Perry Mason (1957–1966)
7.5/10
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The Case of the Angry Astronaut 

Mitch Heller is having emotional problems doing his job as a test astronaut at a private company. The problems become worse when a new man taking over is the general who fired Heller from the Mercury program. Heller is charged with murder.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Perry Mason
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Della Street
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Paul Drake
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Hamilton Burger
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Lt. Tragg
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General Addison Brand
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Mitch Heller
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Dr. Linda Carey
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Bonnie Winslow
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Eddie Lewis
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Lt. Anderson
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Terry Faye
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Matthew Owen
Robert Casper ...
Bruce Young
Richard Grant ...
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Storyline

Mitch Heller is the test astronaut in the Human Factors division for the Moonstone project. He's recently suffered from disorientation and the head of the division, Matthew Owen, has requested a delay in finalizing their test results. In fact, the entire Moonstone project is now several months behind schedule, something that displeases the new program head, retired General Addison Brand. In fact, Brand and Heller have a history together and it's no surprise when Brand fires him. Mitch hires Paul Drake to look for missing plans to a new valve he had worked on earlier. He can't find the plans which are in a manila envelope with his name on it. During their first meeting, Paul notices Mitch is given an injection of distilled water. Mitch reacts as if it was a drug which makes Paul question the reliability of Mitch. Mitch is subsequently asked to meet Brand at his home and, when the police find the general dead, Mitch is charged with murder and Perry Mason defends him at the request of ... Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

7 April 1962 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Marley, who plays Matthew Owen here, was a familiar face to both movie and TV audiences from the 50s until his death in 1984. The 165 titles in his Imdb filmography include multiple appearances on such series as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Name of the Game and Raymond Burr's other long-running crime drama Ironside. On the big screen, he had roles in I Want to Live and The Godfather, as well as playing Jane Fonda's father in Cat Balou and "Phil" in 1970's Love Story, for which he was an Oscar nominee as Best Supporting Actor. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gordon Kendall: This memo... If it's some kind of joke, I'm not laughing.
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User Reviews

 
This episode was made more complex than needed.
10 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

This is one of those episode where you have an interesting subject and an intriguing murder but when you get to the courtroom things are so slow and confusing that it takes the fun out of the entire show. This is exactly what happened in this show when we get a demonstration presented in court that was one of the most complex and puzzling performances ever presented in the series.

What has transpired is that the new leader of Winslow Aeronautics, Addison Brand, has been murdered. And it appears that a person working for the company, Mitch Heller, is the person that committed the murder. With evidence like an already poor relationship with Brand, conversations about being fired and a recording that makes threats- Lt Tragg has a lot of evidence against Heller. But it will take Perry to get around the problems and prove that his client is innocent.

With the space program hitting an all time high in the early 60's this episode was very interesting. But when Perry has the courtroom floor and shows a weird demonstration of the murder scene, things tend to sour. Perry wants us to believe that the murderer changed the room around several times and then had the ability to change his voice to sound like the murder victim. That was hard even for the most avid 'Mason' fan to comprehend.


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