|Episode:||Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sight|
|Original Airdate:||November 19, 1965|
|Written by:||Laurence Marks|
|Directed by:||Gene Reynolds|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman & Bernard Fein|
- Colonel Hogan - Bob Crane
- Corporal Louis LeBeau - Robert Clary
- Corporal Peter Newkirk - Richard Dawson
- Sergeant James Kinchloe - Ivan Dixon
- Sergeant Andrew Carter - Larry Hovis
Camp Personnel Edit
Guest Stars Edit
Plot Details Edit
The episode begins with Hogan telling LeBeau to go outside Barracks 2 to intercept Schultz and keep him from getting into the barracks for a bed check, while Hogan and the others wait for a message from London inside the tunnels. Lebeau agrees. He gets a serving tray filled with strudel and heads out to meet Schultz, while Hogan heads for the rising bed entrance and starts down the ladder under it. Once outside, LeBeau stops Schultz, who asks him why he is still awake and outside the barracks. LeBeau opens up the serving tray, revealing the strudel to Schultz, who happily sniffs it, then starts eating a piece. Schultz comments that his wife now works at a munitions factory, then quips that she may not have the job once the people at the factory realize that she is a woman. LeBeau quickly convinces Schultz that all of the other prisoners are inside the barracks in bed so that he doesn't need to come inside to do a bed count. He gives Schultz the strudel-filled tray as a bribe. Schultz happily takes the tray and leaves, and LeBeau closes the door behind him.
While LeBeau is keeping Schultz out of the barracks, Hogan is inside the radio room looking over a message from London that Kinch has just decoded, as Carter and Newkirk look on. The message says that London has lost contact with an underground agent, Willie, who works as a waiter at the Hauserhof hotel in Hammelburg. Since they can't use normal channels for fear that they might already be compromised, they are to inform Willie not to appear at next Thursday's weapons drop because the Gestapo is suspected to be setting up a trap for him, which would in turn compromise the local underground unit. Hogan decides to perform the mission himself by using the emergency tunnel the following night, wearing civilian clothes. He will give Willie the soon-to-be-coded message inside a pack of cigarettes.
The next day, during a "chilly" roll call, Hogan and the others notice that several Luftwaffe men are busy working outside the main gate, near their emergency tunnel. Although Hogan is sure they won't find the tunnel, just their being near it is a concern. After Klink exits his office, he informs the prisoners, after listening to Hogan volunteer his men to help with the digging outside the camp, about what is going on beyond the main fence: he is having the barbed wire and the front gate electrified, which he hopes will make the camp even more escape proof, which somewhat horrifies the prisoners, as it would make it harder for them to conduct their missions. After being dismissed by a happy sounding Klink, Hogan tells the others that because of this new development, he won't be able to get out of camp through the emergency tunnel, and thus they'll have to come up with a new plan so that he can warn the underground agent. But as Hogan reaches the front door to his men's barracks, he sees one of the German guards walk out the front door. This alerts him and the others that something is obviously wrong inside. Thus, Hogan, Newkirk, LeBeau, Kinch and Carter slowly enter the barracks, wondering if the barracks has been bugged. Hogan, LeBeau, Newkirk and Kinch, after Carter is told by Hogan to look for any bugs inside the main room, enter Hogan's office and start searching for any bugs there. The foursome soon find a few bugs and after making their discoveries, they slowly back out of the room and then close the door behind them. After being informed by Carter that there are no bugs inside the main room, they start to discuss what they are going to do to get rid of the bugs, as Hogan figures that Klink has put them there believing that they held all of their escape meetings inside Hogan's office. At this point Hogan comes up with an idea to use the bugs that Klink had just planted inside his office to their own advantage. The prisoners would put together what is essentially a radio drama (Stalag 13 Theatre on the Air) for Klink's benefit which would ultimately help them.
Shortly, as they read from some scripts, Hogan and his men go into action, with the others telling Hogan about their idea for a new escape attempt, while Hogan suggests to them that now might not be a good time to plan an escape, because of both the fence being electrified and Klink's own efficency, which is joyously believed by Klink as he listens in on their 'conversation' via the planted bugs. During their 'broadcast,' Schultz enters the room, giving the now empty tray back to LeBeau while starting to complain about Klink's reaction to seeing him with it and the enclosed strudel, before being stopped by Hogan, who covers his mouth, then points to the bug inside the hanging lamp. Schultz then says some nice things about Klink before he leaves the room. The heroes then complete their broadcast. A short time later, Klink is speaking on the phone, telling General Burkhalter that he has discovered that Hogan might actually be pro-German in his sentiments because he has just refused an escape attempt idea brought to him by his men. After the call, Klink orders some items to be placed inside Hogan's office which he hopes will make Hogan become even more pro-German. Instead, it make Hogan realize that his plan is working. Later, as he speaks with Klink inside Klink's office, Hogan mentions that he is actually of German ancestry, and when Klink asks him what he wants most, after talking about his taste in women, he tells Klink that he would like to go into town and spend some time inside the Hauserhauf hotel. Klink, although following Burkhalter's order of playing along with Hogan, refuses his request since it would go against regulations. Hogan then leaves Klink's office, after having planted that little seed inside Klink's head.
In their next "broadcast," Hogan hears complaints from the other prisoners, who claim they fear that he might be turning pro-German thanks to the gifts that he is presently receiving from Klink, as well as his recent visits to Klink's office. He dismisses their allegations, soon seeming to claim to them that he knows about the Norden bombsight, which comes as a complete surprise to a listening Klink. But as he starts to describe the 'main characteristics' of the bombsight to them, Klink, who is trying to write down the information, is unable to do so thanks to the 'static' that is being caused by the singing of some of the prisoners "in the background" as they loudly sing the popular song, Roll Out the Barrel, which frustrates Klink. Klink then quickly informs Burkhalter over the phone about Hogan's claims that he knows about the Nordon bombsight, which the Germans seriously want to know for their own purposes. Burkhalter informs Klink that he will come to the camp, thinking that his appearance there might influence Hogan into giving them the plans for the Norden. Klink, hoping to impress the General, informs him that he has made some recent improvements which he would like to show him.
Burkhalter soon arrives at camp and is met at the main gate by Klink, who tries to show off to him his now automated front gate. But the demonstration is spoiled by Hogan, who has Kinch use a device which makes the gate try to close against Burkhalter's staff car, thus forcing Klink into Burkhalter. After this happens a few more times, Klink accuses Schultz of being behind it, since Schultz is presently holding a device very similar to the one Kinch is using. Schultz appears to be unable to operate the device, but the third time that the gate closes on Burkhalter's staff car, causing Klink to run into Burkhalter and forcing the pair onto the ground, it can actually be blamed on Schultz. The situation amuses Hogan and the others. Hogan comments that he has seen a similar act at the circus.
Later, Klink and Burkhalter are seen leaving Klink's office after Klink has played the recordings for Burkhalter. As they walk away from Klink's office, the pair discuss how they will get the information on the Norden bombsight out of Hogan. Burkhalter informs Klink that he will be calling in an engineering expert, Major Klopfer, to join them for when they get Hogan to reveal to them the Norden bombsight information. Burkhlater then tells Klink that they will not be using interrogation tactics to get Hogan to cooperate, but that they will instead attempt to butter him up. Upon hearing from Klink that Hogan has earlier wanted to go to the Hauserhauf in Hammelburg, Burkhalter thinks that it would be a good idea to take him there. He then tells Klink that they will set up a dinner there in Hogan's honor, with Hogan to be clothed in a German officer's uniform, as well as have a couple of local girls there, one of whom, Gretchen, is presently going out with Klink, which he believes would help them to persuade Hogan to tell them the plans for the bombsight.
During the dinner, after hearing Burkhalter jokingly speak about an incident he once had with Adolf Hitler, Hogan uses the opportunity to try and get in touch with Willie. At first, he is unsuccessful, as the waiter he says the code words to did not understand its meaning, instead believing that he is asking him about the song, Lili Marleen. Hogan then accepts Gretchen invitation to dance, after she has refused a similiar invite from Klink, whom Gretchen does not seems to like being with, since he could use it as a cover to contact Willie. As the pair dance, Klink is upset over it, in spite of Burkhalter reminding him that they are there on business, much to Klink's disgust. During their dance, Hogan is still unable to find the underground agent, as the bartender he asks the code words to thinks that he is asking him about a drink, while it piques Gretchen's curiosity. Hogan tells her that he's taking a survey about Lili Marleen, which she willingly accepts. Klink, after telling an agreeing Burkhalter that the dancing may keep Hogan sober, leaves the table, and then cut in on the dancing couple, soon dancing with a now unhappy Gretchen while Hogan goes back to the table.
Back at the table, Burkhalter starts up a conversation with Hogan, before he starts to ask Hogan about the Norden. Hogan acts as if he would be willing to talk about the Norden later, before he goes back to dancing with Gretchen, while he continues to look for Willie. Hogan cuts in on Klink and Gretchen, soon dancing with a once again happy Gretchen, while Klink goes back to the table, where he is told by Brukhalter to contact Klopfer and tell him to stand by as it appears that Hogan is ready to talk. Hogan, still looking for Willie, soon finds him at another table as a waiter having a hard time doing his job. He asks Gretchen to go back to the table before he goes to the table where Willie is working. After reaching Willie, he gives him the code sign and then hears the counter sign, after watching a happy Willie drop a tray with a bird-shaped wicker basket which lands on a female patron's head. Hogan takes the basket off of the patron's head, and while helping him retrieve the just dropped breads off of the floor, he gives the message and the entire package of cigarettes to Willie as he tells him that he is going to be needing it.
That night, back in camp, inside Klink's office, Hogan, as he uses a blackboard and chalk, starts to draw for an eager Klink and Burkhalter the plans for what they think is the actual Norden bombsight, while Burkhalter's expert, Major Klopfer, takes pictures using a camera. As Hogan explains the Norden to the three Germans, they asks him questions about its weight, how it operates and its power sources. The engineering expert, after Hogan has completed the drawing, tells the other two what Hogan has actually drawn is a vacuum cleaner, which makes Burkhalter furious at Klink. Hogan then reveals to them that he at one time has used a Norden vacuum cleaner when he was in the barracks back in the states. An angry Burkhalter then snaps at Klink for bringing him there so that Hogan could tell him about a vacuum cleaner, much to Hogan's amusement, before he and the expert leave in disgust. Klink then tries to reprimand Hogan, who reminds him that they have asked him to describe the Norden to them, which he did, and that the money that Klink has spent at the dinner isn't going to matter if he is sent to the Russian Front because of this.
The last scene of the episode shows several German guards, led by Schultz, removing everything Klink had earlier given to Hogan, before Klink himself appears, soon informing Hogan about Burkhalter's williness to forget that he has been tricked by him, but that he isn't going to do so. But before Klink could start, Hogan pulls out the bug from inside the floating lamp and then hands it over to Klink, while asking him to remove it and the other bugs from his office, thus revealing to Klink that he knew all along that his office has been bugged, although claiming that he didn't want to hurt his feelings. When Klink asks why, Hogan responds that he might talk about Gretchen in his sleep.
Story Notes Edit
- This is the fourteenth produced episode of the series, but is the tenth one to be shown on television.
- This is Leon Askin's first appearance in the series as General Burkhalter. In the pilot episode he appeared as Colonel Burkhalter.
- This is Sigrid Valdis' first of two appearances as a guest star during the series's first season. From Season 2 onwards, she appears in the series as Colonel Klink's second secretary, Hilda. She later fell in love and married Bob Crane in 1970, becoming his second wife.
- The "chilly" morning roll call appears to have been filmed during a heat wave, as sheens of perspiration are visible on the actors -- especially Richard Dawson, whose Newkirk complains most vociferously about the temperature.
- Edward Knight as Major Klopfer, who is the father of The Brady Bunch star, Christopher Knight, is also a regular player/guest star for Hogan's Heroes - always as a German officer.
- Klink's desk is shown at an odd angle.
- This is the first time that the heroes' homemade wire recorder is seen in the series.
- The story's title is based on the 1930s era popular song, Top Hat, White Tie and Tails, which is written by Irving Berlin in 1935.
- Part of the story is based on Germans attempts to discover how the Norden bombsight actually work from American USAAF prisoners.
- The Beer Barrel Polka, a popular song during World War II, is sung in the background to help mask a conversation in Hogan's office from Klink's bugs.
- Lili Marleen, the title of another popular World War II song, is used as part of the code words that Colonel Hogan uses to find the underground spy, Willie.
- Stalag 13 Theatre on the Air is a tribute reference to Orson Welles and John Housemen's radio show, Mercury Theatre on the Air, which was produced for the CBS radio network.
- In one of the earliest mentions of Schultz's wife, Frau Gretchen, we learn that she has disguised herself as a man in order to get a job at a local munitions factory. Her main task involves the lifting and carrying of heavy gun barrels.
Timeline Notes and SpeculationsEdit
- This episode appears to take place during the week leading up to January 17, 1944. The 17th was the day that London planned to make a weapons drop for Agent Willie of the underground.
- Newkirk: Colonel, don't you ever think about anything else but dames?
- Hogan: Of course I do. But I fight it.
- Burkhalter: ...But is Hogan ready to tell us about the Norden?
- Klink: I have been working on him. Even if I say so myself, (chuckles) when I turn on the charm, I can be irresistible.
- Burkhalter: I have never had any trouble resisting you.
While Burkhalter and Klink continue to talk about what to do to get Hogan to reveal the Norden:
- Burkhalter: Now let me see what we can do with Colonel Hogan.
- Klink: I will have him brought here and we will start strenuous interrogation at once.
- Burkhalter: Klink, you not only are irresistible, but you are also very subtle.
- Klink: Thank you, sir!
- Burkhalter: Like a broken leg.
As Klink complains about Gretchen paying too much attention to Hogan:
- Klink: And what's the matter with me?
- Hogan: Would you like us to make a list?
Klink is upset that Gretchen is dancing with Hogan:
- Burkhalter: Colonel, may I remind you that we are here on official business?
- Klink: Official business, yes. Monkey business, no!
- The subject of the episode is a German effort to achieve information on the legendary Norden bombsight. This is strange, given the apparent date of the episode (January 1944), since the German military already had this knowledge by that time. The plans to the Norden had been memorized by a German spy, Herman W. Lang, and relayed to Germany in 1938. The Luftwaffe had a roughly comparable device, the Lotfernrohr 3, in active service by early 1939, and a functionally equivalent (but far simpler mechanically) model, the gyro-stabilised Lotfernrohr 7C, by June of 1941. This was not common knowledge at the time, however, and did not become so until after war's end. Long after the end of World War II, tales about German efforts to discover the Norden's secrets would provide ample fodder for wartime novels, movies, and TV shows -- such as is seen here.
- Burkhalter orders Klink to provide the seeming-turncoat Hogan with a German Luftwaffe uniform for psychological reasons. Hogan is provided with an Officer's dress tunic, officer's jodhpurs and boots, and an enlisted man's pale lavender dress shirt. In addition, his tunic's breast emblem is the all-metal 'dress whites' version, not the standard silver bullion patch.
- Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sight at TV.com
- Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sight at the Internet Movie Database
- Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sight episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sight episode on YouTube
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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