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Dragnet

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28
The Big War
2016-04-13
Friday and Smith crack down on teenage gangs. *This originally aired as: Season 7, Episode 28*

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26
D.H.Q. - The Victims
1970-04-16
It's another long day at the fair as Friday and Gannon investigate a series of crimes including two homicides, an armed robbery, and a purse-snatching.

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25
Burglary - Baseball
1970-04-09
Friday and Gannon track down a safecracker who inexplicably left his calling card at the scene of the crime.

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24
Robbery - The Harassing Wife
1970-04-02
A bitter ex-wife blames her ex-convict former husband for a series of armed robberies.

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23
I.A.D. - The Receipt
1970-03-26
A woman accuses two detectives of stealing $800 from a dead man. Friday and Gannon investigate.

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22
D.H.Q. - Night School
1970-03-19
At his nightschool psychology class, Friday is forced to arrest a classmate for possession of marijuana. He's then accused of violating class trust and the professor puts the question of his continued attendance to a vote.

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21
Forgery - The Ranger
1970-03-12
Friday and Gannon interrogate an impostor who poses as a forest ranger and swipes credit cards as well.

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20
Missing Persons - The Body
1970-03-05
Friday and Gannon have only two slim clues with which to identify the body of a young woman found under a pier in the Venice section of Los Angeles: a wad of paper and a distinctive ring.

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19
Burglary - The Dognappers
1970-02-26
Friday and Gannon track down a duo of thieves who steal dogs out of parked cars and then return them to their owners for rewards.

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18
Narco - Pill Maker
1970-02-19
Friday and Gannon try to track down a drug lab that's churning out illicit pills.

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17
A.I.D. - The Weekend
1970-02-12
When his wife travels to San Diego for the weekend, Gannon invites Friday to stayover at his home for some rest and relaxation.

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16
Burglary - The Son
1970-02-05
The culprit in the burglary of an upper middle-class home is a major shocker to all concerned.

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15
Homicide - Who Killed Who?
1970-01-29
Friday and Gannon answer a homicide call at an apartment building and find two dead bodies, a wounded manager, and a shot out TV set.

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14
Burglary - Helpful Woman
1970-01-22
Friday and Gannon's next target is a woman who chooses elderly people as her marks in an unusual theft scheme.

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13
Narco - Missing Hype
1970-01-08
Friday and Gannon search for a young parolee feared to be using heroin again.

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12
Bunco - $9,000
1969-12-11
Friday and Gannon have two tasks: 1. Find the swindler who cheated an old vaudevillian out of $9,000 he found on the street, and 2.

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11
Burglary Auto - Juvenile Genius
1969-12-04
Friday and Gannon probe a series of business burglaries and discover that the mastermind behind them is a juvenile.

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10
Internal Affairs - Parolee
1969-11-27
Friday and Gannon retrace a 14 year old investigation to determine whether felony charges can still be brought against a prisoner in a Colorado correctional institution who's up for parole.

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9
Burglary Auto - Courtroom
1969-11-20
Friday and Gannon testify against three car thieves in court but the State's case is put in jeopardy when the appearance of its key witness is unexpectedly delayed.

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8
D.H.Q. - Missing Person
1969-11-13
Friday and Gannon's search for a missing juvenile takes them to such varied locations as a high school, a fashion salon, an optometrist's office, and a psychiatrist's office.

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7
Homicide - Cigarette Butt
1969-10-30
The smoking habits of a homicide victim yield an important clue as to the identity of his killer.

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6
Juvenile - The Little Pusher
1969-10-23
Friday and Gannon try to track down the pusher who's been supplying narcotics to a junior high.

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5
Burglary - Mister
1969-10-16
Friday and Gannon deal with a scumbag named Daniel Lumis who has stolen goods from his blind grandmother-in-law's house, forged checks, jumped bail, and committed bigamy

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4
D.H.Q. - Medical
1969-10-09
Friday and Gannon work out of the county hospital's emergency ward where they deal with cases involving a mentally ill man, a dying assault victim, an elderly man with a memory lapse, and a man who brought a dead woman to the hospital.

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3
S.I.U. - The Ring
1969-10-02
Friday and Gannon track down a burglary suspect and uncover $25,000 worth of loot hidden in an unlikely spot.

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2
Homicide - The Student
1969-09-25
The main suspect in a double killing is an 18 year old college student who is an ardent reader of French literature.

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1
Personnel - The Shooting
1969-09-18
After two uniformed patrolmen are shot by bandits, Friday and Gannon try to make the waiting hours easier for their wives in the hospital emergency ward.

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Dragnet, an American radio, television, and motion picture series, was aired from 1951 to 1959 on NBC. With Jack Webb in the leading role as Sergeant Joe Friday, it presented precise and understated drama that was routinely based on real cases from Los Angeles Police Department files.

The concept and style of Dragnet were revolutionary. It presented law enforcement not as an action-packed profession full of gunfights and car chases, but as a methodical process involving routine procedures and paperwork. This no-nonsense and realistic approach communicated a profound respect for the everyday men and women who served in the police force and provided the general public with an insight into the inner workings of their job.

The core of the series lay with the character of Sergeant Friday, brought to life by Jack Webb's controlled and meticulous performance. Although hard-nosed and cynical, Friday was also presented as deeply empathetic towards the victims. He was principled and dedicated, a morally upstanding symbol of justice in a world marked by crime and social complexities.

Dragnet was unlike most other shows of its time as it depicted a more grounded side of law enforcement, focusing on details that may seem mundane but were actually integral to the job. The show's narratives ranged from petty thefts to high-stake crimes, but irrespective of the gravity, each story was handled with care and sincerity. The scripts were often articulate and well-researched, taking viewers through the process of collecting evidence, interrogations, and the eventual resolution.

In an era overflowing with glamourous portrayals of law enforcement officers, Jack Webb's Sergeant Friday was a breath of fresh air. The show was acclaimed for its superb character development, with the audience witnessing Sergeant Friday's dedication towards the profession and unwavering resolve to uncover the truth. He was seen as a steadfast figure exploring the social landscapes of a rapidly changing America.

One of the key features of Dragnet was its use of documentary-style storytelling. The episodes were structured around actual case files, opening with the statement "The story you are about to see is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent." This set an authentic tone for the show, further accentuated by the extensive use of police jargon. This helped build a believable universe where the stakes were real and the consequences significant.

The impact of Dragnet extended beyond the screen. It highly influenced the future of crime dramas, setting a benchmark for realistic storytelling in the genre. The series created a new kind of relationship between the audience and the content, paving the way for future shows that made vigilant citizens out of couch potato viewers.

Coupled with authentic treatment of the content was an unforgettable original theme music. Composer Walter Schumann’s ominous, four-note introduction lingered in the minds of viewers, enhancing the overall atmosphere of seriousness and urgency; a grim reminder of a city teeming with crime but safeguarded by an uncompromising force.

Dragnet was also distinctive in its use of locations. While most productions at the time were confined to studio sets, this series frequently used actual locations around Los Angeles, adding a level of realism and grounding. This trend was a pioneering effort, as it influenced countless detective shows that followed.

Despite its predominantly dark theme, Dragnet was not devoid of lighter moments. Webb's deadpan delivery style often lent itself to moments of humor, mostly involving Friday's interaction with his partners, witnesses, and even suspects. These unexpected moments of levity helped balance the show's darker elements, contributing to the series' enduring popularity.

One paramount element was the show's attempt to humanize the police. Dragnet portrayed them as ordinary people doing extraordinary work under challenging circumstances. By focusing on the day-to-day grind and often unappreciated aspects of police work, the series provided an interesting inside look into the challenges they face and their relentless pursuit of justice.

The legacy of Dragnet is significant and enduring; it provided a stark departure from the hyper-stylized genre pieces of its time. With Jack Webb's strong performance, meticulous direction, and a commitment to authenticity, the show reshaped the crime drama landscape and continues to influence modern-day procedurals. It remains an important piece of television history, cherished by fans of classic television and respected by enthusiasts of law enforcement dramas.

Dragnet is a series categorized as a canceled. Spanning 4 seasons with a total of 115 episodes, the show debuted on 1967. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 7.5.

Genres
Crime Drama
Channel
NBC
Rating
7.5/10
Cast
Jack Webb, Ben Alexander, Olan Soule
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