Hogan's Heroes Episode Review: "The Prisoner's Prisoner"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired in October 1965.

Synopsis: Hogan (Bob Crane) and his men capture a German general (Roger C. Carmel) and hold him captive by convincing Klink (Werner Klemperer) he is a prisoner of war. Seeking to get information about the location of the general's men, Hogan works to convince his prisoner he is dying from a prison camp illness.


It has been a while since I've had an opportunity to watch this show. So, when I finally had an opportunity to do so last night, I did just that.

Fortunately for me, it was this episode, which is one I have never seen before (or, at least I don't remember seeing it) and, because of that, was able to enjoy it a little more. However, as it turns out, while it was nice seeing an episode I couldn't recite word-for-word, I found I was somewhat disappointed by it overall.

I'll start out by saying there were some things I did find I liked about this episode. This included the way Hogan convinced Klink the general was a captured prisoner with a history of escaping other camps. This, of course, led Klink to not believe a word the general was telling him despite Hogan (still trying to stay on the general's side because of the much-needed information) doing his best to tell the commandant he was wrong.

My big problem with this episode is the way the story changed following that surprisingly funny meeting. Hogan's decision to make the general believe he was sick using a variety of tactics, including flaming canisters under the general's bed (to get him to sweat) just didn't work for me. This is because, while those gimmicks did, on the surface at least, have an opportunity to be funny, the show's comedy really only works if there's at least an attempt to keep it believable. Unfortunately, this episode did cross that line by quite a bit.

To be fair, I did like Carmel in the general's role. He brought just the right mix of seriousness and comedy to make his character work. I just wish the rest of the episode would have been written in a way that made it a bit more believable so that performance wouldn't have been wasted.

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Final Opinion

It's an OK episode. But, while it starts out strong, the dragged out "convince the general he's sick" premise causes the episode to fizzle out pretty quickly and it just isn't as enjoyable as a result of that.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 09/01/2016, StevenHelmer
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