Mark Collier is a psychiatrist and Nadia Donner is a patient of his. Mark is also Nadia's lover and his main concern is for a book he is writing. When Nadia and Mark are caught by her husband, Mark kills him with a poker. When the police arrive Nadia tells an unlikely story about two robbers. But will Lt. Columbo believe her? Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
This is one of the few Columbo episodes where the original murder is a spontaneous act. In most episodes the murder is carefully planned. See more »
The interiors of the Van Wyck house in "Playback" and the Donner beach house in "Deadly State of Mind" are the same. Both have steps leading down from one room into two adjacent rooms at 90 degrees from each other. The door to the house enters at this upper level in "Playback" but the door appears to be covered up by a piece of furniture in "Deadly State of Mind". The fireplace is in the same location. See more »
George Hamilton is a Svengali-like psychiatrist in this weak "Columbo"
Things aren't going well for Dr. Mark Collier (George Hamilton), a psychiatrist who specializes in hypnosis. He's stealing drugs from his clinic to use in an experiment with his disturbed patient, Nadia Donner (Lesley Ann Warren), but he's not getting the results he wants. Nor is he getting them from the lab experiments conducted by his harried research assistant (Karen Mochon). It seems his book, which is dependent on these results, will fail. Far worse, he's having an affair with Mrs. Donner - and Mr. Donner (Stephen Elliot) finds out. The husband confronts these two illicit lovers at his beach house, but in an angry moment Dr. Collier kills him with a fireplace poker. Collier convinces Mrs. Donner to lie to the police and claim that two intruders killed her husband. But can she convince the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) that she's telling the truth?
This episode has almost no extraneous comic business, which at first makes it seem sharper than many others made around this time. Hamilton and Warren give particularly strong performances. But the circumstances of the second murder (which I won't reveal) are difficult to believe; and the ending is flat. "Columbo" fans will enjoy it somewhat, but the average viewer will be sorry he wasted his time.
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