‘Dragnet’: Leonard Nimoy and the ‘Startling’ Problem He Had With the Cop Show

(L to R) Leonard Nimoy and Jack Webb from 'Dragnet'
(C to D) Leonard Nimoy | CBS via Getty Images and Jack Webb of ‘Dragnet’ | Silver Screen / Getty Images Collection

Police TV show “Crime and Punishment” Dragnet it was broadcast in 1952 and ran for eight years on NBC.

One actor did a guest show in the future Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy discovered that the show used one particular impersonal device.

Here is what Nimoy told the American Television Archive in 2000.

‘Dragnet’ began as a hugely successful radio show

Jack Webb on the 'Dragnet' radio show
Jack Webb on the ‘Dragnet’ radio show

The Dragnet radio show it was broadcast from 1949 to 1957 by Webb, who died in 1982, at the helm.

The show reliably began each program with the following opening, “My name is Friday,” followed by “Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names were changed to protect the innocent. ”

Webb’s attention to detail was mythical. While picking up the display before it ever hit the air, he rode along with police officers to get a complete picture of their work. His vision still influences police demonstrations today.

Leonard Nimoy appeared on ‘Dragnet’ in 1954

Young Leonard Nimoy, right, in 'Dragnet' on a program entitled 'The Big Boys', 1954
Young Leonard Nimoy, right, in ‘Dragnet’ on a program entitled ‘The Big Boys’, 1954

Nimoy played the role of a bad boy on the police show in a program entitled “The Big Boys. ”

In his 2000 interview with the American Television Archive, the actor who played the Spock separately Star Trek I talked about the unrelated side of working on it Dragnet. He talked about how the show adhered to its daytime radio approach to filming.

“I remember Dragnet as done. Jack Webb started the show on the radio, ”he said. “The TV show was made entirely in radio style. It was a sad, terse conversation. I played heavy.

“Jack Webb had an interesting awareness of what made the show work. And he directed a lot of the shows. ”

Nimoy said this was the problem with Dragnet

The actor, who died in 2015, was struck by the lack of personal connection, so to speak, the show was.

“Often, if you had the camera nearby for example, in one picture, there would be two teleprompters outside the camera. One would represent [Webb] and the other would represent her buddy, his companion, ”he explained.

Nimoy disliked the use of teleprompters, especially as substitutes for live actors.

“He would be over here somewhere leading, and he would say ‘Gnìomh!’ Then someone would read the teleprompter lines that other people were and you would play to the teleprompter, you would not play to anyone, ”he said. “You had read your lines back to this teleprompter and then your response back to that teleprompter.”

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Advertisement image for ‘Dragnet’

Clapping his fingers several times, Nimoy said, “The shows went like, ‘Bing, bing, bing! And you’re gone, you’re out. They would say, ‘Thank you, next!’

“It was an amazing experience. You never felt like you made human communication, ”he said. “Very rarely. There were huge economies about film costs, lab costs [filming this way]. It was about being economical. ”

The actor, who had fans all over the world at the time of his death, at least said he had experienced the set of Dragnet to “great training.”

“You learned to be on your toes as to where you were with your character and performance. There was a lot of demand. ”

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