Hogan’s Heroes: Season 1, Episode 4, “The Late Inspector General”

A logline, or log line, is "a brief summary of a television program, film, or book that states the central conflict of the story, often providing both a synopsis of the story’s plot, and an emotional "hook" to stimulate interest. A one-sentence program summary in TV Guide is a log line." I mention this because IMDb has loglines for all the shows in a series, and it might keep me on track so I can get these out in a more timely fashion.

Logline: Hogan must reverse course when efforts to make Klink look competent before the Nazi Inspector General get the Kommandant promoted with a transfer to Berlin.

Hogan, who has just set a mission in motion to blow up a munitions train, and who orders his men not to "pad their roles," is summoned to Klink’s office, where he learns that the Inspector General, General von Platzen (played by the hilarious John Dehner), will be arriving shortly to conduct an inspection of Camp 13. Hogan realizes that carrying on with the planned mission might spell disaster for Klink, so he tries to stop it, only to have his men miss the signal to stop and launch into it, which involves explosions in the camp yard and Olsen, the "outside man," escaping in the back of Oscar Schindler’s truck. Hogan manages to reach the truck and pull Olsen out before it leaves, landing Olsen in the cooler and the rest of the camp punished by having their exercise periods canceled.

von Platzen calls Klink on the carpet and demands an explanation. Klink places the blame on Hogan (whose name the general can’t seem to remember), and Hogan says that it’s because Klink is inhuman and the prisoners have been driven to escape through his abuse. von Platzen tells Klink that he’s been a colonel for twenty years, longer than any other colonel in the Third Reich, and has had an efficiency rating of "one degree above miserable" — until he became kommandant of Camp 13. He then tells Klink that other prison camps have had to deal with wholescale escapes, and that he (Klink) is being recommended to be in charge of all POW camps in the Third Reich.

Dejected, Hogan returns to the barracks and admits that he did exactly what he told them not to do. The only chance they have to have his transfer canceled (because of the difficulty of having to "break in" a new kommandant) is to make Klink look like the bumbling idiot he is. Klink and von Platzen come to the barracks to inspect the prisoners "for the last time." When they reach Newkirk, he points out a loose button on the general’s coat, giving himself time to steal the general’s wallet and monocle and plant them on Klink. Kinch turns on a radio tuned to the BBC, and the general demands to know where the voices are coming from (Hogan replies "from the accents, I’d say England"). The general storms out of the barracks, with Klink hot on his heels tring to explain. The final straw happens when the ground goes out from von Platzen and he falls into one of the tunnels.

Hogan learns that Carter has, for some inexplicable reason, removed the engine from the general’s staff car and replaced it with a smoke bomb. He and LeBeau are told to dress in German uniforms and Kinch is told to get a staff car out of the motor pool to be ready when von Platzen needs it.

von Platzen and his staff are leaving, and Klink is desperate and asks the general what he can do. "Pray!" is all the general says. When the car is switched on, it goes nowhere (naturally) as smoke pours out from under the hood. Here’s what happens after that…

In all, a very funny episode, typical of the goings-on at Stalag 13. As the show progresses, the ruses become more complicated, so this is a foreshadowing of what happens in the rest of the series.

CAST:

  • Bob Crane as Hogan
  • Werner Klemperer as Klink
  • John Banner as Schultz
  • Robert Clary as LeBeau
  • Richard Dawson as Newkirk
  • Ivan Dixon as Kinchloe
  • Larry Hovis as Carter
  • Cynthia Lynn as Helga
  • John Dehner as Inspector General von Platzen
  • Stewart Moss as Olsen
  • Walter Janowitz as Oscar Schnitzer
  • Jon Cedar as Cpl. Langenscheidt

6 thoughts on “Hogan’s Heroes: Season 1, Episode 4, “The Late Inspector General”

  1. This was another funny episode. Love John Dehner who was “Support Your Local Gunfighter” and was hilarious. I had no idea that he was an animator and worked on some of Disney’s greats like Bambi and Fantasia.

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  2. I really liked this episode. I never got why he took the engine out but it was funny. I believe John Dehner was all over Television at that time. Great character actor. From the Twilight Zone to Gunsmoke to Bonanza.

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    1. Carter’s explanation for taking the engine out was “I guess because it was there?” He’s a great character…

      IMDb says that Dehner started as an animaor for Walt Disney, then became a DJ…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this one was always one of my favorite episodes.. I also think my favorite scenes overall in the series- are Hogan with Clink in his office.

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