Synopsis: Hogan (Bob Crane) and his men discover a Nazi general has stolen priceless artwork and plans to store it in a mine near Stalag 13 so he can keep it for his own personal use after the war. With some help from members of the Underground, they stage a fake commando raid and hope the diversion will give them time to steal the artwork back so they can transport it safely to London.
Hogan's Heroes Episode Review: "The Collector General"
A review of the season 3 episode that first aired in March, 1968.
Guest stars include Gavin MacLeod, John Stephenson and Heidy Hunt.
Good Concept, Poor Execution
I had a chance to watch this particular episode when I was home for lunch earlier today and my feelings about it were a bit mixed.
While the idea of a general stealing artwork was somewhat interesting because it was based on real events, I thought the overall execution of this episode was somewhat weak. Part of the reason for this is, as is the case with many other episodes from this series, they reveal Hogan’s plan way too early and eliminate potential surprises as a result. This ultimately meant the episode was a bit predictable and not quite as enjoyable because of that.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of that budding relationship between Newkirk (Richard Dawson) and their female operative (Hunt), just because it really didn’t make a whole lot of sense to let him get so infatuated with her before finally telling him she was already married. In fact, it did seem to be somewhat cruel.
One thing I did find I liked about this episode was the General Metzger character played by MacLeod of “Love Boat” fame. Unlike many other Nazi characters from this series, he seemed to be somewhat intelligent. This includes, at least from his comments toward the end of this episode, actually managing to figure out Hogan was involved with the attempt to steal the artwork from him. It’s actually too bad he wasn’t a recurring character in this series because it would have been nice to see someone that could challenge Hogan from time to time.
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As I said before, the episode does have an interesting concept and MacLeod gives Hogan and his crew an intriguing bad guy to thwart. However, I think this episode would have been better if some of Hogan’s plan would have been kept quiet so it would have been more of a surprise later on in the episode than it was and things wouldn’t have been as predictable as they ended up being.
My Grade: C