M-Net previews Perry Mason drama ahead of TV broadcast

Matthew Rhys in 'Perry Mason.'
Matthew Rhys in 'Perry Mason.'
Photo: M-Net
  • M-Net is teasing the new HBO series Perry Mason with a preview episode available on DStv Catch Up and DStv Now.
  • The series stars Matthew Rhys as famed defence lawyer Perry Mason, based on characters from Erle Stanley Gardner's novels.
  • The mini-series will broadcast weekly on M-Net (DStv 101) from 28 July. 

M-Net has added the first episode of the new adult American crime noir drama series Perry Mason to MultiChoice's DStv Catch Up service and DStv Now ahead of the show's broadcast in July.

Perry Mason, a new HBO series with Matthew Rhys in the lead role, is a prequel miniseries of the famed Perry Mason American legal drama that revolved around a criminal defence lawyer that was broadcast decades ago on the SABC.

In the prequel, Perry Mason is still a private detective in 1932 in Los Angeles, taking strange cases for cash and even extorting money from people, as he struggles to sort out his messy personal life.

He is then asked to solve a sensational case involving the kidnapping of a baby boy who was killed and is quickly drawn into the dark and seedy underbelly of Los Angeles and a much bigger conspiracy set a century ago.

This is a period where the Great Depression intersects with art deco LA, Hollywood's growing film industry, the American oil boom and evangelical Christianity - a time when people live one life in public, and a whole other life behind closed doors.

John Lithgow as attorney E.B. Jonathan and Juliet
John Lithgow as attorney E.B. Jonathan and Juliet Rylance as his sectretay Della Street.

The debut episode of Perry Mason was broadcast on HBO in the United States on 21 June where it surprised with the biggest ratings for the channel, which means that the miniseries could perhaps be turned into the first season of a longer series.

The preview episode of will be available until 5 July as an Express from the US title.

The 8-episode miniseries will then start on 28 July on M-Net (DStv 101) as a linear series with weekly episodes.

Take note that the first episode has full-frontal male and other nudity, sex scenes and a murder described by some as "gruesome", making the new Perry Mason prequel an adults-only series - but one bathed in a beautifully subdued, sepia-tone infused Los Angeles, complete with art deco designs everywhere.

Robert Downey Jr. would originally have played Perry Mason but was forced to drop out because of a scheduling conflict. He's still one of the executive producers.

John Lithgow plays attorney E.B. Jonathan who is a mentor to Perry, Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black is Sister Alice McKeegan, Robert Patrick is Herman Baggerly, and Gayle Rankin appears as Virgil, the city morgue worker who is Perry's friend.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

WATCH IT NOW ON DSTV NOW.