HBO‘s hit historical crime drama Perry Mason is set to return on the network in February per a new announcement on Twitter. The titular investigator, played by the Emmy-nominated Matthew Rhys, will be back in action for the first time since August 2020 when its first season wrapped up the Dodson case. Anticipation is high for the series return after a widely acclaimed first run which garnered four Emmy nominations.
An origin story of sorts for Mason, the series is set during the early 1930s as the Great Depression rips through most of the U.S. Mason battles trauma from his time in the Great War, as well as his recent divorce, as he navigates the legal system of Los Angeles, one of the few places thriving amidst the Depression. Following the high-profile Dodson case involving a kidnapped child, Season 2 jumps to 1933 with Mason “in the soup again” per Rhys‘s co-star Shea Whigham. Still haunted by the ghosts of World War I, Mason makes the jump from the criminal justice system to civil cases thanks to the reliable Della Street (Juliet Rylance) in order to avoid all the chaos for a time.
Season 2 will experience some changes with original showrunners Ron Fitzgerald and Rolin Jones departing in favor of Michael Begler and Jack Amiel of The Knick fame. The big shock, however, came with the departure of Tatiana Maslany who presumably left due to her prior commitments to She-Hulk. She played Sister Alice, the enigmatic faith healer with a broad reach thanks to her sermons that are part gospel, part show. Maslany previously spoke with Collider about how she thought Sister Alice’s arc was only just taking shape within the series, adding to the surprising nature of her departure.
To fill the void left by Maslany, Perry Mason also brought on a slew of new talent. Hope Davis, Jon Chaffin, Fabrizio Guido, Peter Mendoza, Onohoua Rodriguez, and Jee Young Han have all boarded as recurring cast members while Katherine Waterston joins as a new series regular. Diarra Kilpatrick, who played Clara Drake, has also been upped to a series regular. She’s just one of a number of returning stars including Rhys, Whigham, and Rylance alongside Chris Chalk, Eric Lange, Justin Kirk, Stephen Root, Gayle Rankin, Nate Corddry, Veronica Falcon, Jefferson Mays, Lili Taylor, Andrew Howard, and Robert Patrick.
Fitzgerald and Jones created the series based on the classic character from Erle Stanley Gardner. It’s the second time Gardner’s detective fiction has served as source material for a show with the 1957 Perry Mason also making waves as one of the first one-hour shows on television. HBO‘s adaptation has benefited not just from its talented cast and creators, but also the work of director Tim Van Patten who’s largely been responsible for capturing the aesthetic of 1930s Los Angeles.
See Perry Mason back on the case with Season 2 in February. Check out the official tweet from HBO and the trailer for Season 1 below: