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The Tower

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The Tower
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: The Tower
Original Airdate: March 17, 1967
Production Number: 5784-60
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Gene Reynolds
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan blackmails General Burkhalter to keep Klink from being transferred to the Russian front for failing to keep Hogan from blowing up a radio tower.

Plot Details Edit

It is late at night. Carter, Kinch, and LeBeau go to meet with a German underground contact named Lili Wester, who is waiting for them not far from camp. LeBeau, who hasn't seen an attractive woman in the flesh "for a long time," is more for examining her than what they've been sent to see. It is a tall radio tower built on the other side of a hill not far from the fence. It was just put up a few days ago, having been hauled through town, and is now operational. Kinch makes them all go back to camp to report the news, just about having to drag LeBeau away from Lili to do so.

Lili has told them that the officer in charge of the tower has sent some information to Klink. Hogan dispatches LeBeau and Newkirk to Klink's office, on the pretense of cleaning it, to rifle his safe for those papers. Newkirk goes through several items in order - Luftwaffe code book ("We've already got a copy of that," says LeBeau), a dusty manual on prisoner-of-war regulations ("I like a camp that's run by the book," quips Newkirk) - and finally, an official-looking envelope. It is not from the tower, but rather a personal letter to Klink along with some racy French postcards ("We ought to raid Klink's safe more often", Newkirk comments). They hear footsteps ouside, quickly shut the safe door, and assume cleaning poses. Schultz walks in, and asks what they're doing in Klink's office. Newkirk actually admits to breaking into the safe, but Schultz doesn't take him seriously. The POWs then claim they are cleaning it on his orders. He doesn't believe them and quickly tears holes in their story, noting he was not available for every date they claim he told them. Just as he is about to lower the boom on them, they are interrupted by the arrival of three officers - General Burkhalter, Colonel Klink, and Captain Berger, the officer in charge of the tower who sent Klink the papers the Heroes were looking for. The other three men snap to attention, and when Klink asks what the POWs are doing in his office, it is Schultz (!) who covers the situation, claiming it was he (!) who ordered Newkirk and LeBeau to clean the office. Klink orders them out, and they leave. As the two visiting officers move to Klink's desk, the Kommandant reveals he had the tower papers on his person the whole time in order to keep them safe from prying eyes. Klink, Burkhalter, and Berger then begin their discussion.

The Unsung Heroes are gathered in Hogan's office, listening to the discussion via the Hitler picture bug. It turns out that the tower is part of a sophisticated new radio rangefinder system, designed to home in on the transmitters inside Allied aircarft in the shortest possible time. This will allow the Luftwaffe to begin their attacks on Allied bombers long before they can reach vital targets inside the Reich. Hogan is understandably worried, and wants to take out the tower, but Burkhalter has added an interesting twist to the situation. Since this particular tower in the system is next to Stalag 13, he has put Colonel Klink in charge of its security, adding that if anything untoward happens to the tower, Klink will be held personally responsible, and duly court-martialed and sent to the Russian Front as an infantry private. Hogan's problem is how to knock out the tower before it becomes operational, yet keep their beloved commandant's butt out of the proverbial fire, thus keeping their own operation going. He decides that the weak link in the German chain of command is not Klink, but Burkhalter. They will use the general's known weaknesses against him in making sure Klink comes to no harm once they take out the tower. "We get at Burhalter through a fraulein," Hogan tells his men. It is a risky plan, but it is all they have, and Hogan promptly calls for Lili to join them in their plans.

Lili is disgusted at what Hogan wants her to do. "I'd rather die first!" she spits at Hogan. His plan is for her to hit first on Klink, then to flirt with his superior Burkhalter, thus hopefully catching the general in a compromising position that his men can photograph. Hogan remains firm. "A lot of the guys flying the bombers might die if you don't," he tells her calmly. Lili refuses to back down. "Look," she exclaims, "I volunteered to work in the underground! I have cheated, stolen, lied for the cause I believe in, and if you think I'm going to--" Hogan interrupts her. "Now we're offering you a chance to put out the biggest lie of all," he says smiling. "You write and tell Klink what a great guy he is."

Some time later, Hogan goes to Klink's office and asks that his men be allowed to build a bowling alley for recreational purposes. Klink is amazed at Hogan's audacity and dismisses the request. Hogan then tells him what a bad officer he is, but Klink only smiles in reply. "Not everybody thinks so," he says rather smugly. Klink has received Lili's letter. Hogan then plants the suggestion in Klink's head to hold a dinner party, with LeBeau cooking and Carter waiting on table, and to also invite Burkhalter in order to show off his new girlfriend. The bamboozled Klink promptly agrees.

That evening, in Klink's quarters, Lili is putting on quite a show for the two German officers as LeBeau prepares dinner and Carter acts as waiter, with Schultz supervising the prisoners and acting as maître d'hôtel. LeBeau lures Schultz into the kitchen to sample his cuisine, leaving Lili to continue her work without interruptions. Burkhalter, correctly sensing the tone of the situation that Hogan has set up for him, quickly contrives to get Klink away from Lili and gives her all of what little charm he has - mainly, his rank and authority. Lili hides her disgust and plays along. As one compromising pose after another is set up - a kiss from Lili, a tender embrace, a passionate play with his uniform (actually cleaning up some wine that Carter spilled on him) - each is photographed from outside by Kinch, using a high-end camera with a zoom lens. Kinch has no problem filling his roll of film, thanks to Lili and the unsuspecting Burkhalter. After that, the curtain falls and time passes ....

"Get a load of the expression on Burkhalter's face in this one!" Kinch says, as he finishes developing the pictures. Hogan and the rest of the Unseen Heroes are watching, grinning and chuckling at them. "What's our next move?" LeBeau asks. Hogan tells him that tonight they are going to go blow up the tower. After that, they are going to blackmail Burkhalter with the pictures into not cashiering Klink over the sabotage. The night's mission goes off like clockwork. With Schultz and his guards distracted by Hogan and Kinch, Hogan firing a gun and Kinch calling them out pretending to be Captain Berger, Carter places a series of small charges at key points inside the tower's steel frame. Hogan and Kinch return just in time for the fireworks. With Schultz and his men still chasing "Captain Berger" in the woods, Hogan allows Carter the honor of pushing the plunger. "Pyromaniacs are so sensitive," he quips, as a series of explosions collapses the tower into scrap.

The next morning, a furious Burkhalter is bawling out Klink in the colonel's own office over the sabotage. "But I was in bed asleep!" Klink protests, but the general will have none of it. He informs Klink he is to be stripped of his command and arrested for "criminal ineffiency." Even as Klink continues to try to defend himself, Hogan walks in with a large manila envelope. "I thought we might discuss the bowling alley idea again. You're both in such a good mood," he says with a smile. An exasperated Klink dismisses Hogan, an order which Burkhalter icily backs. Hogan salutes and starts to leave, then turns at the door. "Oh, this is for you," he tells the general. He starts to hand Burkhalter the envelope but fakes a stumble. The envelope's contents scatter on the floor - pictures of Burkhalter and Lili at last night's party, in all sorts of interesting poses. Burkhalter is horrified. "This is a frame-up!" he exclaims, then looks levelly at the other two officers. "I will have this girl arrested at once." Hogan shakes his head. "Have her arrested? She sends the pictures to your wife, [and] your wife has you arrested ... You remember her, the little woman with the big temper?" Burkhalter backs off immediately. He is now the one protesting. "This was an innocent party!" Hogan points out the note that came with the pictures. In it, Lili claims to prefer Klink to Burhalter - and if the general will drop all charges against the colonel, and state publically that he wasn't responsible for the sabotage of the tower, then she'll send him the negatives. Since she knows Burkhalter will do anything to get them, though, she'll only give them to one of the prisoners. Burkhalter promptly orders Hogan to go get the negatives. "I'll have all the prisoners shot if you're not back in three hours," he warns, "and I will send a guard to escort you to your cell, Klink," before he storms out of Klink's office.

Three hours later, Hogan shows up at the camp's cooler where Klink has been incarcerated and Burkhalter is grimly waiting. Hogan hands Burkhalter an envelope. The general smiles, then starts to leave. "Aren't you going to release Klink?" Hogan asks. The general's smile gets bigger. "Now that I have these, what for?" he asks. Hogan points to the envelope, and advises, "Maybe you better count them." Burkhalter opens the envelope. Sure enough, one is missing - the most damning pose of them all. "That little cheat," Burkhalter mutters, then orders Klink released. "I have decided to release you and restore your command," he growls reluctantly. "All charges will be dropped." Klink is understandably elated. "You can't mean it, sir," he fawns. Burkhalter glares at him. "I don't," he snaps, then adds, "but I have no choice." After he leaves, Klink considers celebrating by throwing another dinner party...inviting Lili and Burkhalter. Hogan advises Klink to see a movie instead.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the sixtieth episode produced in the series, but is the fifty-ninth episode to be shown on television and is the twenty-seventh episode for the second season.

Background Trivia Edit

  • The Luftwaffe codebook seen in this episode is the same used in A Klink, A Bomb and a Short Fuse, which preceeded it in production order.
  • The Germans deployed a number of radar and radio range-finding systems against the Allies in an effort to stop, or at least lessen the accuracy, of Allied bombing raids. The tower in this episode might have been part of the Flammen system, which was able to home in on Allied bombers by using their own IFF (Identify-Friend-or-Foe) transmitters inside their planes. The Allies eventually got wise to this and ordered their bomber crews to turn off their IFF transmitters, once they were in range of German air defenses.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

Quotes Edit

  • Carter - Are we gonna blow it up?
  • Hogan - It's nice to know what something is before you blow it up, Carter.
  • Carter - Why?
  • Hogan - Well I mean, after the war, you can tell your children you blew up either a 'this' or a 'that.'
  • Carter - Children? I'm not even married.
  • Hogan (smiling) - Don't worry, Carter. Somewhere there's a wife - even for you.

  • Klink - Now, ahh, before we start, (nervous laugh, reaches for the wine service) shall we have a little refreshment, Herr General?
  • Burkhalter (frowning) - I don't want anything. Neither does Berger.
  • Klink (holding the glass and decanter) - Well then, I'll just have a little--
  • Burkhalter (interrupting) - Neither do you.
  • Klink (frightened, quickly sets them down) - That's right, I don't, I just thought I did.

  • Klink (standing in front of bugged picture of Hitler) - General Burkhalter, I assure you this room is absolutely secure. Nobody can hear a single word! Nobody.

(cut to the Unsung Heroes, listening to the bug in Hogan's office)

  • Hogan - We're nobody, aren't we?
  • Carter - Nobody.
  • Kinch - That's right.
  • Hogan - And we promise not to tell a soul, right?
  • Carter and Kinch (together) - Right.
  • Hogan (to speaker in coffee pot) - Satisfied?
  • Carter - I am.
  • Hogan (nods, again to speaker) - That's good enough for me.

  • Lili - When Colonel Klink invited me here I had no idea I would be meeting a general!

(Burkhalter smiles and laughs quietly, clinking his glass with hers)

  • Klink (from one side, trying to get her attention) - Well, that's one of our little surprises!
  • Burkhalter (irritated) - A little surprise, Klink?
  • Klink (quickly) - No sir, a big one - a VERY BIG one.
  • Lili (with charm) - And a very nice one, too.
  • Burkhalter (smiling) - Thank you! And may I say, fraulein, that meeting you has been one of the nicest things that has happened to me in this war?
  • Lili (gushing) - Oh, general! What a sweet thing to say! I could just kiss you!

(Klink, still watching from off to one side, immediately pouts)

  • Klink (low) - You could?
  • Burkhalter (puts his arm around Lili) - Well! Why not?

(Lili leans in and kisses him. Kinch, from outside the window, snaps a picture. Burkhalter has an impish grin on his face.)

  • Burkhalter (to Klink) - You see what can happen to you when you are a general, Klink?
  • Klink (false bravado) - Well, sir, I have something to look forward to.
  • Burkhalter - Maybe in the next war.

  • Burkhalter (looking at pictures) - This is a frame-up! (Looks up at Hogan and Klink) I will have this girl arrested at once. What's her name -- Fraulein Wester?!
  • Hogan - Right, right, have her arrested. (looks at Klink, then back at Burkhalter) Oops. WRONG.
  • Burkhalter - What are you talking about?
  • Hogan - Have her arrested, she sends the pictures to your wife - your wife has YOU arrested.
  • Burkhalter - My wife?
  • Hogan - Yeah. You remember her? The little woman with the big temper?
  • Burkhalter (protesting) - This was an innocent party!
  • Klink (exaggerated, to Hogan, echoing Burkhalter) - It was an innocent party!
  • Burkhalter (icily) - Keep out of this.
  • Klink (fawning) - Yes, sir! (to Hogan again) It wasn't innocent at all.
  • Burkhalter (yelling) - SHUT UP!!!

Bloopers Edit

External links Edit


Previous episode:
The Most Escape-Proof Camp I've Ever Escaped From
Next episode:
Colonel Klink's Secret Weapon

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