Chief ed backstrand is back with his booming voice, and presence on the scene along with his cops. The concept of a werewolf is odd enough, but the added reverb when the cops get the description is just not called for. Are they serious? is this a real werewolf? It seems to be. This is just another example of how chief backstrand is the type to get out of the office. He’s on the street with Joe friday, and ready to roll.
Police women became a popular thing in TV shows of the 70’s with Angela Dickonson as the Police Woman. Of course, women were in the police force for a lot longer than that. Though their jobs were usually characterized by being meter maids, working behind a desk, or prison matrons, they sometimes did take to the streets. Sometimes women put themselves in danger to go under cover, as we see portrayed in today’s show. There’s a now forgotten TV show of the 50’s called the decoy. It pretty much told the story of a police woman whose job it was to do just this, go under cover, and be used in sting operations.
Back to the werewolf.
In the midst of the drama, we find a touch of the mundane life in setting a dragnet. Endless repetition, and just the thing jack webb aimed at doing. Not to be treated like a hokey horror movie character, or just a dramatic gimmick, the werewolf is also a smart criminal that gets under the skin of the police force. With a little of that classic dragnet music to set the tone, friday is sure they’re closing in. Murder enters the picture to escalate the importance of stopping the werewolf, and the frustrated chief blows up on Friday.
The drama comes to a head, sure enough, the crime breaks in dramatic, gun shooting, siren blaring fashion. There’s lots of suspenseful drama to hold you to the edge of your seat. However, after all that adrenalin rush, jack webb tosses in a bit of ironic anti climax.
Here’s a point of trivia. Having an appearance of a werewolf is a well documented medical condition, having facial hair that extends to the skin where usually no hair will grow. It seems to be only found in people of Mexican descent. I’ll bet the real name of the criminal was something that was distinctly hispanic, not Walter Barton.
Note: To listen to the complete episode, visit Dragnet – The Werewolf. 490617.