The Good

This is a great procedural show that never gets dull or tiresome. Raymond Burr is terrific.

The Bad

No Special Features. It's missing 20 episodes from the rest of the season.

I had been very excited when I first heard that Perry Mason: The First Season, Vol. 1 was going to be coming to DVD. This is one of those shows that I could literally watch all day. Each episode introduces new characters and shows us all manner of human behavior, and in the end, Perry Mason puts the facts and details together and always comes out on the side of justice. Now, while it may sound like that formula could get old after awhile, this is a show that isn't afraid to take it's time bringing us our title character. It lets us get wrapped up in the stories of deceit, murder and larceny, and then once Mason gets involved, he is able to make sense of the who, where, whats and whys.

Overall, Perry Mason: The First Season, Vol. 1 is an excellent edition to my TV on DVD collection.

Features

Unfortunately, no Special Features came with this five disc set.

Video

The episodes on this five disc DVD set are presented in the Full Screen Format. I had the luck of watching some of these episodes while an episode of Perry Mason was playing on a local TV station at the same time. I simply paused my DVD player and watched a few minutes of the TV show. Granted, they are different episodes (most likely from different seasons), but I did notice that the TV versions seemed a tad brighter as they weren't compressed. However, the picture on the DVD was sharper and seemed more sturdy.

Audio

Dolby Digital - English Mono. The audio on these episodes was pretty solid. Sometimes the discs sounded distorted but I think that might be more due to my one speaker TV than anything else. Overall, it was really interesting watching this show in it's early stages and hearing how the seminal strains of the Perry Mason theme were used to underscore various elements of the show.

Package

Raymond Burr's imposing physique takes up the majority of this blue cover, and there are some shots of the various episodes above him. The back offers up more images from the show, a description of what Perry Mason: The First Season, Vol. 1 is about and some minor technical specs. All five discs are housed in three slim cases, with episode descriptions on the back of all of them. With titles like "The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink" and "The Case of the Crimson Kiss," this is a show that was never afraid to be cool or uncool. My only complaint is that they have colorized the episode images on the cover and that could be highly misleading to consumers.

Final Word

Perry Mason: The First Season, Vol. 1 only offers the first 19 episodes of the first season. I guess this is something I can forgive, considering that to get all the episodes into one set they would have needed ten discs. Also, the price probably would have been a lot more than the $50 that it is listed for. Truthfully, while I could complain about not getting the complete first season, I feel that these episodes are so clever and well done, and offer such an interesting look at the legal system, that I am content to just own what Paramount has made available.

I am sure fans of the show will be happy to own Perry Mason: The First Season, Vol. 1 now... BRING ON IRONSIDE!