Combat! reviews by Jo
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(013) Far from the Brave
Written and Directed
First aired 30-Oct-1962
(Episode 5 of Season 1)
Thanks to Sandy Marshall, for providing
Private Dulaney, fresh from his assignment as Army cook, is the latest green
replacement for the Squad. Saunders assigns him to take the Browning Automatic Rifle
(B.A.R.), replacing Saunders recently slain friend, Grady Long. As Saunders
squad is left behind to cover the main forces retreat, the soldiers look over the
elderly replacement with uncertainty and hostility. Alone in a personal grief that he will
not let anyone breach, Saunders faces the meaning of loss and how you measure the
value of life and friendship.
In his second Combat! script, Burt Kennedy again nails the shows
characters and the emotions of fighting men in a tightly crafted script. Unfortunatley,
this is the episode that sent Shecky Greene off the show. A shame, because he only got
better and better with each episode. His scene with Delaney over the chicken are tender,
realistic, and rises above the obvious humor of a soldier and a chicken.
Vic Morrow and Rick Jason both excell at acting "between the lines." Their
scene after the funeral is an excellent example. More is said in the silences about what
they are thinking and what they are feeling that is said in the dialogue. Combat!
always told stories cinematically. It is a series that really requires
"viewers." This is not radio with pictures. So much of the story is in the
visuals. Combat! dared to go long stretches without a single line of English
dialogue, and sometimes without any dialogue at all.
Burt Kennedy scripts provided both great dialogue and great silences. All the actors
took advantage of both in this four-bayonet episode. Whether it is a quiet scene between
Billy and Littlejohn or a brazen outburst by Kirby, this episode hits all the right marks.
As in so many of his stories, this Burt Kennedy episode celebrates the glory within the
most humble person, and shows the wisdom and strength that comes from adversity. Saunders,
the soldier who sets himself up as the pillar of strength to all those around him,
discovers his own feet of clay and in the end, girds them in steel armor and in the
fragile memories of two B.A.R. men who passed briefly through his command.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
Cpt. Powers is in charge of King Company, not Cpt. Jampel.
- When Dick Peabody puts the pin back in the grenade, it does not quite fit back in the
hole. Viewers who look closely, can see that hes mumbling "Son of a
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
Tom Lowell remembers filming the escape sequence: "We were running down this
street with pots blowing off, it was my first experience with that stuff. Those things
were really scary, because you were right next to them when they went off. I was in fear
of stepping in the wrong place and stepping
on one of those things. But we had one of the best special
effects crews in the business.
[...] So we were running from that French town clock, down the street toward that bridge
that is in just about every episode. And, just to the right, was this giant bay where they
had the Bounty, because they were shooting Mutiny on the Bounty at the same
time. So they had to position the cameras so they didnt hit the Bounty. We
always tried to sneak down and watch Marlon Brando work. But he was always having a temper
tantrum that day, so we never saw him."
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Joe Mantell as Delaney
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Shecky Greene as Braddock
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Tom Lowell as Billy Nelson
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Fletcher Fist as Radio Operator