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

October 1st, 2011

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

In many ways, Perry Mason is the archetypical courtroom drama. It lasted nine seasons during its original run, not to mention a short-lived remake in the 1970s and more than two dozen made for TV movies that aired started in the 1980s. It lasted so long and followed a formula that was so dependable, it makes it hard to discuss individual releases. Each four-disc set has amazing consistency in terms of quality. There are a some episodes that stand out for one reason or another, starting with...

The Show

The Case of the Bogus Books, which features a guest appearance by Batman. That's Adam West and not countless Batman's since. It's a very good mystery, because the victim du jour was killed in a locked room. An amorous boxer gets into trouble, but its his trainer that's charged with murder in The Case of the Playboy Pugilist. In The Case of the Hateful Hero, Perry Mason helps a rookie cop who is accused of being in cahoots with a robber, a robber who shot his partner.

Ellen Burstyn guest stars in The Case of the Dodging Domino, which involves a songwriter being murdered and a potential multimillion dollar Broadway show and movie musical. The Case of the Double-Entry Mind involves an accountant who has been working for the same company for 20 years and has a reputation for being the most honest man there. He's never even padded his expense account. What no one realizes is, he's been embezzling the whole time. When one of his co-workers finally catches on, and she's killed, his wife is the prime suspect. The Case of the Unsuitable Uncle starts with two sailors who walk into a bar for a peaceful drink, but one of them starts a fight that goes on so long that the bartender, Harvey Korman, calls the cops. The guest appearance isn't the only good part of the episode. The Case of the Stand-In Sister involves a low level mobster who is just about to get out of prison after serving 20 years in jail. However, he's called in to a Senate Committee on organized crime and the higher-ups in the mafia decide to use him as a fall guy. That's when he escapes, and things get really complicated. It's a good mystery.

The Case of the Weary Watchdog Della Street asks Perry Mason for a personal favor when a friend of hers is being blackmailed. She needs $25,000 right away. Della asks Perry for the money and he hands it over without question. It's a great story, with a more personal element. Plus there's a guest appearance by James Hong. In The Case of the Lurid Letter, a small town teacher is accused of doing something inappropriate with some of her male students. The school wants her to resign, but when she fights back, the whole town turns against her. Fortunately she has help, as Perry Mason is in town on vacation.

The final disc starts with The Case of the Polka Dot Pony, where an orphan, Maureen, is contacted by her lost uncle, who is hoping to reunite her with her birth mother, who is now rich. But when the uncle ends up dead, Maureen in charged with murder. In The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe, Virginia is worried about her aunt, who started shoplifting, plus her uncle is on another alcohol fueled gambling bender. Then when some very valuable diamonds are stolen from the shop, she goes to Perry Mason for help. The case quickly turns deadly and ... Hey! It's Spock. The DVD ends with The Case of the Bluffing Blast. In that episode, Linda Blake travels from the United Kingdom to California to meet her father for the first time. However, her father was killed in a suspicious hunting accident seven years ago. Also, that night Linda Blake almost becomes another accident victim. It isn't long before the main suspect in her accident is killed, and she's arrested for his death.

The Extras

The are no extras on the DVD. It does have the usual DVD authoring: play all buttons, proper chapter placements, and subtitles.

The Verdict

Of the fourteen episodes on four-disc Perry Mason: Season Six, Volume One DVD, ten of them are very good, or better. None of them are real misses with even the weakest of the bunch worth watching. I'm not a big fan of split-season sets, and I would like some extras, but if you've picked up the previous releases, this one is also worth the money.

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