Colditz (1972–1974)
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Ace in the Hole 

Tony Shaw, a much decorated fighter pilot, is captured and brought to Colditz. To the disappointment of the escape committee he has no interest in joining them, rather renewing his pre-war ... See full summary »



(autobiographical book "Colditz"), (film "The Colditz Story") | 3 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Paul Chapman ...
Hans Meyer ...
David Allister ...
Capt. George Holland
Philip Marchant ...
Len Lowe ...
Corp. Hopkins
Desmond Jones ...
German Lieut.


Tony Shaw, a much decorated fighter pilot, is captured and brought to Colditz. To the disappointment of the escape committee he has no interest in joining them, rather renewing his pre-war job as a teacher and taking part in education classes with librarian Porteous. However, when he discovers a locked room in the attic he concocts a plan to build his own glider and fly out of the castle. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History | War




Release Date:

11 February 1974 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Seemingly taking place in 1944, this episode reveals that there have been 20 successful escapes from Colditz: 8 by the Dutch, 7 by the British, with 4 Frenchmen and a Pole making up the remainder. See more »

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User Reviews

The One That Didn't Want To Get Away
9 August 2008 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

There's a new arrival at Colditz Castle - Squadron Leader Tony Shaw ( Jeremy Kemp ), a man whose flying exploits are legendary. When news spreads among the British prisoners, there is much excitement. The Germans keep him in solitary, fearing his reputation will inspire further escape attempts. But on Hauptmann Ullmann's ( Hans Meyer ) advice, Shaw is released.

Lt.Simon Carter ( David McCallum ) offers to push Shaw to the top of the escape list, but the Squadron Leader refuses to go. Carter reminds him it is the duty of every British officer to try to escape, but he prefers instead to potter about the library, and join a class devoted to the study of Victorian literature, headed by Captain James Porteous ( Jim Norton ). He too has had enough of the war, and will not co-operate with the escape committee.

Major Mohn ( Anthony Valentine ) is deeply suspicious of Shaw, and suspects his visits to the library are not as innocuous as they seem...

From the second series of the B.B.C.'s 'Colditz'. With Robert Wagner and Edward Hardwicke gone, there was plenty of room for development of existing characters, such as Carter and Brent, also the inclusion of a new German officer - the sneering Major Mohn, who was akin to the kind of Nazi to be found in old war movies and children's comics. I expect he was brought in to provide a contrast to Bernard Hepton's humane 'Kommandant'. In the first episode to feature him - 'Arrival Of A Hero'

  • Mohn gave everyone in the castle a sound reason to hate his guts - in
a mere fifty minutes!

This David Ambrose-penned episode focuses on an aspect rarely covered in W.W.2 P.O.W. yarns - those prisoners who for various reasons had decided not to dig tunnels or forge I.D. papers. They were not all cowards ( to be sent to Colditz, you had to have made three escape attempts from holding camps), many had had enough of risking their necks and wanted nothing more than to sit out the rest of the war. Having a hero as a reluctant escapee was a bold move on the part of the writer. As it turns out, Shaw's motives are more complex than they first appear.

Shaw is played by one of my favourite actors, Jeremy Kemp. His credits are too numerous to mention, but he was 'Phil Bradley', one of the ill-fated heroes of 'Operation Crossbow' ( 1965 ). As 'Captain Porteous' we have the equally excellent Jim Norton. 'Father Ted' fans will recall him as 'Bishop Len Brennan'. Of course there is nothing remotely funny about his performance in this.

Another superb episode all round.

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