Sunday, 23 February 2014

Just one more thing...

Columbo Night

Gamma Longcat had a great idea that we should watch lots of episodes of Columbo, which is one of his favourite TV programmes, so yesterday we watched three of them and they were all great.

The first one we watched was called Troubled Waters. It was from season four and was made in 1975. Columbo is known for having famous guest-stars in it, and this had three of them!

The main guest-star was Robert Vaughn, who played the murderer of the week. His job was to be caught by Columbo.

The second guest-star was Dean Stockwell, who played a hologram that only Columbo could see or hear the manny who was framed for the murder. His job was to get cleared by Columbo.

The third guest-star was Patrick Macnee, who played the Captain of the ship where the episode was set. His job was to be exasperated by Columbo right up until the point when he realises how clever Columbo is really. Since that is a job he shared with almost everybody else who has ever been in a Columbo episode, he also had the job of being cooler than everybody else because he is John Steed.

The second one we watched was Identity Crisis, from season five, also made in 1975. While this one had Leslie Nielsen in it as the murder victim, the main guest-star was Patrick McGoohan.

Oops, that's the wrong picture of him. But as he was playing a spy, there were plenty of Prisoner references in the episode too.

Patrick McGoohan was in four episodes of Columbo over the years, and this was his second (and best) appearance in the series. While Troubled Waters was a good story, and almost a typical example of the Columbo format except for being set entirely on a ship, Identity Crisis was great because it was less like a typical Columbo and more like a spy story that Columbo had wandered into... and unraveled everything as a result.

So, how can we top that for the third and final episode of the night?

It's Captain Kirk!

In 1976's Fade in to Murder, the first episode of season 6, William Shatner plays the murderer. And The Shat is at his hamtastic best, making this a classic Columbo.

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