Sunday, May 22, 2016

Log 106: Post Time (Season 3, Episode 24)

Episode 76

So before we get to the story, let's take a few minutes to talk about the man who wrote the story.

If you don't recognize that name, you may know it better when you see it like this:
Working on Adam-12 as a story editor was Cannell's first steady job in TV. But, before he had that job, Stephen wrote the script for "Log 106: Post Time". As you probably know after Adam-12 Cannell went on to create just about every single cop or private eye TV show broadcast in the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990s. (Don't believe me? Here, look at his IMdB page.) He must have also forged a longterm friendship during his time on Adam-12, because Kent McCord made a number of appearances on various Cannell productions in the next two decades.

Now let's take a look at the beginning of Mr. Cannell's illustrious career.

Pete and Jim are back to their usual spots in the car, Pete behind the wheel and Jim to his right, but one of them is still not happy. This time it's Jim who's in a bad mood. He's been gnashing his teeth and answering Pete in weird, little grunts since they left the station. Pete's had just about enough of it and wants to get to the root of his partner's problem.
"Okay, let's have it," he says to Jim.


Jim confesses the cause of his anxiety to Pete, he's worried about his upcoming match against Sgt. Harris in the handball tournament. Pete's all too familiar with the "King Kong of the Vice Squad", he played him last year. Jim asks Pete for some pointers when playing this formidable opponent.


"Keep him behind you, play to his left hand, don't let him use back-wall kill shot, and whatever you do, keep him out of the center of the court," advises Malloy. 

Reed wonders if Malloy followed his own advice when he faced Harris on the court. Malloy confirms, he played it exactly as he's laid it out for his partner. Reed then asks how the match turned out.
"Oh, he won," replies Pete.
[Thanks, I guess.]
Before Jim can ask what went wrong in the game, they are dispatched to the Double Time Print Shop to see the man for a 459 report.

Hey, this looks like a real print shop, not some Universal
 set made up to look like a print shop.
Inside the print shop they meet with the owner, Jerry Mermaid. Now, Pete and Jim would never make fun of citizen's name, but he tells them to save the jokes about his surname. He's heard 'em all before. Mr. Mermaid...
"Just Jerry, huh, pal?"
(Yep, that's comedy legend Morey Amsterdam as the print shop owner.)
OK, sorry, Jerry has called the police because he's a print shop owner without a printer. His RW-280 offset printer was stolen sometime between the time he closed yesterday at 5:30 and opened this morning at 8:00. 


While Malloy gets a description of the printer. Reed begins to look around for clues. He spots something one wouldn't expect to find on the floor of a print shop.

A faucet.


Jerry recognizes it right away, it used to be in the men's room before it was remodeled. Reed thinks the burglar may have used it to break the window. He's going to save it for evidence and have it checked for prints. Jerry thinks he's wasting his time, according to him even kids who steal hubcaps wear gloves nowadays.


Before they leave Malloy advises Jerry not to touch anything, the detectives will probably send out a fingerprint man. "What's to touch? There's no press," retorts Jerry.


When they're back on the streets later in the day Reed's mind is on lunch, specifically his partner's lunch. He asks Malloy if he brought his lunch today. It seems like an innocent question, but Malloy knows he has an ulterior motive.
"Oh, don't tell me it happened again," says Malloy,
 his voice full of dread.
What Malloy fears has happened again. Jean has made Reed a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch. Reed's had his fill and wants to trade the offending sandwich for whatever his partner has in his lunch sack.


"I swear I can't choke those things down anymore.
When we were going together, I just used to grit my
teeth and swallow, but I've had my fill."
(Did Jean used to bring sandwiches to Jim when they were in high school? I find this behavior so strange, but maybe this is what girls did in the Sixties.)
Malloy doesn't understand why Reed just doesn't tell Jean he doesn't like them anymore. Reed argues that in marriage you have to make compromises, learn to give and take. 
"Great, but in the meantime, I'm the one that's
eating the peanut butter and banana sandwiches."
(Hmmm, a few weeks ago, wasn't Reed
the one telling Malloy to stand up to his
 landlady who was bringing him sweet treats?) 
Malloy agrees to make the trade after Reed tells him that he admires his courage. (Is a peanut butter and banana sandwich really that bad?)

Before Malloy gets to experience the culinary delights of peanut butter and bananas, they have a few other things to take care of. Like a 415 man with a gun call at Pico and Bowdry.
The address at Pico and Bowdry is an old rooming house, one that's not going to be around much longer.


Malloy parks the black and white and they approach the crowd that has gathered around the front entrance. Tom Beaten, an irate man in a suit and tie, emerges from the crowd to tell the officers that he's been threatened by a crazy man with a gun who lives in the building.

Pete and Jim are little confused as to what is going on. Luckily, there's a woman in the crowd who's also familiar with the situation. Heather Braun, a social worker, explains that the man who threatened Tom is eighty-five years old. 
Heather has been assigned to the old man's case and she's been trying to convince him to leave the building and move into an "old people's rest home". Tom also wants the man out of the building. He's in charge of the urban renewal project and he has a crew ready to demolish the place tomorrow. 


After Heather confirms that the old man, Mr. Endicott, really does have a gun, Pete and Jim decide to have a talk with him. On their way up the front steps, Heather stops them to tell them that Endicott is "very old and very frightented".


This is the interior of a real building, not the Universal
brown-walled-rooming-house set.
Jim knocks at the door to room 15 and asks Endicott to open up. He shouts back that the officers should "leave him be" and that he's got a gun. Then Pete tries, but he gets the same results as his partner. Knowing that there's a man with a gun behind the door, Jim asks if they should get a sergeant with a gas kit to the scene. Pete has another idea. He tells Jim to keep the man talking, he's going to try to get a look in the room.


Pete leaves the hallway through a door across from Mr. Endicott's room. The door takes him out to a balcony. There he climbs over a threadbare couch to get a good view into Endicott's window.
Now, this is my kind of peeping tom.
He peers through the window and spies Endicott brandishing nothing more dangerous than a paring knife and a potato. As the old man sits in his rocking chair peeling the potato into a bowl he continues to tell Reed all about the gun he has and how he's not afraid to use it. While Endicott is preoccupied with his food preparation, Malloy is able to climb in his window without being noticed. 


After a few seconds Endicott finally senses the six-foot-tall officer's presence in the room. He turns and asks, "Who's there? Who's that?".
"Officer Malloy"
Endicott is miffed that Malloy called his bluff, he doesn't think he played fair. Now that Pete knows exactly how dangerous Endicott really is, it's time to let his partner in know what's going on. He opens the door and issues a snide warning as he lets Reed in the room. 
"Quite a desperado."
Both officers face the man and tell him what he already knows, the building is being torn down and he will have to leave. Despite this dire notice, Edicott has no intention of leaving. He plans on being right there when the demolition starts. The nearly-blind man doesn't want to leave his home of twenty-seven years, he knows every inch of this building and every crack in the pavement. In this neighborhood he doesn't need help despite his failing eyesight. He doesn't want to be treated like a relic by Miss Braun or anyone else, and he doesn't want anyone's sympathy.
[You say you can't see so well, sir.]
[Yes, that's right.]
[Have you tried opening your eyes, sir?]
When Miss Braun enters the room, Mr. Endicott makes it obvious that he doesn't want to go with her or anyone else. He'll only consider leaving with Pete and Jim. "These two fellas captured me, they gotta take me," he declares. Upon hearing this Malloy begins to apologize to Endicott, he knows they can't take time out of their patrol to drive him to his new home. He begins to say they're sorry, but is cut off by Braun. She asks to see them in the hallway.

Like a lot of female characters on Adam-12, Heather Braun bugs me. She has a weird accent that comes and goes, and her name is also a problem. Her last name is Braun, so I want to call her Eva. It's hard to forget what you learned in history class.
Outside of room 15 Braun begs them to transport Mr. Endicott, it will be easier than getting a Marshall to come back out. She assures them that Endicott will be ready in an hour. Since their slogan says that they both protect and serve Los Angeles, Reed leaves to go clear this errand with the watch commander. 

Malloy stays behind to take care of some unfinished business. He goes back into the room and asks Endicott about the gun. The deflated man goes to the closet and pulls out the weapon. He reluctantly hands it over to the officer.
"There was a time when that gun was quite
a weapon and I was quite a man."
[And now you're both shooting blanks.]

When they're back together in the car Reed reports on his conversation with the watch commander. At first he said, "no" to the request to take Mr. Endicott to the home. But, Reed used the hard sell on the senior officer and got a "maybe" out of him. His final decision will rest on what is happening in an hour. 


Reed wants to start the next hour with lunch. 
"How 'bout 7?" he asks Pete.

"Ask the lady," Pete answers. 

Reed does as Pete says and picks up the mic and requests code 7 at 1197 Van Ness. The RTO answers him with instructions to first meet 1-W-17 on tac 2, then "OK, 7". (By the way, a "W" unit is a detective unit.) On tac 2, they make arrangements to meet up with Sgt. Stone at their lunch spot.


1197 Van Ness is a drive-in restaurant that also has a walk-up counter. After Stone gets some coffee at the counter, he finds 1-A-12 in the lot and walks up to the passenger window. He sets his coffee on the tray attached to the open window and immediately sees that Malloy is in some sort of distress. He asks, "What's the matter, Reed?" while gesturing towards Malloy's contorted face.
"Uh, he's, uh, eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich."
The sergeant can sympathize, once a week he's subjected to his wife's specialty of anchovies and deviled ham. But Stone didn't come here to swap brown bag horror stories, he's got news on the print shop burglary. The chrome faucet Reed found was lousy with prints and now they've got a suspect.
What a lovely mugshot.
Basil Farrington, a career criminal who's been arrested for everything from "boosting parked cars to armed robbery with a water pistol". The detectives can't seem to figure out why he would want an off-set printer, though. Was he hired to steal it? Is he using it for counterfeiting or an underground newspaper? They've been working all angles.

Malloy finally chokes down the last of the PB & B and it's time for 1-A-12 to be on it's way. Not wanting to wait for a carhop, Reed asks Stone to take the tray back for them. This leaves the detective nonplussed, but he does it anyway.
[How do they do this on roller-skates?]
An hour has now passed and it's time to collect Mr. Endicott. When they show up at his door, the only answer to their knock is what sounds like knocking coming from inside room 15. The rush and find an empty room, except for a purse on the table. The noise they heard seems to be coming from the closet. Malloy opens it and finds Heather Braun. She was locked inside by Endicott when she went to get his bathrobe.
I don't think that's Mr. Endicott's purse on the table.
Braun implores Pete and Jim to find Endicott quickly. She's fearful of what could happen if he leaves the block and accidentally wanders into traffic. Pete and Jim waste no time in returning to the car and starting the search.




After cruising the block and coming up empty-handed, Malloy is about ready to give up. They can't keep this up much longer, they need to get back to their patrol. Just as they're ready to turn around, who do you think they spy shuffling up the street pushing a shopping cart? Why, Mr. Endicott, of course. They stop the car and, despite his sight impairment, Endicott spots them right away. He immediately tells them to leave him alone, they've no cause to hassle him.


As they get out of the black and white, Malloy corrects him. They're not here to hassle him, they just don't want to see a friend make a foolish mistake. Hearing that they consider him a friend surprises the old guy. Reed explains that you gain respect for someone when you almost get into a shootout with them.
"Like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid."
Since he has no plans for where he is going to spend the night, Pete and Jim try to convince their new friend to come to the old folks' home with them. He's having none of it, though. He poses a question to his blue-suited besties, "Have you ever seen anyone check out of there that wasn't wearing a coffin?" This leaves the officers stumped. They all know the answer, but saying it would dash any hopes of getting Endicott off the street.


Then Pete comes up with a solution, he offers Endicott a deal. They'll take him to the home and if doesn't like it, he doesn't have to stay. Since they've treated Endicott with respect and he respects them, he accepts the offer. 

He begins helping them load his stuff into the car. As they empty the cart, Reed comments that he hopes Endicott didn't steal the shopping buggy. The suggestion that he would commit a crime causes the  senior citizen to scold the young whippersnapper for acting like a "dang fool".
[Yeah, but that "dang fool" suckered me into eating
 his peanut butter and banana sandwich.]

When they arrive at the home, Pete asks the elderly woman at the reception area if someone could show the "strong, but sentimental, obstinate, but a heart of gold" Mr. Endicott around the place. The woman, Norma Fisher, would be glad to take on the task.
[Didn't you used to be my landlady?]
Norma comes out from behind the counter and she and Endicott make their introductions. He tells Norma that his name is Martin Endicott, but his friends call him "Buck".
Endicott has the same first name as Milner and the same nickname as McCord.
Norma takes hold of Martin's arm to show him the dining room and she's immediately impressed by this fine physical specimen of elderly masculinity. She's happy to feel a strong arm, most of the other men at the home are from the city and don't have that "outdoor" feel to them. (This would mean that Norma has felt most of the men that live in the home.)

Seeing that their friend is acclimating quite nicely to his new surroundings, Pete and Jim decide to get his things out of the car.
Hopefully he has some "protection" amongst his
 things. Old-age homes are rife with STD's and he seems to headed down a dangerous path with Norma.

After they're done at the old folks' home, Pete and Jim hit the streets again. And this time the streets hit back with something neither officer has seen before.
"What is that?"
Since it looks like a tank, which probably isn't street legal, Pete decides to make it pull over. 
 The driver pops out of the cockpit window ready for all of the officers' questions. He produces the works: his driver's license, a CHP checklist on the vehicle, the registration, and the pink slip. He hates to spoil it for Malloy, but this is one completely legal motor vehicle.


Malloy apologizes for the stop and points out that it is one very unusual mode of transportation. The driver then tells him that he holds the record for traffic busts, thirty-seven in one month. Hearing this gives Malloy an idea. He suggests that the driver send him a picture of his tank, he'll then copy it and send it to all stations along with a letter of explanation. 


This guy is a college professor, right? I mean, tweed suit, beard,
longish hair, what else could he be?
The man thinks this an excellent idea and it's one they can set in motion right away, he just happens to have a picture in the cockpit.


Meanwhile, these bored housewives, looking to add some excitement to their errand-filled day have surrounded Officer Reed. They're just waiting for Malloy to turn and start walking back to the car, then they're going to rip his uniform off.

Malloy and Reed have managed to go this entire day without any pursuits, but that's all about to change. 
Because this bright yellow van has just run a red light. 

So Malloy flips on his reds and the chase is on. The driver of the yellow van doesn't get the hint and just keeps right on going.



"We got him, he made the wrong choice," observes Malloy.
He ignores these hints, too.


He just keeps right on going, until he runs out of road.

Now if this were Hazzard county, I don't think
the lack of road would have ended the chase.
The driver, realizing that he has lost the chase, hops out of the van and walks to the edge of the overpass. He's observing the construction scene when Malloy approaches him and states the obvious.
"You're under arrest."

"It would appear so, wouldn't it?" replies the nattily dressed driver.
Malloy recognizes the man, it's Basil Farrington. This English "man of wits" is annoyed with himself for making a "perfectly ghastly mistake" and just wants Malloy to hurry up and get on with the "indignities of his profession" like being handcuffed and receiving a pat-down. 


After Farrington waives his right to an attorney and his right to remain silent, he knows the officers will want to see what is in the back of the van. He also knows they won't need a search warrant to open it since they have a felony warrant out on him. Farrington prefaces the big unveiling by telling the officers that they are about to witness the most ingenious scheme of his career.
Malloy looks real excited about that.
Reed unlocks the back door and pushes it open to reveal Jerry Mermaid's stolen printer. He climbs aboard and starts it up. The printer spits out a small piece of paper, which Reed examines then hands over to Malloy along with an explanation of Basil's scheme.
"Using the press to print win tickets to the races."
Basil finds Reed's description of his plan crude. He adds that he also uses it to print show and place tickets.


Although they didn't almost get into a gun battle, Reed still has a certain amount of respect for Farrington.  He finds the Englishman's racket "clever". This assessment riles Farrington, he finds it "grossly understated" and believes that his caper "eclipses anything" that the police have ever heard of.


In order to illustrate the full genius of his plot, Farrington tells them how the entire thing worked. He would park the van in the track lot, "right under their very noses". Then, between races he would write down the winners, "scoot out to the lot", print the ticket, and be back "before the horses for the next race were even in the paddock". 


After hearing all the details, Malloy begins to tell Farrington that he could have been quite a success had he applied the same energy and intellect to a legitimate pursuit. Basil appreciates his concern, but he doesn't want to dwell on his past mistakes, he's ready to move on.


"But, if you don't mind, would you kindly 'shut up'
 and get me off this concrete monstrosity."
[Nope, don't mind at all.]

The End


This episode is quietly important. It doesn't have memorable characters or storylines. It's certainly no "Vice Versa" or "The Search", but it does mark the beginning of the Stephen J. Cannell era in Adam-12 history. An era branded with more location shots and less reliance upon the Universal backlot (although it still pops up from time to time). When you think about it, this really sets Adam-12 apart from most of the other shows made at the time. All of the action in, for example, M*A*S*H*, Sanford and Son, All in the Family, and the Mary Tyler Moore Show was shot on studio sets. But not Adam-12, from the beginning it featured real locations in and around Los Angeles. Now, starting with the end of the third season, we'll get to see more of those locations.

As far as the stories shot at the locations for this one, they're OK. There's really nothing here to hate or love, the episode does the job. I like that all of the stories presented here are pretty realistic, I could see all of these happening in real life. Basil Farrington does veer into cartoon territory, but this character could be an exaggeration of a real-life person. Other than him, there's not anything that I have to complain about or rave about. So, that means that "Log 106: Post Time" has earned the rating of:


Do you agree? Let me know somewhere, out there in cyberspace. See you next time with "Log 88: Reason to Run".

KMA-367






13 comments:

  1. I think it's a nice episode. I liked the characters. Realistic like you said. I did feel sorry for the older gentleman being up rooted from his home. Getting old is scary enough without being pulled away from everything you know and sent to an unfamiliar place with a bunch of strangers!! But again as you said Elder Lady Hot pants looks like she'll be good for him!!!! Now on the other hand those bored housewives , if they were smart wouldn't wait for Pete to turn around to strip off REED's clothes, they get Pete too!! Seriously 3 ladies and 2 men!! Wonder where Wooods is?😜😜😜😜 ? Then there would be no need to share!! Another great job Keely!! You always make me laugh!!!!!!

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  2. Gotta say, the social worker portrayal is just as stereotypical as most of them are. Wish people in the film industry would get to know some "real" ones (although there was once a TV show about a male social worker who was presented as an intelligent, compassionate, down-to-earth human being. Can't remember the name of the show or when it was shown.) I had never noticed that Norma Fisher was played by Malloy's landlady! This character was totally different from his landlady, who was independent, outspoken, and indomitable, so this actress must have a pretty wide scope of acting talent. I like her. Of course, it wouldn't be believable for a single man to be less than enthusiastically welcomed into a retirement community. The snobbish criminal was appropriately annoying, and his character points out the huge variation in the clientele of public servants. It requires some chutzpah to maintain professional dignity in the presence of a person who believes himself to be your superior, and Pete always does that so well. Love both their characters as always, and as always, love your wisecracks. Pete & Jim never seem to be aware of the hidden dangers involved in being surrounded by secretly salivating women. That's part of their charm, right?

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    1. The show you're thinking of was EAST SIDE/WEST SIDE, starring George C. Scott and Cicely Tyson. Aired for 1 season in 1963.

      (Critics loved it, the network hated it - many Southern affiliates refused to air it at all - and it was axed after 23 episodes.)

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    2. You're right, Don. Thanks. I couldn't think of that for anything! I can't remember Cicely Tyson in it, but I remember really liking the show. She's a great actress, and I suppose she would have been the reason that southern stations wouldn't show it. The first thing I remember her in is "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". Did you ever see "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman"? I've loved her in everything I've ever seen her in, but that's my favorite.

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    3. Tyson was dropped from the show somewhere before the halfway point, which may be why you don't remember her.

      The Southern problem wasn't with her casting so much as with the friendly, egalitarian and mildly flirtatious relationship between her character and Scott's - to the point that CBS demanded that a white girlfriend for Scott be added to the show. The bigger problem, though, was that ES/WS touched on civil rights, poverty and racial inequality issues far too often for Southern comfort.

      And Tyson is just brilliant in everything she's in.

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    4. I remember another fairly early show with a white male hero and a black female co-worker who had a relationship that was professional and verging on romantic. Seems like it may have developed into an openly romantic relationship. I think the show was called "I'll Fly Away". I remember liking the show very much, but I don't remember what happened to it. Was it another casualty of Southern Discomfort?

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    5. "I'll Fly Away" was about 30 years later. The South didn't have so much say at that point. Another show that was critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful. (PBS re-aired its two seasons after the network dropped it.)

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  3. The freeway chase ends at the 2/134 interchange in Eagle Rock, where Gannon lived on Dragnet. It's funny to see it mid-construction as I had always known it finished.

    Stephen J. Cannell had easily the most famous production slate ever, so much so The Simpsons even parodied it:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MJZCZwVhiY8

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    1. Some years back, I watched several episodes of Dragnet and Adam-12 with my Dad, who grew up in L.A. and the Valley. He recognized damn near every real street that turned up.

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  4. You should be glad you weren't flying out of KCI today, Keely. It's been so stormy that people who had already been cleared and were on planes had to disembark and go into KCI shelter areas. (They had to go thru screening all over again before re-loading.) Many flights due into KCI were re-routed to Tulsa, Wichita, and St. Louis. Not a good afternoon for flying!

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    1. I'm very glad I wasn't flying out of KC on the 26th. I saw that the airport was evacuated into tornado shelters!

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  5. By his own account, Cannell wrote this script in a day (which may explain some of its faults, but also why Cinader and particularly Webb snapped him up as Story Editor for the next season - Mark VII was more than half built on turning out good quality on short deadlines.)

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    1. Writing an entire script in a day? That's impressive! I don't even write these blog posts in a day.

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