An infamous 'psychic' abandons his public persona, outing himself as a fake, to focus on his work as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation in order to find "Red John," the madman who killed his wife and daughter.
The show follows a crime, usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police, the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court.
S. Epatha Merkerson,
Jesse L. Martin
A dentist is threatened by a divorce, because his wife loves another man, and his father-in-law, who wants to collect his gambling debts. He decides to kill his wife's lover, and frame his wife for it, to get out of the situation. Columbo tries to solve the murder. Written by
Maarten Hofman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fills the time quite nicely, but the story doesn't extract the decent performances that it deserves
A substantially plotted and scripted 1990 Columbo episode penned by prolific writer Steven Bochco, which sees a debt-ridden, gambling dentist murder his wife's lover, by putting an overdose of a heart condition drug in the crown he puts in for him and then frames his wife, who is filing for divorce and also possesses a tragic marital history.
The murder set-up is fine, the story holds together very well, but it isn't particularly well-paced despite the deft development of clues which shift the focus of the investigation from the murderer's wife to murderer. Moreover, the story deserves more gritty and assured performances than we evidence, particularly from James Read as the murderer, who, for me, shamefully underacts in his relatively juicy role. Consequently, his scenes with Columbo, which should have possessed a mesmerising ferocity, instead only generate mild entertainment, which unfortunately deflects from the proficient elements of the storyline (just think what Jack Cassidy or Robert Culp could have done with the material!).
Very passable stuff for a new Columbo series that was trying feverishly to get somewhere near the quality of the original series, and in terms of storyline they get very close here. Sadly, the performances from the supporting cast don't really get the best out of the material.
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