Columbo: Season 12, Episode 3

Undercover (2 May 1994)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 631 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

Lt Columbo investigates men and women who are being killed over pieces of a photo they have, that shows where 4 million dollars in stolen money is hidden.



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Title: Undercover (02 May 1994)

Undercover (02 May 1994) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Irving Krutch
Mo Weinberg
Geraldine Ferguson
Bramley Kahn
Suzie Endicott (as Kristin Bauer)
Detective McKittrick
Hank Garrett
Dorothea McNally
Penny Santon ...
Marla Adams ...
Sheila Byrnes
Nurse Hilda


Cigar-chomping Lieutenant Columbo's investigation into the odd death of two men flings him headlong into a mystery revolving around the long-lost loot from an unsolved bank heist. Insurance investigator Irving Krutch asks for Columbo's assistance in tracking down the pieces of a photograph that will reveal the location of the hidden millions. To do so, Columbo must go undercover in various guises to obtain the pieces from the various people who now possess them. But in the course of the investigation, more than one of these people will be murdered, and Columbo can't shake the feeling that Krutch is somehow responsible for the entire bloody business... Written by Leaper

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Release Date:

2 May 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Tyne Daly's second appearance in a "Columbo" episode. See more »


Followed by Columbo: Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003) See more »


This Old Man
Traditional children's song
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User Reviews

Luke-warm new Columbo series entry
12 June 2006 | by (Port Talbot, South Wales,UK) – See all my reviews

A 1994 Columbo story that goes out of its way, even by modern Columbo standards, to remove the entrenched shackles of the style and execution exhibited in the original series.

The puzzling plot involves a piece of a black and white photograph found at the scene of a double murder in an apartment. An insurance investigator later comes forward providing Columbo with a ripped piece of paper partly showing the names of people who possess the other pieces of the photograph, which when wholly assembled, will identify the whereabouts of a hidden loot stemming from a bungled robbery a few years ago.

Undoubtedly, plenty of energy and ambition was plunged into this Columbo adventure at the conception stage, but the plot's positive properties are undone by a script which drags it's revelations around with it rather mundanely rather than inserts them with conviction. Also, the characters also lack a certain lustre and fail to raise the profile of the whole episode.

Columbo's donning of disguises means that he is hardly in his trademark mac and for die-hard fans this is a little hard to stomach, despite Falk's obvious self-pleasure in diversifying his character on screen.

Not a total washout by any means and mildly entertaining in its own way, the identity of the culprit (revealed about 5 minutes from the end) is however unsurprising and moreover, there is absolutely no opportunity for a battle of wits between Columbo and murderer, which was the hallmark of the original series.

A warning to all fans of the old 70's Columbo series: extreme broad-mindedness (or amnesia) might allow you to partially enjoy this episode, but it simply builds up the plot and fails to sustain it's intensity.

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