Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Community Relations / Dr-10" or "Officer Dave: Badge 4868"

This week's episode is kind of a hidden gem, but not nearly as exciting as next week's!

This one doesn't qualify for a Top Ten tag because Bill Elliot's performance gets on my nerves.

Stylistically, we are three episodes in to Peak Dragnet courtesy of Art Director John E. Chilberg, II. 

Worth noting - Production is showing off their lavish new sound stages  for the new season, most notably, that nothing much seems to be pea-green like it was every time we were at Parker Center for the last two seasons. 

Green was the PAB, pink walls meant hospital, beiges and browns meant back of a department store or backstage-somewhere workaday. Muddy gray meant ramshackle-ish.

Don Marshall aka Officer Dave!

An oxford shirt. A striped tie.

Do we love Officer Dave.

The ceiling lights are the same as the PAB soundstage.
The pull down map rack is great:


This classroom set is so awkward. It seems to have no windows except for the ones opposite the blackboard; they are high and only semi-transparent. 

Can we use our Conservative Necktie Prediction System to determine who joins the LAPD.

Left: conservative stripes (yes), right: way out cool (no):

 Polo shirt: maybe.

Turtleneck: no, No tie turtleneck: no - 

Officer Dave tells it how it is, 1968-style.

Midcentury LAPD recruiting materials on the show:

Ultimate realism.

Before Bill sits down, you can see the boom mic:

That's what happens when you have the camera set so low and looking up at the characters.
It is cool to see that much of the PAB soundstage suspended ceiling. 

Ultimate realism.

Here's another mystery strip of Los Angeles.

Kosher meats. RKF. Thrifty Drug Store.

It's the Coors billboard/Diamond Bakery/Equitable savings sequence.

Back on the sound stages with a cute VW bug.

Here's some roll-up footage that we've seen before:

This is of course, disconnected from the previous shot; it's Colonial Street.

Inside Officer Dave's house soundstage.

Nice digs; I like the blue chairs. The fireplace looks like the one from the gambler's anonymous episode, same bric-a-brac as Virginia Gregg's house.

They were able to show this window because it's boarded up on the other side.
Mean kids threw rocks through the windows!

How horrifying.

Well, back to Parker Center.

Bill is still on his cute astrology tangent. 

Look at what's in the vending machine - Rachelle candy bars!

Here's another nice daytime driving sequence:

The Bank of America sign on this street actually rotates.
So much is going on. Los Angeles. You've outdone yourself.
The camera truck crew is better at doing their thing by now, of course.

Fords look absolutely terrifying to me.


And, as usual, all roads lead to the Universal Studios backlot:

Lots of extras; stripes, prints, lots of suit jackets.

Green, blue. A wonderfully charming mailbox with a red top and a blue bottom. Gosh!

Here's the soundstage of Silly Bert Holland's flower shop:

It's a lot different from the last time we went to a flower shop

Bert Holland is back, being ridiculous. 
I imagine him falling asleep off-set and accidentally landing his hand in a bowl of ice cream.


This yellow shirt is so shiny! This is the bizarre side of Dragnet production design. Reveta is great.

This trip around the room full of actors and actresses is Art Director John E. Chilberg, II showing off.


What are you talking about? Did she just find out that Harry Dean Stanton appeared on Adam-12?

It's true!

That's all right.

We believe you.

I imagine Gannon says, "No, Harry Dean Stanton? Who the fuck is that?"

Good episode, you guys. Wrap party!

"During the remainder of that summer, several members of the East L.A. Graduates Union took the Police Department's Applicants Examinations. In a moment, the results of those examinations."

A reason that this episode isn't a Top Ten is because Officer Dave had a brilliant episode in the first season in which he 1. Got Shot 2. Had a near death experience 3. Foiled the shooters.

You don't shoot Officer Dave. I also appreciate that Dragnet cast Don Marshall but didn't change his character's name. One could expect him or Cliff Sales, Kent McCord, any of the regular actors in blue in future episodes.

And Joe got to kick in a door on Sound Stage Skid Row in the other Officer Dave episode. I don't foresee a lot of door-kicks in season three.

We will have to hang in there and hug it out.


Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Don Marshall as Officer Dave Evans
Rafer Johnson as Lieutenant Ed Henry
Bill Elliott as Alec Harper
Mittie Lawrence as Elinor Evans 
Bert Holland as Carl Rogers
Joel Fluellen as Tom Foster
John C. Johnson as Dick Roberts
Don Newsome as George Lower
Reveta Lynn Franklin as Betty-Jewell

Additional Cast
O.J. Simpson as East L.A. Graduates Union Member

Dragnet Trivia - Joe's Birthday is April second.

Art Direction - John E. Chilberg, II
Set Decor - John McCarthy & John Sturtevant
Costumes - Vincent Dee

Aired 3 October 1968

Written by Alf Harris

Join us next week for… probably my favorite episode of Dragnet of all time, ever, I'm fairly sure.

Suzy Dragnet


  1. As usual, great re-cap, Suzy. I don't remember particularly liking this episode before, but your analysis has given me a new appreciation of it. I'm especially delighted to see the Rachelle candy bars in the vending machine -- never noticed that detail before! Can't wait to read next week's post about your favorite episode and see if/where it fits into my Top Ten.

    1. Thank you for watching along with me. I'm working on the pictures right now for tomorrow's. What do you think of the changes such as animated gif, a sequence stitched together, things like that?

      Suzy Dragnet

  2. RE: the animated gifs, stitched sequences -- I love it all. I'm always impressed with your attention to detail.
    Thanks again,

    1. Super! Thank you. I'm always afraid I'm about to jump over a shark that I failed to notice.


  3. I love this episode simply since it gave Webb a chance to give almost EVERYONE a line to read.Must have cost him a few bucks to produce this one!Jack was a USC fan,hence OJ Simpson.And he admired Rafer Johnson and gave him a shot,too.While other shows on tv were very "white" Webb mixed in race when he could.And this episode(along with the Missing Realtor one) show that he was WAY ahead of his time.

  4. O.J. Simpson as East L.A. Graduates Union Member!

    I thought I recognized him!

    I guess the whole Dragnet-obey-the-law thing didn't take there, huh?

  5. 1.) "Bill Elliot's performance gets on my nerves" Ditto.
    2.) That cute blue bug looks highly polished and waxed.
    3.) How come I write all these comments and you never reply, Suzy Dragnet?

    Yes, this is indeed a wonderful web site. The Viewer's Guide to Dragnet. So NOW will you reply?

    Or at least nod?

    1. Oh! I have been nodding! I have been nodding! I am so glad you are here. See, I hate spoilers as much as the next guy, but you may have noticed that the posts just sort of stop after I ran out of finished work after Dad died. /Spoilers

      Since I *Always* want to bring you my "A-Game" - I have to "mourn" or whatever. It's weird. So, you know, bear with me?

      I really, seriously do read every comment unless it's an obvious "spam."

      Your Girl,
      Suzy Dragnet

  6. I'm guessing the LAPD job didn't quite work out for OJ

  7. They did change the character’s name though. This is Dave Evans, and the other one was Dave Roberts.

    Whoa nice spot on the Rachelle candy bar!