Originally broadcast between September 1957 and May 1966, Perry Mason was the first ever 1-hour weekly series produced by Hollywood but filmed exclusively for television.
Quickly becoming one of television's all-time favourite dramas, the show followed the weekly trials and tribulations of Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Perry Mason, as he represented a number of high-profile people charged with murder and similar crimes.
A hit right from the very first episode, Perry played by Raymond Burr, can be attributed as giving rise to the courtroom drama as it is today. In fact, many argue that Perry Mason as a series still embodies far superior storytelling and character development than any more contemporary legal drama.
Like many leading character centered dramas, Perry Mason followed a distinct formula used to map the plot of each episode.
During the opening scenes of most episodes, a character would be introduced who in most cases could be safely assumed to be soon to be found murdered. Often, it would then be Mason himself who would come upon the victim, including a plethora of incriminating evidence implying that his client was indeed the killer.
However, throughout the series, Mason’s faith in the innocence of each of his clients never wanned in the least. Instead, in the subsequent court drama which follows each murder charge Mason, therefore, clashes spectacularly with prosecutors and even his own legal assistant, Hamilton Burger.
Featuring expert character development and similarly expertly choreographed legal arguments in every episode, audiences are left on the edge of their seats as each episode nears its finale. Moreover, the suspense in many episodes of Perry Mason is buoyed by the fact that Mason doesn’t always win every case. This leads audiences to be completely drawn into the drama of each episode, as they nervously await the revelation (or not) of who the actual criminal mastermind in each show might be identified as.
Leading Perry Mason to popular acclaim, Raymond Burr solidified the show as one of the greatest courtroom dramas ever broadcast through his expert portrayal of Mason, as well as second to none ongoing character development.
Due to the show becoming an instant favorite among viewers, it also succeeded in winning and being nominated for several Emmy and other screen awards. These included an Emmy for Burr himself for best actor in a leading role, as well as the show leading popularity polls in many surveys and television magazines.
Due to the shows captivating storylines and ultimately suspenseful atmosphere, the show was adapted after it finished airing, into a number of television films. In total, Perry Mason was adapted into 30 hit movies between 1985 and 1995, and hence became one of just a handful of shows to bridge several significant generational divides.
More recently, Raymond Burr as an actor has been recognized by contemporary Netflix viewers as one of their all-time favorites. Meanwhile, the show still draws strong audiences on a variety of terrestrial TV channels including Hallmark Movies and Me-TV.
As an all-time classic television drama, new and old viewers alike can now re-experience Perry Mason, courtesy of the complete series DVD box set. Featuring every episode ever broadcast, you too can now be riveted to your seat, as Mason engages in never ending battles of wits with the shows prosecutors and criminal provocateurs. This being the case, make sure to get your copy today, and in the process add a prized piece of television history to your existing home entertainment collection.