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Ellery Queen: The Adventure of the Mad Tea Party

Ellery and his agent travel to the estate of wealthy eccentric Spencer Lockridge to try to get financial backing to turn one of Ellery's novels into a play. Not long after their arrival, Lockridge disappears and thrusts Ellery into another mystery.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x8
Production Number: 43601
Airdate: Thursday October 30th, 1975

Guest Stars
Edward AndrewsEdward Andrews
As Spencer Lockridge
Jim BackusJim Backus
As Howard Biggers
Rhonda FlemingRhonda Fleming
As Laura Lockridge
Larry HagmanLarry Hagman
As Paul Gardner
Larry HagmanLarry Hagman
As Paul Gardner
Carmen MathewsCarmen Mathews
As Letitia Allingham
Patricia Smith (1)Patricia Smith (1)
As Diana Gardner
Patricia Smith (1)Patricia Smith (1)
As Diana Gardner
Julie SommarsJulie Sommars
As Emmy Reinhart
Lew BrownLew Brown
As Lt. Carr
Lew BrownLew Brown
As Lt. Carr
Olan SouleOlan Soule
As Conductor
Olan SouleOlan Soule
As Conductor
George JanekGeorge Janek
As Johnny Lockridge
George JanekGeorge Janek
As Johnny Lockridge

Nina RomanNina Roman
As Grace
Main Cast
Jim HuttonJim Hutton
As Ellery Queen
Jim HuttonJim Hutton
As Ellery Queen
David WayneDavid Wayne
As Inspector Richard Queen
Tom ReeseTom Reese
As Sergeant Thomas Velie
Tom ReeseTom Reese
As Sergeant Thomas Velie


Theater financier Spencer Lockridge is in his country home in his den, telling a visitor that he refuses to let anything spoil his nephew's weekend. He tells his visitor to decide is what is really important, or warns that he'll decide for him. The visitor leaves and Spencer picks up his Mad Hatter hat to go with his costume...

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Episode Notes
This is the only episode based on an actual short story by Ellery Queen. The pilot for the series, Too Many Suspects. was based on an actual Ellery Queen novel.

For once, Sgt. Velie plays a crucial role in the solution to the crime instead of merely putting the cuffs on the suspect after the denouement.

Jim Backus is best known for his role as millionaire castaway Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island.

Emmy Reinhart reveals that she turned down the lead role in the classic film Johnny Belinda. Bad career move because Jane Wyman won an Academy Award for Best Actress in the role.

It's ironic that one of the characters dresses up as the Mad Hatter at the party. Ellery Queen co-star David Wayne played the Mad Hatter on Batman.

Episode Quotes
Ellery: 10:20. I could be home now soaking in a hot tub.
Biggers: Welcome to show biz, El.
Ellery: Ellery.

Ellery: Look, Mr. Biggers...
Biggers: Howard.
Ellery: If Mr. Lockridge is so interested in turning my book into a Broadway stage play, why is he changing it?
Biggers: Well, you have to change it, it's part of the creative process.

Doyle: They couldn't start rehearsal until the boy was up in the bed. Mr. Gardner couldn't find his ears.
Ellery: Ears?
Biggers: He's a rabbit.

Letitia: (about the house) You see here a monument of Mr. Gardner's ability to turn mighty oaks into toothpicks.

Johnny: (about Lockridge) You think he got snatched?
Ellery: I don't know. I just got out of bed.

Biggers: (about Lockridge) If he walked away he's drowned now. It's a sea of mud out there.

Laura: Isn't that the usual thing you're told in these cases, don't call the police?
Ellery: There is the distinct possibility that it might endanger Spencer's life.
Letitia: Then by all means, let's call the police immediately, Mr. Queen.
Laura: Mother!

Inspector Queen: You want me to put out a three-state alarm for a man wearing a gray top hat, a green frock coat, and... Ellery, is he armed and dangerous, too?

Johnny: (to Ellery) For a detective, you're not very smart.

Laura: What precisely are we looking for?
Ellery: Good question, Mrs. Lockridge. I wish I knew.

Gardner: One of us is playing some sort of bizarre joke, and I for one find it distinctly unfunny.

Gardner: One of us here has a very grotesque sense of humor.

Lt. Carr: It seems like we're dealing with some sort of lunatic.
Inspector Queen: Oh, I'm used to that.
Lt. Carr: Huh? Oh, no, sir, I didn't mean your son.

Ellery: Dad, come on, come on. You trust me, don't you?
Inspector Queen: No.

Velie: How'd I do, Maestro?
Ellery: Perfect. Just perfect.

Episode References
In this episode it's revealed that Sgt. Velie once played Captain Hook in a high school play.

Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerRichard Levinson  |  William Link
ProducerPeter S. Fischer
Music SupervisorHal Mooney
Costume DesignerCharles Waldo
Set DecoratorJohn McCarthy, Jr.
Director of PhotographyAlric Edens
Story EditorRobert Van Scoyk
Art DirectorJohn J. Lloyd
Main Title DesignJack Cole (2)
Film EditorJohn Elias
Assistant DirectorJerry Ballew
Unit ManagerJack Terry
Based On Characters Created ByEllery Queen
Editorial SupervisorRichard Belding
Theme MusicElmer Bernstein
Missing Information
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