Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dragnet : The LSD Story : Television Program (1967)

The LSD Story was an episode of the Dragnet television series that appeared on the NBC network on January 12, 1967. It was produced and directed by Jack Webb, who also starred as Joe Friday. It is sometimes called "Blue Boy" after a character appearing on it.

Friday and his partner Bill Gannon are working for the Los Angeles Police Department when they are called to a disturbance in MacArthur Park. It seems a man has buried his own head into the ground. When Friday and Gannon arrive they find the young man, who identifies himself as "Blue Boy" and is acting very strangely. After Friday and Gannon arrest him, it transpires that Blue Boy, whose real name is Benjy Carver (played by Michael Burns) is under the influence of LSD. However as it is not illegal at that time to possess or use LSD, the most Carver can be charged with is public intoxication, for which he gets a light sentence. As time passes, the LAPD hear more and more about Carver and his involvement in selling and using LSD. At last they get two breaks: first LSD is made illegal, and secondly one of Carver's disgruntled former customers gives him up.

The police raid an LSD party in progress. The participants are so stoned, no one even notices the cops entering, until Friday flips a light on. It turns out they just missed Carver. At last, Friday and Gannon get an address for Carver and, with the landlady's consent raid his apartment. It turns out they are too late again: Friday questions Carver's drug-addled roommate, who tells of their experimenting about an hour earlier. Carver is sitting in the corner, legs crossed, eyes staring out, his face again painted blue; having had a reaction to more of the pills Gannon finds, and told his roommate he wanted to get 'further out'. Friday checks Carver's pulse and finds that the boy indeed got further out. Benjy Carver is dead.

The coroner's inquest determines that Carver overdosed on a combination of LSD and other barbiturates, and therefore took his own life.

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