Although it’s well known that Steven Spielberg worked in TV before taking on the big screen, very few people have actually seen any of the work he did before TV movie “Duel.” Thankfully, a kind soul has posted the last TV episode Spielberg directed before breaking out of the small screen ghetto with the 1971 automotive thriller.
Originally aired on January 15th, 1971 (roughly ten months before “Duel” opened), the 16th episode of the third season of “The Name of the Game” pulled a very peculiar trick by suddenly injecting some sci-fi into a show that dealt exclusively with the inner workings of a magazine publishing company, The episode, titled “L.A. 2017,” centers on Gene Barry as publisher Glenn Howard, who has an accident and wakes up 46 years in the future. We don’t want to spoil the 70-minute episode, so we’ll just say that fans of dystopian futures may want to set aside some time to watch the show.
Spielberg may not be at the height of his powers here but in no way could his work on this episode be described as anonymous. It’s an important piece in his developing style. Watch “L.A. 2017” below.