Quite some time ago there was a television play, and I don't recall whether it was BBC or ITV, about two RAF bomber crew who were hidden from the authorites by an anti-Nazi German after they were shot down during an air raid over Germany.
It all went rather disturbingly wrong when the apparently sympathetic German decided he rather liked having a couple of friends about the place and concealed from them all evidence that the war had actually ended. Considerable time went by. Eventually the RAF men realized that there was no sign of continuing warfare and were able to leave. Or were they? I can't remember what happened in the end - hardly surprising as this must have been forty-odd years ago at least - but I have a feeling it was rather tragic, involving the death of more than one character.
You remember it don't you? I have a feeling it was called 'The Pets', but no search on that has brought me any joy. May have been a 'Wednesday Play' or 'Armchair Theratre' presentation, but unless I have missed the right thing my searches within data for those seires are equally failures.
Excellent! That's it, no question. But now I have begun to fret for I definately recall it as a British tv play with the airmen being RAF rather than USAAF. But then I clearly misremember other small elements of the plot. Maybe the thing here is to research it from the other end, from the original novel onwards. Perhaps there really was a UKTV adaptation.
And that is actually implied by my first researches into the original novel, which was Robert Shaw's first, and originally titled "The Hiding Place". Here's a quote from a Robert Shaw biographical profile -
"He also wrote a dramatization of it that was produced on commercial television in England, and Playhouse 90 aired a different dramatization in America."
So there at least two versions, which may or may not include the Robert Redford film. Exciting.
Anyway, well done that man for a good spot. And yes, it is the *same* Robert Shaw.
and now a later edit to this posting , with a new quote from a different part of the Robert Shaw website -
"The story is about two British airmen Connolly and Wilson, who are shot down over Bonn. They are kept prisoner by a German named Frick who drugs them and puts them in chains in his cellar. They are treated well by their captor and fed at regular intervals. Half of the novel is about their first day of captivity, and one begins to wonder if they will spend the rest of their lives there. Frick is enjoying their company so much that he doesn't tell them when the war ends, and continues with the masquerade for years that Germany is still fighting."
"Shaw was happy with the original British version entitled The Pets in 1960. and also quite pleased with the American Playhouse 90 adaptation which cast Trevor Howard, James Mason and Richard Basehart in the lead roles. To his disappointment, it would later be made into a film in 1965, entitled Situation Hopeless, But Not Serious. He was happy that Alec Guinness would star but nothing else would please him as there were too many changes, and casting Robert Redford and Mike Connors as the prisoners made it seem too American."