Saturday, December 14, 2013

Management Services - Dr-11 / Emergency Control Center

In this episode, Jack Webb paints the police as compassionate people that work hard to protect their city. It is quite a sweet sentiment.

Jack Webb hated racism as much as he hated pot. This is indicated by way of this tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. penned by James Doherty.

I suppose if Los Angeles were a crazy enough place to be able to contain more than one cop show at once, then perhaps it is remarkable that the city did not have riots. So frightening! My town has shown up on some cop show lately and it's just too much like exploitation to be watchable for me. 

I know what it's like when my feelings have a riot.

All right, let's do this thing!

Already we are off to a special 'Top Ten' opening with the monologue being about L.A. art establishments.

"This is the city-- Los Angeles, California.

It has recently become the leading arts center in the West.

Twenty million dollars' worth of concrete and steel.

It's the largest museum built in the United States since 1941.

La Cienega Boulevard is lined with private galleries representing every price in art.

Some are for the public.

Others require an appointment.

But the pride of Los Angeles is the Watts Towers built by Sam Rodia.

It took him over 33 years.

The towers are constructed of concrete, broken glass, and chips of stone.

Sam Rodia was an Italian immigrant who wanted to do something for the United States because, as he said, "There are nice people in this country."

Mostly, they are nice, but not always. Sometimes they can get mean.
When they do, I go to work. I carry a badge."

There is a boom mic shadow on the top of the doorframe diagonally to the right above Harry Morgan:

This episode is pretty much another bottle episode, but without that 'dammit' quality.

Room 709: Management Services Division.

I still wonder why these walls aren't PAB green. This is the fourth episode of season three!

I blame it on John E. Chilberg, II, but maybe Parker center was repainted, or the seventh floor is a different color.

Art Balinger & Marc Hannibal:

Art gets to say 'shanghaied'.

THIS is Ed Deemer:

And he has a pretty cool tie.


Crabby, crabby.

'Emergency Control Center: One Big Finger On The City's Pulse'

No! Don't look at your watch! Let's look at the 1968 recreation of these 1955 digs!

Everything is color-coded for maximum efficiency!

Operating on tactical alert frequencies - sounds crucial.

This set is more HOLD THE PHONE than any other episode.
I can't possibly type it this many times without ruining the gag forever.

This is a really exciting set, yeah?

What a nifty tie:


Jeff Malloy and Cliff Sales or is it Cliff Sales and Jeff Malloy?

What a detail on that adding machine - "ECC Room Only" -

Lew Brown holding it down:


S. John Launer:

"Since when do hoodlums go to church?"

Robert Patten, Jack, Harry.

Jack and Yvonne Lime:

Bill briefly turns into a muppet:

"Everybody got hot coffee?"

"That we got. How about some hot news?"

Vince Williams seems to be the reporter in the blue coat; Bill Baldwin is beside him in plaid. 
The other three, including the ECC Guard appear to be random extras.

The film stock on this episode seems really nice compared to some in which they go a to several different locations or soundstages and the image quality varies and sometimes suffers.

I don't have a lot to say about this episode, really. It's pretty great on its own.

Perhaps it's great because they stuffed a really interesting set with actors that we mostly know and nearly everyone has been on the show in a similar role, so there is evidence of a degree of familiarity expressed among everyone. I bet they shot this entire episode in one day.

One day, you say?


Check out this Situation Report. 
He's using an overhead projector. My school had some that were the same model.
Math class nightmares. Ugh.

Time for TV on the TV:

Some of these black and white TV sequences are sort of famous.

"Television cameras were focused on the disturbances in the eastern section of the country.
The streets, the people, the faces-- they all looked vaguely familiar.
The riots and the rioters had a frightening sameness."

Alfred "The Shelster" Shelly:


The Situation Board is great. This is what we had before there were white boards and dry erase markers. I still prefer chalk.

I do love a happy ending.


Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday (Executive Officer)
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon (Press Relations)
Art Balinger as Captain Brown (ECC Commander)
Ed Deemer as Sgt. Andy Blakely (Intelligence Officer)
Marc Hannibal as Officer Earl McNevin / "Mac" (Routing Officer)
Clark Howat sat Inspector Hagan (Department Press Relations Officer)
Robert Patten at Sergeant Joe Gunn (Red Tie)
Yvonne Lime as Policewoman Gloria Harbor (Executive Aide)
Lew Brown as Radio Operator (Don't call me Radio, Unit 91.)
Cliff Sales as Officer Jim Kenady (I thought he was Jeff Malloy?)
Alfred Shelly as Lieutenant Robert Ward (Alfred "The Shelster" Shelly)
Jeff Malloy as Officer Art Craignotti (I thought he was Cliff Sales?)
S. John Launer as Department Chief Houghton (Glasses, isn't he a doctor sometimes?)
Vince Williams as First Reporter (Blue jacket.)
Bill Baldwin as Second Reporter (Plaid jacket.)

Additional Cast
______ as ECC Guard
______ as Military Liaison
______ as Fire Department Liaison

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

Aired 3 October 1968, only six months had passed.

"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was buried on Monday, April the eighth, 1968. Los Angeles was quiet. On the day of the funeral and for several days after, rioting continued in a number of U.S. cities. Los Angeles was quiet."

This episode is one of the few to lack an 'everyone nods' sequence at the end.

Written By James Doherty

Everybody give Friday your attention for a minute,
Suzy Dragnet


  1. 1.) WHAT was with the board with all those speakers in that radio room? Geez - looked like there were twenty mounted in that thing. Was that really necessary?

    2.) If the newsguy in that chromakey blue suit read the news wearing that thing in front of a slide, all you;d see would be his head, a shirt and a tie. The suit would key out!

    3.) I liked the way Joe and that aide gal sort of sidled next to each other watching the TV.

    1. Hi Brigham!

      1. I think they wanted it to look real nice and dramatic for television. That or in 1955 when the room they copy was constructed, all they had were tiny speakers? Maybe they thought the grille-covers would be sufficient but messed up, stylistically.

      2. I have no idea what you're talking about :)

      3. Yeah, that was really sweet. Too bad we never saw her (and her AWESOME HAIR) again, I think.

      Suzy Dragnet

  2. I was born about 2 years after MLKs death. But I guess they saved up their rioting skills for Rodney King. I remember that night, sat on the roof of a friends house in Montebello, we were able to see to downtown LA, lots of fires. But we stayed warm with a 12 pack of beer and watched the city burn... Good times. I didn't have to go to work at Blockbuster video for a day or 2.

  3. Very disappointed in the lack of phone holding. That and “trick or treat” are hilarious every time.