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Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[Season 2 (1963 - 1964)]
[Ambush]
[Bridge at Chalons]
[Doughboy]
[The Long Way Home]
[A Distant Drum]
[Bridgehead]
[Masquerade]
[Infant of Prague]
[The Wounded Don't Cry]
[The Little Jewel]
[Glow Against the Sky]
[The Party]
[Anatomy of a Patrol]
[What Are the Bugles...]
[Barrage]
[Thunder from the Hill]
[The Pillbox]
[Gideon's Army]
[General and the Sergeant]
[The Hostages]
[A Silent Cry]
[Eyes of the Hunter]
[Counter-Punch]
[Mail Call]
[The Hunter]
[Weep No More]
[The Short Day of Pvt Putnam]
[Rescue]
[Command]
[The Glory Among Men]

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Combat!
reviews by Jo DavidsmeyerEpisodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets


(057) Counter-Punch

RATING: 2 bayonets

Written by Kay Lenard and Jess Carneol
Directed by John Peyser

First aired 11-Feb-1964
Episode 22 of Season 2


SYNOPSIS:

When battalion headquarters is overrun, Saunders and Caje pick up rear-echelon stragglers, including a technician sergeant who clashes with him over strategy and command. With a motley assortment of unmilitary soldiers, Saunders decides to commandeer a train loaded with Germans to make a break for the American lines.

REVIEW:

Whenever I watch this episode, I can't quite remember how it ends. The second half hour does not quite match up with the first. Both are good "episodes," but darned if I can figure out why screenwriters Kay Lenard and Jess Carneol went from point A to point B.

The beginning deals with Saunders gathering the misfits under his wings. Steve Gravers is properly grating as the now-it-all Sgt. Gravers, and Malachi Throne is excellent as the bindle stiff Moorwood. When this ragtag team encounters a French train filled with Germans, the story takes on a new direction, turning into a story with similarities to Von Ryan's Express, a best-selling novel released the same year as this episode.

This episode was partially written to take advantage of the classic steam engine owned by MGM at the time. This historic steam locomotive, old No. 11, originally saw service on the Virginia and Truckee Railway, running on the Reno-Carson City-Virginia City circuit. Bought by MGM in the forties, the locomotive appeared in many classic MGM films. It now has an honored place in Old Tucson.

NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:

Great use of archival footage. The planes strafing the trains are P-51s.

While squad is walking down road, the sound of a propeller-driven airplane cuts in and out underneath the music.

ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:

John Peyser had the prop department provide him with a holster and pistol that fired blanks. He would wear the pistol on his hip when filming and used to fire it at planes flying overhead. The studio was right in the flight path of LAX.

CAST:

Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley (does not appear)
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

co-starring
Steve Gravers as Martinez
and
Malachi Throne as Moorwood

Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Anthony Holland as Cutner
George Savalas as Cooper
James Davidson as Bowers
and Eugene Borden as Roget

See: Train posters and collectibles

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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