Sunday, January 25, 2015
Following two police officers, Pete Malloy and rookie Jim Reed and their car- the car was as much a character in the series as the officers- practically their own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: This black and white patrol car has an overhead valve V8 engine. It develops 325 horsepower at 4800 RPM's. It accelerates from 0 to 60 in seven seconds; it has a top speed of 120 miles an hour. It's equipped with a multi channeled DFE radio and an electronic siren capable of admitting three variables, wale, yelp, and alert. It also serves as an outside radio speaker and public address system. The automobile has two shotgun racks, one attached to the bottom portion of the front seat, one in the vehicle trunk. Attached to the middle of the dash, illuminated by a single bulb is a hot sheet desk. Fastened to which you will always make sure is the latest one off the teletype before you ever roll...It's your life insurance and mine. You take care of it and it'll take care of you.
The clinical precision with which Malloy describes the are is underlined with a professional affection- You take care of it and it'll take care of you.
Watch enough episodes and you'll see there's almost a formula- light hearted incident (woman thinks she's got a salamander crawling on her is accosted by a man in a suit who's trying to save her from having a seizure but he's attacked by a blue collar worker because it looks like he's being ungentlemanly with the woman... wha-wA! Salamander!), crime (liquor store robbery, robbers apprehended after a chase through the LA aqueducts), serious incident (baby not breathing after getting wrapped in a dry cleaning bag, this incident was interesting because the family was African American, not a common sight in 1967). Protect and Serve and all that.
Malloy and Reed also make appearances on Dragnet and Emergency.