Perry Mason (1957–1966)
7.8/10
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The Case of the Angry Astronaut 

Mitch Heller is having emotional problems doing his job as a test astronaut at a private company. The problems become worse when a new man taking over is the general who fired Heller from the Mercury program. Heller is charged with murder.

Director:

Francis D. Lyon

Writers:

Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Samuel Newman
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
James Coburn ... General Addison Brand
Robert Bray ... Mitch Heller
Jeanne Bal ... Dr. Linda Carey
Patricia Donahue ... Bonnie Winslow
Steve Brodie ... Eddie Lewis
Wesley Lau ... Police Lt. Andy Anderson
Paula Raymond ... Terry Faye
John Marley ... Matthew Owen
Robert Casper ... Bruce Young
Richard Grant Richard Grant ... Gordon Kendall
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Storyline

Mitch Heller is the test astronaut in the Human Factors division for the Moonstone project. He's recently suffered from disorientation and the head of the division, Matthew Owen, has requested a delay in finalizing their test results. In fact, the entire Moonstone project is now several months behind schedule, something that displeases the new program head, retired General Addison Brand. In fact, Brand and Heller have a history together and it's no surprise when Brand fires him. Mitch hires Paul Drake to look for missing plans to a new valve he had worked on earlier. He can't find the plans which are in a manila envelope with his name on it. During their first meeting, Paul notices Mitch is given an injection of distilled water. Mitch reacts as if it was a drug which makes Paul question the reliability of Mitch. Mitch is subsequently asked to meet Brand at his home and, when the police find the general dead, Mitch is charged with murder and Perry Mason defends him at the request of ... Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rather implausibly, General Brand was played by 33-year-old James Coburn. Further adding to the implausibility, 44-year-old Robert Bray played Brand's former subordinate, Major Heller. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gordon Kendall: This memo... If it's some kind of joke, I'm not laughing.
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User Reviews

 
An elaborate ruse
12 December 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Robert Bray is both Perry Mason's client and cast in the title role in this episode. Bray works for an aeronautical firm as a test subject and the head of the aerospace division is James Coburn. Bray and Coburn have some nasty history together going all the way back to the Korean War. So Coburn is later shot to death and Bray arrested.

On this episode the key here is that Bray is a fall guy for someone who also had it in for Coburn. In fact a rather elaborate deception is used to frame Bray. You don't have much sympathy with the perpetrator because of that.

But what gets me is that Raymond Burr points out in some crime scene photographs that it has to be a ruse of some kind. That that fact escaped Ray Collins, Wesley Lau, and William Talman was a bit much to swallow. From there we unmask the real killer.

The writers were slipping with this one.


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