Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The most successful of producer Jack Webb's non-Dragnet TV projects, the weekly, half-hour Adam-12 was a realistic, unadorned look at the "working cop." Each episode dealt with a typical day in the lives of two uniformed policeman, assigned to a patrol car in the teeming streets of Los Angeles. Martin Milner was cast as Officer Pete Malloy, a seasoned veteran who in the first episode was teamed with probationary rookie cop Officer Jim Reed, played by Kent McCord. A few very rocky moments notwithstanding, the relationship between Malloy and Reed was never "superior/inferior" but always on an equal basis, with young Jim benefiting mightily from Pete's casual expertise, and Pete in turn being "humanized" by eager-beaver Jim. It was clearly established that the partners were not supermen or paragons. They were both capable of making serious mistakes and errors of judgment, and both could be emotionally affected by their work despite the hard shell they'd had to build around themselves when dealing with a variety of unpleasant "perps." Reversing the usual cop movie cliché, junior partner Reed was married (to wife Jean, played variously by Mikki Jamison and Kristin Harmon), while Malloy was a bachelor. Sent to their various assignments by a never-seen police dispatcher (voice provided by Shaaron Claridge), whose oft-repeated "One Adam 12 -- One Adam 12" became the series' most familiar catch phrase, Reed and Malloy handled cases ranging from the hilarious to the horrendous. Over the years their cop-shop colleagues included Sgt. MacDonald (William Boyett), Officer Ed Wells (Gary Crosby), Officer Jerry Walters (William Stevens), Sgt. Jerry Miller (Jack Hogan), Officer Grant (William Elliott), Officer Woods (Fred Stromsoe), and Officers Brinkman and Green, both played (though not during the same seasons) by utility actor Claude Johnson. Beginning with the series' third season, Jim was no longer a rookie but a full-fledged officer; and at the outset of season four, Malloy was promoted to policeman three, one rank below sergeant. Toward the end of the series the partners occasionally left their usual beat for special assignments in other L.A. districts. Lasting seven seasons and 174 episodes, Adam-12 ran on NBC from September 21, 1968 through August 26, 1974. A new version of Adam-12 was produced for syndication in 1989 with a different cast: Peter Parros as Officer Gus Grant, Ethan Wayne (son of John Wayne) as Officer Matt Doyle, and Miguel Fernandes as Sgt. Harry Santos.
police, police-car, police-officer