While returning to their lines, Sgt. Saunders and his squad are ambushed by a German troop. Saunders and his men run out of ammunition and are forced to surrender to the Germans. They are taken to a POW camp where they meet Sgt. Tom Akers and a few survivors of the interrogation of the SS Capt. Steiner. Akers and his men are broken and prostrated while Saunders plans a scheme to let Billy escape with the position of the German troops. Meanwhile Steiner selects the coward Pvt. Gates to force Saunders to give information about the Allied forces.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
After a lengthy combat session with the Germans, Saunders and his squad are captured by the Germans and they must deal with SS Captain Steiner (played by Richard Basehart) who tries to get information out of them. They are taken to a temporary POW camp and try to escape against the wishes of Sergeant Tom Ackers (played by Simon Oakland) who already has experience with Steiner.
The Long Way Home Part 1 is characterized by suspense and mind games between SS Captain Steiner and the POW's. Steiner is supposed to be an extremely mean and cruel person, but he appears too cultured and educated to fit that mold. It's true he beats up on the prisoners to get information, but Steiner is just not that convincing.
Steiner decides to torture Private Gates, a cowardly grocery clerk, figuring Saunders cannot stand to see his men tortured. I'm critical in that we never see what they do to Gates which was so terrible.
The episode ends on a sour note with an escape attempt gone wrong and Saunders on the receiving end as a result.
Ed Lakso wrote a good screen play and Ted Post did what he could as a director (excepting his portrayal of Gates as a tortured prisoner,) but the on screen chemistry is just not there. Steiner's personality just does not fit.
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