Hogan's Heroes is probably the wildest most far-fetched series next to Gilligan's Island to become successful where so many even more far-fetched shows barely make it their first year. The show had a fine cast, great writing and even edge of the seat adventures as you wondered how Hogan and his men, Americans Andrew Carter, Sgt. James Kinchloe, Sgt. Richard Baker, British Peter Newkirk, French Louis LeBeau and Russian Leonid Kinsky in the pilot, pulled the wool over and outfoxed the Nazis. Werner Klemperer did a wonderful characterization as the pompous Commodant Wilhelm Klink and John Banner became a hysterical Sgt. Hans Schultz with his mugging and facial expressions. The only other worthy mentioning roles are of recurring Nazis belonging to short-tempered General Ivan Burkhalter and the madman Major Wolfgang Hochstetter as played by Leon Askin and Howard Caine, two wonderful character actors. The critics of this show need to go back to school and learn the differences between P.O.W. Camps and Concentration Camps; even people in Germany watching this show today can see the humor and lack of logic in the Nazi's claims of being the superior master race and it is that same arrogance that works so well against them as Hogan uses their own delusions to his advantages. The show is also worthy to watch to see the early roles of William Christopher from M*A*S*H* and repeating returns of director Norm Pitlik as an actor. During the run of the series, the man must have had thirty different roles. Larry Hovis also made repeated impersonations as Hitler, and Bob Crane even got the chance to shine in one episode with his skills as a drummer, but where this series really stood out was not in the comedy, but in it's action and creative subterfuge which might seem incredible and unlikely today, but actually looked possible. Sadly, the exterior sets of the series no longer exist, vanished along with the fictional towns of Hammelsburg and Mayberry, North Carolina.
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