10 little details you never noticed in the first episode of Adam-12

You never realized this series debut contained a mayor, a Florida legend, and a beloved sitcom character.

Right off the bat, the hero quits. Officer Malloy has seen enough. He can't bear to lose another young partner. He tells his superiors he's turning in his badge at the end of his shift.

That's a heck of a way to begin a police drama. Of course, Malloy (Martin Milner) decides to stick around. For 173 more episodes. That's thanks to his new partner, Jim Reed (Kent McCord), a brave if naive newbie who needs someone to show him the ropes.

Thus begins Adam-12, perhaps the most pioneering police procedural in television history. "Log 1: The Impossible Mission" premiered in the fall of 1968, showing the more realistic, routine service of LAPD patrolmen. "The incidents you have seen are true," the show declared in all-caps at the end of the episode. Even the salamander story? We believe it.

Let's take a closer look at the scenes. We found some surprising details.

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1. "John Randolph" is really Jack Webb.

Adam-12 mastermind Jack Webb, the creator and star of Dragnet, had his hands all over this pilot. He directed it. He also wrote it. Yep, "John Randolph" is a fake name. Even the good guys use aliases from time to time.

2. The "Salamander Lady" was Millie on 'Dick Van Dyke' and Yetta on 'The Nanny'.

The first stop in Reed and Malloy's history as partners is a quirky situation. A salamander has seemingly escaped a shoebox in a woman's car. She squirms and shrieks, convinced the amphibian is still crawling over her body. It's not. The little guy is still in his shoebox. Anyway, Ann Morgan Guilbert plays the character. Boomers know her best as Millie Helper from The Dick Van Dyke Show. Millennials love her as Fran's hip grandma Yetta Rosenberg on The Nanny.

3. The crook riding shotgun in the car chase was a Florida Gators sports legend.

After getting called to a liquor store for possible robbers, Malloy and Reed then speed after a beautiful old Buick. It's a dazzling car chase, perhaps the most exciting ever seen at that time on television, splashing through the Los Angeles River, location of future chases in Grease and Terminator 2. The Buick slams into a water channel. Reed cuffs the passenger. This uncredited extra is Dale Van Sickel, the first Florida Gator to ever be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He also coached basketball at the University of Florida! His first stunt work in Hollywood was for the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup!

4. Van Sickel died a few years later from injuries sustained in a car stunt.

Aside from his many screen appearances (he was even a Penguin henchman on Batman), Van Sickel worked for decades as a stunt performer. He died in 1977 at the age of 69. His obituary explained that his death was due to injuries sustained on set. "Van Sickel had been seriously ill since July 1975 when he was injured while filming an attempted stunt," the Associated Press wrote. "The car he was driving… skidded into an abutment. Doctors said Van Sickel suffered brain damage." The film must have been the Don Knotts movie No Deposit, No Return, Van Sickel's final credit, which filmed in July of '75.

5. There was no windshield in the Buick during the crash.

Take a close look at the Buick as it skids into the channel. There is no windshield. The glass was likely removed to protect the drivers and reduce glare.

6. It was a big week for Ena Hartman.

Later that night, Malloy and Reed head to the home of a couple with a baby in peril. Malloy saves the child, as you can see from the smiles in the image up top. Ena Hartman played the mother. That same week, she could be seen on the cover of Jet magazine. "Film City's First Black Mayor," the cover line declared. Hartman was the first black woman to be named "Mayor of Universal City," a title bestowed on actors at the studio. She was contracted to Universal at the time.

7. This was the only time Malloy and Reed drove this model car.

Just like real LAPD cops at the time, Reed and Malloy drive (well, just Malloy gets to drive, of course) a Plymouth Belvedere. This particular cruiser in "Log 1," however, is the 1967 Belvedere, as the pilot was filmed months earlier in 1967. For the rest of season one, the cruiser is a 1968 Plymouth Belvedere 383 V8, the newer model.

8. They had a different radio in this one episode, too.

The gear in the cruiser is much different, too. Just look at how much more elaborate the car's radio was in "Log 1." The next episode ("Log 141: The Color TV Bandit") features a slimmed-down radio, marked FREQ 1.

9. The production covered up the Motorola name with tape.

One more little radio detail. If you look closely, you will see that a strip of duct tape has been applied to cover the "Motorola" brand name. However, the company's logo is still clearly visible to the left.

10. Consultant Thomas Reddin was a progressive police pioneer… and newscaster.

The show credits LAPD Chief Thomas Reddin for his technical advice. Jack Webb frequently relied on his expertise. In fact, Reddin even appeared onscreen in the Dragnet 1967 season two finale, "The Big Problem," seen here. Reddin began his term as chief in 1967. He is credited with modernizing the LAPD, pioneering progressive policies such as community policing. He also modernized the communications systems of the LAPD. Reddin resigned in 1969. He became a newscaster for KTLA, earning a salary four times his police paycheck. Perhaps that Dragnet scameo gave him a love of being on camera.

 
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roncraw 9 days ago
You left out the fact that they were driving an actual police car in the pilot episode instead of a prop car. That would explain the model of the car and the radio set up. The pilot radio stack you show includes the siren unit which is also part of the later radio gear. And yeah, they cover the names of cars and products a lot!
bazileletty 17 days ago
Why is MeTV the most troubled channel to stream
RadioMattM 29 days ago
I had thought that the Los Angeles River was a canal that was always lined with concrete until I saw this video where you can get a good view of the old and the new starting at 4:38. https://youtu.be/2rtATea1_BE

Regarding the 1967 patrol car, it magically shows up a few episodes later when they “see the man” regarding a disturbance in the park across the street from his house in the afternoon. In the pilot Reed seemed to be familiar with the gang in the park at night. I think he knew them from the afternoon scene but it did not fit in the first episode so they used it a few weeks later instead. That would explain why Reed seemed to know how the group would act and why Reed and Malloy were magically in a 1967 Plymouth on that call when they were in a 1968 for everything else.
Bundobuttons 1 month ago
We love Adam 12 and watch it every week night. Never knew these interesting facts!
kevin4201 1 month ago
The brand name "Federal" on the siren control was also covered with tape. Even while driving code 3 the siren selector was always set on "radio". Tiny details but great for trivia.
JanFresh 1 month ago
I find it hard to believe that Martin Milner and Kent McCord were 11 years apart in age. They don't look that many years apart. Martin was like 36 when the show started, and Kent was like 25.
Wiseguy 1 month ago
Ann Morgan Guilbert was also a rat lady, the owner of a pet store who sold Bob Newhart two rats in an effort to kill his wife on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour's "How to Get Rid of Your Wife." They cost $3.20.
StrayCat 1 month ago
One thing i noticed. When seeing a closeup of the front of their police cruiser, the vehicle make (Plymouth) seems to have been removed, probably for the same reason they obscured the "Motorola" on their radio.

But when they're at times in an unmarked police vehicle, the "Plymouth" is there.
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I thought the baby in the picture was going to turn out to be the beloved sit-com star.
CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
Talk about a busy actor. Dale van Sickel's IMDB page lists 332 acting credits and 241 stunt credits!
Delmo CaptainDunsel 30 days ago
The actor pictured isn't Dale Van Sickel.
paul 1 month ago
Great show!! Thanks for sharing all of these fun facts!
ricky777 1 month ago
Still love Adam-12 it’s better than these new trashy programs I watch it everyday keep it going please
stephaniestavropoulos 1 month ago
What a coinky dink: Jack Webb's alias' last name was Randolph. One of the actors that gets the co-starring nod on one of JW's series, his first name is Randolph. [I wonder if that was one of the reasons he was hired?!?!]
In case anyone doesn't think I know which show, I do. I was being intentionally cryptic.
Ironically, there was an actor named John Randolph! He is proably best remembered as Roseanne's father in the '80's!
Just the facts:
The man's birth certificate reads John Randolph Webb.
(Which means it isn't a fake name at all.)
GlennaRose Mike 30 days ago
Technically, they should have said "alias" rather than "fake name" since he was known to the entertainment world as Jack Webb - John (Jack) Randolph Webb. So, actually, it was not a fake name at all, just his first and last name with him using the commonly used "Jack" for "John."
stephaniestavropoulos 1 month ago
Has anyone noticed that there is a one word difference in the closing info. about whether or not the cases you just viewed on both Dragnet and Adam-12 were on the level? Can anybody tell me which word that is? You don't have to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to figure this out!
Then why can't you just come out and say what you have to say?
Actually, there are two words that are different. "are true" and "is true" are different as well as the subject to the sentence.
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