Just the facts. Starring Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday and Ben Alexander as Officer Frank Smith, "Dragnet" was the most popular detective series of the 1950s. It aired weekly on NBC from 1952 to 1959 in its first run and influenced countless police shows to come, including today's real life crime show "Cops." It spawned a movie version in 1954 and again in 1987 with Dan Aykroyd.
Episode 1: A wave of thefts along a 10 block area of Wilshire Boulevard. Looks like the work of a kleptomaniac.
Episode 2: A hit-and-run turns into murder when the victims die. A grandmother and grandson.
Episode 3: An abandoned baby at a bus depot. Seven weeks old. No leads.
Episode 4: Four-year-old twins are missing, last seen playing in the park. Distraught mother. Star Jack Webb directs.
Episode 5: The infant Jesus disappears from a church's manger scene on Christmas Eve. Promising to retrieve the figure before the morning mass, the detectives race against time to discover what sort of cold-blooded crook could commit such a heartless crime.
Episode 6: A gang of teenagers run wild, destroying a movie theater and attacking fellow students. Sgt. Friday's worst suspicions are confirmed when marijuana is found at the wrecked theater.
Episode 7: Obscene books and photos flood local high schools, corrupting young minds. A tense interrogation of the teens who distribute the dirty books leads the detectives to the man behind the operation.
Episode 8: A standard hit-and-run case swiftly involves into a elaborate murder case, leading the investigators to a brutal bar fight and a vicious merchant marine.
Episode 9 - The Big Phone Call: Joe Friday and Ed Jacobs confront jeweler Ernest Garvey in connection with the robbery of a colleague. Garvey's outrage at being questioned quickly loses its credibility as the detectives present a laundry list of damning evidence.
Episode 10 - The Big Cast: On the run from the police, a man wanted for robbery and assault shoots down Detective Frank Smith. With his partner in critical condition, Friday won't rest until the dangerous fugitive is in police custody.
Episode 11 - The Big False Make: Arrested for holding up a grocery store, local gardener Thomas Stanford confesses to the crime. As the questioning continues, Friday begins to suspect they have the wrong man and sets out to discover why Stanford would confess to a crime he didn't commit.
Episode 12 - Big Frank: Friday takes on a suspect wanted in a man's disappearance and presumed murder. Refusing to admit any involvement, the calm and collected Henry Ross begins to slowly break down as Friday subjects him to a grueling interrogation. Future Academy Award winner and well known heavy Lee Marvin plays the roll of Henry Ross.
Episode 13 - The Big Girls: A woman described as attractive, shapely and remarkably tall has terrorized the city for weeks - robbing men, beating them senseless and in many cases shooting the victims. Inconsistencies in the victims' reports make the apprehension of prime suspect drag on.
Episode 14 - The Big Boys: Officers Smith and Friday receive a warning to be on the lookout for four armed fugitives who are heading for LA. The men, two escaped prisoners and two army deserters, are wanted for staging a series of auto thefts and burglaries in San Francisco.
Episode 15 - The Big Oscar: A theft report of missing valuables, taken from the home of an eccentric spinster takes a bizarre twist when the talkative woman insists that she gets the "scoop" on the story by being the first to report the crime to her local newspaper.
Episode 16 - The Big Thief: Sgt. Joe Friday is terribly shaken. For the first time in his career he has killed someone in the line of duty.
Episode 17 - Big Break: Sgt. Friday leads several officers on a house raid of an extremely dangerous armed robber, resulting in a bloody shootout.
Episode 18 - Big Hands: An unidentified woman is strangled to death in a hotel room. With no leads, Smith and Friday must search the entire city for clues.
Episode 19 - Big Betty: A heartless gang of con artists prey on the relatives of the recently deceased, using the obituaries to find new victims.
Episode 20 - Big War: Friday and Smith attempt to track down the ring leaders of several Los Angles street gangs and stop a murderous citywide gang-war before it starts.