Lt. Columbo takes a trip to Acapulco, but finds himself on a new case when a used car dealer commits murder on the cruise ship.



(teleplay by), (story by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Frank Pierce
Capt. Gibbon
Poupée Bocar ...
Artie Podell
Curtis Credel ...
The Magician


Hayden Danziger is on a cruise with his older but much, much richer wife Sylvia. Rosanna Wells is on the same ship, as its singer. Rosanna and Hayden were recently lovers, after which Rosanna began blackmailing Hayden; so, having decided to kill her, he has planned the perfect crime - or so it seems, since Lt. Columbo is cruising on that very same ship and the captain has asked for his help. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

9 February 1975 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


| (dvd release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The magician's box of props is labeled with the name of the actor playing the magician, Curtis Credel. See more »


Columbo mishandles key pieces of evidence during the case. He loosely keeps the bullet from the murder in his pocket. Because of this it's subject to being damaged and he cannot prove a chain of evidence and it would not be admissible as evidence. When he is handling the surgical gloves and checking them for fingerprints he handles them with his bare hands, which would also make useless as evidence. See more »


Capt. Gibbon: [to Columbo] Lieutenant, on the high seas we don't ask - I order!
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Crazy Credits

We gratefully acknowledge the co-operation and courtesies furnished by Princess Cruises and the offices and staff of the Sun Princess. See more »


Referenced in Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976) See more »


Written by Sid Rubin and Charlie Chavers
Played by ship's band
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User Reviews

Nothing that much troubling about this episode...
23 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

For me this is one of the better Columbo episodes. It is not a perfect episode, it does take too long to set up and some of the clues are rather obvious(how many mistakes does a murderer need to make?). I know some may find the ending downbeat, but I had no problem with it personally. Even with the faults, Troubled Waters is a very interesting episode. It is a refreshing change of pace, taking place on a ship, which is a quite sumptuous setting in itself, and it is slickly filmed. The music is fitting with the period and with the jaunty and haunting moments you'd expect. Apart from some of the obvious clues and slow start, the mystery rolls along and is diverting, and the dialogue is still clever and intelligent. Peter Falk is as wonderful as ever, some of his trademarks are not on display here such as the raincoat, but his shrewd, observant and cunning personality still remains. Robert Vaughn is good in his role and this is the better of the two appearances he gave, if not among the best guest villain performances of the series(McGoohan, Gordon, Cassidy, Culp, Clark, Leigh, Wilkinson and Torn), but if I were honest I found Dean Stockwell to be a little more at ease here. All in all, one of the better episodes with not much troubling about it. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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