When is a Columbo not a Columbo? When it’s Season Eleven’s “No Time to Die,” based on an Ed McBain 87th Precinct tale of a kidnapping, not a murder. What happens when a beloved program strays wildly from its patented format? We’ll find out on our next show, with author Amanda Reyes (Are You In the House Alone?)!
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Taking one for the team
Oh my god. As much as I loathe a lot of the 90s stuff, this is the absolute nadir of COLUMBO. I dare anyone to name a worse episode. It’s not even good tv. You guys really deserve some sort of medal for sitting through this mess. Ugh.
I’m going to go against the grain here…I thought, as 90’s-dviations-from-the-Columbo-norm go, this wasn’t too bad. Different situations, different people…the Columbo antibody theory? This episode is as close as the series got to embodying it. I’m not saying it’s great, but I don’t think it’s terrible.
Looking forward to the Columbo-Frasier Venn diagram, too….
“I thought, as 90’s-dviations-from-the-Columbo-norm go, this wasn’t too bad.”
That’s exactly how I felt about Undercover. I thought Tyne Daly’s performance was really good; I liked how everyone Columbo met immediately accused him of being a cop; heck, I even liked Ed Begley.
Maybe I’m just soft in the head, but I can’t see how one could rate it lower than “Columbo Goes to College” or “Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo” or “Sex and the Married Detective.”
I can’t spell deviation, sorry.
I have this episode at 42 in my ranking of Columbo episodes (yes, I did it, sorry). Personal taste and all, but I quite liked it (though, it must be said, there are a couple of shots that are way too lingering). I admire that the heroine has some agency & is proactive, plus it’s good to see Columbo properly working in a team, plus we actually see family!
I think the formula change really helps it along; as has been mentioned before with the 90’s ones, the younger / other cast help pick up the slack, and perhaps inject more energy. The restricted timescale I think works in its favour, too, giving the plot a natural urgency that few Columbo’s have.
Oh, it has flaws. Many, many flaws. But I think this actually a good effort at crowbarring Columbo into a (slightly) different format
The three you list are all significantly worse than this one (RIPMC being the worst by miles, so many miles – almost Strange Bedfellows not good).
I saw this episode a couple of times. Not in my usual re-watch routine. My first thought regarding this one is “salad dressing.”