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Hooray, it’s the second Space Age story in a row (Aerospace Reliability Associates is the firm), and yet somewhat noir-ish, especially with Bogie-wannabe Gerald Mohr in a major role. Macready gives the whole thing some gravitas, but I would have liked to have seen more of him. Submitted by gracenote, 2/2/2011.

I have to add that I just love the technology in this episode, especially the electronic check verification. Submitted by gracenote, 2/2/2011.
+ The enlargements that Burger later presents in court indicate that the checks were also perforated to thwart alteration, a form of check protection technology dating from the 1800s. A dot-matrix “3” and other perforated characters can be seen - somewhat like this , made by the Abbott Automatic Check Protector, patented 1889. More antique “physical check protection” here. Added by Gary Woloski, 11/30/11.

For the umpteenth time this season, Ray Collins gets credit for playing Tragg, but does not actually appear. Submitted by gracenote, 2/2/2011.

The opening shot is of the California Spruce Medical Building at 500 Spruce Street in San Francisco (see for example Google maps), but the shot continues on to the sign for Aerospace Reliability Associates, which is at 653 N. Sixth Street in Los Angeles (per the “asdfgh…” letter that Miss Clover is typing). Submitted by masonite, 12/01/2011.

Oh, that Gloria Talbott ... those eyes!! Submitted by MikeReese, 12/13/2013.

Elementary?: Perry learned, at 23:25 on the 2011 Paramount DVD, that it was very quick and easy to switch typewriter elements so as to get a different character set. Also present were Terry Clover and Roscoe Pearce. Why, then, did the later preliminary hearing need to take 9+ minutes of episode time trying to "prove" which typewriter did which typing? Perry could have easily shown early on that Hamilton was actually proving nothing. Further, given that the DA's office and LAPD were also using typewriters, someone in either office also surely knew about the ridiculousness of the point that Hamilton was trying to prove. Scriptwriter Samuel Newman had a clever gimmick with the electronic check approval, then seemed to me to overly pad his script with the typing nonsense. Luckily for Dwight Garrett, Bonnie Lloyd liked his type. lowercase masonite, 3/4/16.

"I am a little world made cunningly of elements," Perry says, quoting John Donne's "Holy Sonnets." Mike Bedard 7.9.16.

Spoiler Warning! Do Not Read Below If You Have Not Seen The Episode

The Typewriter Evidence. With Lt Anderson on the stand, Burger presents enlarged specimens of legitimate and bogus Project Reports and cheques to show on which of two typewriters they were produced. The typewriters, also in court, are IBM Selectrics (electric typewriters introduced 1961). The Selectric was then unique in having a fixed carriage (paper holder) and a laterally moving printing element (a rotating “type ball”). Read about the Selectric here. How it works here (3:05 video). Selectric Museum here (In the top image at this link, the larger, square-shaped machines in the pile are mostly Selectric IIs [intro 1971]; one blue Selectric III [intro 1980] is at bottom right).

  • Burger and Anderson remain totally unaware of the innovative features of the Selectric until midway through Perry’s cross-examination of Anderson. Until that point, everyone in the courtroom but Perry thinks that Selectrics are just run-of-the-mill typewriters.
  • I'm sure I heard the motor start to whir when Lt Anderson initially touched the first machine. I think that there must have been a microphone specially placed to capture this sound. Well Done!
  • When Lt. Anderson types his comparison texts at Perry’s urging, you can see that the carriage is stationary and, if you watch very closely, you may catch a glimpse of the type ball moving across the page. The IBM logo plate on the top deck is well shown several times.
  • When Perry quickly and expertly demonstrates how to exchange the elements, Anderson and Burger are confounded and struck speechless.
  • The typeface in the courtroom enlargements appears to be “Adjutant“ (this shows a generic Adjutant font). Some ID points: prominent serifs, the numeral for “three,” shallow “v” in the capital “M.” A sample of the genuine IBM Selectric Adjutant is here.
  • The passage in the original “DIMOS” Reliability Report presented by Burger reads “therefore, the trade off analysis juxtaposing size, weight, and strength clearly indicates MIL - Q - 34D2b will be required for the structural frame of the payload package.” In the bogus substitute report, the "b" in the MIL-Q designator has been replaced with a "c". A "MIL-Q" would have been a Department of Defense Quality Standard.

If you have an old Selectric in the basement, you may wish to check out the Yahoo Golf ball typewriter shop. With assistance from David Sadowski, Yahoo! Typewriter Group. Added by Gary Woloski, 11/28/11.