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Danger Ahead

2009-09-16 - 1:04 p.m.

Last night I discovered that has episodes of the 1967-70 series of Dragnet.

For all you kids, Dragnet is considered one of the best police procedural programs ever. It started out as a radio drama - it's been around for a LONG time. Creator Jack Webb worked in concert with the LAPD, taking actual police cases and making them into radio shows. The main character, Sgt. Joe Friday, could be assigned to almost any division of the police department. As such, he might work on a car theft ring in one show and robbery the next. Even Webb wanted the show to be as accurate as possible, right down to the number of steps from office to office and the ring of the telephone.

When the show went to TV, they constructed sets that duplicated the offices of the LAPD. Everything was as authentic as they could make it; they even used an actual LAPD badge (which was delivered by a uniformed officer every day and returned every night).

Anyway, I watched the first couple episodes of Dragnet 1967. The dialogue is a bit dated - the shows are over forty years old - and the premiere dealt with the introduction of LSD to the "counterculture". The second dealt with the theft of explosives - enough to level two city blocks.

There's one video on Hulu of an episode that I always liked - "D. H. Q. - Night School". Friday is taking night classes at a local college, and arrests one of his classmates for possession. The professor thinks Friday is an undercover narc and puts Friday's remaining in the class to a student vote, which Friday loses. Friday asks for a chance to rebut the professor's remarks and another vote. He gets it and loses the vote, but...well, go look.

Today's title is the actual name of the theme for Dragnet - the "duuuuum-da-DUM-dum" we all know and love.

Oh, and yes - this is what "Police Squad!" and the "Naked Gun" films were parodying. Now you can find out what the original was all about.


Okay, nothing else for now. I need to get going.

Be seeing you.


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