Ellery Queen

The Adventure of the Mad Tea Party

Season 1, Ep 9, Aired 10/30/75
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  • Episode Description
  • Ellery and his agent, Howard Biggers, travel to the estate of the wealthy and eccentric Spencer Lockridge. It seems as though Biggers wants to turn one of Ellery's books into a play and is trying to get Lockridge to provide the financial backing. All goes for naught when Lockridge disappears while wearing a Mad Hatter's costume from the Alice in Wonderland theme party he was throwing.

  • Cast & Crew
  • David Wayne

    Inspector Richard Queen

  • Richard Levinson

  • Jim Backus

    Howard Biggers

  • William Link

  • Rhonda Fleming

    Laura Lockridge

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (11)

    • 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?

    • 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!

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

    • Ellery: How do you do? Letitia: I do exceedingly well, much to my son-in-law's relief., Mr. Queen.

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    Notes (6)

    • This episode has the characters of Emmy Rhinehart (or Rinehart) and several members of the Lockridge family. Mary Roberts Rinehart ("The American Agatha Christie") wrote her first book The Circular Staircase in 1907. She is considered one of the best American mystery writers. Richard and Frances Lockridge collaborated on a series of mysteries starring "Mr. and Mrs. North" beginning in 1940.

    • The book Ellery gets from the library when he can't sleep is Kathleen Winsor's "Forever Amber", a major best-seller of the 1940s and a very controversial book because of its sexual content. The book was actually published in 1944; 1947, when this episode is set, saw the popular movie version.

    • Aside from the pilot movie, this is the only episode based on an actual Ellery Queen story. "The Adventure of the Mad Tea Party" can be found in the short story collection, The Adventures of Ellery Queen.

    • Emmy Rhinehart 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.

    • According to the production code, this was the first episode of the regular series to be filmed.

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    Trivia (1)

    • Trivia: It's revealed that Sgt. Velie once played Captain Hook in a high school play.

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