One of the most watched television shows in North America was that of Perry Mason. He was the quintessential all American lawyer. Mason was not content to just depend on people he would investigate the case so that he could really defend them. He could get to the truth and help those with no hope left. In fact taking on the most seemingly hopeless cases seemed to be Perry Mason’s idea of a good time. As any good Gloucester Solicitors will tell you the law is complicated but Mason was adapt at working through it and exposing the truth.
For the most part it was someone else that had done it and Mason was able to expose them and then get them to admit it. Sometimes he even managed to get them to do this in court. For the most part the TV show with the formidable Raymond Burr, who played the part on and off from 1957 to his passing in 1993, is the most remembered bit. However the character first came to life in 1923 in short stories and novels written by Erie Stanley Gardner.
Gardner wrote 80 stories in total with very little detail about Mason in them. Nothing was known about his personal life other than his court and detective work. This created quite the issue for the television executives and screenwriters who wanted to bring him to the small screen. This is why the books and television show diverge so greatly from each other. It proved a winning format as two hundred and seventy episodes and films were made.