This episode is included in the Perry Mason 50th Anniversary DVD set. In Barbara Hale's introduction, she notes that it's based on Erle Stanley Gardner's novel The Case of the Counterfeit Eye, but a glass eye was considered to be too gruesome for TV. Hence the change to a toupee. Submitted by raja99
+ The episode also eliminates the novel's additional embezzlement subplot and reduces the number of murder victims from two to one. In other respects, the teleplay closely tracks the source novel's plotline. Submitted by BobH, 18 October 2016.
++ Also included in the 50th Anniversary DVD are screen tests of both Raymond Burr and William Hopper playing Perry Mason in a scene taken from the novel The Case of the Counterfeit Eye. We actually see the box of glass eyes. Of course this scene didn't make it into the TV episode "The Case of the Treacherous Toupee." Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 5/07/14.
+++ ESG: The Case of the Counterfeit Eye was the 6th Perry Mason novel. Published in 1935, it was the first book to feature Hamilton Burger. Submitted by catyron, 12/2/2017.
+ I'm curious, now, how the counterfeit eye manifests itself in the novel. Surely it wasn't in the dead man's hand like the toupee hair in this episode. Can anyone shed light on the subject? Kilo 11/28/2019.
++In the novel, Mason's client, who wears a glass eye, comes to Mason because one of his collection of glass eyes has been stolen and replaced with a counterfeit. He fears that someone will commit a crime and leave his stolen glass eye at the scene. Sure enough, Hartley Basset is indeed found dead with a glass eye clutched in his hand. Amazingly, the murderer, like Mason's client, also wears one glass eye. Submitted by BobH, 29 November 2019.
Jonathon Hole indicates to Perry in this show that his hair is a toupee. I wonder if it is really a toupee? I have seen this actor in quite a few shows, and he always is shown with hair. Submitted by PaulDrake 33.
+ Speaking of toupee, isn't it strange that if someone grabs a toupee with one hand as what it appears the deceased man actually did, wouldn't the whole toupee have been found in his hand when the body was found ? The defendant is actually seen doing this in a later scene while standing in front of a mirror. Submitted by HamBurger 8/16/2014
++ This is actually discussed during Perry's cross-examination of the toupee expert, Stanley Roderick, who claims a piece could have been torn off a toupee that had been glued on tightly enough. OLEF641 2/9/21 +++ This detail becomes even more bizarre now that there is a story in the news about a woman who glued her wig on her scalp with 'Gorilla Glue', and then discovered it was far stronger than regular wig glue, and subsequently had to have a dermatologist(?) remove the wig and glue! Submitted by MikeReese, 2/14/2021
Note the prominence of the LAX airport and Pan Am in this episode, especially the jet plane. I believe this was something of a plug for both. Jet service, IIRC, was inaugurated from LAX about this time (1959). Submitted by billp. 1 November 2009.
I thought Robert Redford’s performance here was not quite up to what he was capable of in later years. It seems a bit childish, though perhaps that is intentional. On the other hand, Ray Collins delivers a more animated performance than usual. Submitted by gracep 10/13/2010.
+ There were a few criticisms of Redford's early TV work: according to Marc Scott Zicree, author of The Twilight Zone Companion about Redford's appearance, he "performs with all the emotion of a male mannequin-which he strongly resembles. Ironically, one of the lines he delivers, in a leaden monotone, is, 'Am I really so bad?'" Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/25/12.
Paul Drake's T-Bird: Does it seem strange that when Paul Drake is dropping off the Robert Redford character at the airport that his tires are squealing making the turn ? It did not seem like he was going that fast. Perhaps his tires need air.... ;-) Submitted by HamBurger 8/16/2014
+ I believe that all sound effects and dialog for outdoor scenes are added in post-production. Obviously, someone thought the scene needed a bit of auditory "punching up". My favorite repeated goof in this area across productions everywhere is car tires squealing when braking or driving around a corner -- ON A DIRT ROAD.
One of my fave Perry lines ever in the final scene: "Oh, hello Lieutenant... we weren't speaking of the devil, but please come in." MFrench 11/19/16
The Case of the Kitchen Sink: If I've got it right, this was the inaugural issue of the fourth season. Maybe that's why the writers were trying so hard, and this story line has every plot device: Missing Husband, Proxy Battle, Impetuous Son, Floozy Bigamous Wife, Wife's Suicide In Philippines, Thieving Accountant, Look-Alike Girl in Out-of the Way Hotel, and Robert Redford. Plus in Ray Collins's first moments, he seems to be running on hi-test. Only missing is the Hick Private Detective. JohnK, 20 December 2017
I find it odd that Perry would enlist Dick Hart in his subterfuge. Wasn’t Dick just as likely a suspect? (Oh, and Dick Hart would be a good name for an adult film star). DOD 09/12/19
Frank Wilcox, George E. Stone and Raymond Burr would appear in the same roles a year later on the Jack Benny Show, when Jack dreams that he is put on trial for murdering a rooster, and Perry Mason is defending him. Mason is noticeably inept in that episode. Submitted by vgy7ujm, 11/16/2014.
If the murderer was trying to get away from the court as fast as possible to the airport, why did he stop to chat with another witness and offer to buy him a cup of coffee? Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/25/12.
+ Agreed, Wiseguy! I take it as a rather clumsy attempt by the writer to keep us suspecting Woodman, who had plenty of reason to kill Bassett and who *acted* as if he were hastening to get away. Thereby, I guess, heightening the surprise of the ending! But it was very odd. Submitted by JazzBaby, 8/30/2019.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show, both the first time I saw it and in repeats, but I had to shelve my incredulity at the role of Hartley Basset. A man disappears for two years and just expects to take up where he left off? Even for that time period, I couldn't completely accept it. With business and wife? Really? I can be gone for two hours and my wife wants to know where I am .. and she's the one who sent me out! It would have been a surprise if Basset wasn't the murder victim! Submitted by MikeReese, 10/18/2013.