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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Raddar 6 months ago
Having been a fan of Dragnet, Adam 12, and ABC's The FBI since their debuts; I had learned all with exception of #5. Watching them 50 years later, seems they were produced in the same Universal/Columbia studio. As a car guy, best unit Adam 12 cop car was the '67 Belvedere, '67 Ford Fairlane with the GT dash for Dragnet & Erskines Mustang GTs. Ford owned the streets on that series.
OriginalAnonymous1 20 months ago
Does anyone know what serial killer in California area was used as the model for "The "Mulholland Mauler" in the episode titled "Adam-12" Log 153: Find Me a Needle. You'd think hiding the identity of a killer such as that wouldn't be easy, I've tried researching the subject but found nothing.
WylmaHarmon 22 months ago
Back in the mid-70s I had acquaintances who were law enforcement. And they said the most realistic of show that would be like a sitcom / drama was Barney Miller. Even though it is not on me TV they said showing officers doing reports even though the characters were detectives showed what real police work was like. Forms and more forms
JoeGuenther 25 months ago
Me TV should point out to Stephen J Cannell fans who watch A-Team at 6pm that Cannel wrote episodes of Adam-12. Later he was the story editor.
dexman335 34 months ago
Does anyone know the names of the church that appears in the season one opening of Adam-12? A more recent picture of the familiar top of the tower appears in a "Then & Now" video, but the name and/or address in not given. 🤔
ZzubMcEntire dexman335 22 months ago
Its called Precious Blood Catholic Church,,,,,, 435 S Occidental Blvd L.A. Just out of pure curiousity...what made you ask?
MichaelPowers 39 months ago
Ozzie Nelson appeared on Adam-12 and also directed at least one episode. Ozzie hired an unknown Kent McWhirter (later McCord) to be in episodes of the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. He played one of Rick Nelson's fraternity brothers at college. Kent and Rick would become good friends.
byhwh7 46 months ago
Was there a reason for this; in many episodes of Adam-12 there is many times that I see a 1966 Rambler Ambassador 2d Green on Green it is usually parked in a lot or is at the curb, is there a reason for this car in many episodes?
AlanRamsey byhwh7 39 months ago
I've read on several Adam 12 Facebook groups that the reason you saw a lot of the same cars twice, is that they belonged to crew members, who drove them to the shooting location.
mymopar70 46 months ago
ADAM 12: As a former police officer I can attest to the fact that this show is EASILY the most accurate filmed depiction (movies/ TV) of the job from the perspective of a patrolman. It was also the very first. For the "historians" out there, "Car 54 Where Are You" doesn't count as it was a comedy and a satire. And before anybody even wonders, "Hill Street Blues" was TOTAL fantasy. It was as accurate as "The Flintstones".

Most police themed shows looked at police work from the perspective/ career/ exploits of a detective, so this show was unique in the fact that showed the exploits of patrolmen. And it includes moments of silliness and true danger. ANY police officer on ANY big city department can watch this show and EASILY identify with the officers and events on this show. Jack Webb was spot on in his creation and guidance of this show.
The dialog and interaction between Malloy and Reed is also spot on. This show is TIMELESS. Although it was filmed in the 60s/70s, the show is still fresh and relevant today, years later.

KUDOS for the casting of Martin Milner and Kent McCord, who were both VERY good in their roles. Milner was a veteran actor of movies and TV (Route 66) and highly underrated in my opinion.

TODAY, the Plymouth and AMC police cars used in the show are valuable/ classic and highly prized. Police cars of the 50s-70s are being restored and displayed at car shows and events all over.
BarryLedford mymopar70 25 months ago
My father retired in 1984 as a patrolman. He always told me the same thing that this was the most realistic portrayal of life as a policeman.
roncraw 46 months 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 46 months ago
Why is MeTV the most troubled channel to stream
RadioMattM 47 months 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 47 months ago
We love Adam 12 and watch it every week night. Never knew these interesting facts!
kevin4201 47 months 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 47 months 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 47 months 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 47 months 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 47 months ago
I thought the baby in the picture was going to turn out to be the beloved sit-com star.
CaptainDunsel 47 months ago
Talk about a busy actor. Dale van Sickel's IMDB page lists 332 acting credits and 241 stunt credits!
Delmo CaptainDunsel 47 months ago
The actor pictured isn't Dale Van Sickel.
paul 47 months ago
Great show!! Thanks for sharing all of these fun facts!
ricky777 47 months ago
Still love Adam-12 it’s better than these new trashy programs I watch it everyday keep it going please
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