|Episode:||Top Secret Top Coat|
|Original Airdate:||March 31, 1967|
|Written by:||Bill Davenport|
|Directed by:||Howard Morris|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan|
- 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
As the episode opens, the prisoners of Barracks 2 are gathered around Schultz. It is mail call at Stalag 13. Some of the men already have their mail, like Newkirk, Kinch, Addison, and Broughton. Meanwhile Schultz is busy passing out the rest, while an impaitent LeBeau jumps up and down beside him. Finally, Schultz gets to the last two letters - both of which are scented. "These are for me!" LeBeau exclaims, and yanks them out of his hand. Schultz laughs knowingly. "Carter," he says, turning to look behind him, "wouldn't you like to get a letter like this?" Carter, who is seated on his bunk by the door behind him, looks despondent. "I'd be happy just to get an envelope," he says sadly. Just then Newkirk interrupts, demanding to know what happened to the plum pudding his girlfriend says she sent him. "It's being held for inspection," Schultz says firmly -- and he's the one doing the inspecting, well, actually enjoying. "It was delicious," he says with a smile. Newkirk demands what's left of his pudding. Schultz claims he sampled "only a crumb." Newkirk responds tartly, "Yeah, that crumb would feed a family of eagles for a month!" Just then Hogan comes out of his office. "C'mon, Schultz, hurry it up!" he exclaims across the barracks. "We gotta finish digging that tunnel by Thursday." Schultz starts to protest, then does a double-take. "What ... tunnel--" he starts to say, then shushes himself. "Don't tell me!" he exclaims, his voice rising. "We all would be much happier if I see NOTH-ing!" Behind him, Newkirk adds curtly, "We'd all be happier if you ATE nothing!" Schultz ignores the insult and presents Colonel Hogan with the last piece of mail. "Woolen socks from your Aunt Alice, hand-knit" he says, handing the package to him. Hogan wonders why they haven't disappeared like Newkirk's plum pudding, and asks Schultz whether or not they fit. Schultz smiles at him. "Red, white, and blue are not my colors," he says, then leaves the barracks. Broughton closes the door for him.
As soon as Schultz is gone the Unsung Heroes rush to Hogan's office, closing the door behind them. Addison and Broughton remain by the barracks door, in case Schultz returns or any other Germans decide to visit. Kinch produces what looks like a sewing kit, while LeBeau sets up the coffee pot phone tap. Cleverly disguised inside the sewing kit is the Unsung Heroes' homemade wire recorder. LeBeau hooks it up to the phone tap, using it as a speaker, while Hogan begins unravelling the end of one of the socks. Kinch sticks a crude-looking shoeform on a stand into the middle of the recorder, onto which Hogan slips the sock, then Hogan threads part of its unravelled end through a playback mechanism made from a pair of old spools. Hidden inside the yarn of the sock is a fine wire, and once LeBeau starts the recorder, a message can be heard coming from the phone tap speaker. It's a special assignment for the Unsung Heroes, one so delicate that they'll have to do it alone. Hogan is to attend a party held by Baron von Auckburg. That sounds good, but the next bit floors them. Hogan is to masquerade as the camp commandant, Colonel Klink. Hogan's eyebrows shoot up at this. "Just took a turn for the worse," he says. The message continues. "The Baron has complete plans for Operation Dragonfly. Sometime during the evening he will turn them over to you. Simple enough, eh? Should be a rather enjoyable night's work, if you don't get shot pulling it off, ha-hah."
Later, we find the Unsung Heroes fitting Hogan with a copy of Klink's duty uniform. His men are jealous that he gets to go to a fancy dress party, with lots of wine and women, but Hogan reminds them of the danger involved. That's why he has to go alone. "The Baron has picked his guest list pretty carefully," Hogan surmises. He then points out the next thing they've got to do - intercept Klink's party invitation before Klink actually receives it.
A short time later, Hilda is surprised when Hogan sneaks into Klink's outer office and whispers in her ear. "The letter?" he asks. She smiles, reaches behind the paper in her typewriter, and hands him Klink's invitation. "You're a doll, Hilda!" Hogan says, sitting down on her desk and looking at it. "I owe you a gift for this." Hilda leans against the wall, looking at him. "You already owe me six pairs of nylons, seventeen pounds of candy, three gallons of perfume -- that leaves jewelry," she finishes, crossing her arms and smiling at him. Hogan gives her a playful look. "How about a nice cocktail ring?" he asks. She shakes her head. "I don't drink. How about a nice engagement ring?" For once Hogan is caught off-guard. He looks away, saying slowly, "I don't drink, either." Just as Hilda is about to respond, they are interrupted by Klink and General Burkhalter - the latter having just arrived at Stalag 13. Hogan hides the invitation inside his bomber jacket just in time, and covers by demanding to know who stole part of the Red Cross cookies they were supposed to get - a violation of Article 9, Section 3 of the Geneva Convention. "Hogan, I will investigate the matter," Klink shoots off without thinking. Burkhalter glares at him. "Investigate a few cookies?!" he says in disbelief. "Seems to me you have something more important to do." Appropriately chagrined, Klink rushes Hogan out, while he and the general head to his office.
Meanwhile, back at Barracks 2, the Unsung Heroes are preparing to eavesdrop on Burkhalter and Klink. Kinch finishes connecting the coffeepot to the Hitler picture bug even as Hogan arrives. What they hear is not good, and could very well stymie Hogan's plans. Burkhalter wants to know why Klink was invited to Baron von Auckburg's party. Klink swears up and down he doesn't know the baron and hasn't received any such invitation. "The Gestapo showed me the guest list," Burkhalter says, in a menacing tone. "Your name is right on the top." Klink immediately gets nervous. The general continues to talk, wondering why an officer not of any importance would be the most important guest at such a party. He leans over Klink's desk. "Intelligence thinks this could be some sort of cover-up," he says to him. He tells him to come closer, and they begin speaking in low tones, in case anyone in the outer office is listening. Unfortunately for them, they are standing right next to the Hitler picture bug, so the Unseen Heroes can hear every word they say. Hogan sends Kinch off to contact London to warn von Auckburg, while he and the others continue to listen. "The Gestapo has reason to believe," Burkhalter says in a hushed tone, "that Baron von Auckburg is giving information to the enemy." Klink finds this hard to believe. "He's one of our national heroes! The idol of every German boy! The symbol of loyalty, fidelity, honor! Now why would a man like that give away military information?" Burkhalter's voice rises, takin on something of a disgusted tone. "He's not giving information away ... he's selling it for US$250,000." Klink's jaw hits the floor at first, then he thinks about it. "Well, that's a little different!" he says with a smile, apparently forgetting who he's talking to and why. Burkhalter quickly brings him back down to earth. The party is a cover-up so the baron can meet his contact, get his money, and deliver his goods. Burkhalter plans to use Klink as bait for a trap that he and the Gestapo are to spring on von Auckburg. "I'd advise you to carry a gun tonight," he tells Klink. "Baron von Auckburg is not going to give up without a fight, and there's no telling how many others are in it with him." The Gestapo will have the place surrounded, and will also infiltrate the party with its own agents. There will be no chance of escape for either von Auckburg or his contact. At that Hogan and his men quit listening and hold a pow-wow over what to do next. "The baron is walking right into a trap and taking Klink with him," Hogan states. Just then Kinch arrives with more bad news. London can't get in touch with von Auckburg. There's no way to warn him that the Gestapo is waiting for him.
A short time later, a nervous-looking Colonel Klink is making a show of searching for his missing party invitation, hoping to get out of it somehow. The outer office door opens and in walks Hogan, invitation in hand. He claims to have found it outside their barracks and blames the apparent mix-up on Schultz. As an interested but somewhat worried-looking Hilda watches from her desk, an obviously nervous camp commandant accepts the invitation from Hogan. "Is it a party?" Hogan asks innocently. "You might say that," Klink mutters. "You look more like it's a funeral," Hogan adds. "Yes, you might say that, too," Klink mutters in reply, not even looking at him, fidgeting with the invitation. Hogan smiles broadly. "Well," he says, as he heads for the door, "whatever it is, have fun!"
Later that night, at a posh-looking estate, Burkhalter and Klink are shown inside by a butler - an older gentleman in full black tails. A pretty young maid takes Klink's overcoat, while the butler helps the general with his. They talk loudly for a few minutes for the benefit of the servants, then in lower tones once they leave. Klink tries repeatedly to excuse himself, but Burkhalter won't let him leave. As they head for the main ballroom, the maid stops them. It is a phone call for Klink. There has been an escape at Stalag 13 in his absence, and it sounds as if the camp is in an uproar. Jumping at the chance, and knowing that Burkhalter can't prevent him from leaving the party because of his camp responsibilities, he quickly makes his apologies to the general and practically sprints for the front door.
In fact, there was no escape. It was a desperate ruse cooked up by the Unseen Heroes to get Klink out of harm's way, but it worked. The confusion caused by Klink's sudden departure was enough for the local underground to spirit Baron von Auckburg away to safety. There is a fly in the ointment, however. The baron had left instructions to his maid to hide the Dragonfly plans inside the lining of Klink's overcoat after he checked it at the door. Klink is now safe back at Stalag 13, and all they have to do is borrow his overcoat for a few precious minutes. It should be easy enough, and Hogan heads over to Klink's quarters to get them. He finds the German colonel berating Schultz over the phone call, and claims that there was no escape. "When we do, you'll be the first to know," Hogan says. "I'll personally call you from London." He suddenly heads over to the window, claiming, "It's hot in here," and opens it. He then asks Schultz to take Klink's coat off for him. "I don't want it off!" Klink roars. "It's freezing in here!" He then orders the window closed -- outside of which LeBeau was standing, ready to take the coat once Hogan got it. Hogan keeps trying to get Klink to take off his overcoat, and is just about to succeed with a massage ruse when an angry Burkhalter barges in. "Get out!" he yells at Schultz and Hogan. "Klink, you stay! I have some questions to ask you." Schultz and Hogan slip quietly away through the back door and close it, hiding out in the short hallway to Klink's office so they can eavesdrop. In the meantime, General Burkhalter turns his full ire on Klink. Burkhalter has learned that the phone call at the party was a fake. "You better worry what the Gestapo belives," he informs his frightened subordinate. The baron has disappeared, and Klink seems to know far more about the baron's party than he should. The Gestapo will be by in the morning for a friendly little interrogation. "You better have the right answers," Burkhalter snarls. "You won't get any help from me." Klink reassures him, "I have nothing to hide." "Don't tell me," Burkhalter responds evenly, "tell the Gestapo." Burkhalter then leaves through the front door, and a few seconds later Schultz and Hogan rejoin the despondent Klink, who has sank down in a nearby chair. Hogan tries again to get him to take off his coat so he can "get some sleep," but Klink orders him out of his quarters instead.
The following morning, Newkirk brings news that Klink didn't sleep a wink all night - however, he DID take off his topcoat. Now all they have to do is get him distracted long enough to take it. Carter, Kinch, and LeBeau point out that there is no obvious evidence against Klink; all the Gestapo is probably going to do is ask a few questions and then leave. Hogan responds that Klink is so nervous right now that he's liable to say something stupid and get himself arrested. "What we need," he thinks aloud, "is a nice, friendly Gestapo agent to question him." Carter smiles. "Those kind are a little tough to find, aren't they, sir?" he says. Hogan turns and looks at Carter, but not with the usual look of disbelief that Carter usually gets after a suggestion. He thinks a moment, then walks over to him. "Oh, I don't know," he says, standing by Carter's bunk. The others turn to look at Carter as Hogan continues. "You just gotta know where to look." Suddenly a look of understanding passes over Carter's face. Hogan calls the others into action - wardrobe, makeup, property man - and even as Carter protests weakly, the other Unsung Heroes set to work.
Not long after, a nervous Colonel Klink paces the floor of his office, repeatedly polishing his monocle. He finally sinks down in his chair in despair. He's too tired and too worried to do much else. A few seconds later, he gets up and starts pacing again -- and then Hogan barges in, causing Klink to drop and break his monocle. "What do you want, Hogan?" he asks. Hogan offers to help him however he can. Klink tries to put up a brave front, insisting that he's done nothing wrong, and verbally spars with Hogan about the nonexistent possibility of a fair trial. Just then Hilda interrupts. The Gestapo has arrived. "Please," Klink whines quietly, "send them in." A middle-aged man, thin and wiry in build, with grey hair and round glasses, wearing black Gestapo plainclothes, enters the room and salutes. He is introduced by Hilda as Herr Schmitt - but it is actually Carter in disguise. "You are Colonel Klink?" he says, as he takes off his topcoat and hangs it on the coatrack, right next to Klink's. Klinks answers yes, tries to assume his best Prussian air, and begins to talk himself up. "The colonel's record speaks for itself," Schmitt snaps, then looks at Hogan. "Who is this man?" he asks, in a fairly good impression of a calm Hochstetter. Hogan introduces himself, but Schmitt's only response is a lackluster "Oh" before again focusing on Klink. He questions him closely about Baron von Auckburg and the party for a few minutes, but Klink protests his innocence. "I swear to you, I know nothing about this!" he exclaims. "I give you my word of honor!" Herr Schmitt (Carter) suddenly looks at Hogan. "Well," he says, "that's good enough for me." An amazed but relieved Klink rises to escort Schmitt out of his office - but it is Klink's coat that Schmitt (Carter) picks up off the rack, leaving his own behind. The Gestapo agent excuses himself and leaves, and a relieved Klink's confidence returns. Hogan seems doubtful, though. "I didn't like his looks," he says to Klink. "There's something very wrong about that guy." Hogan snaps his fingers. "THAT was Baron von Auckburg!" he says to the surprised Klink. "He was here pumping you for information!" Hogan proceeds to claim that von Auckburg was probably trying to find out from Klink how the efforts to capture him were coming along. Klink, of course, knows nothing about it, but he lets his ego get the better of him and falls for the ruse. Following Hogan's lead, he dashes out of his officer after the fake Gestapo agent -- but he is wearing Schmitt's black overcoat instead of his own, and Hogan's delay has bought "Schmitt" (Carter) enough time to escape back to the barracks and doff his disguise. The Unsung Heroes have succeeded in getting the Dragonfly plans, and a realistic-looking set of fake ones have been left behind in Schmitt's coat in their place.
Some time later, the real Gestapo agent (Herr Gruber) shows up at Stalag 13, with Burkhalter in tow, and examines the faux Dragonfly plans in Klink's office. They are apparently so secret that not even Gruber knows about them. "If the Gestapo hasn't seen it, then it really must be top secret," Burkhalter observes. Klink begins to claim credit for saving the plans, when Hogan enters the office and interrupts him. He makes a show of wanting to look at the faux Dragonfly plans, at which point Gruber grabs them back, picks up the lighter from Klink's desk, and sets fire to them. "The only way to get rid of secret papers!" Klink agrees, taking the burning plans from Gruber and, with a grandiose gesture, depositing them in his office trashcan. "Mission accomplished!" Burkhalter says, and he and Gruber leave. As Klink pours himself a drink, Hogan suddenly looks back at Klink's desk. "You must have a lot of [papers] in your desk," he says, a note of worry in his voice. "Yes," Klink agrees, still preparing the drink. "You just set it on fire," Hogan observes. Klink looks up to see both the trashcan and the right side of his desk on fire, the papers on top beginning to burn, as the flames creep across the carpet towards his chair ....
Story Notes Edit
- This is both the sixty-first episode produced in the series and the sixty-first episode to be shown on television and is the twenty-ninth episode for the second season.
- This is the first time that Hogan impersonates Klink (or is going to - he never gets the chance to do it), but the second time in the series that Klink is impersonated. The first time was by Schultz in The Great Impersonation.
- During mail call, Schultz calls POWs named Floyd, Walters and something that sounds like "Slim."
Background Trivia Edit
- Hilda strongly hints to Hogan that she wants to marry him by asking about an engagement ring, although he sidesteps the issue. This reflected the real-life romance of Bob Crane (Hogan) and Sigrid Valdis (Hilda), who were married while the series was in production.
- The voice from London HQ on the wire recording was done by Richard Dawson (Newkirk). Dawson would sometimes do the voices of other British contacts in such instances - whether it be by recording, as in this case, or over the radio.
- While there was no Operation Dragonfly carried out by the German military during World War II - at least one of which we know - there was a German aircraft that went by that name. The Dornier Do-12 Dragonfly was a two-man unarmed flying boat, originally developed in the 1930s, that saw limited use as a spotter plane and for towing gliders.
- In real life, Operation Dragonfly (German Libelle) was the code name given to the March 14, 1997 emergency evacuation of the German Embassy in Albania. This happened during nationwide riots caused by a collapsed pyramid scheme. It is noted in history as the first time since World War II that German soldiers fired shots in actual combat.
Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit
- This is the eighth episode of the series in chronological order per the series timeline. It follows The Kommandant Dies at Dawn, and is followed in turn by Bombsight.
- A date sometime in the fall of 1943 appears to be implied by the weather. The air is chilly, prompting Klink to keep on his topcoat (much to Hogan's frustration).
- SPECULATION: It is never revealed what was in the Dragonfly plans. All we know is the Allies wanted them badly, and were willing to go to great lengths - including bribing a German baron - to get them. A good guess is that they probably had something to do with one of the advanced weapons programs that German had in development at the time - mostly likely an advanced aircraft or rocket of some sort, given the code name. Since we never see the actual plans - only Hogan's forgeries - we can never be certain.
Carter and Newkirk, discussing Klink's invitation.
- Carter - Hey, what if somebody at this party knows Klink?
- Newkirk - People who know Klink aren't invited to parties.
Klink protests to Burkhalter about Hogan's accusations of cookie thefts from POW Red Cross packages.
- Klink - He's crazy! I had nothing to do with those cookies. I don't even like cookies! I got sick from eating a sour ladyfinger (?) once - I haven't had a cookie since. As a matter of fact, I don't even like desserts. Oh, once in a while, I'll have a little piece of strudel, but that's all. Honestly, I do NOT know what Hogan is talking about!
- Burkhalter (evenly) - And I don't know what you're talking about.
- Klink (waves his hands) - Neither do I.
- Burkhalter (voice rising) - Then you don't mind if I talk about something?
- Klink (hurriedly) - Of course not! Talk as much as you like!
- Burkhalter (smirking smile) - Thank you.
The Unsung Heroes preparing the coffee pot tap to eavesdrop on Klink and Burkhalter ...
- Newkirk - What will we hear today?
- Kinch - Burkhalter and Klink.
- Newkirk - Turn it up - they're my favorite comedy team.
Burkhalter discusses Baron von Auckburg's real intentions with Klink.
- Burkhalter - He [Auckburg] is not giving away any information - he's selling it for US$250.000.
- Klink (astonished) - He's selling it! (thinks a moment) Well, that's a little different!
- Burkhalter (menacing low tone) - Why is it different, Klink?
- Klink - Because it's--!
(Burkhalter whirls and glares at him)
- Klink (frightened) - --so much worse. (starts shaking) I mean, to give away something is one thing, but to sell it is something else.
Burkhalter and Klink, on the Gestapo.
- Burkhalter - The Gestapo never makes a mistake. They pride themselves on being right every time.
- Klink - And half the time they are!
(Burkhalter glares at him)
- Klink (laughs nervously) - That's a little joke I heard--I don't think it's ... very ... funny.
Klink fears going to von Auckburg's party ....
- Hilda - Don't you want to go to the party, colonel?
- Klink (nervous) - Not really. There'll just be a lot of drinking, talking, and shooting--I mean, shouting. From what I hear, there's going to be a very noisy crowd at this party.
After Burkhalter informs Klink that the Gestapo is coming, and then leaves ....
- Hogan - I couldn't help overhearing, kommandant, and I know just what you need. You need some sleep, sir. Here, let me have your coat--
- Klink - Hogan, get out.
- Hogan - You don't need sleep?
- Klink - I am suspected of being a traitor and you expect me to sleep. Who could sleep?
- Schultz - I could sleep, Herr Kommandant.
- Klink - Get out! Everybody, out!! Out! Out!! Out!!!
Hogan, on firing squads
- Hogan - There's something about facing a firing squad that makes a person kinda restless.
Klink and Hogan discuss what might happen next.
- Hogan - In my opinion, there's not a more loyal officer in the Luftwaffe
- Klink - That's very kind of you, colonel.
- Hogan - I say it here, I'd say it again at your trial.
- Klink - Well, I appreciate-- (does a double-take) Trial?? There isn't going to be any trial, Hogan!
- Hogan - Then I'd insist on one, sir. Surely you're entitled to a trial before they shoot you.
- Klink - (another double-take) Shoot me?! What for?! Now you said yourself I was a loyal officer! I have served my country faithfully and loyally.
- Hogan - I know, sir. I just hope that General Burkhalter realizes what a good man he's losing.
- Klink - That's right. Maybe now he'll appreciate me more, when I'm--I'm-- (begins to whine) I'm innocent, Hogan.
- Hogan - That's why I think you should ask for a trial.
- Klink - Right!
- Hogan - Give it everything you've got!
- Klink - Give it everything I've -- what have I got?
- Hogan - Try screaming hysterically.
- Klink - Colonel Hogan!! I would rather die than beg for mercy. A German officer does not plead, or crawl, or--
- Hilda (interrupting) - Herr Schmitt, Gestapo.
- Klink (whining despondently) - Please ... send him in.
Klink tries to claim credit for recovering the (faux) Dragonfly plans.
- Klink - Yes, the baron was clever, but not clever enough! I don't want to sound like I'm blowing my own horn, but--
- Burkhalter - You sound like a whole brass band!
- Klink - But I just wanted you to hear that I--I--uh--
- Burkhalter - A shut mouth, Klink! That's what I'd like to hear.
External Links Edit
- Top Secret Top Coat at TV.com
- Top Secret Top Coat at the Wikipedia:Internet Movie Database
- Top Secret Top Coat episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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Colonel Klink's Secret Weapon
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The Reluctant Target