to run interference and swarm Pierre and Schultz. The heavyset sergeant orders them to stand back as he frisk searches Pierre. Klink soon arrives on the scene. Klink demands to see Pierre's papers, but Pierre naturally doesn't have any, which Klink deems suspicious. After hearing from Schultz that nothing was found on Pierre, Klink orders Schultz to search the Heroes too. The Heroes subtly pass the map and Pierre's pistol (which was pickpocketed by Newkirk) to Hogan who throws them onto the roof of Klink's office without detection. Since nothing suspicious has been found, Klink declares Pierre to be a spy, reasoning that someone not carrying something suspicious, or anything at all merits suspicion. Hogan simply points out that if this is true, many spies could be found at the beach, much to Klink's chagrin.
Pierre is hauled into Klink's office, and refuses to answer any of Klink's questions, thus Klink sends him to the guardhouse pending a Gestapo investigation. Hogan arrives shortly thereafter and runs interference yet again by suggesting the Gestapo should not be involved lest they get the credit if it is found that Pierre is a genuine spy. Klink sees merit in Hogan's suggestion and decides to continue interrogating Pierre himself. As they speak, LeBeau (standing on Carter's shoulders) knocks the gun off the roof so it can be recovered, but the gun accidentally fires as it hits the ground, blasting through Klink's window and shattering a vase. Klink and Hogan duck for cover, with the former thinking the camp is being attacked. Hogan quickly allays Klink's fears and points out only LeBeau and Carter are outside the office, causing Klink to order them to be searched. The Kommandant angrily quips that there is no excuse for such an accident to occur, and Hogan suggests that it wasn't an accident at all before leaving. Klink ponders the situation with a look of horror, and then quickly covers the window.
Hogan meets with the rest of the Heroes outside the barracks, and LeBeau apologises for the gun going off. Hogan waves the apology away however as it has given him an idea. He asks Carter to prepare "a few things" with his chemistry set, and explains that they will get the ten soldiers guarding Pierre to guard Klink instead.
Sometime later, as Klink and Schultz are inspecting several crates of supplies, Hogan calls the Kommandant over to settle an argument he is having with LeBeau and Newkirk. They cannot decide which is the perfect aryan type, Hogan going with Goering, Newkirk with Goebbels and LeBeau going with Himmler. Klink declares all three examples to be perfect, and turns to go back to his work. Just at that moment however, the crates explode (courtesy of Carter's explosives). Though Klink and Schultz are unharmed, they are covered in dirt and the bewildered Klink asks what happened, to which Hogan replies that it is just another "accident."
A little later when Klink has cleaned himself off, he discusses his predicament with Hogan, wondering why anyone would want to kill him. The wily American colonel masterfully plants a seed of uncertainty and fear in Klink's mind by suggesting that the killer is psychotic and will never stop trying, all the while putting a pill in one of Klink's coffee mugs. Klink is horrified at the thought of such a killer and ponders his situation as Hogan pours coffee. Hogan pours too much however and drains the excess from a saucer into a flowerpot. As Klink raises the cup to his lips, the flowers suddenly wilt and Klink realises the coffee has been poisoned. Now in complete fear for his life, he begs for Hogan's help. Hogan suggests someone else pretend to be Klink while he is hidden away, and the killer will be caught when he tips his hand too far. Klink approves of the idea, and immediately asks Hogan to be the decoy, which Hogan agrees to after hearing Klink's reasoning that the prisoners would be blamed if he were killed.
A little later, with the two colonels in the other's uniform, Klink orders Hogan to stay in the office until the killer makes his move while he hides in his quarters. They are soon interrupted by Schultz, who upon seeing the two colonels, bewilderedly saultes them both. Klink quickly orders Schultz to tell no one else of the matter and the two Germans flee when Hogan suggests the killer might simply grenade the office. Hogan quickly swipes some of Klink's cigars and then marches across the camp, up to the Heroes. His impression of Klink is so accurate that the guards and Heroes stand at attention when he approaches. Hogan updates his men on the proceedings, gives each of them a cigar and instructs them to spirit Pierre from the guardhouse (as the troops will now be guarding Klink.)
Later that day, Schultz bursts into "Kommandant Hogan's" (aka Klink's office) and tells Hogan that an S.S officer wishes to see him, or rather, he wants to see Klink. The officer soon barges into the office, and introduces himself as "General Brenner." He is in camp to arrange a meeting with three important Wehrmacht officers. Stalag 13 has been chosen to host the meeting as it is convenient for the three guests, one being 108 kilometres away, the second 220 kilometers away, and the third 250 kilometres away. The meeting will take place at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning and "Klink" is to arrange maximum security, which Hogan vows to do "as sure as my name is Klink."
Hogan meets with the Heroes in the tunnels that night, as they prepare to sping Pierre from the guardhouse. Hogan informs them of the meeting that is to take place and marks the various distances from which the attendees are leaving from. The Heroes find that the three guests are coming from the 3rd Army Headquarters, the 15th Armoured Division and Field Marshal Von Galter's headquarters respectively. These three groups happen to be involved in the same offensive Pierre is meant to delay. Their attention caught, the Heroes decide to listen into the meeting.
A little later, Hogan meets with Klink in the former's quarters (and is greeted with the slowest gun draw in the world). Klink (after putting away the gun) asks why Hogan isn't in the office, but Hogan points out the killer would be focusing on Klink's quarters at this time of night. After a small conversation, Klink insists that he will resume his duties as Kommandant, as he believes no one is after him, but Hogan tells him of the meeting with the three officers in the morning, and labels them as "Mister X, Y and Z," causing Klink to decide to keep hiding. Schultz soon arrives with Klink's dinner (and is greeted with an even slower draw) and puts it on his table before leaving somewhat quickly. Hogan tries to muscle in on Klink's meal by pointing out that the killer might have poisoned it. Fearfully, Klink makes a show of "inviting" Hogan to dine with him and humorously eats piece for piece with Hogan.
Hogan meets with Newkirk and asks if the Heroes were able to remove all their listening bugs from the office, as they can't risk them being found. Newkirk confirms they were able to, and poses the issue of what if any of the guests knows Klink personally. Hogan admits he has considered this, but muses that it's a chance they will have to take. LeBeau arrives and shows Hogan the walkie-talkie system they have installed inside a flowerpot, which in turn is connected to one in the tunnels. Brenner and the three guests arrive and are introduced to Hogan after the latter escorts them into the office. A tense moment occurs when Field Marshal Von Galter reveals that he knows Klink as he was a friend of Klink's late uncle. However, the moment passes when it turns out that he only knew Klink as a baby, and remarks that the baby Klink used to cry a lot. After falsely answering a few family questions, Hogan subtly puts a wedge under Klink's phone so he can overhear the meeting on the outer office phone. The American colonel leaves the officers to their meeting, takes up the outer office phone and recites what he is overhearing to the Heroes in the tunnel. The keypoint to the offensive is the regrouping point where six months worth of supplies have been stockpiled, and that place is "here" as Galter pointed out its location on a map, rather than say it aloud. The quick thinking Hogan dashes into the office, and makes a show of offering cigars to the officers, all the while noting where Galter was pointing on the map. He is quickly shouted out of the office, and gives the location to the rest of the Heroes: Mendleburg. Hogan signs off and Newkirk begins sending what they have learned to London.
The next day, Klink (who has resumed his role of Kommandant) is giving an earful to Schultz for letting Pierre escape. Schultz tries to defend himself by reminding Klink that he had Pierre's guards moved for his own protection, but Klink will have none of it. Klink demotes Schultz to private, rips off his sergeant's insignia and threatens to send him to the Russian front as Hogan arrives. The wily American quickly runs interference and points out that it wasn't until Pierre was captured that the "assassination attempts" began to occur, causing Klink to rethink the matter and let it go before revoking Schultz' demotion and transfer.
Story Notes Edit
- This is the sixty-third episode produced in the series, but is the sixty-second episode to be shown on television and is the thirtieth episode for the second season.
- The sixty-second produced episode, Carter Turns Traitor, will not appear until the middle of the third season.
- Since Ivan Dixon does not appear in this episode, Newkirk is shown manning the communication equipment.
- This is the first time Hogan impersonates Klink and the third time Klink has been impersonated overall.
Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit
- There is a fair amount of evidence that points to this being a bridge episode between the departure of Kinch in late 1944 and the subseqent "arrival" of Baker to take his place. As mentioned above, Newkirk acts as radio operator in Kinch's place. The Germans are concentrating their troops for a planned counterattack against invading Allied forces. Thus, the Normandy invasion (June 6, 1944) has already taken place and Allied armies are poised to enter Germany itself. What counterattack is meant is unclear, but this could be interpreted an indirect reference to the Battle of the Bulge (Fall Wacht am Rhein). This would imply a date of November 1944. An earlier possibility has been suggested: the German counterattack following the failure of Operation Market Garden, in and around Arnhem in late September of 1944.
- The original 15th Armored (Panzer) Division fell in Tunisia in 1943. What might be meant in this episode is the 15th Panzergrenadier Division. It was formed for service in Italy in July of 1943, and spent the rest of the war fighting there.
- The gunshot by the gun falling off the roof leaves no bullet hole in the glass or wall
- "There is nothing more personal than being killed." - Colonel Klink
- The Reluctant Target at TV.com
- The Reluctant Target at the Internet Movie Database
- The Reluctant Target episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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