Perry Mason: Season 2, Episode 27

The Case of the Deadly Toy (16 May 1959)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Claire Alison contacts Perry for help after Martin Selkirk sends her threatening letters and assaults her boyfriend Dick Benedict. Selkirk is romantically interested in her. When Martin is found shot, it's Claire who is charged.



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Title: The Case of the Deadly Toy (16 May 1959)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Allison
Max Adrian ...
Ralph Jennings
Robert Rockwell ...
Dick Benedict
Martin Selkirk
Jennifer Howard ...
Lorraine Jennings
Paul Cavanagh ...
Horace Selkirk
Kathryn Card ...
Hannah Barton
Katherine Collins
Morris Ankrum ...
Darrel Reed (as Norm Alden)


In San Francisco, Claire Alison and Dick Benedict try to avoid Martin Selkirk, who wants to break up their romance. Claire is upset because she is receiving letters from Selkirk containing articles about women who jilted their fiancés. The envelopes appear to have been addressed on a printing press. Selkirk finds them and breaks Benedict's jaw in a fight with brass knuckles. In Los Angeles Lorraine Jennings, Selkirk's former wife, contacts Claire offering help if Claire will testify on Lorraine's behalf in a custody battle over young David Selkirk. Claire visits them while Dick recuperates in the hospital. Claire spends the night at the Jennings home and hears a mysterious shot fired in the night. When she gets up to get a blank, she finds a printing press in the linen closet. Claire leaves the house contacting Perry the next morning. The next day Ralph Jennings walks with a pronounced limp saying it is arthritis and Selkirk is found murdered at his beach house. When Claire is charged... Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

16 May 1959 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the courtroom, Perry refers to a pet dog owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jennings. Perry had never seen the dog, nor had any other character told him about it. See more »


Della Street: [to Paul Drake] Hi, beautiful? Where have you been?
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User Reviews

A gun is not my idea of a toy
19 May 2013 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Perry Mason, Raymond Burr, finally marries his private secretary Della Street, Barbara Hale, and has a child with her but for only a day in order to crack this mysterious case in the murder of Martin Selkrik,Dennis Patrick. Selkirk is the husband of the person that Perry is defending in his murder his estranged wife Claire,Mala Powers. It was Selkirk who was suspected by Claire of sending her nasty letters accompanied with bizarre newspaper clippings about husbands murdering their wives. This has a terrified Claire feel that she'll be the next woman, murdered by her husband, to make the 11 O'Clock News! There's also the matter of both Claire and Martin Selkirk's five year old son David, David Brady, who can do cute little tricks like wiggling his ears who's the center of a bitter custody battle between the two parents.

As you would expect in a Perry Mason episode someone has to get murdered, for Perry to defend the suspected murderer, and as it turns out it's David's dad Martin Selkirk. That with all the evidence to Selkirk's murder pointing to his wife Claire whom Perry is defending in that It's Claire who had every reason to murder him. As the facts behind Selkirk's murder start to filter out it becomes shockingly evident that it was non other then Selkirk's own five year old son David who did him in! That while playing Cowboys and Indians with his mom's Claire's gun that she had hidden under the boy's pillow!

***SPOILERS**** Perry Mason and the show's screenwriters had to work real hard to come up with an excuse of getting young David off the hook in that it wouldn't play well with the audience or the TV censers, They've still haven't gotten over the story in the movie "The Bad Seed", to have a five year old boy involved in his father's or anyone else's murder accidental or not. In the end Perry does solves Martin Selkirk's murder with his killer as usual confessing to the crime under Perry's blistering cross examination. Selkirk's killers confession and the facts behind it are so contrived and convoluted that it would take a miracle, if the case actually went to trial, for any member of the jury to believe it! Confession or not!

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