Despite the months-long halt in film and television production brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 still managed to deliver a slew of exciting new shows, including “Perry Mason” which premiered on HBO and via streaming on HBO Max on June 21st. Audiences were apparently hungry for the decidedly dark, noirish reboot because, per Deadline, it was “the strongest debut night of any series on HBO in nearly two years.” It proved so successful that a second season was greenlit before the first even finished airing.
Of the renewal, executive vice president of HBO Programming Francesca Orsi said “Viewers have relished being transported back in time to 1930s Los Angeles each week, and we are thrilled to welcome the show back for a second season.” I certainly reveled in the time travel – especially when it came to the series’ stellar locations, most of which were not studio-built sets, but actual City of Angels sites.
To depict Depression-era Los Angeles, cast and crew ventured to such landmark spots as Hollywood’s oldest restaurant Musso & Frank Grill, Altadena’s stunning Mountain View Mausoleum and Pasadena’s historic Devil’s Gate Dam. The latter only appeared once on the series but made a mark thanks to its prominence in the trailer, which is capped off with sweeping shots of titular private-detective-turned-lawyer Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) and his investigator, Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham), standing on the picturesque span atop the dam.
Built in 1920, Devil’s Gate Dam earned its ominous moniker thanks to a rock formation resembling a Satan-like profile situated just southeast of the structure’s spillway. Rumors of hauntings and dark deeds taking place nearby, including joint seances by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and Jet Propulsion Laboratory co-founder Jack Parsons, who were hoping to conjure up the spirit of an antichrist, have also long plagued the site. Macabre happenings notwithstanding, the dam is easily one of Pasadena’s most beautiful places.
For more Dirt on Devil’s Gate Dam from “Perry Mason,” click over to the gallery.