Tag Archives: Ben Alexander

22 December: A Christmas surprise

 

Jack Webb (left) and Ben Alexander, from the television version of Dragnet's "The Big Little Jesus." (Photo: NBC.)

Jack Webb (left) and Ben Alexander, from the television version of Dragnet‘s “The Big Little Jesus.” (Photo: NBC.)

If The Big .22 Rifle for Christmas proves Dragnet wholly (and perhaps uncharacteristically) capable of a tragic tear-jerker, then tonight’s episode—aired a year later—proves the customarily no-nonsense crime drama could deliver a tear-jerker that may well leave you with gentle admiration for a holiday thief.

This, too, would be taken to the show’s original television version and to its mid-to-late 1960s television remake. And, neither will feel quite as embracing as the radio original that lets your mind’s and your heart’s eyes operate.

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21 December: A Christmas tragedy

LAPD Chief William Parker and Jack Webb. (Photo: NBC.)

LAPD Chief William Parker and Jack Webb—Parker’s alarm about children misusing firearms provoked an unusual Dragnet trarjerker. (Photo: NBC.)

Those who remember Dragnet strictly from its late 1960s-early 1970s television revival, when it seems to be little more than a growing anti-hippie/anti-youth exercise in police recalcitrance, albeit far less aggressive as such than similar exercises, may be shocked at times to discover the radio original and the first television version it sired could be called deeper in more than one way.

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