"L.A. 2017" is a 1971 episode of the NBC television series The Name of the Game. Sometimes referred to as "Los Angeles: AD 2017" (the name of Philip Wylie's subsequent novel based on his script) or "Los Angeles 2017", it is a science fiction piece, shot for $375,000. The director, the 24-year-old Steven Spielberg, used camera angles to drive his first movie-length television episode across and remarked in later years that the show "opened a lot of doors for me".
|The Name of the Game episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3|
|Directed by||Steven Spielberg|
|Story by||Philip Wylie|
|Original air date||January 15, 1971|
|Running time||76 minutes|
This is the sixteenth episode of the third season, and the cast includes Barry Sullivan, Edmond O'Brien, and (in a brief cameo) Spielberg's friend Joan Crawford. The episode is 76 minutes long (90 minutes including commercials). The episode has never been released on home video, neither as a stand-alone film, nor as a part of the series. Presenting the story as a dream was the only way that Wylie's science fiction tale could be fitted into the peculiar format of The Name of the Game, a show about the magazine business set in the present and rotating between Gene Barry, Tony Franciosa, and Robert Stack (and in the third season also featuring Peter Falk, Robert Wagner, and Robert Culp).
A publisher, Glenn Howard (Gene Barry), finds himself suddenly plunged 46 years into the future only to learn that the people of Los Angeles are living underground to escape the pollution. A fascist America is run like a corporation with a number of vice-presidents. The police department of the subterranean Los Angeles is led/managed by psychiatrists.
At the end, Howard wakes up to discover it was all a dream—although there is a chilling final image of dead birds that hint at a troubled future ahead.
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