Friday, 28 January 2011

Season 3, Episode 8- A Friend Indeed

Hugh has accidentally killed his wife Janice so calls his friend Mark for help. Mark goes to their house and makes it look like a robbery, whilst Hugh goes to a bar and makes an ostentatious phone call.
Mark is a deputy police commissioner and his wife is a rich shrew.
Columbo’s back appears at 15 minutes and 24 seconds, closely followed by the rest of him. He’s looking for his cigar.
Mark goes on to murder his own wife, drowning her in the bath. Later he gets Hugh to chuck her in the pool whilst he watches from a helicopter. Now it looks like a serial killing burglar is on the loose.
Columbo knows Mark did it as there’s soap in his wife’s lungs. Mark has the audacity to threaten Columbo, even telling him “you just lost your badge my friend”.
The columboid: Columbo sets up a real burglar to blackmail Mark, then plants a fake address in the burglar’s file, making sure Mark sees it. Mark then goes to the apartment to plant evidence but it’s Columbo’s flat and Columbo is there!
It appears we learn nothing about Columbo during this episode.
What did I do during this episode? Suggestions below please.

Season 3, Episode 7- Swan Song

Johnny Cash is a country singer. Not just in real life but also in the fictional world of Columbo. In this world his name is Tommy Brown, ahhh. His wife is a religious fanatic who won’t let him fool around with young girls and buy a rolls Royce. Instead she wants to use his money to build a big massive church.
After a successful gig they get ready to board a plane that Tommy is going to fly. Tommy drugs up Edna and her protege Mary Ann. They’re quietly dozing whilst he flies them around. He then parachutes out and leaves them to crash and burn.
Columbo appears at 21 minutes and 49 seconds and he has some pretty strong suspicions about old Tommy. He starts hanging round so he can catch him out and even eats chilli made with squirrel meat at a Tommy Brown party.
The columboid is Columbo tricking Tommy into going back to the crash site to retrieve his hidden parachute.
Things we learn about Columbo: he was in the military police during the Korean War and, contrary to his claim in ‘Double Exposure’, his wife does all the shopping.
During this episode I sewed buttons onto a cardigan.

Season 3, Episode 6- Mind over Mayhem

Marshall is a big time computer scientist. His son Neil is about to win scientist of the year but he doesn’t deserve it as he stole the idea and all the research. A man called Howard knows this and won’t stand for it so Marshall has to kill him. He’s a pretty pushy parent and won’t let anything stand in the way of his progeny being named scientist of the year, even though he’s actually a rubbish scientist.
Columbo appears at 16 minutes and 22 seconds and he’s having dog trouble.
This episode has a chess playing robot.
The columboid is the arresting of the son to get the father to confess.
Things we learn about Columbo: his dog failed training class because he de-moralized the other students, his dog now sits about the house and drools, Columbo gets his cigars from the supermarket and when a case gets too tough he talks to his wife.
During this episode I had some French onion soup.

Season 3, Episode 5- Publish or Perish

Riley Greenleaf is a top publisher, however his most successful writer Alan Mallory is moving to a rival publisher. Greenleaf decides this is unacceptable and hires Eddie to shoot him, which he duly does.
Eddie only agreed to kill Alan under the condition Greenleaf published his book on explosives. Greenleaf obviously has no intention of doing this so injects poison into Eddie’s celebratory champagne and then, just to make sure, blows up his apartment.
Columbo appears at 14 minutes and 45 seconds. Interestingly (for me) Columbo references the events of Candidate for Crime. Less interestingly (but still interesting) Greenleaf appears to have his own private pornographic cinema.
The columboid involves changing locks.
Things we learn about Columbo: his wife made him stay up until 2am watching a Bette Davis film, his wife has a cousin in the Valley who owns a body shop.
During this episode I doubted the practicality of my outfit.

Season 3, Episode 4- Double Exposure

Robert Culp shows up again, this time as Doctor Kepple, a specialist in motivational research. Kepple has been blackmailing a man called Vic Norris but now, inevitably, he has to kill him.
He sets up a research screening with live narration given by himself. Just before the screening he gives Vic some extra salty caviar. Kepple is actually playing a recording of his voice rather than narrating it live. When Vic obviously goes for a glass of water Kepple sneaks out and shoots him.
Columbo appears at 13 minutes and 5 seconds. He missed his dinner and is really hungry so just starts snacking on whatever is lying around.
As well as the salty caviar Kepple used subliminal cuts in the film and a hot cinema to make sure Vic left for a glass of water. Fool proof. Columbo uses his own trick against him in a subliminal cut columboid which utilises ‘Bill’, a mute photography cop.
Things we learn about Columbo: he has an uncle that made a killing in real estate in San Dimas, this uncle used to be a bus driver and now sends embossed Christmas cards, Columbo’s wife has no head for crime and always guesses the wrong murderer in whodunits, Columbo does the shopping in his family, he is not a golfer but does bowl a little.
During this episode I drank bitter shandy.

Season 3, Episode 3- Candidate for Crime

Columbo appears at 1 minute and 7 seconds, a record early appearance.
Nelson Hayward is a senator requiring police protection after supposed death threats. He’s also having an affair with his wife’s secretary, Linda.
He kills his bullying campaign manager Harry by getting Harry to pretend he’s him as a decoy for the police to follow. He shoots him and then goes to his wife’s surprise party. His wife is called Victoria, like the train station.
Columbo goes to the dentist in this episode. His dentist is obsessed with the unjustified image of Italians as gangsters.
The columboid involves bullet hole trickery.
Things we learn about Columbo: his 38 year old brother still has his sneakers from high school, he can pick jackets straight off the rack and they fit like a glove and he doesn’t have a credit card.
During this episode I couldn’t get the song ‘Painter’s Radio’ by Get Chevvyed out of my head. Am I a pervert?
What does Columbo smell like?

Season 3, Episode 2- Any Old Port in a Storm

Donald Pleasance is Adrian Carsini, a wine connoisseur, His younger brother Rick is going to sell Adrian’s beloved vineyard. In anger Adrian bashes Rick over the head. Luckily Rick isn’t dead, Adrian isn’t a murderer, huzzah! Now all he needs to do is call an ambulance and clear the whole mess up but’s what’s this, oh dear he’s tying up his unconscious brother and hiding him in a wine cellar. After this insane deed he goes away on a week long trip to New York and spends $23,000 on wine. Thus pretty much ensuring his brother’s death. When he gets back he dumps Rick’s body at sea and makes it look like a scuba diving accident.
Columbo appears at 19 minutes and 18 seconds.
The columboid involves oxidised port (hence the punny title).
Things we learn about Columbo: Columbo is Italian, he is the only Italian in the world that can’t sing, he doesn’t drink anything he can’t pronounce, his writing is so bad he thinks he should’ve been a doctor, his grandfather used to let him stomp on grapes when he made wine at home, he likes Alan Ladd and thinks This Gun for Hire is a good film, he has over 100,000 mile son his car and he claims to have a kid!
During this episode I mended a dress.

Season 3, Episode 1- Lovely but Lethal

Vera Miles is the head of Beauty Mark, a cosmetics company after the elusive secret of eternal youth. Martin Sheen is a scientist with a formula for a miracle cream that will vanquish wrinkles. Although he works for Vera Miles he’s trying to sell the formula to Vincent Price, the head of a rival cosmetics firm.
Martin Sheen refers to himself as a ‘hairy little teddy bear’. Odd.
Vera Miles offers herself up to Martin Sheen in exchange for the formula. He hasn’t written it down. It’s in his head. He’s pretty mean to her so she kills him by hitting over the head with a heavy telescope.
Columbo appears at 17 minutes and 31 seconds. He has a boiled egg in his pocket. He used to carry a salt shaker too but it appears he’s given up this habit.
There’s a poison ivy columboid and perhaps an intentional Psycho reference 9or am I reading too much into it?).
Things we learn about Columbo: his wife uses Beauty Mark products, she also uses eyebrow pencil to write her shopping lists, Columbo doesn’t like to see pretty young girls smoking, he has a dermatologist nephew at UCLA, his brother in law George just got back from Mexico, he loves family pictures and he took Spanis.
During this episode I eat sushi.

Season 2, Episode 3- Double Shock

Martin Landau is a celebrity chef called Dexter Paris. His rich uncle Clifford is about to marry a much younger woman. Despite his protestations to the contrary Dexter really isn’t happy about this. So he murders his uncle by dropping an electric mixer in the bath. He then dresses him in leisure wear and props him up on an electric bicycle.
Columbo appears at 12 minutes and 8 seconds and is chastised by a house keeper for dropping cigar ash. It turns out Dexter has a twin brother, Norman, also played by Martin Landau. This leads to an excellent scene in which Martin Landau lifts Columbo out of a bath whilst Martin Landau watches on.
Columbo knows that Dexter and Norman must have been in it together but they claim to hate each other. Columbo cleverly uncovers evidence that Dexter and Norman have talked to each other 20 times in the last 10 ten days, thus confirming they’re murderers.
Things we learn about Columbo: his wife cooks all of Dexter Paris’ recipes but they’re always a disaster, he has a silver ashtray, is untidy, is extremely fond of health cookies and is an expert at fine tuning T.V.s.
I sweated profusely during this episode. It is also the first episode of Columbo I’ve watched wearing spectacles.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Season 2, Episode 7-The Most Dangerous Match

Emmett Clayton is a chess champion but the former champ, Russian Tomlin Dudek is coming out of retirement just to play him, Clayton is nervous about the match. Obviously he has to kill his opponent in order to spare himself any embarrassment.
Columbo appears at 16 minutes and 14 seconds playing checkers with a vet. His dog is poorly. Unfortunately for Clayton Dudek isn’t actually dead, although it seems only a matter of time before he exits this mortal coil. Regardless of the lack of a homicide, homicide detective Columbo is still called into investigate. He immediately suspects Clayton, who, incidentally wears a hearing aid. This episode has a mad chess dream sequence complete with crazed lighting and slo-mo. The columboid involves Clayton’s hearing aid and switching off the murder machine.
Things we learn about Columbo: he doesn’t wear false teeth, he likes any food from the sea and he has a cousin in Albany who wears big thick glasses.
During this episode I had a lovely cup of tea.

Season 2, Episode 6- A Stitch in Crime

Leonard Nimoy is Dr. Mayfield. He’s a top doctor, pioneering top new surgical procedures. His partner Dr. Hyderman thinks they need more tests but Mayfield is impatient for the glory that revolutionary surgical techniques inevitably bring. Unfortunately Hyderman needs an operation that only Mayfield can perform. It seems to go well but attending nurse Sharon is suspicious of the suture. Oh nurse Sharon, should’ve kept your mouth shut, now Leonard Nimoy has to batter you with a crowbar.
Columbo appears at 14 minutes and 11 seconds, investigating the murder of nurse Sharon. Nimoy has set it up to look like a drugs murder but Columbo isn’t fooled. Dr Hyderman is still hanging on but it’s only a matter of time before the special sutures used by Mayfield disintegrate thus killing him. Mayfield has to get them out if the suspicious Columbo carries on hanging around.
There’s no real columboid as smug-o Nimoy* makes the mistake of hiding the evidence in Columbo’s pocket in the mistaken belief it’s the last place he’d look.
During this episode we learn that Columbo suffers stomach upsets and doesn’t like watching people have their colons sutured.
During this episode I hid my now empty goldfish bowl. Looking at it made me sad. Rest in peace, sweet David.

*I actually really like Nimoy, he’s just smug in this. Like most Columbo villains.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Season 2, Episode 5- Requiem for a Falling Star

Aging actress Nora Chandler is being blackmailed by Gerry Parks. Gerry is also secretly dating Nora’s assistant Jean. Nora goes to Gerry’s house and blows up his car. However, Gerry isn’t in the car Jean is. Now Jean is dead.
Columbo appears at 11 minutes and 36 seconds. Everyone thinks Gerry was the intended victim but Columbo figures out that it was supposed to be Jean all along as she knew that Nora had killed her husband 12 years earlier. The columboid involves a shriner ring. I’m not sure what this is.
During this episode we learn that Columbo’s brother in law in called George, he had an uncle that played the bag pipes and his wife loves mementos and steals ash trays from fancy restaurants.
During this episode I roasted vegetables.

Season 2, Episode 4- Dagger of the Mind

Lillian Stanhope is a demanding actress pretending she doesn’t love her husband to scam money from a wealthy producer. He discovers the rouse so she and her husband Nicky hit him over the head and stuff him in a massive trunk. They drive him to his own house and put him at the bottom of the stairs to make it look like the old guy had a fall.
Columbo appears at 15 minutes and 24 seconds. He is inexplicably in London and has lost all of his luggage. There’s a lot of ‘blimey guvnor’ style dialogue.
Lillian and Nicky are terrible murderers. Honor Blackman is also a terrible actress, she seems to think that acting just means shouting. It kind of ruined this episode. The columboid is pretty good though and involves umbrellas, waxworks and broken pearls.
During this episode we learn that Columbo has a brother-in-law who he borrowed a camera from, he once broke the spine of his mother-in-law’s cookbook and she almost hit him with a frying pan and he enjoys fish and chips although they greasy.
During this episode I ironed my very own Columbo-esque coat. The ironing made it a lot less Columbo-esque.

Season 2, Episode 3- The Most Crucial Game

Dean Stockwell is a no-good playboy who owns a football team but it’s Robert Culp (again! and also R.I.P.) who is running the show. Now, the playboy won’t do as he’s told so Robert Culp drives to his house disguised as an ice cream man and hits him over the head with a block of ice.
Columbo appears at 17 minutes and 23 seconds, he gets his shoes wet. He also accidently goes to a prostitute but there’s no intercourse involved- he only questions her regarding murder. The columboid- the striking clock should’ve been on the tape and wasn’t.
In this episode we learn that Columbo has a new hammock, his wife likes bowling, he will only pay $16 or $17 for a pair of shoes, he eats chilli again, he has a nephew that married a girl with a Hungarian accent and thinks ding a ling ice cream is the best in town.
During this episode I ate an Easter egg.

Season 2, Episode 2- The Greenhouse Jungle

Ray Milland (again!) is uncle Jarvis, setting up a fake kidnapping for his nephew Tony so he can get his hands on his trust fund cash. Unfortunately for Tony, Jarvis wants all the cash for himself and shoots him.
Columbo appears at 8 minutes and 37 seconds and promptly falls down a steep hill. He has an eager young rookie called Freddie Wilson working with him. Wilson claims Columbo is a legend in the department.
There’s a particularly convoluted columboid involving two guns, bullets and a plant pot.
During this episode we learn that Columbo’s wife is trying to grow an African violet, he needs to take care of his telephone bill, he loves pool and played it as a kid and he varies his chilli by having it without beans.
During this episode I talked to a dog.

Season 2, Episode 1- √Čtude in Black

Alex Benedict is a top conductor. He is also unfaithful to his wife. His pianist lover Jennifer is about to confess all to his wife. So he pretends he’s having a nap before a big gig and sneaks off to kill her. He whacks her over the head with an ashtray, puts her head in the oven and switches the gas on thus killing her and her cockatoo Chopin.
Columbo appears at 23 minutes and 58 seconds. He is at a vet’s surgery with his new dog, he just picked it up from the pound. He almost calls the dog Fido and Beethoven but doesn’t think they suit it. He wants to give the dog a name that fits him but all he does is sleep and drool.
This episode is studded with stars; John Casavettes, Blythe Danner and Myrna Loy. Although the credit reads differently Peter Falk and John Casavettes directed this episode.
Columbo catches Benedict because he foolishly left behind the flower from his lapel at the house of murder then idiotically takes it back afterwards.
In this episode we learn that Columbo makes £11,000 a year, is fascinated by money, he would like to see everyone die of old age and he receives car advice from a cockney mechanic.
I watched this episode with the greatest person that ever lived. She fell asleep.

Season 1, Episode 7- Blueprint for Murser

Beau Williamson’s wife has committed a stack of his money to architect Elliot Markham’s new project. When Beau returns from a long trip to Europe and finds out he’s not too happy and pulls the plug on the project. There’s only one way for Elliot to solve this problem. Murder. Columbo appears at 12 minutes 10 seconds. There’s no body but this doesn’t phase Columbo. Very clever columboid in which Columbo digs up the foundations of the building Markham is working on, knowing that the body won’t be there, tricking Markham to taking the body from its hiding place to then bury in the place Columbo has already searched. Sounds complicated but works like a dream.
In this episode we learn that Columbo likes classical music, has low blood pressure and that his brother in law is an attorney. In this episode he carries raisins and half a candy bar round in his pockets.
Immediately prior to this episode I walked to the shop in my pyjamas. I now exist in a sub-strata of society.

Season 1, Episode 6- Short Fuse

Roddy McDowell is Roger, some kind of unhinged, hippy scientist who kills his uncle David because he’s trying to force him to give up his shares in the family chemical company. Roger plants a bomb in a cigar box and blows up David’s car. David is in the car at the time and so is killed. Columbo appears at 18 minutes and 37 seconds. Roddy McDowell picks silly string from Columbo’s hair. It’s quite, quite beautiful. The columboid involves Roger being trapped in a cable car with Columbo and a fake cigar box bomb.
In this episode we learn that Columbo doesn’t like heights, his wife has a kid brother, he isn’t good at chemistry and took wood shop instead and that his wife does the taxes.
During this episode I painted my nails coral. That’s a kind of orangey red colour.

Season 1, Episode 5- Lady in Waiting

Beth Chadwick and her brother Bryce are rich. Bryce doesn’t want Beth seeing Peter Hamilton because he thinks he’s after her money. Beth is a little upset at this and sets up the murder of her brother to look like an accident. Columbo appears at 20 minutes and 2 seconds reading a paper. An inquest finds the death was an accident and completely exonerates Beth. Columbo knows better though and doesn’t give up on proving premeditation. He proves it.
In this episode we learn that Columbo comes from a very large family, he likes onion rings, doesn’t like whipped cream on his mighty malt and his wife in prone to spouting proverbs.
During this episode I ate a small amount of beans on toast.

Season 1, Episode 4- Suitable for Framing

Art critic Dale Kingston has a rich uncle with a pricey art collection. Obviously he has to kill him. He makes it look like a robbery, wraps the body in an electric blanket (it keeps it nice and warm) then gets a gullible girl to come round and fire a gun at a time when he has an alibi. Columbo appears at 13 minutes and 20 seconds and very obviously immediately knows whodunit. Maybe it’s Dale’s crushed velvet jacket. Columbo reacts excellently to a naked young lady posing for an artist. There’s a great little columboid in which Columbo forces Dale to reveal the Degas paintings taken during the fake robbery. Watch for the look on Columbo’s face when he takes his gloved hands from his pockets.
This is one of the best Columbo episodes I’ve ever seen. It contains the line- “When you take the ‘W’ off wart you are still left with art.” Classic.
In this episode we learn that Columbo’s father in law likes western films, he likes grapes and his wife enjoys shopping.
During this episode I really wished I was a cop. That badge opens a lot of doors.

Season 1, Episode 3- Dead Weight

General Hollister’s construction company is involved in some kind of illegality, rather than let Colonel Dutton blow the whistle on him he just shoots him dead. Unfortunately for Hollister he shoots him in front of the window and a scatty woman on a boat witnesses it. Columbo shows up at 10 minutes and 38 seconds. Hollister has hidden the body and the only witness was a bit boozed up but Columbo knows something isn’t right, especially when Hollister starts to woo witness Helen (an excellent lonely divorcee, bullied by her mother). Hollister describes Columbo as looking like ‘an unmade bed’. There’s no columboid to speak of in this episode, Hollister basically just admits he did it. I think he was tired.
In this episode we learn that Columbo has a niece who may be called Cynthia or may be called Marilyn, he gets seasick, he has a brother in law called George and is an early bird. He also eats a bowl of chilli at Bert’s Beanery.
During this episode I drank a pint of lemonade.

Season 1, Episode2- Death Lends a Hand

Private eye Brimmer is trying to blackmail Arthur Kennecott’s lovely young wife Lenore. She’s not too keen on that and she’s going to tell on him. He hits her across the face and kills her. This accidental murder is followed by an excellent sequence where the clean up and disposal of the body are projected on to his glasses, his murderous eyes just visible beneath.
Columbo appears as a blur at 15 minutes and 11 seconds, gradually coming into focus. He is driving his car (a 1959 Peugeot 403 Cabriolet) but gets stopped by a cop because one of his tail lights is out. Ray Milland is the cuckolded Arthur and it feels a little sad to see him looking so old, hairless and jowly. Columbo catches Brimmer in an excellent columboid involving contact lenses.
In this episode we learn that Columbo can’t play golf, his driving licence expires in a week, he keeps a lamp right next to his bed, he has a sister in law and he does not carry a gun.
During this episode I felt sorry for myself.

Season 1, Episode 1- Murder by the Book

Jim and Ken are writing partners, except Jim does all the writing. Their mystery books feature an old lady sleuth called Mrs Melville and have sold millions. Jim wants to strike out on his own but this doesn’t please Ken, who cooks up a convoluted murder to dispatch his partner. Trouble is there’s a horse faced witness about and she’s not sure if she wants hush money or a new boyfriend. A second murder ensues. Columbo appears at 17 minutes and 16 seconds. His hair is looking a little wilder.
This episode was directed by Steven Spielberg.
We learn that Columbo can’t cook, except for omelettes and that his coat has no lining. Columbo drinks a bourbon during this episode. It’s fast becoming his favourite drink.
During this episode I put my pyjamas on. It was 5.45pm.

Pilot 2- Ransom for a Dead Man

It’s surprising that they needed another pilot, surely after one show they knew they were on to a winner? Anyway during this second pilot gold digger Lesley Williams kills her husband then sets it up to look like a kidnapping. This firmly establishes the convoluted nature of the murders that are a staple of Columbo.
Our man makes an early appearance at 12 minutes and five seconds, fumbling about in the dark for his pen. He appears at first to have a lot of sympathy for the widow Williams but soon enlists her Double Indemnity watching step daughter to help him trap her. The trap involves keys and a suitcase of money and an airport. It works brilliantly.
From this episode we learn that Columbo has a fear of flying and that he enjoys eating chilli. He also drinks a root beer.
During this episode I created a stationery drawer. That’s a drawer to store my stationery.

Pilot 1- Prescription Murder

Our first visit from Columbo is not disappointing, although he is significantly neater than in later episodes, which feels a little odd. In this episode Dr Ray Fleming dupes a foolish young actress in to helping him kill his wife. After strangling his nagging old lady, he boards a plane with his lover disguised as the wife, giving himself the perfect alibi.
Columbo appears at 31 minutes 48 seconds wearing his trademark overcoat and chomping on a cigar. Columbo also has a surprise for the doctor- his wife isn’t actually dead! She wakes from a coma long enough to say his name but the stupid medical experts assume this is a gesture of love and not an accusation. Luckily, Columbo is on the case.
From this episode we glean that Columbo has a wife and drinks bourbon.
During this episode I ate a deformed Malteser.