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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

(041)
Infant of Prague

Rating:0 bayonets


Thanks to Sandy Marshall, for providing these images. She is webmaster and ran the now-defunct "COMBAT! Photo Gallery web site". 

Written by Rik Vollaerts
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 14-Apr-1964
Episode 31 of Season 2


Synopsis: 

While on patrol, Hanley and squad become saddled with an elderly nun and three postulants. The nuns are helpless and cute while the squad is alternately enchanted and befuddled by them. Hanley and the squad endeavor to shepherd the sisters to safety, but the eldest escapes to search for a religious statue. 

Review: 

The Easter episode "Infant of Prague" should be viewed as a comedy, as it was intended. Viewers who are looking for drama will find much at fault with the ludicrous story. If you are not in a mood to smile at the nuns, you will find them intensely annoying. The sisters could not be cuter if they had started flying and singing "Dominique." All that this saccharine vision needs to be complete is for an orphaned waif to arrive with a cute dog. 

Rik Vollaerts, the writer that penned "Battle of the Roses," devised this repetitive plot for "Infant of Prague." The elderly Sister Therese, in a chain of foolish decisions following the death of Reverend Mother, behaves in a manner inconsistent with personal survival and common sense (but appropriate for comedy). Jeanette Nolan plays Sister Therese with gusto and a devilish twinkle in those angelic. Against military procedure, Hanley and squad rescue her, instead of abandoning her to the protection of the Infant of Prague.

This story has much momentum, but nobody gets anywhere. They start in town, try to leave town, then hide in a barn. They return to town, try to leave town, then hide in the woods. For a third time, they return to town (following the dictum of comedy in threes). Neither the plot nor the actors get anywhere. The episode is padded with much WWII archival footage. And great footage it is, very watchable — one of the best aspects of this episode.

Kirby's character shows the first signs of softening in this episode. He is concerned about the nuns, even offers to risk himself to find food for these women who chose self-starvation. The first-season Kirby would have hoarded his chocolate bars and made a pass at the postulants.

Notes, oddities, and bloopers:

  • The sisters are rather partisan. No sympathy for the death of German soldiers. When a German captain is killed before her on holy ground, Sister Therese doesn't notice.
  • In action with the 103rd Panzers.
  • When the postulant nearly faints, Doc is looking at her, but ignores her. Moments later when she really faints, he rushes over.
  • Dick Peabody is charming in the scene in the culvert under the roadway.

Cast: 

Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

Guest Star 
Jeanette Nolan

Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Conlan Carter as Doc

Jeanne Rainer as Mlle. Solere
Pamela Branch as Mlle. Mornay
Leigh Chapman as Mlle. Bochard
Harold Dyrenforth as Panzer Captain 

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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