Combat! Season 1
Combat! Season 2
Combat! Season 3
Combat! Season 4
Combat! Season 5



Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[Season 2 (1963 - 1964)]
[Bridge at Chalons]
[The Long Way Home]
[A Distant Drum]
[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...]
[Thunder from the Hill]
[The Pillbox]
[Gideon's Army]
[General and the Sergeant]
[The Hostages]
[A Silent Cry]
[Eyes of the Hunter]
[Mail Call]
[The Hunter]
[Weep No More]
[The Short Day of Pvt Putnam]
[The Glory Among Men]

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reviews by Jo DavidsmeyerEpisodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets

The Hostages

Rating: 3 bayonets

Written by Richard Adams
Directed by Ted Post
Produced by Richard Goldstone

First aired 28-Jan-1964
Episode 20 of Season 2
Syndication Order: 54


With Caje and Saunders held hostage by Germans in an American-occupied town, our intrepid medic must use his wits to deceive both Americans and Germans in an effort to save the lives of his friends. Helping himself to an ambulance, he provides the Germans an exit from town, only to discover that he wants to use the Americans to trip a mine field.


Conlan Carter shines as the focus of this story. If anyone still questions how this second medic differs from Steven Rogers' Doc, this episode provides the definitive answers. No sensitive, introspective, reluctant warrior here.

Conlan Carter's Doc takes charge from the get-go. When Saunders orders Doc to abandon both him and Caje to their fate, Doc ignores the order and finds his own solution. With cool eyes, he stands up to a German officer who has a machine gun trained right on him. With a pleasant grin, this Arkansas boy looks his fellow soldiers right in the eye and lies through his teeth -- with unquestionable sincerity. When scheming, wits, charm, and lies fail to free the hostages, the medic must become the soldier. He well deserved his nomination for this episode.

Guest star Mark Richman is appropriately oily as the German aristocrat who treats the Americans as beasts. Hans Gudegast puts in a fine supporting role as Ecktmann, who keeps Saunders and Caje at bay, and dies for his efforts.

The show features a large supporting cast, giving some great moments in small scenes. Ken Berry’s motor pool sergeant is charming and Tom Peters plays an exceptional mooch as the comm man.

Notes, Oddities, and Bloopers

  • While Doc is driving the ambulance through the countryside, one shot shows tall buildings through the window of the ambulance
  • Continuity error: as Saunders exits the shower with unfastened boots, he enters the barber shop with perfectly fastened boots; Caje buttons his shirt in the shower room, but when he exits the shower room the shirt is unbuttoned.
    Again, those wonderful insta-dry, one-size-fits-all uniforms.
  • Doc tightens lugnuts on the American ambulance counter-clockwise (should be clockwise)
  • The "gunshot" through the windshield of the ambulance: unfortunately, the later camera shots through the windshield show it up to be what it is, a Vaseline smear on the windshield. Nice effect from the outside, cheesy looking from the inside.
  • After the ambulance crash, when Richman gets up, he has no pistol in his holster. A second later, there's a .45 in the holster.
  • Saunders is shot with his own Thompson.

About Filming the Episode

Conlan Carter was surprised by the Emmy nomination: "I woke up one morning with the telegram and I called my agent and he said ‘What? Read me the telegram.’ Cause he thought a friend of mine might be playing a joke on me ... I didn’t win, of course, but it was a nice thing and I still have the little plaque."

Cast Credits

Vic Morrow
as Sgt. Saunders

Rick Jason
as Lt. Hanley
(does not appear)

Conlan Carter as Doc
Pierre Jalbert as Caje

Guest Star
Mark Richman as Capt. Aptmeyer
(also known as Peter Mark Richman)

Dick Patterson as Barnarbo
Hans Gudegast as Ecktmann
(later known as Eric Braeden)
Ken Berry as Moto Sgt.
Tom Peters as Commo Man
Lew Gallo as Mororcycle MP
Joseph Perry as 1st Sgt.

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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