Perry Mason (2020– )
27 user 12 critic

Chapter One 

Perry Mason and Pete Strickland are hired by an attorney to solve a perplexing case: the brutal kidnapping of a one-year-old whose parents were targeted for a $100,000 ransom.


Timothy Van Patten (as Tim Van Patten)


Rolin Jones (teleplay by), Ron Fitzgerald (teleplay by) | 6 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Rhys ... Perry Mason
Juliet Rylance ... Della Street
Chris Chalk ... Paul Drake (credit only)
Shea Whigham ... Pete Strickland
Tatiana Maslany ... Sister Alice McKeegan (credit only)
John Lithgow ... Elias Birchard 'E.B.' Jonathan
Gayle Rankin ... Emily Dodson
Veronica Falcón ... Lupe Gibbs
Robert Patrick ... Herman Baggerly
Jefferson Mays ... Virgil Sheets
Eric Lange ... Detective Holcomb
Andrew Howard ... Detective Ennis
Nate Corddry ... Matthew Dodson
Hemky Madera ... Rigoberto
Matt Malloy ... Frank Dillon


Los Angeles, 1931. On the heels of an unsavory investigation involving a famous comedian, Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) - a PI struggling to make ends meet - and his right-hand man Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham) are hired by attorney E.B. Jonathan (John Lithgow), Perry's mentor, to solve a perplexing case: the brutal kidnapping of one-year-old Charlie Dodson, whose parents Matthew (Nate Corddry) and Emily (Gayle Rankin) were targeted for a $100,000 ransom. After meeting with Herman Baggerly (Robert Patrick), a millionaire elder at the Dodsons' church, Perry, E.B., and E.B.'s legal secretary Della Street (Juliet Rylance) ponder why a family of unmistakably modest means would be extorted for such a steep price. Written by HBO

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Crime | Drama



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Did You Know?


The coroner Virgil Sheets (Jefferson Mays) is introduced in a scene in which he makes a joke about one of the corpses in the morgue having been a secret cross-dresser. Mays first came to wide public acclaim in the fact-based 2003 play "I Am My Own Wife," playing the role of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf--a transgender woman who survived the survived the German Nazi and Communist regimes by concealing her history. See more »


The address on the returned package that Perry picks up at the mailbox is 917 Loma Dr., Salinas, California. While there currently is a Loma Drive in Salinas, that street did not exist in 1932, and the house numbers range from 202 to 254. See more »


Perry Mason: What about the police?
Herman Baggerly: How's that?
Perry Mason: Well, they'll be on this hammer and tongs. Why not leave it to them?
Herman Baggerly: I'll be frank, Mr. Mason. I don't trust the Los Angeles police department to do the job that's needed.
Perry Mason: Neither would I.
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Featured in Jeremy Vine: Episode #3.132 (2020) See more »


It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
Written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills
Performed by The Perry Mason New Year's Eve Band feat. Luke Carlsen
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User Reviews

Perry Mason as Loser
23 June 2020 | by alonzoiii-1See all my reviews

All superheros must have an origin story. Perry Mason -- who never lost a case and never had a guilty client -- is the courtroom equivalent of Superman. Since Perry did not come to earth when the planet Krypton exploded and he was not bitten by a radioactive spider as a teenager, his story is going to be a little different.

Erle Stanley Gardner, the writer of the original Mason books, never came up with a backstory for Perry. From the first novel, his clients were innocent, his tactics edgy, his victories complete and total. While that leaves a clear pathway for an intrepid filmmaker to come up with any past he likes, any author has to figure out how to make Perry Perry.

In this opener, Mason is a low rent PI who sabotages himself by being greedy in an unsavory case. We see him in a courtroom sequence (where he testifies) in which it is clear he has a good sense of courtroom tactics. Mostly, though, we see him drink, conduct a sleazy investigation, fail to shave, and show his tattoo to his special friend while having painful sex. We are a long way from Raymond Burr.

Nonetheless, the atmosphere isn't out of line from the first few volumes of the Mason books. Gardner wrote for the leading private eye pulp of his day, The Black Mask -- the same place where Dashiell Hammett created Sam Spade -- and his books depict a police force and DA department where the rules are regularly ignored so that defendants can be railroaded. Sgt. Holcomb -- the awful policeman who appears in this episode -- was the lead police character in the Mason books of the 30s.

Mason in the books has a fierce sense of social justice. ESG himself created something called the Court of Last Resort, which was a small scale version of the Innocence Project If there is a key to Mason's character -- it is this sense that the system left to itself will railroad people, and it's his job to stop that from happening. Our character is not there yet. I am hoping we will see that happen as we move forward.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 June 2020 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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