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Emergency! - Squad 51! Engine 51! Color Cover Art Ablaze, Along With New DVD Details!

Posted by David Lambert
Last week we brought you your very first look at the cover art for Emergency - Season 1...albeit in black-and-white. Now we have a color version of the exact same cover for you, and below that more about the cover, and the DVD set itself:

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In our previous news we mentioned how "the box art design shows the Paramedics of the show in front of Station 51's fire truck rather than their own medically-equipped vehicle they were seen to drive." However, we've gotten e-mails from many readers - some of them firefighters themselves - who stated that the pictured fire engine was NOT the one from the series! The best note I've seen in this regard, though, was a Home Theater Forum post by "Jon_Gu." He says, " isn't the original 1965 Crown Firecoach pumper, nor is it the 1973 Ward LaFrance Abassador pumper that served Station 51 from 1974 through the end of the run. The truck pictured is a current model, probably less than 5 years old."

We *have* made Universal Studios Home Video aware of these comments, and we'll see if anything comes of that. With a release date of August 23rd, though, it may already be too late to do much about it without putting the timetable in jeopardy. If they DO make a change, I personally hope it's to show the exact vehicle that Gage and DeSoto always drove:

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In any case, fans will be pleased to get the episodes, no matter what the package looks like! The studio has confirmed that the 2-hour pilot telefilm, "The Wedsworth-Townsend Act," will be included along with all 11 first-season episodes of the hour-long drama. That's "13 TV hours" (actual DVD running time is 10 hours, 55 minutes) on 2 double-sided DVDs. Full frame video, English Mono audio, English and Spanish subtitles. PLUS you'll get a bonus half-hour episode of Adam-12, the sister show also produced by Dragnet's Jack Webb. In fact, it is funny how the production company tried to demonstrate that the two shows were tied-in: in the pilot telefilm, "The Wedsworth-Townsend Act," Kent McCord and Martin Milner appear in their Adam-12 roles. But the tie-in becomes bizarre later on in the season, as Gage is upset in Episode 10 that he can't find time to watch the end of an episode of his favorite TV show, Adam-12! While it is rather conflicting to see the fictional universe of Emergency! acknowledge Adam-12 as being both "real" and "unreal" (within the structure of the Emergency! universe), it all simply comes down to the different ways that the producers of one show help cross-promote a sister show made by the same company. Speaking of companies, here's Universal's official description of the release:
    Help is just a call away on Emergency! - the pioneering TV series that was one of the first to show the real-life drama of those who save lives every day. Newly remastered for crisp picture quality, this release includes the pilot "The Wedsworth-Townsend Act"...all 11 hour-long episodes of Season 1! Race to the scene with the heroic men of paramedic Squad 51 and the emergency staff of Rampart Hospital as they respond round-the-clock to LA's most dire emergencies, from women in labor to an out-of-control epidemic. Kevin Tighe (as Roy DeSoto) and Randolph Mantooth (as John Gage) lead an acclaimed cast as two hard-working paramedics trying to deal with the daily crises of their job with wit, humor and bravery.

That "acclaimed cast" included Bobby Troup as Dr. Joe Early, Robert Fuller as Dr. Kelly Brackett, and Julie London as Nurse Dixie McCall, leading the team at Rampart Hospital. London was married to Troup during the show, and interestingly enough had previously been married to producer Jack Webb! Deidre Hall (Days of Our Lives) also played a nurse during the first season, and a guest stars that year included Miss Jeff Donnell, Cicely Tyson, Tony Dow, and Ronne Troup. Ronne Troup is Bobby Troup's daughter from a previous marriage, and also an actress from My Three Sons and Knot's Landing. Ronne would return to Emergency! in different guest roles in the 2nd and 3rd seasons. Ronne also had a guest shot in ER - Season 2 (and star Kevin Tighe would appear later on as a shaky older police officer in ER - Season 3). Just an interesting bit of trivia to brighten your day! All part of the TVShowsOnDVD service...

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