Maybe he knew it would take a back seat to the fact that this episode is a crossover and uses the set and even the stars of Jack Webb's Other Show.
In real life, I am just slightly past the jarring 'Elegy for a Pig' episode, so this one fits in along with what one would expect from Officer Jim Reed and Officer Pete Malloy. Prior to 2014, I thought they were just terribly interesting background characters. We knew Kent McCord, of course, but who's this freckled Martin Milner guy? He's never been in Dragnet before in color. This is his first time! He previously appeared in a black and white episode called The Big Producer.
So, yes, lots of special things about this episode mark it as a great season three effort by everyone.
We just re-watched it, and nearly went back to sleep. Hang in there, people!
"This is the city-- Los Angeles, California. I work here. I carry a badge."
One zoom shot and we are in.
(I still really can't stand the Dragnet theme song.)
This is the same as where all the black and white units park as an establishing shot for Adam-12:
They are calling it Sunset Divison; but I think in real life the location is Rampart. I'm sure one of you knows.
There's another Adam-12 detail: the fallout shelter sign (right) along with the textured concrete masonry wall to the left.
The direction takes cues from Adam-12 as Joe and Bill tour nearly every inch of the Adam-12 station set by way of brisk walking and cameras dollying everywhere!
Let's do this.
Everything is so lovely and organized. Jail is here, Watch Commander is here, Exit, right over there, Detectives? Put them down there behind that door.
The silver bullet-can-thing in the far left of frame is an ash tray. I bumped my head on them when I was a little kid sometimes.
Surprise! Art Gilmore is running the station!
Check out these paper mailboxes in this universe what existed before E-anything or i-Anything.
That phone he's holding - has a CORD.
HOLD THE PHONE
It's a cute production detail that they had to leave the glass panes out of all of the windows at camera-level. Too much light reflecting.
THIS IS A REALLY COOL SET
YES THE MARK VII TEAM DID A GREAT JOB CROSSING IT OVER, TOO
Well, it's obvious we're never leaving the station until it's all over.
We stroll by some Adam-12 style background acting.
At last, we are using Art's office for our *many* interviews.
First up: Peter Duryea, also known as Bully Boy.
This time around, he wants you to know that's he's "no kook."
"I work for a living," he says, "I don't burn draft cards, picket politicians, or smoke pot. I pay my bills and I pay my taxes. I just want to get the record straight, understood?"
Now he lives at 221 Garland Street.
(And it turns out, he was a huge asshole the whole time.)
A likely story. I'm not sure that Dragnet's ever going to give us any more real places.
Oh yeah, They have a made up department store called Cliveden's where four of these characters work.
They have mentioned it in previous season three episodes.
JOE WE ALREADY DID "HOLD THE PHONE"
I think Gannon calls him that or Ol' Stony in S3e4/Joe's Apartment.
They cover every square meter of this police station set! I've spotted two pencil sharpeners already.
WOW THAT IS ONE BIG ASSEMBLY ROOM SET:
Congratulations to you, Kent; Martin. Suzy Dragnet has learned how to put the images together with no more black surround unless it's defaulted into the setting for the UI render. All applaud.
It's too bad that her beloved version of Photoshop is pretty much dead. I don't think it will run on Yosemite.
Computers! The future! What is he up to, Wikipedia?
Holy Crapping Crap. Martin is 82 years old.
If somebody sees him, tell him that I'm a fan and I'm trying to help keep the love for Adam-12 and Dragnet with my blogs and twitter and stuff. Hopefully he's okay and everything.
What does Wikipedia say about you?
Kent was seriously around 22 when this was shot. Gannon actually gets a line about his youth.
We even get to go to the coffee room to chat with the other red haired guy. Not the one from Georgia Juvenile; the other one… Cliff Sales! Ha! I figured out which one you are!
More interviews in the office piece of the set.
Let's welcome back that lovable Dragnet scamp Jack Sheldon!
"I am a lovable scamp!"
Time for John McCook.
"Look, Man, this coat is cool and my hair looks totally awesome."
Anne Whitfield's Dragnet debut:
The stripes don't really work; her hair looks nice.
"I just got here from hosting a fake game show I made up."
Penny Gaston is back:
Vincent Dee really dolled her up, this time! Shocking purple with a gold, black, and white scarf!
Lace and a big bow? Ok, I guess I'll take it.
She is wearing the "good witch" version of another Vincent Dee outfit - the one he made for the child abuse mom in the episode with that lady with the kinda cool, way out bizarre accent.
I like it. Both versions. Linda's scene was very short.
Bye, Art Gilmore. It was nice to see you for an episode.
I MISS BEING ON DRAGNET ALL THE TIME TOO
"On October 20th, John Meadows pleaded guilty in Municipal Court, City of Los Angeles, to the charges of interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest, both misdemeanor offenses. On that same day, the Chief of Police of the City of Los Angeles made a decision in the matter of Officer Edward Hillier….
"John Meadows was given a thirty day sentence in the Los Angeles County Jail.
Since it was his first offense, the sentence was suspended."
"The accused police officer Edward Hillier waived his right to a hearing by board of his superior officers. In the judgement of the chief of police, he was considered to have used excessive force in the apprehension of John Meadows. He was suspended from duty for thirty days with complete loss of pay and benefits."
I bet that was a long thirty days at Officer Ed Hillier's house.
That was a long episode of Dragnet.
Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Martin Milner as Officer Pete Malloy
Kent McCord as Officer Jim Reed
John McCook as Ed Hillier
Anne Whitfield as Irene Hillier
Peter Duryea as John Meadows
Jack Sheldon as Ted Nichols
Art Gilmore as Lieutenant Moore
Hal England as Harry Burns
Penny Gaston as Patsy Cronin
Tracy Vance as Mary Kay Morton
Linda Weeks as Alice Jenkins
Cliff Sales as Patrolman Tom Pollack
Additional Cast (any extras sightings?)
I love how flippantly Joe treats doors. He uses his magic Jack Webb touch and the door just pops right open. Barely does he even have to touch it. Does he touch it? Is he secretly a zen master or knows how to use "the force" or something? Can he teleport? Is he secretly here on a mission from another civilization? Is Joe Friday an alien? Illuminati? Stay tuned next week for Dragnet Conspiracy Theories.
Nah, just kidding. It's going to be another episode breakdown just like this, but hopefully it will have some locations and time spent in the car. Maybe a night driving sequence! I love those.
Art Direction - John E. Chilberg, II
Set Decor - John McCarthy & John Sturtevant
Costumes - Vincent Dee
Written by James Doherty - He has more to give us as 2014 rolls along and our Dragnet Time Machine takes us through 1970. But it's going to be O.K. We can watch Adam-12 together, too.
Aired 12 December 1968
See you in the comments & thanks for tuning in,