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Hogan's Heroes

Season 1 Episode 1

The Informer

Aired Friday 8:30 PM Sep 17, 1965 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Informer
Lieutenant Carter enters the camp and Hogan discovers a spy among his men.

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  • My highest recommendation: I'm going to look to see if its available on DVD or Blu Ray!

    While growing up I watched Hogan's Heroes, but missed the very first episode (the pilot) until today (09/28/2010) when a local Chicago station (MeTV) showed it. It really is a great episode and I hope everyone gets the chance to see it. I'm sure this one has lots of cut to make room for commercials, but still seeing it is so cool and different.

    The opening is way different, but the music is the same. Wished they kept Carter as an officer (say as Hogan's executive officer). Seeing the cigar bit for the first time was great and actually a lot better than the later ones. I couldn't believe it when Klink didn't catch on Hogan's cigar was his own, when he lit it for Hogan.

    Honestly, seeing it makes me want to look up and maybe buy Hogan's Heroes on DVD or Blu-Ray, if its available (at least this first season). This is one of the highest recommendations I can make -- wanting to actually own an episode I can watch for free.moreless
  • Perfect setup for a long-running winner

    As a pilot episode, "The Informer" dispenses with the formalities in classy fashion -- subtle yet memorable character introductions, plot outlines loosely yet accurately revealed, and tastes of those things to come given.

    We are introduced to our band of Heroes as a bunch of World War II prisoners held captive by a hapless bunch of Germans. It is made known early on that Hogan and his boys control the camp along with its Kommandant and Sergeant of the guard. In the opening moments, a prisoner escapes and (wildly) another Allied escapee escapes into Camp 13.

    Hogan and his men are running a prisoner processing center under the very nose of their jailers, Kommandant Wilhelm Klink and Sergeant Hans Schultz. Escaping prisoners from miles around are sent through Camp 13 to their ultimate destination of London.

    Somewhere along the way, the "Krauts" (an accepted term for hated Nazis both during the War and when "Heroes" was filmed) decided to bury a spy in the system to flush out the escape and prisoner delivery service. This spy was sent to Camp 13.

    Colonel Robert E. Hogan nearly immediately spots the fink by asking a series of simple questions about the rat's American unit. When Wagner (the fake) is unable to answer correctly, the troops are rallied to set up the poser's downfall.

    Much is revealed about the prisoners' operation in this pilot episode. To see the scheming of Colonel Hogan, Sergeant Kinchloe, Sergeant Carter, Corporal Newkirk, and Corporal LeBeau at the hands of Colonel Klink, Sergeant Schultz, and the rest of the bad guys, please see this episode and start your voyage into World War II, Hogan style.moreless
Werner Klemperer

Werner Klemperer

Col. Wilhelm Klink

Bob Crane

Bob Crane

Col. Robert Hogan

Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson

Cpl. Peter Newkirk

Ivan Dixon

Ivan Dixon

Sgt. James (Ivan) "Kinch" Kinchloe ( seasons 1 - 5 )

John Banner

John Banner

Sgt. Hans Schultz

Robert Clary

Robert Clary

Cpl. Louis LeBeau

Noam Pitlik

Noam Pitlik


Guest Star

Larry Hovis

Larry Hovis

Lieutenant Carter

Guest Star

Richard Sinatra

Richard Sinatra

Sgt. Riley

Guest Star

Stewart Moss

Stewart Moss


Recurring Role

Cynthia Lynn

Cynthia Lynn


Recurring Role

Leon Askin

Leon Askin

Colonel Albert Burkhalter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • In this episode only, the "Coffee Pot" was to listen in on Klink's telephone, not the listening bug with obvious microphone in the Hitler photo in Klink's office. Hogan explains to Carter ... "This is our phone tap, when the red light goes on Klink's office is phoning outside..."

    • Colonel Hogan tells the informer that the German delivery truck does not have dogs but in reality a recording of barking dogs, Hogan then underlines his remark by saying, "The record is in stereo so it's very convincing" This is a anachronism because stereo recordings did not become commercially available until the early 1950s.

    • Hogan's first kiss in the series is with Helga at her desk, just outside of Col Klink's office. While it is only a small peck on the lips now, later in the series they become longer and in different areas (such as Klink's car).

    • The first character to speak is Sgt. Hans Schultz, when his is counting the prisoners. The first word spoken is "eins" (German for one). The first spoken English words are "Oh, Schultz," as Newkirk falls into the arms of Sgt. Schultz.

    • The first character and German seen in the series is Sgt. Hans Schultz. Following him is Cpl. Louis LeBeau as the first hero seen.

    • This episode was shot in black and white, in contrast with the rest of the series, which was shot in color.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Wagner: This man is operating an Underground apparatus so vast and so complicated as to stagger the imagination. Under the very nose of Colonel Klink!
      Klink: (chuckles nervously) Colonel, spies are notoriously unreliable.
      Hogan: A spy? He's not one of us?
      Wagner: Too bad you didn't find it out sooner.

    • Wagner: There is a man here who does not belong here, who has escaped in!

    • Col. Hogan: I'll be at the communications center.
      Wagner: You mean there's more?
      Col. Hogan: Keeps us off the streets.

    • Helga: Oh, I have not had nylons in months.
      Col. Hogan: I understand there's a war on.

    • Col. Hogan: (to Newkirk) Pass the word around, football game is off.
      Vladimir: Oh no, Colonel, I was supposed to play fullback today.
      Col. Hogan: Fullback? Now I know we've got to get the game canceled.

    • Schultz: I see nothing!

  • NOTES (19)

    • Larry Hovis portrayed Lieutenant Carter is this first episode, and then he was cast as the recurring character, Sergeant Andrew Carter. Larry Hovis was credited with 166 appearances in total.


    • This episode marks the first of 17 appearances from Jon Cedar from 1965 to 1971.
      Jon Cedar's most familiar role was that of Corporal Langenscheidt

    • This episode marks the only appearance from Leonid Kinsky.

      This episode marks the only appearance from Richard Sinatra.

      This episode marks the first of 67 recurring appearances from Leon Askin as Burkhalter.

      This episode marks the first of 22 recurring appearances from Cynthia Lynn as Helga in 1965 and 1966; two more episodes she(Cynthia) played unrelated roles in 1968 and in 1971.

    • This is the only episode in which we see Albert Burkhalter as a colonel, after this episode he is promoted to general.

    • This episode appears first on the VHS collection's "Roll Call" volume.

    • This episode marks the first of eight appearances by Stewart Moss. He only plays Olsen in half of these.

    • This episode marks the first of seven unrelated appearances by Noam Pitlik.

    • Helga, in one scene, is shown with the prisoners in the tunnels (thus making her a full-fledged spy). Once the regular series starts it was presumably decided that it would better if Klink's secretary was merely willing to look the other way for certain things and not really be aware of all of Hogan's Heroes' activities.

    • James Kinchloe's outfit is different than his series "regular" outfit.

    • Leonid Kinsky is not credited as a guest star because he is listed in the opening credits/montage as a regular cast member.

    • The opening graphic reads - Germany 1942. The regular series wisely never uses a year reference.

    • Noam Pitlik ('Wagner'), went on to be the recurring character Mr. Ganelli in The Bob Newhart Show. He then went on to be a very in demand comedy director, eventually being the primary director of the classic series, Barney Miller.

    • Although he appears as "Lt. Carter" (and actually escapes from Camp 13) in the pilot, Larry Hovis returned to the regular cast as "Sgt. Carter", one of the Heroes, for the series. Carter's costume during the series was basically that of 'Olson', the guy he switched clothes with in the pilot.

    • Leonid Kinskey has stated that he was offered a regular part in the series after the pilot was sold, but that he turned it down, as he could not be associated with a series that portrayed Nazis in such a light way.

    • Robert Butler, the director,specialized in directing TV show pilot epeisodes. Among the many many shows he directed the pilots/initial episodes of includes BEN CASEY, DR. KILDARE, REMINGTON STEELE, MOONLIGHTING, etc.--he also directed the first 'failed' pilot of STAR TREK, "The Cage". The fact that Feldman and Ruddy hired someone who was essentially a dramatic director to helm their pilot was perhaps an effort to keep things FAIRLY realistic in the beginning of the series.

    • During the first episodes, the setting of Kilnk's office is in flux as the bulletin board behind him appears and disappears from episode to episode. For the pilot episode, there is a bulletin board.

    • Werner Klemperer, Howard Caine, and John Banner, who play the chief Germans Klink, Hochstetter and Schultz, are in fact all Jewish.

    • Stalag 13 is called "Camp 13."

    • Burkhalter is a colonel, not a general, in this episode. The opening credits, which are different from the familiar opening, are a part of the first scene/roll call. The closing credits also differ from the familiar "Hogan's hat on German helmet" ending. The closing credits roll over still shots taken from this episode.