Early Television Memories
Issue Date: August 11, 2009
City: North Hollywood, CA
“Watching it as a kid, ‘Dragnet’ seemed very official. There was comfort in the repetition, the way it opened each episode. It appeared to be true to life, no romanticizing of any of it. Jack Webb, who played Sgt. Friday, had a completely deadpan expression, even if he was saying something ironic.” – Dorothy F.
The idea seemed simple – that the daily drama faced by real police officers was as exciting as any that Hollywood scriptwriters could make up. But it had never been done before. The creators of the show worked hard for realism and the actors trained with Los Angeles police detectives. Episodes were based on actual police cases. The steps were the same as those taken by the police in solving the cases, and only the names of the people involved were changed. The result was a gripping drama in the early days of television that set the standard for future police shows.