Trivia / Dragnet

Radio Show
  • The Character Died with Him: Ben Romero died in the same way as his actor, Barton Yarborough.
  • Contractual Immortality: Even if one didn't know the series would continue, one would expect Joe Friday to survive being shot (as he was in "The Big Ben".)
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Much of the radio series dropped into the public domain. As a consequence, several hundred episodes are available for download from miscellaneous sources — for example, at archive.org in both ZIP-archive and single-episode formats.
  • Recycled Script
    • Episode 57 ("The Big Bomb") is a remake of Episode 7 ("Attempted City Hall Bombing") with minor edits to accommodate a different police chief and make room for the sponsor's advertisement.
    • While the TV and radio series were airing concurrently, Webb would occasionally lift the audio track from a TV episode and use it as a radio one (for instance, the Christmas episode "The Big Little Jesus").
  • You Sound Familiar: There were many of these. Jack Webb maintained a cadre of actors that he liked working with, and cast them often as he needed them, provided they were available. Many of these actors got their start working with Webb on the radio series, and continued working with him to the end of the '60s revival series. Of particular note are:
    • Virginia Gregg, probably the most recognizable actress, a fixture on the radio series.
    • Peggy Webber, who many may remember from her appearances on the MST3k episodes "The Screaming Skull" and "The Space Children."
    • "Marty" Milner, who played a role in several radio episodes, including a short stint as Joe's partner.
    • Harry Morgan, who would later play Bill Gannon in the '60s series, voiced a number of witnesses.
TV Show
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Since just about all of the 1950's TV series has come into the public domain, entire episodes can be seen on YouTube. However, not every episode is available at this point. 47 complete episodes are available from the 1951-52 through 1954-55 seasons but only a total of 12 are available from the rest of the show's run (and seven of those are from the 1955-56 season).
  • Recycled Script
    • Many radio episode scripts were adapted for television, including the aforementioned City Hall bombing episode (Season 1 Episode 1: "The Human Bomb").
    • The Christmas episode with the "theft" of the Child Jesus statue aired during the original TV series (where it was the first-ever TV episode to be filmed in color) and then was redone for the '60s remake. Three of the actors from the original version (Father Rojas, Mr. Flavin, and the hotel desk clerk) reprised their roles for the remake.
  • What Could Have Been
    • Webb wanted Ben Alexander to return as Frank Smith in the revival series, but Alexander had already committed to Felony Squad on ABC, so Webb turned instead to his friend Harry Morgan and Bill Gannon was created.
    • Jack Webb was working on a second Dragnet revival in 1982 with five scripts completed. With Harry Morgan still committed to M*A*S*H and having signed up for AfterMASH, Webb would have changed partners once again, this time to a character played by Kent McCord (although it's unknown if it would have been his Adam-12 character or a new one).
  • One of the Lassie dogs appeared in the purse snatching dog episode - it clearly has the distinctive facial blaze absent in most collies but present in all the Lassies.
  • Easy on the costume changes. During the TV series, Jack Webb and Harry Morgan wore the exact same clothes every episode —- that is, for more than 5 years, they wore the same exact clothes!

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