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When her husband falls down drunk, Ellen asks the team to do what you should never do from someone with a drinking problem, namely, clean him up and put him to bed. Then to compound the problem, she asks the coach to give him tranquilizers as they carry him to his berth. What were people thinking? Submitted by gracenote, 5/19/2011.
How did Burt come into ownership of 10% of the team?
The Summary claims that “Perry actually runs as he and Paul chase a shadoway figure,“ but in fact that is probably Lee Miller, Burr’s stand-in, who jumps out of the bushes. It’s kind of confusing because it appears to be Sgt. Brice who is doing the chasing at first, and then it becomes Perry Mason. Submitted by graceote, 5/19/2011.
Speaking of Sgt. Brice, the producers gave Lee Miller a little tribute in this episode. In a moment unrelated to anything in the script, Sgt. Brice drops by the table in Clay's Grill where Perry, Paul and Della are sitting and flirts a bit with Della. A brief and most charming gesture. Submitted by francis, 3/28/13.
In the opening scene I expected to hear the conductor call out "Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu----camonga!"
The Wildcats will play before a very large crowd in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Earlier, their return trip to LA started from somewhere north of Salinas (like San Francisco?). Given their prosperity and evident length of the trip, why did they go by train rather than by plane? This was of course necessary for a nifty if far-fetched plot contrivance, and it reminded me of "Double Indemnity" -- "He'll have to go by train." Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 07/07/13.
+ Early on in the episode the Coach Banks mentions to Mrs. Payne that Burt Payne had made the decision to take the train instead of a plane. This would have been in his purview as team manager and makes sense when we find out what really happened. Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 07/03/14
++ Trying to think like a writer, I'm guessing that if they had taken a plane rather than a train, they would all have been belted in, or at least seated, and the trip would have been shorter, without all that time for mischief, hopping on and off, etc. Also the viewer would have been denied the classic train montage. JohnK, 21 March 2018
+++Looks like the Wildcats attracted a sellout crowd for their game! And, that crowd really knew how to clear out of the area so quickly after the game's conclusion. Paul Drake's chase scene showed so few people around that end of the LA Memorial Coliseum grounds. Bob61571, 21 March 2018
This episode, as in #241 Mischievous Doll, depends on how the Los Angeles police identify a burned body. However, unlike #241, this episode's body is not the remains of a comparative nobody but of a co-owner of a major professional football team. Given the notoriety, why aren't the police more careful and thorough in their identification? Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 07/07/13.
+ The identification, you might recall, was based on a number of factors - the presence of personal effects, the statements of witnesses, and (presumably) a physical resemblance of the remains to Burt - which in real life would be accurate 999,999 times out of a million; so whether/not they would - or more importantly whether/not they should go further, is debatable. Of course in this perryllel world, the absurd, one-in-a-million can be counted on to happen. Defended by Notcom, 060916.
+ Also, on the moving train, there were a limited number of people, of whom only two were unaccounted for, the remains were pretty badly destroyed, and it was the supposed victim's room. Had this happened somewhere like a hotel, where the "victim pool" was unbounded, they might have felt it was important to be more thorough. olef641 - June 27, 2017
Perry's theory for how the fire started could easily have been checked by examining the train compartment.
"The Birlstone Gambit." The solution to the crime is a variation on what has come to be known as "The Birlstone Gambit," for its original use in one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's more famous Holmes stories. Ellery Queen employed it in several EQ and Drury Lane novels in the 1930s, as did ESG in "The Case of the One-Eyed Witness." Unfortunately, the gambit has become such a staple of whodunit fiction that it no longer manages to surprise mystery buffs. Submitted by BobH, 20 February 2017.