Saturday, August 31, 2013

"The Big Search" or "How far can two little girls get in 18-20 minutes?"

This week's episode is the first aired for 1968. 

From a production point of view, it is an excellent example of archetypal Dragnet style.

Recycled pans and opening zooms air as Jack's monotone speaks love for his town followed by copious time on sound stages and along Colonial Street.

Just you wait.

Old cars are so cool.

Oh oh.

This episode 

is going to be


Hold on to your hats, this episode even has creepy and terrifying musical cues relative to others used for poignant plots in which women are central to the plot. See also: the time that Japanese lady died.

Reverse projection and soundstage lighting, both two-shots.

This front room looks a bit like that time Bobby Troup helped foil a plot to blow up a school.

I guess it's close - bookcase here, hearth there, and a beige and gold decor.

That's right. Bobby didn't have a fern.

I'm going to sit in this chair and be tragic!

Peggy is great in this one. She's so achingly tragic!

Kent McCord!

What is that?  A red Mustang fastback? A 1966 or 1967?

Man! The shift in color temperature is brisk.


Conveying the poverty of life-after-divorce, which seems to be a thing:

What is it with beds coming out of closet doors

It's not my fault, I promise.

Missing sisters. A gutwrencher. So tense. 

That's some on the money Dragnet style.

Harry and Jack's tour of Colonial Street continues.

Elwood Dowd's Harvey house:

Is that the Munsters house on the far left?

Aw, jeez - a subplot about how it's a misdemeanor to leave the door on a fridge.

Sidney Clute is back - He's the show's resident Libertarian-type. 
His character's name is actually Mr. Selfridge. Ha.

Get ready to see a lot of this one next week - It's the Temple of the Expanded Mind facade.

Yeah, the next episode has that faux Timmy Leary guy blathering on forever, but the saving grace is the set design. Do stay tuned for a deconstruction.

Vic Perrin, you're always cast as some kind of pervert.

Try not to molest any girls on your way to the parking lot.

I can't imagine what Peggy Webber is like in real life, but she does tragic so well.


The show ratchets up the creepiness with MORE dolls.

Another wide shot of that crazy front room.

Yay!  A driving sequence! And 13 in Binary!

We've seen this bar set a number of times.

Another location- Toluca Embassy:

Now, the guys stumble onto a standout set:

A number of familiar table lamps in this set.

Now we are right back at Marian Stanley's set and she decides to give Robert Clarke another chance to be a father.


Robert's tie is very conservative. When he was a runaway drunk driver with no legs, his tie was THE coolest. His character this time, with reasonable stripes goes with his Alcoholics Anonymous attitude.

Those dresses are so cute!





Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Peggy Webber as Marian Stanley
Robert Clarke as Bert Stanley
Jean Howell as Edna Felton
Kent McCord as Officer Jim Reed
Vic Berrin as Vernon Hale
Sidney Clute as George Selfridge
Rick Warick as Officer Stedman
Gail Bonney as Mrs. Bonney
______ and ______ as the little Stanley girls

Art Direction - Russell Kimball
Set Decor - John McCarthy and John Sturtevant
Costumes - Vincent Dee

Written by Preston Wood & Robert Soderberg

Aired 4 January 1968

1 comment:

  1. 1.) This one features some celesta notes in the score - always creepy.
    2.) Mom: "It can get cold when the sun sets in California." And everywhere else, actually.