Dragnet: Season 1, Episode 1

The Human Bomb (16 Dec. 1951)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Crime, Mystery
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An ex-con bears a grudge against the city of Los Angeles. He wants to blow up city hall unless his demands are met. He has a powerful bomb. The police find 28 sticks of dynamite in his ... See full summary »



(creator), (original radio play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Human Bomb (16 Dec 1951)

The Human Bomb (16 Dec 1951) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Barton Yarborough ...
Sgt. Ben Romero (as Bart Yarborough)
Deputy Chief Thad Brown (as Ray Burr)
Stacy Harris ...
Vernon Carney
Herbert Butterfield ...
Lt. Lee Jones (as Herb Butterfield)
Barney Phillips ...
Sam Erickson
Elwood Carney
Elevator Operator


An ex-con bears a grudge against the city of Los Angeles. He wants to blow up city hall unless his demands are met. He has a powerful bomb. The police find 28 sticks of dynamite in his apartment. Only Sergeant Friday has the power to stop this 1950s terrorist attack. Written by susanj50@juno.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime | Mystery




Release Date:

16 December 1951 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The series opener ran in real time, and it contained several clock-on-the-wall shots to keep track of time. The story starts with the police frantically trying to meet a 26-minute deadline to satisfy the demands of a terrorist. The show ran for 26 minutes, excluding commercials. See more »

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User Reviews

"Dragnet: The Human Bomb" was a great start for the radio series' first adaptation to television
10 July 2011 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

After a few years on radio, star Jack Webb made the move to bring "Dragnet" to television. The first filmed episode takes place in real time as a man named Vernon Carney (Stacy Harris) has a bomb at city hall and is threatening to use it after a certain amount of time unless his brother Elwood (Sam Edwards) is released. Sergeant Joe Friday and his partner Ben Romero (Barton Yarborough) huddle with their superior Thad Brown (Raymond Burr years before his "Perry Mason" fame) as well as the fire chief and the lab tech on how to quickly handle the situation. I'll stop there and just say what an excellently tension-filled episode this was! And while I'm sure the radio version written by James E. Moser was nail-bitingly suspenseful enough, the visual touches added by Webb made things even more exciting. So on that note, "The Human Bomb" is highly recommended especially to anyone interested in how Joe Friday was first handled on a visual medium.

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