Combat! episode reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes are rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(112) The Flying Machine
RATING: 1-1/2 bayonets
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Alan Crosland, Jr.
First aired 22-Feb-1966
Episode 24 of Season 4)
Guest starring Keenan Wynn
flies in a rickety observation plane with a wise-cracking pilot (Keenan Wynn). Returning
from their mission, they see a German convoy and fly in for a closer look far too
close. They are shot down twenty-five miles behind enemy lines. To get his information
back in time, Hanley must repair the downed plane and fly it himself.
(Crew of Combat! setting up for take in the episode "Flying Machine")
The script for "The Flying
Machine" again tweaks the show's Air Corps veteran, Rick Jason. Several Combat!
scripts put his character in uncomfortable flying situations, showing him to be a nervous
In "The Flying Machine," the bulk of the action follows Hanley as makes the
plane air-worthy. To do this he: makes a hardware fix, repairs the torn wing, obtains
gasoline, and removes a stone wall blocking the runway all this without attracting
the attention of the German's camped at the base of the hill. These amazing feats would
have impressed MacGyver, but when Hanley also has to fly the plane out (and, presumably,
land it) willing-suspension-of-disbelief collapses.
Keenan Wynn, in his second guest role on Combat!, creates a fascinating
character who is unimpressed by Hanley or his orders. The two are delightfully at odds.
Peter Brocco, who plays the Frenchman Claude, was last seen in the episode "The Long
The Flying Machine is available on
videotape through Amazon.com
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders [does not appear]
Keenan Wynn as Lt. Brannagan
Peter Brocco as Claude
Peter Coe as Captain Zweiger
Ross Elliott as Lt. Colonel
Bard Stevens as Kruger
Norbert Meisel as Lt. Croftsen
Dick Raymond as 1st German
Horst Ebersberg as Brucke
Larry Gelbman as 1st German Soldier