Colditz

Season 1 Episode 3

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Aired Thursday 8:30 PM Nov 02, 1972 on BBC
8.5
out of 10
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3 votes
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Episode Summary

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The Gestapoare puzzled by Lieutenant Richard Player, RN. He is then sent to Berlin and entrusted to an old friend, Count von Essinger, who is determined to find out the truth.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Mystery and an unexpected look at the Germans.

    8.5
    In this third and last introductory episode wemeet Lt Player, a navy man. (The other two episodes gave us an Army officer and a member of the Air Force.) Whereas Pat Grant's episodebegan with him being taken prisoner and Simon Carter got a complete background story, Lt Player starts off as a bit of a mystery. The wounded officer washes ashore and the Nazi don't quite know what to make of him. (The viewer never really gets his true story.)

    As he escapes from the hospital it turns out he can speak perfect German. Unfortunately, the classic television problem of characters speaking in different languages shows up again. As the German guard speaks ordinary English, it takes a while before you realise that Player is pretending to be German and both are supposed to be speaking German. (It's like in science fiction, where every alien seems to understand English.) As Player meets other Germans, some have special accents, some do not, but we are led to believe that in most of this episode German is the common language.

    The episode takes a turn from the classic escape story when Player meets his boyhood friend Graf Paul von Eissinger (who has a seriousGerman accent, by the way). This upper class German explains thatmost Germans despise Hitler and only support him because it's the patriotic thing to do during the war. As a viewer you can wonder how much of this is true, or whetherthe Graf is just trying to fool Player into collaborating. But it's an interesting approach to the mystery of Hitler's power over the Germans. From a dramatic point of view it was quite daring to have such a long dialogue scene with just two characters talking. Would that still be possible today?moreless
Christopher Neame

Christopher Neame

Lt. Dick Player

David McCallum

David McCallum

Flt. Lt. Simon Carter

Robert Wagner

Robert Wagner

Lt. Phil Carrington

Jack Hedley

Jack Hedley

Lt. Colonel John Preston

Hans Meyer

Hans Meyer

Hauptmann Ulmann

Bernard Hepton

Bernard Hepton

The Kommandant

James Taylor (I)

James Taylor (I)

Polish Captain

Guest Star

Nigel Stock

Nigel Stock

Gestapo Officer

Guest Star

John Quentin

John Quentin

Paul Von Eissinger

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Gestapo Officer: For your information, Konrad Haderer served in Poland as a flying officer for the Luftwaffe.
      Player: I told you ...
      Gestapo Officer: He was awarded the Iron Cross.
      Player: Get hold of him. He'll tell you who I am!
      Gestapo Officer: Posthumously. Though we do not publish casualty lists, we do publish the names of people who are awarded decorations. And even British Intelligence should be able to work out that a man who is decorated posthumously is dead.

    • Graf Eissinger: All the intelligentsia, the one thing they want to get rid of is Hitler.
      Player: One would have imagined they could do just that if they really wanted ...
      Graf Eissinger: Ah, if they sneezed together, they'd blow him back to his native Austria. And the only reason they don't, is that they feel committed to supporting him, at least passively, as long as there's a war.

    • Graf Eissinger: (talking about Britain joining forces with Germany) Then we have a united Europe, which is something Charlemagne or the Romans never achieved. Protected by the most powerful navy on earth, your navy ...
      Player: I gathered which navy.
      Graf Eissinger: And the British Empire protected by the most powerful army on earth.
      Player: Yours?
      Graf Eissinger: I didn't mean the Italians.

  • NOTES (2)

    • CAST
      Guest Stars
      Gestapo Officer One – Nigel Stock
      Paul Von Eissinger – John Quentin
      Flight Lieutenant Simon Carter – David McCallum
      Captain Pat Grant – Edward Hardwicke
      Lieutenant Dick Player – Christopher Neame
      Captain Tim Downing – Richard Heffer
      Captain George Brent – Paul Chapman
      Gestapo Officer Two – Terrence Hardiman
      Lieutenant Lehr – Grahame Mallard
      Diels – David Garfield
      French Doctor – Edward Kelsey
      German Captain – Tim Meats
      Polish Captain – James Taylor
      German Guard – John Bryans
      Ward Orderly – Gordon Faith
      Military Policeman – Graham Ashley
      German Soldier – Alistair Meldrum

      Series Devised by Brian Degas and Gerald Glaister
      Based on "Colditz" by P.R.Reid and Ivan Foxwell's film "The Colditz Story".
      Studio Lighting – Nigel Wright
      Studio Sound – John Delany
      Film Cameraman – Fred Hamilton
      Film Recordist – Basil Harris
      Film Editor – Terry Cornelius
      Music – Robert Farnon
      Makeup – Judy Clay
      Costume – Reg Samuel
      Visual Effects – Michealjohn Harris
      Script Editor – Brian Degas
      Technical Adviser – Major Pat Reid MBE, MC
      Series Titles – Alan Jeapes
      Designers – Raymond London and Peter Seddon
      Assistant To Producer – Ruth Caleb
      Producer – Gerald Glaister
      Director – Peter Cregeen

    • Includes the longest scene in the series between 2 characters (over 13 minutes).
      This is the last of the introductory episodes – from here on the action takes place in Colditz itself.
      This episode gives us our first glimpse of Colditz Castle.
      The pre credits sequence says "starring David McCallum", but he only has 3 lines in the very last scene.

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