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DonRocks

"Dragnet" (1967-1970), The Second Run of Creator-Director Jack Webb's Legendary and Influential Police Serial

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The second run of "Dragnet" was even better than the first. It was in color, and featured the excellent Harry Morgan as Jack Webb's partner. Very early on in Season One, you'll see the makings of "Adam-12," with two appearances by Kent McCord in the first four episodes (with SE1 EP4 using him as the star of the show).

"Dragnet" (1967 TV Series) Main Cast 
Series created and directed (all 98 episodes) by Jack Webb

Jack Webb (Creator and Star of "Dragnet" (1951), Artie Green in "Sunset Blvd.," Creator of "Adam-12") as Detective Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan 
(Colonel Sherman Tecumseh Potter on M*A*S*H*) as Officer Bill Gannon

Webb and Morgan appeared in all 98 episodes of "Dragnet" (1967).

The theme song, with its well-known four-note opening, is from the 1946 film, "The Killers," and was composed by Miklós Rózsa.

Season 1 (Jan 12 - May 11, 1967)

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58 minutes ago, Al Dente said:

Does this sound familiar?

Very much so. Dragnet was somewhat dismissive about being gay, and they *absolutely* treated marijuana as a dangerous, gateway drug (although they did present the opposing, "marijuana is no different than alcohol" viewpoint more than once).

And to their credit, they were relatively progressive about racial issues.

I've watched every episode through Season 3, Episode 5, and they've been consistent about all three issues: marijuana was absolutely harmful, they were mildly dismissive of being gay (although it has only been mentioned once so far, in the video clip you posted), and they treated minorities with absolute equality - in fact, you might even say they engaged in certain forms of affirmative action, as there were times when they specifically reached out to them.

Incidentally the Simpson episode up above (which was his very first foray into acting) also featured Rafer Johnson.

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I wasn't criticizing Dragnet for being square, man. The clips caught my attention for illustrating how far we've come since then, and how 62,979,879 Americans insist we go back.

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On 12/7/2017 at 9:48 AM, Al Dente said:

I wasn't criticizing Dragnet for being square, man. The clips caught my attention for illustrating how far we've come since then, and how 62,979,879 Americans insist we go back.

Understood, but Dragnet *is* square - the squarest of the square - when it comes to marijuana (and possibly being a "homosexual" (*)). But here's an example of what I was talking about before - in Season 3, Episode 24 ("Juvenile"), there was a life-and-death situation about finding a Dr. Carl Felton, a veterinarian who needed to tell them whether or not a dog who bit a little girl had rabies. With only moments to spare, he appeared:

Screenshot 2017-12-07 at 23.13.48.png

(*) For the record, in France, the word homosexuel / homosexuelle is used in common, everyday language to refer to gays and lesbians - it's changing some (Franglais, they call it), but if someone is gai / gaie, that means they're good-natured and happy. That doesn't justify Gannon's eye-roll when "homosexual" is brought up - clearly Dragnet felt that marijuana was a gateway drug to heroin, and that being gay was a lifestyle choice - that probably reflected the vast majority of American sentiment in the late 1960s. (No need to reply, as I don't disagree with anything you say, btw.)

Quite frankly, I think Jack Webb had a crisis of conscience at the beginning of Season 3 - the first two seasons were boilerplate; the third season really took into account the death of Martin Luther King, and it shows in the episodes. Webb is to be commended for changing the entire tone of the serial, and I suspect it's because he had some sort of awakening.

A good example of this is Season 3 Episode 27 ("Intelligence"). All this is doubly interesting because Webb was considered to be "right-wing," and the original "Dragnet" came out in 1951 when this country was still segregated. Season 3 is a fascinating moment of personal growth for Sergeant Friday.

From Season 4, Episode 6: "Narcotics: The Little Pusher"Screenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.13.37.png

I suspect nobody has ever made a case for "Dragnet" being a progressive show - I'm making that case right now. This is not far after "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" Webb *never* made any mention of a doctor, or any other professional (other than policemen), being black, and there were several examples of this happening. You could say he was "color blind," but if that was the case, why wouldn't he have selected a white doctor when it would have been so easy to do?

I'm telling you that Jack Webb had a coming-of-age moment when MLK Jr. was assassinated.

Regarding marijuana, click on the leftmost picture, and scroll in order (he's right, you know - not necessarily about pot, but about pot vis-a-vis alcohol):

Screenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.14.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.16.png Screenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.20.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.22.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.24.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.28.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.30.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.33.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.35.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.39.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.42.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.57.44.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.58.24.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.58.29.pngScreenshot 2017-12-08 at 23.58.32.png

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