(The following text is an excerpt from COMBAT! A VIEWER'S
COMPANION by Jo Davidsmeyer)
During the hiatus between seasons three and four, Gene Levitt took a production crew to Europe for location shooting. Rick Jason remembers, "They came to Vic and me and they said they wanted to shoot six weeks in Europe to get some background stuff for stories next year. They'd already started buying stories, so they knew what they had to shoot footage for. Vic and I said that's nice. They said they'd pay all our expenses. No salary. Vic and I said no."
Stuntman Earl Parker went with the crew to Europe and did all the stunts. "They asked me to go and double Vic whenever needed," says Earl Parker. "From a distance of course, but they could photograph me pretty close." Local actors stood in for the other actors. The segments with Earl look as if Morrow is in the shots, but the other doubles fall short, with an ungraceful man walking stolidly as Caje and a Littlejohn much slighter than Dick Peabody.
The crew filmed at several chateaus in Lyon, France [correction courtesy of Dodger: this should be Loire, France] and in the French countryside. The shots are expertly cut into the episodes "The Linesman," "The Main Event," "Hear No Evil," and "Evasion."
(The following is written by Dion "Dodger" Osika)
Several Combat! episodes had location footage shot in France. I had never seen any of these episodes until about two weeks before Recon '98 when I caught "Evasion" on Encore TV. Immediately upon watching the opening scene I recognized the chateau where the filming took place. One year earlier, my wife and I spent a week in France and visited the Loire Valley. We visited several chateaus and little did I realize we were in the area that the Combat! locations were filmed.
I acquired the other French episodes and recognized sites that we had visited and did a bit of detective work to locate a few more. Contrary to the Combat! book, the filming was not done near Lyon, but between Tour and Blois, in the Loire Valley. [Note from Jo: Thanks, Dodger! Will be corrected if there's ever a re-print of the book]
Three beautiful and historic chateaus were used. Chambord for "The Linesman" and "Hear No Evil." Chenonceaux was seen in Lieutenant Hanley's escape in "Evasion" and Chaumont-sur-Loire in "The Main Event." The ruins of Chinon are used as a backdrop for "Hear No Evil." A bridge across the Loire River near Langeais was used in "The Linesman."
Several other scenes were filmed in France for these episodes but the locations are not as conspicuous as the sites mentioned. These scenes were likely done in the Loire Valley as well, but for now they remain "lost." The map below shows the location of the chateaus. (Map adapted from Michelin Green Guide. See below for information about this book.)
Here are links to photos from the episodes and from my trip in 1997. (Click on the small images below to see pictures from these sites.)
Thank you to Dion Osika for providing the photos. Images from the show are copyright ABC-TV.