Logo descriptions by James Fabiano and Shane Spencer Logo captures by Shadeed A. Kelly and Eric S. Editions by Shadeed A. Kelly Video captures courtesy of'' JohnnyL80
Background: Mark VII Limited (first known as "Mark VII Productions, Inc.") was the production company of the late actor Jack Webb, best known as "Sgt. Joe Friday" on the TV series Dragnet. The company was active from 1951-1959 and from 1967-1982. The Jack Webb Estate currently owns the rights to the Mark VII Limited library. However, Universal Studios has the rights to release them on DVD and NBCUniversal Television owns distribution rights.
1st Logo (December 16, 1951-May 27, 1954)
Nickname: "The Early Hammer"
Logo: On a gray BG, we see a stamp, on a stone, with the palm holding the stamp and the other hand holding the hammer already in use. The hand then rises the hammer and hits it twice. The stamp is pulled away as it reveals "VII". "a mark" appears above the stone, and "production" is below it.
Variant: In 1952, they become capitals and in a different font.
FX/SFX: Mostly live action.
Music/Sounds:*December 16, 1951-June 19, 1952: Two "clangs" of the hammer.
- September 11, 1952-May 27, 1954. Nearly the same as before, only a drum roll sound in the background.
Availability: Can be seen on the first 3 seasons of Dragnet.
Scare Factor: Minimal. It's not bad to its successor.
2nd Logo (August 26, 1954-August 23, 1959)
Nickname: "The Hammer"
Logo: 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" fades in at the same time.
Trivia:*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".
Variants: *On the theatrical version of Dragnet, the Dragnet theme was heard once the name was revealed.
- On the film 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. The logo was played in CinemaScope.
FX/SFX: Mostly live action, or seems to be, so not much as far as actual special effect are concerned.
Cheesy Factor: The words appearing over the "live" picture.
Music/Sounds: A drum roll is heard throughout. Two "clangs" of the hammer are heard, more spaced out from the 1st.
Availability: Rare. Can be seen on shows/movies from the company like the 1951 Dragnet (from season 4 to season 8).
Scare Factor: Low to medium. This is a popular and memorable logo, having one of the most famous soundtracks in all of logos. But it is understandable, that some may be turned off by the loud nature or the sweaty palm.
3rd Logo (January 12, 1967-April 5, 1971, September 12, 1973-1982) Nickname: "The Hammer II"
Logo: The same as the previous logo, 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. "MARK" and "LIMITED" fade in at the same time afterwards. Trivia: 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 2000 and has the 1973 Mark VII soundtrack
Variants: *September 18, 1969-April 5, 1971: The animation played in brighter and shorter a bit.
- September 12, 1973-1982: The 1969 logo plays, but it starts midway through the animation; just one hammer strike revealing "VII".
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: Same as before.
- January 12, 1967-April 5, 1971: Two "clangs" of the hammer with a drum roll, even spaced than the first two and farther apart.
- September 12, 1973-January 7, 1978: One "clang" with a drum roll.
- February 19, 1978-1982: Just the "clang" of the hammer.
Availability: Still exists at the end of Mark VII-produced shows from this period, such as on the first three and final two seasons of Adam 12 on Antenna TV, the 1967 Dragnet series, Project UFO, and The 25th Man, the last Mark VII production.
Scare Factor: Medium. This edited variant of the original is a bit higher due to the fast pacing, but shouldn't be too bad to most. Low for the version without the drum roll.
4th Logo(September 15, 1971-April 7, 1973)
Nicknames: "Shocking Golden Plaque", "Golden Plaque of Doom"
Logo: On a gold background, we see the following outlined phrase taking up nearly the whole screen:
A Production of MARK VII LIMITED FX/SFX: None.
Music/Sounds:*September 15, 1971-April 15, 1972: A loud bombastic fanfare.
- September 13, 1972-April 7, 1973: A remix of the 1971-1972 theme.
Availability: Still exists at the end of Mark VII-produced shows from this period, such as Emergency!, for example on Antenna TV and local syndication and seasons 4 and 5 of Adam-12 on Antenna TV.
Scare Factor: Medium to high, because of the music and phrase taking up nearly the whole screen. The logo usually following a dramatic closing theme (like Adam-12) really doesn't help much either.