December 22, 1949. An episode of the police procedural series Dragnet. A boy goes missing, along with the rifle he was due to get for Xmas.
In 2022, on months that have a fifth Friday, we have delved into the history of radio to bring back historical examples that let us hear unfiltered aspects of the world as it seemed to our grandparents; something tangentially related to ideas of cultural democracy.
In this episode we conclude with an episode of Dragnet: “perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history”, and one that translated from radio to television with equally popular results.
This episode, A Twenty Two Rifle for Christmas, broadcast on December 22, 1949, features Jack Webb as Sgt Joe Friday and Barton Yarborough as his partner, Sgt Ben Romero in a seasonal case. As always it features an explicit, albeit paternalistic, moral (in this case, still sadly applicable).