Daddy’s Here!

So, this pilot for Mrs. Columbo,  this “Word Games.” It has Kate Mulgrew. It has Robert Culp. It has Edie Adams. It has Bob Dishy. It has a host of other good people. It has the car. It has Dog. It does not have Columbo. But, it also has a great deal of unpleasantness. A great deal […]

How Did We Get from “Murder” to “Word”?

In “How to Dial a Murder,” Nicol Williamson plays Dr. Eric Mason, a behavioral psychologist looking to exact revenge on his business partner, who may have had an affair with the doctor’s late wife. This revenge takes the form of having trained dogs viciously tear the partner apart after hearing the phrase, “Rosebud,” all while […]

Carnegie Hall and Nashville, They Don’t Mix

The Season One finale, “Blueprint for Murder,” stars Patrick O’Neal as an architect whose big upcoming project is placed in jeopardy due to a minor funding issue. What issue? Well, a Texas tycoon’s (Forrest Tucker) young second wife has agreed to devote a huge chunk of the galoot’s fortune to the project and he’ll have […]

I’m Fuzz

What’s this? A high-ranking delegate from a Middle Eastern nation has committed murder to cover up the the theft of $600,000? Yes, it’s “A Case of Immunity”! Thanks to a mistaken assignment, Columbo just happens to be around when Hector Elizondo starts killing off his embassy staff in order to cover up a sloppy embezzlement. […]

Torpedoes Running Straight, Hot, and Normal

In Season Two’s “The Greenhouse Jungle,” Ray Milland and his nephew cook up a fake kidnapping scheme to get at the nephew’s $300,000 trust fund. The scam goes off without a hitch- well, except for the nephew, who ends up getting murdered by his uncle. It’s a broad, odd anomaly of an episode, but Milland plays […]

I Never Saw a Guy Unwind That Fast

Wayne Jennings is a tennis layabout and wannabe actor who’s romancing several women at once, including a famous romance novelist. When she (apparently) threatens to break off their relationship over the phone, he drives across the great state of California to shoot her in cold blood. Well, except maybe he didn’t? Because she might have […]

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Get your scratch-offs, it’s “Death Hits the Jackpot”! Wielding a southern accent slightly less broad than Foghorn Leghorn’s, Rip Torn is the owner of a fancy Beverly Hills jewelry store who’s just gone dead broke. Thankfully, at the moment he gets the news, his nephew (Gary Kroeger) shows up with a winning lottery ticket. The problem? The nephew […]

I Was in the Shower Enjoying Myself, Singing

“No Time to Die” is the first of two forays the series made into the world of Ed Mccain’s “87th Precinct” books, so the format’s a little different than your typical episode. There isn’t a murder, but a kidnapping! Columbo carries a gun! You meet one of Columbo’s oft-referenced nephews, who’s also an LAPD cop! And on and […]

Liquid Filth!

Poor Adrian Carsini (Donald Pleasance). When we meet him in “Any Old Port In a Storm,” all he wants is to run the family winery, play the big shot with his wine nerd friends and decant the days away. When Carsini’s playboy half-brother threatens to sell the winery’s land to the Two Buck Chucks up the […]

You’ve Done a Very Nice Job

In “By Dawn’s Early Light,” Patrick McGoohan is Colonel Lyle Rumford, overseeing a military academy whose enrollment has been steadily declining for years. When the scion of the academy’s founder announces plans to turn the institution into a co-ed prep school, the commandant sees fit to rig an antique cannon with C-4 and blow the guy […]