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Hogan's Heroes - The Komplete Series - Kommandant's Kollection


TITLE: HOGAN'S HEROES - THE KOMPLETE SERIES - KOMMANDANT'S KOLLECTION


Info:

DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009 (CBS DVD)
Color/1965-1971
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 36
Running Time: 71 hours, 22 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Commentaries; Photo Galleries; Original Promos; Gag Reel; Patricia and Bob Crane Wedding Film; Bob’s 8MM Home Videos; Clip from The Leslie Uggams Show; Clip from The Lucy Show; “Air Force Now” segments; Bob Crane U.S. Air Force recruitment spots; Bob Crane radio material; Werner Klemperer on The Pat Sajak Show; Extended pilot episode with intro; Clip from CBS’ 1965 “Seven Wonderful Nights;” MAD Magazine parody; New Richard Dawson interviews; Werner Klemperer Emmy acceptance; Interview with Albert S. Ruddy, series co-creator; Hollywod Palace clip; German language episode


Introduction:

For those who want “nussing missing,” the Kommandant’s Kollection of Hogan’s Heroes is the DVD set for you! The 27 disc set contains every single episode of the classic TV series Hogan’s Heroes, unedited and remastered in high-definition, along with a nice selection of special features.

Hogan’s Heroes is the series from the 60s that takes us back to World War II and Nazi Germany, where Colonel Robert Hogan (Bob Crane) and his “heroes” are taken as prisoners of war by German captors. But as serious as this may seem, it isn’t serious it all. In fact, it is almost like a Gilligan’s Island of military sitcoms. The Americans aren’t exactly as much prisoners of war as they would appear to be, and are still fighting against the German forces right under the noses of the Germans.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The DVD set contains all 168 episodes of the series, but every single episode has already been released as part of a season set of the series. As each of these season sets have been previously reviewed, the episode selections from each set can be found in each of the following reviews:

Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5 / Season 6


Packaging:

Sadly, unlike far too many complete series DVD sets, this set suffers in the packaging department. I knew I was in trouble when I first opened the set and discs just started falling on the floor. I’ll start with the basics. We have a standard slipcase that is about two inches thick with a plastic sleeve covering it. The slipcase itself has a red tinted cast photo, and the plastic sleeve has the series title on it. Inside the slipcase, we have six cardboard holders (one for each season) to hold the discs. And this is where the real problem comes in.

As I mentioned, discs fell out of the case as soon as I opened the package. Before I even begin to complain about the packaging itself, it is important to complain about the fact that the packaging process clearly did not secure the discs in the case in the first place. This can be a problem for DVDs in the transit process. Once I was able to open the packaging up and securely place all of the discs back in their appropriate place, they tended to stay secure in their place without any issues of concern. This is not the only concern that I have, though. Such cardboard sleeves are prone to causing scratches to discs with just normal use, and this packaging does concern me for that reason. Not only that, the cardboard sleeves used in this set are incredibly flimsy, and may have some difficulty standing the test of time. Each of the cardboard sleeves has a picture of one of the cast members on it (in black and white), and somewhere within the sleeve, there is a listing of all of the episodes on each disc in the set, along with original airdates. Sadly, there are no episode descriptions to be found anywhere. An episode booklet would have been a very nice addition to this set.

The disc artwork and breakdown of episodes is the same as in the individually released seasons, and you can refer to those reviews for details:

Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5 / Season 6


Menu Design and Navigation:

As these DVDs are essentially the same as the DVDs released for the season sets, the menus are the same for each corresponding season, which also means that the menus are NOT consistent throughout the set. The season one episodes on this set have rather boring menus, with just a main menu screen that has a snapshot of Bob Crane with all of the episode titles listed and a Play All option. There are no special effects or music on the first season discs at all. As we move into season two (the first of two seasons which Paul Brownstein produced for DVD), the menus become more interesting with siren sound effects, videos, and the theme song playing in the background of the main menu on each disc. These menus continue throughout all of seasons two through six, and are much nicer than the season one menus, although the effects are somewhat simplified in season six. Still, none of the sets contain any scene selection menus, though chapters are placed at the appropriate places in each episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

These episodes are said to be remastered for high-definition, and I have no reason to doubt that fact. Each and every episode on this set looks and sounds excellent, which is great for a series as old as this one. There are very minor issues such as color brightness and slightly low audio levels, but they really aren’t issues that are going to stand out to most viewers. Basically, what you get is a clean and crisp picture with a great (although mono) audio track. It is important to note that while the series was in color, the first episode was actually in black-and-white. Each episode is also closed-captioned.

The episodes all appear to be unedited, running around 25 or 26 minutes per episode. The first two seasons even have the original “CBS presents this program in color” tag at the beginning of each episode. Exact runtimes are as follows:

Season 1:

Disc 1:
The Informer (26:37)
Hold That Tiger (25:27)
Kommandant of the Year (25:31)
The Late Inspector General (25:30)
The Flight of the Valkyrie (25:31)
The Prisoner’s Prisoner (25:31)
German Bridge is Falling Down (25:28)

Disc 2:
Movies Are Your Best Escape (25:31)
Go Light on the Heavy Water (25:31)
Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sights (25:32)
Happiness is a Warm Sergeant (25:30)
The Scientist (25:31)
Hogan’s Hofbrau (25:32)
Oil for the Lamps of Hogan (25:31)

Disc 3:
Reservations are Required (25:31)
Anchors Aweigh, Men of Stalag 13 (25:32)
Happy Birthday, Adolph (25:31)
The Gold Rush (25:32)
Hello, Zolle (25:33)
It Takes a Thief… Sometimes (25:31)

Disc 4:
The Great Impersonation (25:31)
The Pizza Parlor (25:29)
The 43rd, a Moving Story (25:32)
How to Cook a German Goose with Radar (25:29)
Psychic Kommandant (25:30)
The Prince from the Phone Company (25:31)

Disc 5:
The Safecracker Suite (25:29)
I Look Better in Basic Black (25:31)
The Assassin (25:31)
Cupid Comes to Stalag 13 (25:31)
The Flame Grows Higher (25:30)
Request Permission to Escape (25:30)

Season 2:

Disc 1:
Hogan Gives a Birthday Party (25:34)
The Schultz Brigade (25:36)
Diamonds in the Rough (25:37)
Operation Briefcase (25:38)
The Battle of Stalag 13 (25:39)
The Rise and Fall of Sergeant Schultz (25:36)
Hogan Springs (25:34)

Disc 2:
A Klink, a Bomb and a Short Fuse (25:38)
Tanks for the Memory (25:35)
A Tiger Hunt in Paris, Part 1 (25:04)
A Tiger Hunt in Paris, Part 2 (25:37)
Will the Real Adolf Please Stand Up? (25:38)
Don’t Forget to Write (25:36)
Klink’s Rocket (25:34)

Disc 3:
Information Please (25:40)
Art for Hogan’s Sake (25:39)
The General Swap (25:36)
The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery (25:38)
Praise the Fuhrer and Pass the Ammunition (25:38)
Hogan and the Lady Doctor (25:39)

Disc 4:
The Swing Shift (25:36)
Heil Klink (25:39)
Everyone Has a Brother-in-Law (25:35)
Killer Klink (25:38)
Reverend Kommandant Klink (25:37)
The Most Escape-Proof Camp I’ve Ever Escaped From (25:36)

Disc 5:
The Tower
Colonel Klink’s Secret Weapon
The Top Secret Top Coat
The Reluctant Target

Season 3:

Disc 1:
The Crittendon Plan (25:26)
Some of Their Planes are Missing (25:22)
D-Day at Stalag 13 (25:20)
Sgt. Schultz Meets Mata Hari (25:22)
Funny Thing Happened On the Way to London (25:22)
Casanova Klink (25:23)

Disc 2:
How to Win Friends and Influence Nazis (25:22)
Nights in Shining Armor (25:22)
Hot Money (25:23)
One in Every Crowd (25:22)
Is General Hammerschlag Burning (25:22)
A Russian is Coming (25:20)

Disc 3:
Evening of the Generals (25:24)
Everybody Loves a Snowman (25:23)
The Hostage (25:24)
Carter Turns Traitor (25:23)
Two Nazis for the Price of One (25:22)
Is There a Doctor in the House? (25:25)

Disc 4:
Hogan, Go Home (25:22)
Sticky Wicket Newkirk (25:22)
War Takes a Holiday (25:24)
Duel of Honor (25:25)
Axis Annie (25:23)
What Time Does the Balloon Go Up? (25:25)

Disc 5:
Lebeau and the Little Old Lady (25:10)
How to Escape from a Prison Camp Without Really Trying (25:23)
The Collector General (25:20)
The Ultimate Weapon (25:25)
Monkey Business (25:20)
Drums Along the Dusseldorf (25:12)

Season 4:

Disc 1:
Clearance Sale at the Black Market (25:33)
Klink vs. the Gonculator (25:28)
How to Catch a Papa Bear (25:28)
Hogan's Trucking Service ... We Deliver the Factory to You (25:30)
To the Gestapo with Love (25:32)
Man's Best Friend is Not His Dog (25:33)
Never Play Cards with Strangers (25:27)

Disc 2:
Color the Luftwaffe Red (25:33)
Guess Who Came to Dinner? (25:29)
No Names Please (25:32)
Bad Day in Berlin (25:32)
Will the Blue Baron Strike Again? (25:25)
Will the Real Colonel Klink Please Stand Up Against the Wall? (25:33)
Man in a Box (25:31)

Disc 3:
The Missing Klink (25:35)
Who Stole My Copy of Mein Kampf? (25:30)
Operation Hannibal (25:31)
My Favorite Prisoner (25:27)
Watch the Trains Go By (25:30)
Klink's Old Flame (25:30)

Disc 4:
Up in Klink's Room (25:31)
The Purchasing Plan (25:29)
The Witness (25:33)
The Big Dish (25:34)
The Return of Major Bonacelli (25:35)
Happy Birthday, Dear Hogan (25:32)

Season 5:

Disc 1:
Hogan Goes Hollywood (25:32)
The Well (25:21)
The Klink Commandos (25:31)
The Gasoline War (25:35)
Unfair Exchange (25:28)
The Kommandant Dies at Dawn (25:30)
Bombsight (25:30)

Disc 2:
The Big Picture (25:36)
The Big Gamble (25:34)
The Defector (25:23)
The Empty Parachute (25:34)
The Antique (24:55)
Is There a Traitor in the House? (25:30)
At Last-Schultz Knows Something (25:29)

Disc 3:
How's the Weather? (25:20)
Get Fit or Go Fight (25:30)
Fat Hermann, Go Home (25:31)
The Softer They Fall (25:31)
Gowns by Yvette (24:55)
One Army at a Time (25:31)

Disc 4:
Standing Room Only (25:32)
Six Lessons from Madame LaGrange (25:36)
The Sergeant's Analyst (25:20)
The Merry Widow (25:32)
Crittendon's Commandos (25:31)
Klink's Escape (25:29)

Season 6:

Disc 1:
Cuisine à la Stalag 13 (25:12)
The Experts (25:14)
Klink's Masterpiece (25:07)
Lady Chitterly's Lover, Part 1 (25:10)
Lady Chitterly's Lover, Part 1 (25:11)
The Gestapo Takeover (25:07)

Disc 2:
Kommandant Schultz (25:11)
Eight O'Clock and All Is Well (25:11)
The Big Record (25:12)
It's Dynamite (25:08)
Operation Tiger (25:15)
The Big Broadcast (25:13)

Disc 3:
The Gypsy (24:16)
The Dropouts (25:11)
Easy Come, Easy Go (25:18)
The Meister Spy (25:16)
That's No Lady, That's My Spy (25:11)
To Russia Without Love (25:13)

Disc 4:
Klink for the Defense (25:11)
The Kamikazes Are Coming (25:14)
Kommandant Gertrude (25:14)
Hogan's Double Life (25:17)
Look at the Pretty Snowflakes (25:13)
Rockets or Romance (25:11)


Special Features:

The set includes several special features, some of which were included on previous releases and others which were not included on previous releases. I’ll briefly go over the features that we have already seen on previous sets, and then go into more detail on the new special features.

Much of the previous special features can be found on the Season 2 set. Patricia Crane does a commentary on the episode “Hogan Gives a Birthday Party” and Robert Clary does a commentary track on “Art for Hogan’s Sake.” The remainder of the special features on this set can be found on Disc 5, including a gag reel edited by Bob Crane (5:23), wedding footage of Patricia and Bob Crane’s wedding (7:17), Bob’s 8MM home movies (5:56), CBS promos (1:50), JELL-O and Dream Whip commercial (2:17), appearance from The Leslie Uggams Show (2:17), a clip from Bob Crane’s appearance on The Lucy Show (2:34), “Air Force Now” film segments (1:24), Air Force recruitment spots by Bob Crane (2:04), Bob Crane radio material (approx. 20 minutes), and a photo gallery. Details on each of these special features can be found on the Season 2 review.

There are a few more special features on the Season 3 set, including “Werner Klemperer on The Pat Sajak Show” (6:21), a photo gallery for the episodes “Sergeant Schultz Meets Mata Hari,” “Everybody Loves a Snowman,” and “LaBeau and the Little Old Lady,” as well as a general series photo gallery. Details on each of these special features can be found on the Season 3 review.

The remaining special features are new to this set, and can be found with the season 6 DVDs on this set as a bonus disc. These begin with an extended version of the pilot episode, “The Informer” (33:19). This version of the pilot is mostly the same, but it includes additional footage and has an introduction that includes the cast of Gilligan’s Island and My Three Sons. That alone makes it very interesting to watch. Next, we have two promos (1:01) that basically just advertise the show in general. I’m not sure if these are syndication promos or CBS promos, but they appear to be syndication promos. We also have a clip from “CBS’ Seven Wonderful Nights” (5:33) from 1965 where we basically just have an extended promo for the series to preview the series. What is funny is that it talks about the series being in color, even though the first episode (as is shown in this footage) is in black and white. Next, we have clips from “Hollywood Palace” (4:50) that feature the cast of the series. This is pretty self-explanatory.

The next set of special features is all a bunch of Richard Dawson interviews, beginning with “The Early Days” (15:11), where he talks about the beginning of the series and the audition, and how the producers were looking for a British guy for one of the roles (let us not forget that he is indeed British!). “The Cast” (16:24) has Dawson going in depth on the cast of the series and his co-stars, and how everybody on the cast got along with one another. Finally, “Fond Memories” (13:02) gives Dawson an opportunity to discuss some of his greatest memories of doing the series. These interviews are very interesting to watch! Richard Dawson seems to have some very fond memories of the series, and it is obvious that he really enjoyed doing the series. It is just too bad that other cast members couldn’t be included here.

Next, we have a photo montage of the series (2:35) with the theme song being performed in the background by Bob Crane and his band. It is basically exactly what it sounds like--a photo montage. We have two clips of Werner Klemperer at the Emmy Awards, from 1968 (1:28) and 1969 (1:51), accepting his own Emmy Awards. The 1969 one was more interesting, as it is more reminiscent of the modern Emmy Awards, with the Emmy being presented by Don Knotts. It is interesting to see how the tone of the awards changes just in one year! The 1968 one, presented in black and white, seems more like a formal awards ceremony, while the 1969 one feels more informal and friendly, much like the current Emmy Awards ceremony.

We also have “A Conversation with Albert S. Rudy, Co-Creator of Hogan’s Heroes,” (11:55) which is definitely interesting to see, but not so much as the Richard Dawson interviews. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that very few of us know who Albert S. Rudy is. For those that enjoy MAD Magazine parodies, there is a great one here: Hokum’s Heroes from MAD Magazine! Basically, you go through each panel one by one to read the parody of the series. Finally, what show about Germans would be complete without a complete episode in German? We have that with the episode “The Safecracker Suite” (25:28), which you can watch in German or with German subtitles! Honestly, though, it feels more like a bad German soap opera than a sitcom. It is still a nice touch. There is even an introduction from Albert S. Ruddy (4:29).

I’ll just say it just like the packaging says: there is “nussing” missing here! These special features are very impressive.


Final Comments:

To be perfectly honest, I never quite understood this series too well. I think that it is probably a series that you kind of have to watch it quite a bit to understand the humor of it. But regardless, there is a reason that it is one of the classic sitcoms that has stood the test of time, and it is obvious that there are many fans of the series out there that love this series. I believe that this set is perfect for those that love this series or just love military sitcoms in general. However, for anybody that already owns the season sets, it probably isn’t worth replacing those with this set, as all you are really getting with this set is a single disc of special features. That isn’t to say that the bonus disc is worthless. In fact, it is very nice, but it is just not worth the cost of replacing the season sets with this set. But I’m sure that there are many fans out there that have not been collecting this series at all on DVD, and for those fans, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a DVD set that is definitely a lot more than “nussing!”


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 11/24/09

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002L9N4O2/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=257580


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