A VIEWER'S  GUIDE TO "Hogan's Heroes"
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"OPERATION BRIEFCASE"

Click the title above to read the notebook entry for that featured episode. Go to the archive to read past notebook entries. 

What's in a notebook entry?
Every once in a while, when the mood strikes me or when I get a little extra time, I watch an episode of Hogan's Heroes. Usually, I have a pad of paper next to me and I jot things down as they strike me. When I'm done, I pull out all my old notes from way back when and read them over. Then I compile them into a nice, concise set of notes and comments, neatly sorted into categories. The result is what you will find here. 

Now I have to admit that there is little rhyme or reason for which episode I choose. I'd love to tell you that I go for one particular season or that I am working my way through my personal list of favorite episodes. Nope. I just grab a tape. So there's no way I can tell you which one is coming next. Heck, I might not even like the one I ended up watching. (Yes, there are plenty of really bad episodes, let's facce it.) 

Here are the categories I've decided upon. If a new category suggests itself at some point, I'll add it to this list (and edit this introduction to make it look like it was there all along...web publishing is cool that way).

  • Credits - Nothing new here, I don't imagine, although I do try to include uncredited roles whenever I can. Why include credits? I don't know. I guess because I wrote it down, so I figure I may as well stick it on here somewhere. I have to admit right up front, however, that I don't always have the spellings correct, since I'm just going by the aired versions of the episodes (and edited versions at that). 
  • The Mission - What the heroes have been assigned to accomplish in this episode. Sometimes it's an official assignment, other times they just sort of stumble upon a problem that needs solving.
  • The Plan - Hogan's ingenious way of accomplishing the mission. Sometimes there is more than one plan if the first one doesn't work out.
  • Bad guys - There is often a particular nasty person or persons whose evil aims must be thwarted by the heroes. If so, here's where I tell all their dark secrets. Assuming they have any dark secrets to tell.
  • Good guys - Sorry about the sexist gender stereotyping in these two category titles, but work with me here. Quite often there's some brave Underground agent or defecting Italian officer or beautiful spy in on the caper, helping out. Here's where they get mentioned.
  • Where have I seen you before? - Let's face it, a great many of the actors that appear in Hogan's Heroes show up in several episodes, usually as different characters. I'll list their additional credits here. Frankly, however, this kind of thing bores me, so if I don't get them all down, don't get upset. 
  • Killer dialogue - You know, one of the things that make Hogan's Heroes so delightful to watch is the incredible comedy timing between the characters. Part of it is good writing, sure, but a great deal of the credit goes to the gifted ensemble of actors involved in the show. I'll use this category to note the best of those  dialogue moments, quoting the lines as best as I could scribble them down without having to rewind a lot. (Rewind too often and I start to look like I'm obsessed...can't have that).
  • Gadgets and toys - From the coffee pot to the periscope in the rain barrel, from the trap door under the tree stump to the secret door in Schultz's closet, here's where you'll find 'em. I love the gadgets and toys and secret spy stuff, so I always try to note every bit of it. 
  • Trivia - Okay, yes, I have written down license plate numbers and things like that. I'll note that stuff here, for whatever it's worth.
  • Continuity - The underlying story of Hogan's Heroes started from virtually nothing. Each character was nothing but a stereotype in the pilot and the early episodes. As the series progressed, details began to emerge of the history of each character and of the camp itself. As these details come out in an episode, I'll note them here. 
  • Always in character - Yeah, they created a rich back story. But a lot of times the characters were stuck playing the same old stereotypes over and over. Le Beau bakes strudel! Carter does something stupid! It's a cheap laugh, but hey, that's what you get with a 60's sitcom.
  • My take - Before I go, I leave you with my own personal opinion of the episode. I know, just what you always wanted. 
All original material on this site is copyrighted 1999 to Steve Vander Ark. It may not  be copied, retransmitted, framed, or in any way duplicated without direct consent of the author. All trademarks for Hogan's Heroes and associated characters and titles are retained by their rightful owners.