Perry Mason is a fictional defense attorney who originally appeared in novels by Erle Stanley Gardner and who was portrayed by Raymond Burr in a television series of the 1960s. The general plot involves Perry Mason unmasking the actual murderer in a final dramatic courtroom showdown. As such it is a highly unrealistic portrayal of the criminal justice system, and some of the structure of the television show was dictated by the motion picture and television codes of the 1950s which required an ending in which justice was served and in which the police and judicial institutions were not questioned.
Other characters in the Perry Mason universe include:
- Paul Drake - Perry Mason's private investigator (played by William Hopper on the TV series)
- Della Street - Perry Mason's secretary (played by Barbara Hale on the original TV series and the later TV movies)
- Hamilton Burger - District Attorney
- Lieutenant Paul Tragg - Chief police investigator
- Seargent Arthur Holcomb - Policeman often featured in the novels