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This grim and claustrophobic drama chronicles the lives of the prisoners in Colditz Castle from the arrival of the first British prisoners after Dunkirk until the liberation of the castle by the Americans in 1945. Colditz was a "special" camp, designed by the Nazis to hold high-risk and politically important prisoners. Many of the series' plots are based on real events.

Was recently repeated on the UK TV channel "Yesterday".

Tropes present in the series include

  • Ace Pilot
  • The Alcatraz: Castle Colditz, the supposedly inescapable prison for important prisoners and escape artists.
  • All Germans Are Nazis:
    • Mostly averted - the army officers don't necessarily agree with the Party line, and there are the odd German civilian resisters - this becomes extremely obvious as the war draws to a close.
    • A German friend of Player's sees this trope developing in Britain, and despairs about it -- but he goes on to say that he thinks the best way to defeat Nazism is for Britain to surrender, bringing the war to a close and removing the Party's wartime support.
  • Badass Greatcoat
  • Bluff the Impostor: In one example Brent grills a new captive on their mutual alma mater, reports that his story checks out... and after he leaves, the newbie confides in the others that he suspects Brent of being an impostor.
  • The Bus Came Back: Carrington
  • Cacophony Cover-Up
  • Character Development: Carter learning to deal with his injury.
  • The Dragon: Ulmann, head of security.
  • Dressing as the Enemy
  • Eagle Squadron: Carrington, an American volunteer in the RAF.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We never learn the Kommandant's name, even when his wife shows up.
  • Great Escape: Once an Episode, unless they're working towards a slower-burning mini-arc
    • Escape Tropes: Pretty much every single one shows up at some point.
  • Go Among Mad People: one inmate tries to get invalided out by playing the insanity card.
  • Go On Without Me: Each contingent of prisoners has a dedicated "escape officer" keeping track of the various plans, who's unable to escape himself.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: An American journalist writing a sycophantic book about the inevitability of German victory is intensely distrusted by the other captives, until it turns out he was hiding military secrets in the text to be smuggled out to America.
  • Grand Finale: The last few episodes mostly avoid attempts at escape as the prisoners and guards deal with the approach of the end of the war. With one notable exception.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Player is harboured by one during an escape attempt.
  • Hufflepuff House: The various Allied contingents mostly keep out of each others' way, so we don't see much of the French, Polish etc except as background.
  • Humiliation Conga: Mohn's exit is an epic example, getting an entire Villain Episode dedicated to his falling star. First he realises his beloved Reich is actually going to lose; he tries vainly and pathetically to cajole the prisoners into testifying that he treated them well; he's sacked from his post; his girlfriend denies she knows him; and after receiving no less than three The Reason You Suck Speeches from Preston, the Kommandant and Carter, flees ignominiously hanging underneath a farmers' cart.
  • Insult Backfire:

 Kommandant: [angrily] Well, Major, I'm delighted to see your actions were motivated as ever by duty instead of compassion!

Major Mohn: Thank you, sir.

  Well this'll make a good anecdote for the folks back home - the glider I worked on for months and never flew. I suppose it'll be a humourous story... they wouldn't understand if I told it any other way.

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