TV/American TV-G Running time: 11:01
IMDB rating: 7.9 Aspect: 4:3; Languages: English; Subtitles: None; Audio: Mono
The fifth season of Hogan's Heroes aired in 1969 with a divisive war tearing the nation apart, and decades later there is still comfort to be taken from Col. Hogan (Bob Crane) and company coming up with daring, ingenious, and outrageous plots to sabotage the German war effort from their base of operations in Stalag 13. Ineffectual commandant Col. Klink (Werner Klemperer, a two-time Emmy-winner, and a nominee for this season) may have Hogan's number as "a scheming troublemaker," but he is as ever clueless about Hogan's elaborate operations. To the outrage of visiting German brass, Hogan still has the run of the camp and still makes with the impudent wisecracks about "the little sign painter" and "Himmler with the laughing face." Getting information to the Underground and blowing up German installations remains job 1, but Hogan and his men--hustler Newkirk (Richard Dawson), LeBeau (Robert Clary), explosives expert Carter (Larry Hovis), and radio operator Kinch (Ivan Dixon)--must also ensure that the bumbling Klink is not transferred ("At Last-Schultz Knows Something," a great episode for co-star John Banner) or executed ("The Kommandant Dies at Dawn"), lest a more savvy or ruthless officer replace him. Hogan's Heroes caught considerable flack from critics for its lighthearted portrayal of life in a P.O.W. camp, but between the punchlines, effective moments of suspense and intrigue remind viewers that Hogan's work is no laughing matter. In "Unfair Exchange," the men kidnap General Burkhalter's sister, Gertrude "the Bride of Frankenstein" Linkmeyer (the great Kathleen Freeman) to exchange her for the Allied Agent who allowed herself to be captured to save Hogan and his men from discovery by the Gestapo. In its penultimate season, Hogan's Heroes is still a great escape.