Mark VII Limited
Mark VII Limited (first known as "Mark VII Productions, Inc.") was the production company of actor Jack Webb, best known as "Sgt. Joe Friday" on the TV series Dragnet. The company was active from 1951-1959 and from 1967 until Webb's death in 1982. The Jack Webb Estate currently owns the rights to the Mark VII Limited library with the exceptions of Dragnet, Adam-12, and Emergency! that are owned by Universal. However, Universal Studios has the rights to release them on DVD and NBCUniversal Syndication Studios owns distribution rights.
|1st Logo (December 16, 1951-May 27, 1954)||2nd Logo (August 26, 1954-August 29, 1959, January 12, 1967-April 8, 1971)||3rd Logo (January 3-August 19, 1959)||4th Logo (September 15, 1971-April 7, 1973)||5th Logo (September 9, 1973-July 19, 1979)|
1st Logo (December 16, 1951-May 27, 1954)
Logo: On a gray background, we see a stamp, on a stone, with a hand holding the stamp and the other hand holding a hammer. The hand then rises the hammer and hits it twice. The stamp is pulled away as it reveals "VII". "A MARK" fades in above the stone, as "PRODUCTION" fades in below it.
Trivia: This logo was parodied at the end of the 1954 Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Under the Counter Spy". The man hits the stamp three times, hitting his thumb on the third. He yells in pain and lifts the stamp, revealing the words "The End". The usual Woody Woodpecker theme song is heard when the words are revealed.
Early variants: There are two variants with the text in lowercase. One variant has the text in Garamond and the other variant has the text in the Futura Bold font. Another variant is shown where the logo follows, but a spider-like object shows up at the very end. It's actually a hairball stuck in the film.
Technique: Mostly live action.
Music/Sounds: Two clangs of the hammer. In 1952, a drum roll sound was added in the background.
Availability: Extremely rare. Can be seen on the first three seasons of Dragnet. This can also be seen on public domain episodes of Dragnet which air on Retro TV.
2nd Logo (August 26, 1954-August 29, 1959, January 12, 1967-April 8, 1971)
- 1954-1959: Two hands work on a silver sheet of metal, holding a stamp in place and hitting it twice with a hammer. When the hands and tools pull away, we see a "VII" imprinted on the metal. Above the roman numeral in white is the word "MARK", and below "LIMITED" (There have been several variations on the text over the years; some are listed below).
- 1967-1971: The same premise, except the stamp is somewhat smaller and the hammer is somewhat larger. After the stamp is hit the first time, the hand holding the hammer pulls the hammer back so far that the back of the hammer's head engulfs the screen. Then the hammer hits the stamp again, and the tools are pulled away.
- The hands in the logo belong to Harold C. Nyby, who was Jack Webb's construction foreman. Jack used Harold's hands for the logo because they were huge, around 15" (the same fist size as boxer Sonny Liston, for reference).
- The 1967-1971 soundtrack to the Mark VII logo was also used for the Ghost Planet Industries logo on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and among other shows on Adult Swim, which was retained when Ghost Planet Industries changed its name to Williams Street Productions, its current name, in 1999.
- It was also used as the beginning to wrestler Greg "The Hammer" Valentine's 1991 theme music in the WWF.
- This logo was also parodied on the intro title of The Simpsons S16 episode "Treehouse of Horror XV".
- On Pete Kelly's Blues "A PRODUCTION OF MARK" is above the "VII" with "LIMITED" at the bottom. This is also accompanied by a rather bombastic fanfare upon the "VII"'s revealing.
- On the theatrical version of Dragnet, the Dragnet theme was heard once the name was revealed.
- Starting on the 1969-1970 season, the logo is shorter starting on the last half of the hammering.
Technique: Mostly live action, or seems to be, so not much as far as actual special effect are concerned.
Music/Sounds: A drum roll is heard throughout. Two "clangs" of the hammer are heard, more spaced out from the 1st. In 1967, the "clinks" and drum roll were somewhat heavier-sounding, and were spaced even farther apart. This would later be used for the Williams Street Productions logo.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the Adam-12 episode "Elegy for a Pig", the logo is silent until the first strike of the hammer. The drum roll then fades in. This may have been done to blend in with the episode's silent credits.
Availability: Rare. The 1967 version can be seen on Dragnet and Adam-12 reruns on Me-TV.
Legacy: This is a popular and memorable logo, having one of the most famous soundtracks in all of logos.
3rd Logo (January 3-August 19, 1959)
Logo: Against a sandy background, we see the following text:
The font is similar to the one used in the first logo, albeit modified.
Technique: Apart from the fading in and out, it's a still logo.
Music/Sounds: Used a loud drumroll; could've been the closing theme to the show, however.
Availability: Extinct. It was only seen on the short lived NBC drama The D.A.'s Man which has not been rerun since it's original airing in 1959.
4th Logo (September 15, 1971-April 7, 1973)
Logo: On a gold background, we see the following outlined phrase taking up nearly the whole screen:
A Production of
Music/Sounds: A loud bombastic fanfare was used. There were two versions of the music. "Version 1" was the original version used from 1971 to 1972, and "Version 2" was the same thing, but rearranged, used from 1972 to 1973.
Availability: Still exists at the end of Mark VII-produced shows from this period, such as Emergency! on Cozi TV and seasons 4 and 5 of Adam-12 on Me-TV.
5th Logo (September 9, 1973-July 19, 1979)
Logo: It's the same as the 1969-1971 variant of the 1967 logo, but it starts midway through the animation; just one hammer strike revealing "VII" and the words "MARK" and "LIMITED" fade in at the same time afterwards.
Technique: Live-action footage.
Music/Sounds: A "clang" of the hammer with a drum roll. In 1978 on Project UFO, the drum roll was omitted.
Music/Sounds Variant: On The Greatest Rescues of Emergency: Part 2, the drum roll extends into the following Universal logo.
- It's still seen on the final two seasons of Adam 12 on Me-TV and seasons 3-6 and the three TV movies of Emergency! on Cozi TV.
- It is also seen on Project UFO as well.