Rat Patrol - The Complete First Season
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Top Customer Reviews
The Rats came in to fill that void in my TV watching life and I enjoyed every single episode. What makes a girl or a woman want to watch a war show? NO, it isn't the shoot 'em up 50's or the racing jeeps spewing sand! It's the interesting characters and the stories which had heart to them. With just a half hour they couldn't delve those characters as deeply as 12 O'Clock High did (one of the best character dramas ever) but they made a good go at it. They displayed the many facets of the regulars, Troy (Chris George) who was the original loner/rebel who had to learn to be a team player and to trust others, and Moffitt (Gary Raymond) the intelligent, laid back Englishman whose strong emotions lay carefully controlled just below the surface. Less time was accorded to Hitch (Larry Casey), the cute skirt chaser, and Tully (Justin Tarr) whose love is his jeeps.
The other regular was the German commander Dietrich played by the actor then known as Hans Gudegast who has since gone on to a long lasting career in soap opera as Eric Braeden. What was so great about Dietrich was that, contrary to the popular stereotyping of the German foe at that time, he was not a conscionless, sadistic Nazi. He was a good soldier who loved his country even though in his heart he knew its methods were misguided. He gave a very human face to the enemy and you couldn't walk away from this show hating him. You understood that the enemy is human too.Read more ›
Since my memories of the show are so vague, I look forward to viewing this program as and adult, and seeing how the war in North Africa is presented. A bit of historical accuracy would be nice, but all I really want is some good old-fashioned, 60's style war action.
Christopher George was an under-appreciated and mostly forgotten actor, who was only 54 when he past away. He frequently appeared on TV in the 70's, and this is an opportunity to see him as a 60's prime time star. As Sgt. Troy, George was fiery and tough, a familiar role for him. Paul Raymond was British Army Sergeant Moffat. Moffat's lower key personality complemented Troy's more emotional one. Lawrence Casey, as "Hitch" was memorable to me, mainly for his gum chewing.
Probably the cast member most well-known to today's viewers was on the German side. Hans Gudegast, played Capt. Dietrich, who in leading forces of the Afrika Corp proved to be a worthy adversary, bringing a sense of class and honor to the desert conflict. Gudegast later changed his acting name to Eric Braeden, and appeared frequently in films and on TV. In 1980 he became a regular on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless, where he still appears.
The Rat Patrol was created by veteran director Tom Gries, who's directorial credits include the films Helter Skelter, The Hawaiians, The Greatest, Breakout, and Breakheart Pass.
The biggest shortcoming of THE RAT PATROL is that the running length of 24 minutes per epidode is too brief to tell the story. In 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s television, many shows stretched 30 minutes of story to fit an hour-long time slot. Even COMBAT! occassionally fell into this trap. Not so with THE RAT PATROL. A half hour was not enough time to develop the plot. As such, some of the episodes are rushed and several shows include occasional annoying narration for things that are already patently obvious.
The exciting RAT PATROL soundtrack was composed by Dominic Frontiere. Frontiere was frequently behind the music for shows like THE OUTER LIMITS, THE INVADERS, and THE FLYING NUN. By the way, some of Frontiere's RAT PATROL soundtrack, note for note, ended up in 1970's THE LAST ESCAPE starring Stuart Whitman.
THE RAT PATROL was one of those television shows that was meant to be military fiction. This series was more of a shoot-em-up western set in Tunisia. M*A*S*H lengthened the Korean War to more than a decade. COMBAT! successfully immortalized the second half of 1944 for five years. THE RAT PATROL achieved no less significance in sustaining the six months following the November 1942 Torch landings into two seasons.
The show did not syndicate well in Great Britain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great tv show from the sixties. I used to watch as a kid. Great writing.Published 4 months ago by Al A
Sheesh! I can't believe I actually thought this show was good! But the DVD's are fine. Even though it says the program is "in color" it obviously wasn't the color of LED... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rick M.
The World War II battlefield in North Africa gets the Hollywood treatment in "Rat Patrol", a TV series that lasted two seasons in the late 1960's. The show featured a U.S. Read morePublished 12 months ago by HMS Warspite
One of the best TV war dramas made. I watched it as a kid and my wife and I love watching it as adults. Very entertaining.Published 15 months ago by wbesack
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