powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


Uncle Barky's Countdown to Christmas -- Episode 5

Dragnet's first Christmas episode, "The Big Little Jesus," originally aired on Christmas Eve, 1953. It proved so popular that producer/star Jack Webb re-made it in color for the 1967-68 season. Sort of like Gus Van Sant's re-do of Psycho in 1998, with Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche subbing for Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh.

That was a bad idea. This is a pretty good one. Webb stars in both Dragnet versions as taciturn Sgt. Joe Friday. His partner in the 1953 episode, Ben Alexander as Officer Frank Smith, is supplanted in the color version by Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon.

A very inventive youtube poster has seamlessly woven the closing minutes together. It all begins with Friday and Smith/Gannon informing a priest that they have been unable to track down the thief who pilfered his church's baby Jesus. But then . . .
Ed Bark