Columbo: Season 2, Episode 8

Double Shock (25 Mar. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 908 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 5 critic

A smarmy TV chef and his identical twin brother, a rigidly proper banker, are suspects in the electrocution of their rich uncle.



(teleplay), (story), 5 more credits »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 20 titles
created 08 Oct 2011
a list of 6602 titles
created 01 Jan 2012
a list of 8973 titles
created 07 Nov 2012
a list of 2600 titles
created 16 Apr 2013
a list of 21 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Double Shock" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Double Shock (25 Mar 1973)

Double Shock (25 Mar 1973) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Columbo.
« Previous Episode | 16 of 68 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode complete credited cast:
Dexter Paris / Norman Paris
Mrs. Peck
Michael Hatheway
Lisa Chambers
Clifford Paris
Detective Murray
Kate Hawley ...
Mrs. Johnson
Michael Richardson ...
Young Lawyer
Robert Rothwell ...
2nd Detective
Gregory Morton ...
Older Lawyer
Tony Cristino ...


Flamboyant television chef Dexter Paris and his twin brother, Norman, a conservative banker, are supposedly not talking to one another. But both disapprove of their wealthy uncle Clifford's impending marriage to a young woman. One of them enters Clifford's bathroom and drops an electric mixer with a frayed power cable into Clifford's bath water. Clifford is electrocuted, and the murderer takes Clifford's body to an exercise room to make it appear that Clifford died of a coronary. But Lieutenant Columbo, the infallible, cunning detective in a rumpled raincoat, suspects foul play and believes that the Paris twins, both heirs to their uncle's estate provided he didn't marry, had a motive for murder. But which one did the deed? Columbo pursues both with incessant questions as he tries to determine which of the two brothers killed their uncle Clifford. Written by Kevin McCorry <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 1973 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

See  »

Did You Know?


Debut of actor Marc Singer (as the young Doctor on Mrs. Peck's television). See more »


When Columbo helps Dexter in the cooking show, watch his shirt sleeves: Columbo rolls up his left sleeve, then his right. Then, half a minute later, the left sleeve has neatly rolled itself down, and even re-buttoned itself at the cuff, forcing Columbo to unbutton and roll it all over again. See more »


Columbo: Mrs. Peck? Mrs. Peck, I made a very poor introduction of myself to you, I know that. I'm a stranger in your house that you love and I'm here to do something that's not very pleasant, so I don't expect you to like me but I have feelings too, Mrs. Peck. Now, I'm sorry about being untidy. That's something that I can't control. That's a fault of mine that I-I, I don't know, I just can't correct that, and I've tried many years. I'm just very untidy. That's my nature, but I've never been un... ...
See more »


Featured in Pioneers of Television: Crime Dramas (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Columbo investigates twin Martin Landaus in this disappointing effort
14 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Martin Landau? Playing twins? This thrilled me when I first saw the plot synopsis, but something told me the novelty was not going to work, and unfortunately that proved to be right.

As in all "Columbo" episodes, we watch the killer carry out an elaborate scheme to murder someone. This time Landau is the killer. He plays smarmy TV chef Dexter Paris, whose rich uncle (Paul Stewart) is about to marry a woman (Julie Newmar) young enough to be his granddaughter. The uncle's nephew visits him while he takes a bath, plugs in an egg beater and throws it into the tub, electrocuting the old man. But when the young fiancée and a trusted housekeeper (Jeanette Nolan) discover the body, it's clothed in a sweatsuit and slumped over an exercise bike. It looks as if he had a heart attack while riding it. But our rumpled Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) is on the case and notices a few things that just don't add up.

That's when we meet Landau again, this time playing the rigidly proper banker, Norman Paris, identical twin brother to the looser-mannered TV chef. This immediately alerts us to the possibility that not everything we see is what we think we see. When we think we're watching TV-chef-Landau, are we really seeing uptight-banker-Landau, and vice versa?

Stephen Bochco – now well known for creating popular TV series like "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law" – wrote some of the best episodes of the series, including "Murder by the Book" and "Étude in Black." This time he's listed only as co-writer, which may explain how the script could have turned out flabby and shallow.

The script really fails Martin Landau. Both his characters have some atrociously arch dialogue, including a wisecrack right before the electrocution-murder: "I think you're going to get a charge out of this." Ugh.

Other elements almost – but don't quite – work. For instance, the housekeeper takes an extraordinary dislike to Columbo. She screams at him when she sees him dropping cigar ashes on the carpet and continues screaming throughout the show. This is supposed to be funny, I guess, but it comes off as shrill. However, their interplay does produce a nice moment where Columbo tries to win her back to his side, apologizing for his habitual untidiness and expressing genuine hurt feelings over her dislike of him. This is a side of Columbo we don't see too often.

Then there's the scene where Columbo goes to visit Dexter as he tapes his TV show. Columbo winds up on camera assisting him in preparing a dish. It comes close to being charming because Falk and Landau are clearly improvising. But ultimately it's just long and pointless; and it was an indulgence to include it in the episode.

Two supporting performances are notable. Newmar gives an overly quirky performance as the flighty fiancée. Her behavior is so odd I kept expecting her to turn out to be a drug addict. (Also, her face looks a little too tight, as if she'd had some work done on it. She was around forty but her character was probably supposed to be in her mid-20s.) Dabney Coleman plays another policeman and gives some personality to a minor, functional character without being too distracting. He demonstrates in this early role what a gifted character actor he would later prove to be.

This is an interesting, but ultimately disappointing episode. Die-hards may want to check it out, but casual "Columbo" fans can skip it.

7 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Last Salute to the Commadore Calumette
In Now You See Him why does Columbo damonn
Guest stars you would've love to have seen in the 70's episodes old-skool101
An Exercise In Fatality: 'He Slipped'? newdickmorris
Has this ever happened in Columbo? Nexusfactor
Columbo's failure to use phone records, explanation or just plot hole? billdz-geo
Discuss Double Shock (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: