Re: holiday episode reflections

Patrick Andre

As a fan of police drama and detective shows, many did not lend themselves well to Christmas-themed episodes.  Attempts to tie in the holiday often seem flat, as if they were forced to fit Christmas into the show.

However a few shows found success in their stories.  Interestingly, two I find the best are based on true stories.  In Dragnet, when Jack Webb was brought the script of The Big Little Jesus, he was so taken by the story that it became the permanent replacement for their previous show, .22 Caliber Rifle for Christmas.  In Tales of the Texas Rangers, the December 24, 1950 episode Christmas Present has a rather moving conclusion when a down and out man with children is accused of a crime, and nearly loses what little he had, including his children.  The ending has him blessed with his lights turned back on, children home, food in the fridge, presents for the kids, and a job on Monday.

In a more fictional dramatic show, Grand Central Station, which has very few surviving stories, has one which was played annually - Miracle for Christmas.  I the December 24, 1949 rendition, the troubled ambulance driver, Mac, was played by Mason Adams with Ralph Platten as Dr. Mason.

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