After months of teases in HBO promo videos and the occasional preview image, the cable network and executive producer Robert Downey, Jr. are offering a glimmer of hope to those waiting for their first serious look at Perry Mason. In the clip below, we get a quick glimpse at our investigator (Matthew Rhys, The Americans) already on the case, followed by a promise of more to come (so keep on the lookout between tomorrow and Sunday night). Written by showrunners Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald and based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the limited series follows the origins of American Fiction's most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason (Rhys). When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason's relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and quite possibly, a pathway to redemption for himself.
Set in 1932 Los Angeles, where while the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression the city is booming like never before: oil, Olympic Games, talking pictures, evangelical fervor, and a child kidnapping that's gone very, very wrong all make for a deadly mix. HBO's Perry Mason also stars Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), John Lithgow (Pet Sematary), Chris Chalk (Gotham), Shea Whigham (Homecoming), Nate Corddry (Mom), Veronica Falcon (Queen of the South), Jefferson Mays (I Am The Night), Gayle Rankin (GLOW), and Lili Taylor (Chambers). Tim Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones) is set to direct, and executive produces alongside Jones, Fitzgerald, Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey as well as Team Downey's Amanda Burrell, and Joe Horaceck; with Rhys also on board as a producer on the project.
A Look at The Cast of Characters in HBO's Perry Mason
Rhys' Mason finds himself at a time in his life when he is living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator. Haunted by his wartime experiences in France, Mason suffers the effects of a broken marriage and a broken career. Maslany's Sister Alice is the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching three sermons a day to a hungry congregation and a radio audience that spans the country. Entertainer, politician, God's conduit to the City of Angels, Sister Alice wields great power when she speaks, and plans to use it in ways only she can know. Lithgow's Elias Birchard "E.B." Jonathan is a personal attorney at the nadir of his career and a semi-regular employer of Mason. A mentor and father figure to Mason, E.B. is handed the kind of case he hasn't seen in years: a high-profile parallel investigation to the LAPD involving a case of child kidnapping. Chalk's Paul Drake is a beat cop, husband, and father with a knack for detective work, and also an outlier, with the added challenge of having to navigate an extremely race-conscious city and an oppressive police department.
Whigham's Pete Strickland is hired by Mason as an extra set of eyes on his various, and less-than-savory investigations. Strickland has a brotherly rapport with Mason and a cheerfully charming demeanor that wins friends and influences damsels. Corddry's Matthew Dodson is a grocery store owner with a modest income, which is why no one can explain why his 1-year-old son is targeted for ransom, except there's more to his picture-perfect marriage and life with Rankin's Emily Dodson than first thought. Falcon's Lupe is a pilot and hard-drinking owner of a speakeasy, nothing goes on in the skies above California that she doesn't know about. Mays' Virgil is a friend of Mason's and an attendant at the City Morgue, but longs for the life of a private detective. Taylor's Birdy McKeegan is Sister Alice's mother and closest advisor, who keeps things running smoothly at the Pentecostal church.