Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(Chad Everett and Dick Peabody)
(095) Beneath the Ashes
RATING: 3-1/2 bayonets
Teleplay by George F. Slavin and Richard P.
Story by Richard P. McDonagh
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 27-Apr-1965
Episode 32 of Season 3
receives a scrawled letter saying that the wife of one of his men, Kovac, is dying. To
spare the soldier unnecessary anxiety, Hanley withholds the letter pending verification.
But Kovac and the squad are mising in action by the time the Red Cross confirms that Mrs.
Kovac is dying. When the squad finally returns, it is too late, and Kovac vows to make
"Beneath the Ashes" has Saunders-to-the-rescue again in a slightly
schizophrenic episode that is fun to watch. The weakly structured script presents two
disjointed story lines that bump up against each other. But they are two marvelous
stories, allowing special acting moments and character development.
In story one, Saunders and squad are trapped in a German-held town with a wounded
Littlejohn. In story two, Hanley comes to terms with guilt over an MIA squad and a
murderous GI bent on avenging himself on Hanley.
The ending of the show suffers from use of stock-footage from previous episodes. The
fight in the woods has no original footage until Hanley is shown pinned in the crater.
Prior to that, it is all reused shots from six (possibly more) previous episodes. Even the
Germans that pin down Hanley are from another episode. When the wounded Kirby explains
about the battle he was just in, his description does not match the scenes.
Too much talking, not enough "real" action. Saunders comes over the hill in
the end to save a wounded Hanley C after giving the patented pep talk (PFC version) to
Chad Everett. Great performances from Jason, Morrow, Peabody, and guest star Chad Everett.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
- Second appearance this season of Robert Fortier as Captain Jampel. Episode shows that
Hanley's platoon is actually part of a company that includes other lieutenants and a C.O.
- Saunders has a great line after being MIA three days: "I guess we're late."
- Rick Jason again wears two pinky rings.
- The closeup of Saunders running and throwing the second grenade at the end of the
episode is actually Earl Parker. Parker could stand in for Vic just a few feet away from
the camera without anyone knowing it was him.
- This episode is the only story credit for Richard P. McDonagh, who was the Combat!
story consultant for seasons two through five.
- Chad Everett first became known in a short television series playing a deputy in
"The Dakotas" (1963). He is probably best known for his seven-year run as Dr.
Joe Gannon in the television series "Medical Center" (1969) which earned him two
Golden Globe Awards and Emmy Nominations. After "Medical Center" was cancelled,
Chad had a featured role in the mini series "Centennial" and was in the lead
title role in "Hagen (1980). In the early eighties, Chad was in television films and
did guest appearances on "The Love Boat" and "Murder She Wrote," among
others. Chad's recent roles include the remake of Psycho (1998) and Mulholland Drive
(2001). He recently completed a new film with Gwyneth Paltrow, set for 2003 release. Chad
is married to his wife Shelby Grant and they have three daughters.
(See also Chad Everett DVDs and Chad Everett DVDs)
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Chad Everett as Steve Kovac
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Noam Pitlik as Mac
Robert Fortier as Capt. Jampel
Robert Champion as German Capt.
Gregory Mullavy as German Sgt.
Heber Jentzsch as German Lt.
John Gilgreen as Ambulance Driver
Robert Glenn as Lt. Coates