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Great Show, but tampered closing theme song
on October 4, 2011
I've been a Perry Mason "fan" for over 40 years, ever since a local station was rerunning it late at night in the late 1960s/early 1970s. I've taped all 271 ep's from Ch.17 (WTBS/Turner) Atlanta in the 1980s, from another local station in the 1980s/90s, and from Hallmark in the 1990s. I'm also currently watching it twice daily on "Me-TV" as well. And I've been buying the (CBS/Viacom/Paramount) "half-season" DVDs ever since the first half of the first season came out in 2006.
The show is one of my all-time favorites, esp. the 1st thru 7th seasons. The 8th (1964/65) and 9th/final (1965/66) seasons are still good, but in my opinion, not "as" good as earlier seasons. As the mid-1960s approached, two other CBS-owned shows also began to "slip" a bit in my opinion, Gunsmoke and Rawhide. (Have Gun Will Travel and Twilight Zone had already ceased production with 1962/63 and 1963/64, respectively).
I'm very happy that CBS/Viacom/Paramount has continued with the DVD releases, and have just started watching the 1st-half 6th-season DVDs. I have also pre-ordered the 2nd-half 6th-season DVDs from Amazon, and hope that both halves of the 7th season will also soon be out on DVD.
But CBS/Viacom/Paramount has TAMPERED with the closing theme on most of these (1st-half) 6th-season episodes! The closing theme on the 6th and 7th seasons was in "two parts", almost like the 5th season's "two part" closing themes. (Also similar to how Gomer Pyle and Dick van Dyke has "two part" closing themes, which is more like 5th season Perry closings). But CBS/Viacom/Paramount has "re-edited" the two-part closing themes on these DVDs into a "continuous" closing credits/theme. It might not matter to some, but to "die-hard" fans, the "essence" of the 6th season closing theme is gone, with the re-edited version that CBS/Via/Paramount has done to it! At least ONE episode on the first-half 6th-season DVD set still has the original "two-part" version of the closing theme, "Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe" (with Lurene Tuttle, Margaret O'Brien, Leonard Nimoy, Shirley Mitchell, Arthur Batanides, and James Millhollin), and that's probably because this "case" is the same version that was on the 2008 Perry 50th Anniversary special DVD set. (The version on the 50th Anniversary DVD set also has the closing "production side card" with the sketch of the statue of Lady Justice, which really should NOT be there in 6th or later season ep's though! CBS only used that in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th seasons, each with a different fanfare music, and in the 1st/2nd seasons, the stack of books for the closing production title with fanfare music).
The 7th season of Perry had the same type of 2-part closing theme/credits that the 6th season did when originally done by CBS in 1963/64. I sure hope that CBS/Viacom/Paramount will NOT tamper with closing credits/themes for the two halves 7th season DVD sets. It's probably too late to mention the 2nd-half 6th-season since it's due out in just over a month, though.
And, also to CBS/Viacom/Paramount, whenever you release the two halves of the 4th/final season of (Desilu's) Untouchables, PLEASE include ALL "bump" music/titling! The "out-tro" bumps before the commercial breaks at :15, :30, :45 were there in the 1st season DVD sets (both halves), but cut-out of the 2nd and 3rd season DVD sets (both halves), although the FINAL "out-tro" bump just before the closing theme in 1st/2nd/3rd season sets is thankfully still there.
Traditional intro's/out-tro's (bumps) and "billboards", etc. _ARE_ of interest to us "due-hard" fans! And where's the "Statue of Justice" that Perry used as "bumps" before or after commercial breaks too?