Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Capricious Corpse Cuts

Watching the uncut Capricious Corpse, it looked like three to four scenes were missing again. That seems to be around the standard number.

There was a short one early on, where Joane tells Nick about old Mr. Gage falling into a coma. At least, I don’t think I remember this one being in the syndication version.

A longer one later features George Gage waiting for the deceased Ernest during the time Nick is perpetrating his fraud. Joane tries to convince him that all is well, and he finally leaves, but he is still suspicious. Joane then dissolves into anguish, telling Nick she just can’t keep pretending Ernest is alive and how it just keeps going on and on. The scene then catches up with the syndication version as the phone rings, bringing the news that old Mr. Gage has died.

I wasn’t entirely sure I remembered the scene where George tries to blackmail Claudia, but some things seemed familiar, so I surely must have seen it before.

One thing I know I didn’t see is the part where Perry first reads about the missing samurai armor in the paper. I was always puzzled by the cut version, where he seems to mention Paul checking into the armor seemingly out of thin air. I knew something was surely missing on that subject. I was glad to see I was right.

The other cut scene has Perry and Hamilton talking on the shore while police divers search for Ernest’s body, once Nick confesses it’s supposed to be in the lake.

I have mixed feelings about that scene. On the one hand, Hamilton’s apparent suspicions as to Perry’s level of involvement in the wild story definitely hark back to season 1. But on the other hand, the delivery of the dialogue, and Perry’s reaction, shows something much different. Hamilton does not speak with harsh bitterness, as in season 1. And Perry’s reaction is calm and easy-going, unlike his more defensive, reserved responses in season 1. It’s like it’s become a familiar routine to them both by now, just a usual part of their interaction.

Hamilton’s sarcasm is in top form. I love where he asks Perry how he thinks the corpse could have changed its position. Levitation, perhaps? He offers one other, equally amusing possibility, which I can’t seem to call to mind at the moment.

I think Hamilton’s commentary of this sort started with The Meddling Medium, when he asks Perry how he plans to prove his case and then promptly jeers the supernatural (which is a key part of the mystery) by suggesting ectoplasm and a Ouija board. Someone else makes similar sarcastic comments on the supernatural in The Festive Felon from season 7.

This bit isn’t cut, but I love the part after the “body” is discovered in the lake, where Hamilton asks Ernest’s widow if it wouldn’t be better if she waited at the house (instead of viewing what they figure is the decomposed corpse). Even in season 1 the show had awesome bits like that, showing Hamilton’s compassionate side.

Something unique about this episode is that, for one of only a handful of times, we see Andy investigating on his own, in a scene where no other main characters are involved. He goes to the doctor’s office to ask about the pills Ernest was taking. Mostly, the only investigation scenes we see are with Perry or Paul, so it’s a special treat to see one focusing on a police character. Other episodes where Andy is seen investigating are The Hateful Hero and The Tandem Target.

I have got to get me the second half of season 6. 6 is still one of my all-time favorite seasons, and I’m having so much fun finding all the scenes that are usually cut from the syndicated versions I generally see. I wonder what other gems are in store with the remaining episodes on the first half of the season.

I’ve seen the uncut Double-Entry Mind and The Dodging Domino before, but it’s been so long that I can’t recall any of the missing scenes in the former. I do remember that we actually see the murder scene being discovered in the uncut Dodging Domino (whereas we do not in the cut version). I want to say Andy has one more scene in the uncut version, too, but I’m also unsure of that.

And I watched The Polka-Dot Pony last night. It’s another season 6 favorite. I’ll discuss it more later, but I’ll say now that Andy has an additional scene in that one. And it’s an important scene too, as it’s the one where it’s explained that the deceased’s employee went into hysterics. When that is referenced later, in the cut version it makes no sense, since we weren’t allowed to know about the hysteria in the first place.

It’s really exasperating when some of the cuts actually do affect the main plot. And even when they don’t, it’s exasperating to lose stuff with favorite characters! I wonder how many scenes of Andy’s got clipped overall.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, My name is Selena and I'm a producer at NPR. I'm looking for a scene between Perry Mason and Hamilton Burger for a radio piece and I'm wondering if you might be able to help. Can you email me at Thank you!