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Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Season Nine, Volume One

June 9th, 2013

Perry Mason: Season Nine, Volume One- Buy from Amazon

This week the first volume of the final season of Perry Mason comes out on DVD, while the second volume comes out in August. The last couple of seasons have not been as strong as the earlier seasons. Does that trend continue? If so, is it time to stop purchasing Perry Mason? Or is mediocre Perry Mason still better than most of what's on TV?

The Show

The final season begins with The Case of the Laughing Lady, in which a woman in prison awaiting trial for murder hears the laughter of the real killer while watching TV. The evidence suggests it is an open and shut case, but after Hamilton Burger taunts Perry Mason, Perry Mason takes the case. In The Case of the Fatal Fortune, a skeptical lady goes to a fortune teller who tells her she will marry soon, but it will end in tragedy. Shortly afterward, she does get married. In fact, she marries a friend of Perry Mason. However, when her new husband ends up murdered, she's the number one suspect. Perry Mason thinks she's being framed. In The Case of the Candy Queen, Claire Armstrong is the Candy Queen. Her fiancee steals her secret formula and trades it to an illegal casino to cover debts. When the casino owner dies, Claire is the one charged with murder. Perry Mason returns to his old Alma Mata in The Case of the Cheating Chancellor. A professor there is killed and there are a lot of people who would have liked to have seen him dead. It's not as good as the first few episodes, but it does have Lee Meriwether in a guest spot.

The Case of the Impetuous Imp starts out with Perry Mason out on his boat at night when he sees a woman escape out the window of a house, chased by some men. She dives into the water and Perry Mason rescues her. She's Diana Carter and that was her aunt's house. She's convinced her aunt was murdered by her husband, Addison Powell. Soon after, Perry Mason learns the Addison Estate was robbed and the police are looking for Diana, and her accomplice. It's a great setup, but only an average episode. The Case of the Carefree Coronary involves insurance fraud, but it is only an average episode. The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner has a guest appearance by Noah Beery Jr., who is best known for playing Jim Rockford's father on The Rockford Files. The Case of the 12th Wildcat is another average episode. Burt Payne is a drunkard, and minority owner of a professional team. When he dies on the train back to Los Angeles, his wife, and majority owner of the team, is charged, but nearly everyone on the train is a suspect.

The Case of the Wrathful Wraith begins with Perry Mason successfully defending a woman who was accused of killing her husband. However, that's just the beginning of the story, as the woman claims she is haunted by her dead husband and Perry Mason believes someone is trying to drive her insane. The Case of the Runaway Racer involves a couple of shady deals involving car racing. It is just an average episode, but it includes guest stars by Michael Constantine and Gavin MacLeod. In The Case of the Silent Six, a woman, Susan, is viciously beaten while her neighbors pretend not to hear or see anything. At that moment, her brother, Dave, arrives with Lt. Steve Drumm, who is the head investigator on most crimes Perry is involved in. Dave is a fellow cop and when he goes to check on Susan, he's knocked unconscious and someone uses his gun to murder Joe Oliver, whom Susan had a run in with before. Steve asks Perry Mason defend Dave. The Case of the Fugitive Fraulein is different compared to the rest. Perry Mason has to travel to East Germany and while there gets involved in a murder case. Court proceedings are certainly different and not what he is used to.

The Case of the Baffling Bug starts with Paul Drake dealing with security in a potential industrial espionage case. When the secrets are stolen, and later when one of the potential thieves winds up dead, it is up to Perry Mason to defend the lead researcher, who is also the lead suspect. The Case of the Golden Girls is about the murder of Stacey Garnett, the owner of a girlie magazine. His partner is charged, because it was no secret he didn't like the new direction the magazine went, but there were plenty of people who wanted him dead. The DVD ends with The Case of the Bogus Buccaneers. This is a little hard to explain. A woman, Grace Knapp, is waiting for some money to be delivered and she expects the delivery man to be dressed as a Buccaneer, a mascot to a cosmetics company. Normally these Buccaneers show up at the home of women and give them gifts. However, instead of the bogus buccaneer, Tony Polk shows up, and when he only has a gift basket, she demands the money and even attacks him. He fights her off and runs off. When she is found murdered, he's the number one suspect.

The Extras

There are no extras on the four-disc set.

The Verdict

Of the fifteen episodes on Season Nine, Volume One, none of them a really below average. Unfortunately, most of them are only average. That said, for Perry Mason fans an average episode of Perry Mason is still better than most of what you get on TV today.

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Filed under: Video Review, Raymond Burr, Michael Constantine, James Garner, Gavin MacLeod, Lee Meriwether