Combat! reviews by Jo
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Sutton Roley
First aired 10-Dec-1963
Episode 13 of Season 2
After failed night patrols, the squad
is ordered to try by daylight patrol to find the artillery that's been tearing apart the
American lines. In a suicide mission, all are hurt or killed. A wounded Saunders crawls
into a cave, where he finds Hans, a German deserter, who binds Saunders' wounds. When
Hans' sergeant arrives, he convinces them that he captured Saunders. When the cave
collapses, trapping everyone below, the deserter must decide on his loyalties.
The episode opens with the squad
returning in defeat from a night patrol. Hanley delivers the bad news that they have to go
back. When he says "if one of us makes it, our mission will be a success," few
viewers to discover that the one who makes it, is Saunders.
Originally titled "The Deserter," this episode shows a man too scared to run
and too scared to stand and fight. Swedish actor Alf Kjellin makes his second Combat!
appearance as Hans, the German deserter. This role of a cowardly ex-musician, afraid of
war and of his sergeant, is a sharp contrast to the confident officer he played in "Just
for the Record."
Kjellin and Saunders work well together, creating a fascinating chemistry in their
scenes in the cave. Morrow turns in his usual strong job as he makes Saunders carefully
exploit Hans' doubts and fears, to Saunders' advantage. Alternately cajoling and
commanding, Saunders plays on the musicians emotions.
John Crawford, who plays the German sergeant, is a long-time character actor, working
in Hollywood since 1945. He was Sheriff Bridges on "The Waltons," and guested on
"Dukes of Hazzard," "Charlie's Angels," "Mission:
Impossible," "Star Trek," and many others.
- This episode in production was
titled "The Deserter." It was re-titled in post-production.
- Frank Killmon was paid $200 as a day-player. Contracted work was on
September 23, 1963.
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Alf Kjellin as Hans
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Ed Deemer as German Soldier #4
Peter Hellman as German Soldier #3
Frank Killmond as Clark
John Rayner as American Sergeant
Horst Evers as German Soldier #1
Tom Pace as German Soldier #2
Dieter Jacoby as Machine Gunner #1
Mathias Uitz as Machine Gunner #2
John Crawford as Gunnar