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Location: The courthouse is in fact Santa Monica
City Hall which does have some court rooms. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 3/30/2009. Pictures here and here.
+ The fictional "Manzana Valley" is once more the setting for Perry's case in ep#186, TCOT Decadent Dean. The "Manzana County Court House" seen in that episode (23:09) is an older and much smaller building than the courthouse used in this episode. Added by Gary Woloski, 2/5/14.
+ Much of this episode seems to have been filmed at the Green Tree Golf Course, Victorville, CA. You can see the attractive modern building on their website. 01/04/15 Welshwoman.
+ Wow!! That little river must have been working overtime: what was a cacti studded desert in the episode seems to be a lush greensward today. Submitted by Notcom, 010616.
According to the IMDb, the real name of actor Dirk London is Ray Boyle. Submitted by gracep, 12/7/2010.
Although credited, Ray Collins (Lt. Tragg) did not appear. Submitted by gracep, 12/7/2010.
Both Harry Carey, Jr. and Pat O’Malley were regular cast members in Disney’s Spin and Marty series.
Submitted by Masonite, 7/11/2011.
+ Don't leave out the 'J': Just as Michael J. Fox had to add the 'J' to his name to distinguish himself from Perry Mason actor Michael Fox whose career was active through 1995 just a year before his death, J. Pat O'Malley had to have a different name than Pat O'Malley, an actor whose career spanned the years 1908-1962. The two O'Malleys paths came close on The Twilight Zone: While J. Pat O'Malley appeared on four episodes, Pat O'Malley only appeared on three. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/20/15.
Some other cast appearances: Paul Fix appeared on the original Star Trek as the first doctor on Capt. Kirk's Enterprise before DeForest Kelley's Dr. McCoy appeared. (John Hoyt had appeared as the doctor on Capt. Pike's Enterprise. All three actors have appeared on Perry Mason.) Sarah Marshall (later wife of Karl Held) played Capt. Kirk's former love interest in "The Deadly Years" in 1967. Both actors also appeared on The Twilight Zone, Paul Fix in 1964's "I Am the Night-Color Me Black" and Sarah Marshall as the mother of the "Little Girl Lost" who got lost in another dimension in 1962. Philip Ober appeared in 1964's "Spur of the Moment" and J. Pat O'Malley played "The Fugitive" in the 1962 episode along with Wesley Lau. June Vincent appeared in a 1967 episode of Ironside and Paul Fix in a 1970 episode. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/20/15.
Paul Fix and William Hopper were reunited in the 1956 movie The Bad Seed. jfh 17Oct2017.
Word of the day: Perry Mason used the word “riparian,” which refers to river banks and/or adjacent wetlands. Submitted by gracenote, 7/12/2011.
+ See"geographical questions" Comment, below, for illustrations of "riparian". Added by Gary Woloski, 2/7/14.
Deliciously dapper David Gideon (Karl Held) delights us again with his carefully memorized detailings of legal doohickeys and, of course, his dandy dress and dazzling smile. Eight appearances down, one to go. Submitted by gracenote, 7/12/2011.
Character Names: Although Paul Fix is credited here only as “Prosecutor,” we know from Fix’s other four PM appearances that his character’s last name was always Hale, and his first name was either Jonathan (“TCOT Barefaced Witness”) or Darwin (“TCOT Angry Mourner”). He was mainly used when Perry would try a case outside of the city. Submitted by cgraul, 11/9/2011.
Harry Carey, Jr. is Paul Fix's son-in-law. Paul Fix played Micah the sheriff on The Rifleman, submitted by OLEF641, 1/18/2017
CARS. (1) 1961 Mercury Commuter 4-door station wagon, white, "Manzana Valley Inn" logo on doors, Lic No VNE 546, Matt Lambert ("Uncle Matt" to Judy). Half-way through the episode Della drives this car in a re-enactment of events to determine timings.
One background car: the white 1961 Ford Fairlane 4Door Sedan in opening sequence parked beside the "MANZANA VALLEY AIRPORT" sign. Added by Gary Woloski, 2/18/13.
The Bomb Plot. An item on page 14 of the Appleton, Wisconsin Post-Crescent of December 20, 1961 asserts that elements of this episode's plot were lifted from a real-life murder that occurred in Wisconsin on 27 Dec 1922. The article begins:
The Wisconsin murder occurred in the home of County Commissioner James Chapman in Wood County near "the small city of Marshfield . . . two days after Christmas 1922". A home-made bomb which had been sent through the mail exploded while being unwrapped, maiming Chapman and fatally injuring his wife. It didn't take long to identify the prime suspect as farmer John Magnuson, who was in dispute with the County Commission over imposition of water drainage measures and resultant taxation. Magnuson, dubbed the Yule Bomber (full story at the link), was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mrs Chapman. The trial opened on 15 Mar 1923 at Wisconsin Rapids. Arthur Koehler was one of several scientists called to give expert testimony in their own field. Magnuson was found guilty on 31 Mar and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served most of his sentence at the state hospital for the criminally insane, escaping temporarily for what he called a "holiday" in 1940. After being paroled in 1952, Magnuson died at age 78 in 1957.
The Wood Forensics of Arthur Koehler were also featured in the Feb 1935 issue of Popular Science pages 14,15,114.
The common elements in the two stories (the roving Wisconsin River & the roving river of this episode; disputes involving land rights & river water; the bombings; the late-December timings; and use of FPL experts) support the credibility of the Post-Crescent article. It also seems likely that the seeds for the newspaper article must have been planted by Sam Newman, Paisano Productions or CBS.
I believe that it's a fantastically bizarre coincidence that the newspaper article preserved on the internet was published in "Appleton" WI and that the "Appleton Land Company" is the likely root of the name of "Apple Valley" CA which, in turn, I believe is the real-world location of the "Manzana Valley" of this Episode#138. "Manzana" (sp.) = "Apple". Added by Gary Woloski, 5/5/14.
Map showing Marshfield - Wisconsin Rapids - Appleton here. Madison can be seen directly to the South of the highlighted route.
Raymond won the 1961 Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role [IMDb Awards]. Mike Bedard 3.8.15.
This is the only PM appearance for Sarah Marshall, who was born in London, England, in 1933. Sarah Marshall married PM regular Karl/Carl Held in 1964 and they remained married until her passing in 2014...MikeM. 10/11/2016
This is the third of five PM appearances for Bruce Bennett, who won a silver medal in the shot put at the 1928 Olympics. Bruce Bennett passed in 2007 at the age of one hundred...MikeM. 10/11/2016
This is the final of five PM appearances for June Vincent, who also appeared in five episodes of Have Gun - Will Travel...MikeM. 1/17/2017
Sarah Marshall was the daughter of renowned English actor Herbert Marshall and his actress wife, Edna Best...MikeM. 1/17/2017
This the first of three PM appearances for Kelly Thordsen. He would play Sheriff Watson in his second appearance. He reprised the role of Sheriff Ward Vincent in his third appearance...MikeM. 2/6/2018