It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
^ Back to Top
The MI6 Community is unofficial and in no way associated or linked with EON Productions, MGM, Sony Pictures, Activision or Ian Fleming Publications. Any views expressed on this website are of the individual members and do not necessarily reflect those of the Community owners. Any video or images displayed in topics on MI6 Community are embedded by users from third party sites and as such MI6 Community and its owners take no responsibility for this material.
James Bond News • James Bond Articles • James Bond Magazine
I remember at first it threw me off a bit when I realised that Dick van Dyke seemed to be playing every bad guy, but then I found the recurrence of main actors in different roles to be a lot of fun!
Yes, that episode was called "Identity Crisis" and there were a few little reference to The Prisoner throughout such as the one you just mentioned there! Patrick McGooghan also directed that episode too.
Well Dick Van Dyke was only in the one episode of Columbo called "Negative Reaction" but perhaps you are thinking of one of the returning guest star killers like Jack Cassidy (3 eps), Robert Culp (4 eps, 3 as the killer), Robert Vaughan (2 eps), George Hamilton (2 eps), Patrick McGooghan (4 eps) or William Shatner (2 eps)?
There are a lot of similarities with Bond for me, as follows:
What's great about this show is that you can rewatch them every couple of years (like Bond) and not get fed up. The characters are so interesting, although admittedly it's all held together by a superb performance by Peter Falk.
Every time I watch it, I'm so amazed by how advanced the show was for its time (i.e. how good it must have been back then for viewers that were watching other movies/shows). This is similar to how I feel about older Bonds.
I used to dislike the 70's original NBC episodes when I was younger, and preferred the 90's tv movies that came out on ABC. I similarly disliked the Connery Bonds (only when compared to Roger's) when I was younger. Now I can't get enough of the earlier 70's episodes, just like my opinion of Connery's Bonds has gone immensely up as I've aged.
Although it's great to have famous actors portraying the villains, that's not really what draws me to the show. It's more the excellent characterizations, the psychology of the villains, their arrogance, the interesting vocabulary used (my word how that's declined in American TV over the decades), the witty banter between Columbo & the villain, & their eventual come-uppance. In this respect, it's terribly similar to Bond, and that may be why I enjoy it so much.
I'm also impressed by the female villains in this show. Smart, independant & wily. In fact, all the villains are wily. It is a witty show full of smart people, but none smarter than the deceptive Columbo.
The music is excellent too - suspenseful & in your face in that old school sort of way.
There is almost a contemporary '99%/1%' angle to the stories, as most of the villains are very rich and powerful, but it's never enough.....they want more,.....and they cross the line.
Recently I was lamenting the death of Falk and wondering if there could ever be anyone who could play this role again, gvien how he defined it. I had given up on it, until I read a post on a forum where a possibility came to mind. The one actor who could breathe new life into this disheveled genius: Mark Ruffalo. Watch Zodiac or Collateral and you'll see what I mean. No one can top Falk, but Ruffalo could pull this role off. There's hope yet.
I liked the formula of showing the murderer (usually the main guest star) in the beginning and then watch the Lieutenant catch them in lies etc. Some of my favorite guest stars / murderers were:
Robert Conrad, Ross Martin (funny how both stars of the Wild Wild West were featured)
Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke (yes, that funny man Dick Van Dyke) Johnny Cash to name a few.
I once heard that the character of Colombo was based on the detective in the Russian classic Crime and Punishment.
Anyone else heard this or can confirm it?
I never heard about that theory. Actually to me he always was made from the same mould as Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op. Not from his demeanour, which was much more aimed at dulling his opponents and paying tribute to their usual elevated social status (just look how he treats some of the aside witnesses, there often is very few absentmindedness and politeness to be found,when it does suit him) but his attitude towards his profession. To him it's something he just happens to do very well and which therefore satisfies him. He also happens to be completely merciless when it comes to the job, which is amply shown by him never ever letting someone getting away,even when he sympathises with the motives or knows about the murderers near illness caused dead.
Yes, that is correct. Levinson and Link confirmed it in interviews - it's also available on the main Columbo site if you look it up. G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown was also another literary influence on Columbo, as was the inverted mystery style of R. Austin Freeman. Freeman claimed to have created the inverted detective story in his 1912 collection of short stories The Singing Bone (quote from Wikipedia):
"Some years ago I devised, as an experiment, an inverted detective story in two parts. The first part was a minute and detailed description of a crime, setting forth the antecedents, motives, and all attendant circumstances. The reader had seen the crime committed, knew all about the criminal, and was in possession of all the facts. It would have seemed that there was nothing left to tell, but I calculated that the reader would be so occupied with the crime that he would overlook the evidence. And so it turned out. The second part, which described the investigation of the crime, had to most readers the effect of new matter."
Quote source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_detective_story
Yes, that was the first episode of the commissioned series Columbo after the two pilots from 1968 and 1971. It was called 'Murder by the Book' and starred Jack Cassidy in his first of three appearances as the guest murderer. A brilliant episode, although it's interesting to note that the second episode 'Death Lends A Hand' starring Robert Culp was actually filmed before it.
The beauty is in watching Columbo get under the skin of the killer until they do something stupid that gets them caught!
Three scripts from that first season were nominated for an Emmy: Murder by the Book (Steven Bochco), Death Lends a Hand (Richard Levinson and William Link) and Suitable for Framing (Jackson Gillis). Levinson and Link won.
I agree. When I read of the rumour of Ruffalo doing Columbo, I was actually quite happy. In fact, Ruffalo´s Bruce Banner in The Avengers already looks so much like Columbo´s brother that I could imagine that was the reason for the rumour.
Nice term ;-)!
Robert Culp is my favourite recurring villain too - such a brilliant actor!
Yes, I've seen a little of that on You Tube. There were comedy elements in it too. I've really wanted to see some of his film roles too. He's one of my favourite actors.
Yes, I have the 3 series DVD boxset of Luther and I read only yesterday that it was inspired by Columbo and Sherlock Holmes. It's great to see another "inverted mystery" series made and I really must watch it soon! :)
I'm a big Colombo fan too.
Always thought the guy that played Carla's husband on Cheers would make a good new Colombo.
Anytime someone wants to do '77 Sunset Strip', 'Mannix' and 'Colombo'...sign me up. I would have probably said the same thing about 'Hawaii Five-O' but this latest version is terrible. How more 'The Protectors' with Robert Vaughn and the stunning Nyree Dawn Porter or 'Dempsey and Makepeace'?
Mr @Matt_Helm we have found common ground ...I'll humbly apologize for the insults and batter with you anytime on this thread.
Indeed, that was brilliant as it had a neat twist.
And the only other episode after "Murder With Too Many Notes" (2001) was "Columbo Likes Thew Nightlife" (2003) and it is one of the best episodes ever, neatly recalling the best of the original 45 1970s episodes. It too is highly recommended!