Saturday, October 5, 2013

"The Big Clan" or " Joe smokes Fatima"

The opening pan may be clunky, but if you want to dress up as a gypsy woman for Halloween, take some notes toward the end.

This shot was reused from when we investigated Gideon C. Dengle.

This one is another house on Colonial Street, but shot fresh for this episode:

"This is the city-- Los Angeles, California.
The people living and working here represent almost every culture common to civilized man. 
Most of them contribute something worthwhile to the community.
There are those who take more than they give. 
They feed on the sorrows, ignorance, and superstitions of others. 
When they do, I go to work. I carry a badge."

Now a sketchy fortune teller lives there!

After a brief detour to the Parker Center soundstage, it's off to handle some sort of "Gypsy Problem."

(Look, the easiest part of this episode was coming up with my title. the rest, forget it!)

Clark Howat informs us that the Gypsy community is in flux since their king died "last January."
(Could be any time pre-1967, right, but Gypsies, glamorous, right?)

Gannon says, "Joe and I have been going to their weddings, funerals, and pohmonas; reading everything we can on Gypsy culture."

So, okay, these were ostensibly Romani/Rom/Roma people. But with Crimes! Because it's Dragnet!


Dallas Andrews? Why, it's Virginia Gregg! And more waiters in red jackets. That's comforting. 

This restaurant is our main soundstage this week, outside of the Police Administration Building.

The Canyon Restaurant.

The busts are done on Colonial street, but only exteriors. 

So spare, so reserved, this episode. 

Anybody know this building?

Sorrowful Lillian Bronson.

Flipping through the Gypsy Mug Book. The woman on the right looks like the one from the beginning of the episode.

Lillian says that she (Mother Maria / Sister Felicia / Madam Zora / Fatima Goldring) lives on Crenshaw.

I have spent my adult life living in a second-tier city, so I naturally am not hip to anything that has anything to do with Gypsy crime families or whatever. I'm just here for the costumes and, scenery, you guys. I don't know about you, but this this episode represents a larger than average Dragnet learning curve for me. For all I know it never re-aired or maybe I was just at Mom's house that weekend and missed it.


Vermont and Washington, apparently:

They are sitting in the car on the soundstage with reverse projection of, I guess, what is supposed to be the car park of the Greek Theatre.

Let's talk about Don Dubbins! He began as a neo-nazi that tried to literally explode an integrating school, came back as a kind-of beatnik greeting card writer trying to get out of town (with bongo drums). Now, it turns out that he was the son of a Gypsy King? Is that supposed to be capitalized? He comes back in Dragnet Future having trained Ginger, the world's first pot-sniffing dog, effectively becoming a Dragnet Hero. What was casting's relationship with this guy?! 

MORE liquor stores?!

YAY! Policewoman Dorothy Miller in a pretty pink suit!

It's the Temple of the Expanded Mind!

Knowledge is power!

Joe hopping out of the car gives us a good shot down Colonial Street.


Reverse trick-or-treat!

Merry Anders and Margaret Rich:

Hey lady, we're going to do a kick line. Want in?



County of Los Angeles Sheriff
Sybil Brand Institute for Women.
Visitor Parking, Employee Parking.

Dallas Andrews
Billy Catcher

Now serving their sentences in the State Prison.

Fatima Goldring
(Alias Mother Maria)

Now serving her sentence in the State Prison.


Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Virginia Gregg as Dallas Andrews
Don Dubbins as Billy Catcher
Lillian Bronson as Fay Sager
Clark Howat as Captain Lambert
Merry Anders as Policewoman Dorothy Miller
Lillian Adams as Mother Maria / Fatima Goldring
Margaret Rich as Madame Mona
Alma Platt as Katy Wilson

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

Aired 8 February 1968

Written by Michael Donovan

See you next week when Joe and Bill cope with the stuff of Darkest Dragnet.

Oh, and Jack really *did* smoke Fatima, or endorse at some point, anyway:

Feel free to express yourself in the comments section,
Suzy Dragnet


  1. The curved building you ask about is the Century Plaza Hotel @ 2025 Avenue of the Stars. Hope this helps.
    Love the site. Keep up the good work.

    1. Jeepers! That was fast!
      I noticed in one of the frames, the street sign reading 'Avenue…' and I know there can only be so many curvy modern buildings on streets beginning in 'Avenue of the'

      Thanks! We're almost done with season two, six weeks/episodes to go.
      See you around, J. Welcome.

      Suzy Dragnet

  2. Policewoman Dorothy Miller sure brightens up any scene she's in!

    1. I do find her "alternate signal" hilarious; in a similar way as Joe's "loose tail" in the PAB elevator. (

      But yes, most definitely a friendly (and lovely) face on Dragnet. I wonder if anything was afoot with Casting and Merry. Kent McCord was also another brought back tons of times. They were going to bring back Dragnet 1983 with Kent and Jack, but you know, Jack checked out.

      I suppose they simply fit the idiom of the show well and probably worked well together.

      Thanks for checking in,
      Suzy Dragnet

  3. In real life, Merry Anders and Jack Webb were an "item" for a few years. The relationship must've fizzled out by 1969 because you do not see Policewoman Dorothy Miller anymore.

  4. 1.) Gypsies?!? In Los Angeles? I was born and raised there and had no idea that there was any sizable population of them in town. Never read about them in the papers, never heard about them in the news and nobody I knew talked about them.

    2.) Why does Virginia Gregg sound like Scarlett O'Hara?

    3.) Sleeping with eggs? Whaaaaat? You know, the funny thing about Dragnet is that when it tries to be far out and weird - with gel-lit hippie scenes - it just seems corny and dated. But the truly weird stuff like sleeping with an egg is passed off as a mere exchange in a discussion. Wow.

    4.) Wait a minute. Don Dubbins - blond Don Dubbins - is supposed to be a gypsy?

    5.) Hello Policewoman Miller! She lights up every scene she's in.

    6.) With Gregg's exchanges with Webb I got the distinct impression that they might have been a "thing" at some time. What do you think, Suzy Dragnet?

  5. Now you have psychics on TV and psychics to the stars, Jack is rolling in his grave.