Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
The Long Wait
RATING: 2 bayonets
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 09-Mar-1965
Episode 25 of Season 3
Guest Star: Terry Carter
"The Long Wait," a German machine gun pins down Saunders and company, along with
four seriously wounded G.I.s, a truckful of desperately needed munitions, and a truck
driver more interested in saving lives than playing soldier. The driver, Archie Masters,
cannot bear the suffering of the wounded soldiers in his care. He wants to fight. But
Saunders insists on waiting until an American tank can move in and destroy the German
This story by Edward J. Lakso lets the audience inside the psyche of
Saunders the soldier. His view of war as bloody mathematics is at odds with
the needs of the truck driver, and at odds with Saunders' own emotions.
In "The Long Wait," director John Peyser does his best to stretch out this
story that really cannot fill the hour. He pads it with stock footage, with shots of the
tank moving in and moving out, and with close-ups of tank treads. But the premise is
established early in the episode that nothing much is going to happen until the
tank comes and all the padding of pretty shots cannot hide the fact that nothing
really does happen until the tank arrives. This episode is a long wait, not just for the
soldiers, but also for the viewers.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
- Fletcher Fist (Brockmeyer in season one)
appears in this episode, hidden behind face-covering bandages and flat on his back.
- The opening sequence re-uses shots from "Bridgehead."
- The long shots of the truck on the road are lifted from "The
- Early in the episode, one of the wounded soldiers dies in the truck. The body is not
shown again, with no explanation of what happened to it.
- In five seasons, this is the only episode to feature a black actor. For further
information, see our page about black soldiers in
- William Wellman (Sgt. Brice) appeared in "Anatomy
of a Patrol."
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Terry Carter as Archie
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
William Wellman as Sgt. Brice
Edward Tierney as Klaus
William Splawn as Coates
David Adams as Peter
Fletcher Fist as Carson
Pictures above courtesy of the official
Terry Carter website.