Columbo: Season 10, Episode 1

Columbo Goes to College (9 Dec. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 714 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 3 critic

Two college students who believe that their wealth and status allow them to do what they want. But one of them has been placed on notice by his father that if he messes up he's on his own. ... See full summary »


(as E. W. Swackhamer)


(creator), (creator), 3 more credits »
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Title: Columbo Goes to College (09 Dec 1990)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Caffrey ...
Justin Rowe
Cooper Redman
Prof. D.E. Rusk
Dominic Doyle
June Clark
Mr. Redman
Bridget Hanley ...
Mrs. Rusk
Jim Antonio ...
Joe Doyle
Guy Stockwell ...
Club Owner
Jordan Rowe
Les Lannom ...
Elizabeth Swackhamer ...


Two college students who believe that their wealth and status allow them to do what they want. But one of them has been placed on notice by his father that if he messes up he's on his own. And they cheat in one of their classes. The professor discovers what they did. And he tells them that he will either flunk them or have them expelled. They later follow him and see him with someone. That's when they decide to kill him. They decide to do it during their next class wherein Columbo is teaching. And they do it despite being in the class when it happened. Columbo investigates and the two guys would like to help. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

9 December 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In "Columbo Goes To College", Columbo is a guest lecturer at a criminology class. He reminisces about the prior season's Columbo: Agenda for Murder (1990), describing how he obtained a piece of chewing gum belonging to murder suspect Oscar Finch (Patrick McGoohan), which was matched to teeth-marks on a piece of cheese left at the murder scene. See more »


When Columbo is sitting in Justin's room with him and Cooper he is given a can of Budweiser which he holds in his right hand. When the camera is on a close up of Columbo he is shown using both hands freely without holding the can of beer. When the camera goes back to the original view he is shown holding the can again. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Well, sometimes, when you know something, it's better to keep it to yourself. You don't have to blab everything right away. Wait. Who knows what will happen? Timing. That's important. And lucky. You got to be lucky.
See more »


Followed by Columbo: Ashes to Ashes (1998) See more »


Poor Rich Boy
(uncredited) (opening title)
Written by Burt Bacharach, David Pack, Joe Puerta
Performed by Ambrosia
Produced by Val Garay, assisted by Niko Bolas at Record One
Drums: Burleigh Drummond
Bass: Joe Puerta
Keyboards: Christopher North and David Lewis
Background vocals and guitar: David Pack
Background vocals and percussion: Royce Jones
(from Arthur (1981) The Album")
See more »

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User Reviews

Yet Again, Another Fantastic Columbo
24 February 2010 | by (Essex) – See all my reviews

Sorry to repeat myself over and over, but here's another great Columbo episode. I guess that's why I'm such a fan - most episodes really are great! The best episodes always have a standout feature of some sort, and in this case the murderer and his accomplice are possibly the youngest ever Columbo villains.

After watching a lot of episodes where Columbo and his adversary act like close friends, it's good to see an episode where tempers fray and bad feelings rise to the surface. It just gives an episode a bit more drama and bite. Columbo is rapidly onto the fact that the two students who claim to be helping him are not very secretly laughing at him and feeding him false clues. He happily plays along, deliberately turning up the bumbling in front of them to make them underestimate him! But of course he knows instantly when they are talking baloney.

The murder itself is another complicated one, along the lines of The Bye Bye Sky High IQ episode, with a sophisticated chain reaction of events that manages to kill the intended target while providing the assassins with a seemingly watertight alibi. In the intervening years between 1978 and 1990, the technology has moved on from record players and firecrackers to remote control car locking systems and hidden cameras.

Stephen Caffrey puts in a great performance as Justin Rowe, the obnoxious, spoilt student. Gary Hershberger is low-key but good as his "yes-man" friend Cooper Redman. And it's nice to see Robert Culp as Mr Rowe, Justin's dad.

A very satisfying episode in all ways.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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