The Name of the Game: Season 3, Episode 16

LA 2017 (15 Jan. 1971)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Glenn Howard, returning from a pollution seminar has a car accident, and finds himself projected to L.A. in the year 2017 with society driven underground due to surface contamination, with a 'twist' return to 1971 at the conclusion.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dane Bigelow
Severn Darden ...
Dr. Rubias
Louise Latham ...
Regis Cordic ...
Chairman (as Regis J. Cordic)
Dr. Parker
Gloria Manon ...
Dr. Arnold
Jason Wingreen ...
Dr. Simmons
Phil Montgomery ...
Alicia Bond ...
Dr. Barton


Glenn Howard, returning from a pollution seminar has a car accident, and finds himself projected to L.A. in the year 2017 with society driven underground due to surface contamination, with a 'twist' return to 1971 at the conclusion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

15 January 1971 (USA)  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Glenn Howard (Gene Barry) is introduced to "the Chairman", he is told to call him Walt, with the explanation "We use first names here. Friendlier...". This is a sly reference to Walt Disney and his first-name policies for Disneyland and other Disney businesses. See more »

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User Reviews

Spielberg in the far future thirty years before A.I.
2 August 2001 | by (San Gabriel, Ca., USA) – See all my reviews

Contrary to what some may be led to believe, the masterful A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE isn't exactly the first time Spielberg has gone into the far future. In fact, his actual first trip that way began while he was still a TV director. L.A. 2017, an episode he shot for the NBC-TV show "The Name Of The Game", was that trip.

Though "Name Of The Game" was usually standard TV melodrama, Spielberg's episode took on a distinct science fiction theme. Gene Barry, as series regular Glenn Howard, is driving to a conference on ecology and tape-recording an essay for his magazine "People" (not the one we all know), when he falls asleep at the wheel and crashes. When he wakes up, it is to a nightmarishly yellow-orange skyline; and he is found by men in gas masks. He is taken to an underground complex, where he is met by the new "mayor" of Los Angeles (Barry Sullivan). Sullivan's explanation for the state of L.A.'s problems is that a toxic algae spread across the world and mixed with L.A.'s smog, creating a deadly mix that killed all life above ground. Barry learns that he has somehow travelled nearly half a century into an ecological nightmare of the future.

Anticipating certain aspects of Ridley Scott's 1982 epic BLADE RUNNER, L.A. 2017 posits a cynical assessment of Mankind's abuse of the environment. Spielberg interestingly shot the scenes of the underground complex at the Hyperion treatment plant in El Segundo; and the scenes of a pollution-ridden world were shot, and enhanced with orange-yellow camera filters, in the fall of 1970 in areas of the western San Fernando Valley that had recently been devastated by a violent wind-driven firestorm. Spielberg also manages to get solid performances from his cast all around, which is astounding, given the fact that he had only twelve days and $375,000 to use.

Topped off by an eerie futuristic score by Robert Prince and Billy Goldenberg, L.A. 2017 is an excellent and very early glimpse into Spielberg's professional movie-making talents. Universal, I believe, owns the rights to this superb TV flick, which aired on NBC on January 15, 1971; it should do the right thing and release this piece on video.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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