9 ways the Hogan's Heroes pilot differs from the rest of the series

Their ranks and uniforms changed — and an entire Hero went missing!

Hogan's Heroes made its debut on September 17, 1965. The World War II sitcom introduced itself with "The Informer," a pilot set in early 1944. Robert Butler directed the episode. He was the studios' go-to man for pilot episodes at the time — he was behind the camera for the pilots of Star Trek, Batman, Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare and many more. No wonder Hogan's Heroes worked.

Hogan's Heroes would go on to run for six seasons. But the rest of the episodes were different in certain ways. Let's take a look.

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1. It's in black-and-white, obviously.

The first difference is immediately apparent. Hogan's Heroes was a vividly colorful sitcom — for the most part. "The Informer," however, was filmed in black-and-white. One day later, Get Smart would air its pilot in black-and-white — and similarly make the shift to full-color!

2. It's called "Camp 13" not "Stalag 13."

Throughout the episode, the location is referred to as "Camp 13." Of course, the setting would quickly switch to its familiar name, Stalag 13, in subsequent episodes. (Episode four, "The Inspector General," also uses the name Camp 13, suggesting it was filmed after the pilot.)

3. Hogan and his men live in Barracks 7.

Staying on the subject of familiar settings — Hogan and his heroes are typically housed in Barracks 2 throughout the series. However, from the first scene in the pilot, we see that they are instead living in Barracks 7 in this tale.

4. There's an extra Hero.

Russian-born Leonid Kinskey, perhaps best known as Sascha in Casablanca, has a major, credited role in "The Informer." The St. Petersburg native plays Vladimir Minsk, a Soviet Air Force sergeant living in Hogan's barracks. He also practices his family's trade and serves as the tailor for the heroes. Minsk, however, grew quickly uncomfortable with the role and opted to not sign a contract when the pilot was picked up as a series. Thus, his character vanishes.

5. Larry Hovis did not hide his wedding ring.

Keep a close eye on the left hand of Carter (Larry Hovis). Throughout the episode, a wedding band can be spotted on his ring finger. Hovis was proudly married — but his character, Andrew Carter, was not. The actor refused to take off the ring to honor his bond. So, for the rest of the series, Carter typically wears gloves to cover up the ring. (Though, it can still be rarely spotted on.) Oh, speaking of Carter — in "The Informer," he carries the rank of Lieutenant Carter. Throughout the rest of the series, he is Technical Sergeant Carter.

6. Burkhalter had a different rank.

Staying on the subject of rank changes, Burkhalter (Leon Askin) appears late in the episode as "Colonel Burkhalter." In the rest of the series, the commanding officer is General Burkhalter.

7. Kinchloe wore a different hat.

Ivan Dixon sports a traditional baseball cap in the pilot episode. Throughout the rest of the series, he typically sports a wool cap akin to what Radar wears in M*A*S*H.

8. Helga helped out in the tunnels.

Cynthia Lynn played the first blond German sympathetic to Hogan. Her dedication to the Allies is a little more pronounced in the pilot. Helga appears in the tunnels with the Heroes, serving as their manicurist. This never happens again.

9. Newkirk wore a different uniform.

Richard Dawson had a slightly different look. His cap was a little different, but you will primarily note that Newkirk is not wearing his trademark turtleneck.

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Stixx74 24 days ago
Also Major Wolfgang Hochstetter was 2 different people.
Metv2 9 months ago
Such a great show. Offers so much. Comedy, suspense and action. I watch it religiously
ToddRichmond 9 months ago
I often stumped my radio audiences and my trivia loving friends by asking the question, "What TWO 1960's sitcoms feature a regular character whose name was 'Sergeant Carter' ?" They always get "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.", but never remember "Hogan's Heroes". :)
Gary 9 months ago
When I lived in Scottsdale Arizona I wasn’t far from the hotel where Bob Crane was murdered. I couldn’t help but think of hogans heroes on a daily basis.
ColHogan60 14 months ago
This show can be found on Amazon. I have what they call the Kommandant's Kollection. (Spelled that way), but you can get a regular set starting at $35. The price is very reasonable as well. Just ensure you look through Amazon a bit to get the best price. It can also be found on Blu-ray at (Amazon.de, which is the Amazon site in Germany) this is the German version of this series. You can't get this, or any Blu-ray version here in the states. On the German version some of the dialog is changed to make it more ridicules, and to eliminate the words used to salute Hitler, as this Salut is illegal in Germany now. But from what I understand its in English as well. It might be something to have if you are a serious collector.
ChuckJohnson ColHogan60 9 months ago
I used to design television equipment. At a trade show, I pulled 4 tapes out of a box at random to load our video tape machines. TWO of them were Hogan's Heroes episodes. Here's where it gets better - our company was German! We played them during set-up, but swapped them out before the show started. We understood that Hogan wasn't appreciated in Germany because it made Germans look stupid. We had a good laugh anyway.
mrgadget1955 18 months ago
Please tell me where I can pick up the Hogan's Heroes series I'm out in Long Island New York Suffolk County to be exact
Thank you
albundy mrgadget1955 16 months ago
Go to archive.org and search for it. There are currently two links. One has up to about 4 1/2 seasons and the other has the full series. You can also search online and download it from a bittorent website.
Gilbert3 18 months ago
No matter what it's still good show
Snickers Gilbert3 14 months ago
Seems like lately less and less show and more commercials. I have noticed some scenes being gone and that extra commercial instead being in it's place.
RedSamRackham 25 months ago
* Helga as manicurist in pilot hints that perhaps she is actually an underground spy planted at Stalag as Klink's secretary. ☺
th3aman 25 months ago
Me...some of the best times brought back to a man born in 1968.
........,....,.,..,......Thank You.
candybaroque 29 months ago
i dont think we see the massive operation of tunnels in such totality again, though i could be wrong.
LisaSelby 32 months ago
Did you know that the actors that portrayed Colonel Klink and Sergent Schultzm were Jewish> I thought it funny that they portrayed Nazis. But then I realized they were trying to make the Nazis look like the fools and idiots they were.
Snickers LisaSelby 26 months ago
Howard Caine and Leon Askin we're also jewish.
Historynerd247 Snickers 21 months ago
so was robert clary
Snickers Historynerd247 21 months ago
Really? I know he was in a consintration camp but never thought about him being Jewish.
ColHogan60 LisaSelby 14 months ago
There were a total of 5 main cast members that were Jewish. Werner Klemplerer (Klink) was half Jewish and was German. John Banner (Schultz) was a Jewish-Austrian actor, Robert Clary (Lebeau) is a French-Jewish actor who spent time in a concentration camp. He still has the tattoo'd serial#, on his left forearm. Leon Askin (Burkhalter) was also Jewish and from Austria. Howard Cain (Hochstetter) was a Jewish-American actor.
ll675i 32 months ago
Lebeau wore a blue shirt in the first few episodes, then changes to a red shirt.
daywayne 32 months ago
Carter was a leutenant and switched to a Sargeant. Many of the tunnel amenities disappeared..steam room, barber shop. The pilot was the best.
Klink 33 months ago
Start of the best sitcom in history
Rambo4 Klink 25 months ago
Although it is one of the best, I would not say it was the best. Some of the classics such as I Love Lucy, MASH and All in the Family, would beat Hogans Heroes!
EmBee 33 months ago
Lt Carter was not a 'Hero' in the pilot. He was one of several allies being sent back to England. When Kinskey bowed out, they decided to keep Hovis but demoted him. My guess is since Carter wasn't the brightest bulb on the strand, having him be an officer and therefore issuing orders, would be problematic. Now he STILL outranked the other Heroes, but Kinch was XNCO. Quite a tribute to Dixon as a black actor in the mid 60s!
ll675i EmBee 32 months ago
Also, the actor that played Olsen didn't want to be a regular, so another reason Carter was kept.
crissrudd4554 33 months ago
Additionally Richard Dawson used a Liverpool accent for Newkirk in the pilot as opposed to the Cockney accent Newkirk has in the series.
Corey 33 months ago
Carter was a Lieutenant and escaped. I believe they called Stalag 13 Camp 13 because of the movie Stalag 17 which Hogan's Heroes was based on.
Wiseguy 33 months ago
#2: Indeed, "The Late Inspector General" was the second episode filmed. The production number in the closing credits says so: #5784-02. (Most series that display production numbers start over each season, but on Hogan's Heroes the number continues upward until the final episode filmed: #168.)
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