With his rumpled raincoat, ever-present cigar, bumbling demeanour and Sherlock Holmesian powers of deduction, disarmingly polite homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo took on some of the most cunning murderers in Los Angeles, most of whom made one fatal, irrevocable mistake: underestimating his investigative genius.
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
While on a Mediterranean cruise, Poirot is asked to investigate the murder of one of the passengers, Mrs. Clapperton who is found stabbed in the chest in her stateroom. She was somewhat haughty and generally disliked by the other passengers. Her henpecked husband, Colonel Clapperton, was ashore for the entire day with two other passengers. General Forbes, who admits to having been in love with the dead woman when they knew each other many years before, says he was having a nap. Then there is Miss Ellie Henderson, who is attracted to Colonel Clapperton but whose wife is in the way of any possible relationship. With everyone having a reasonable alibi, it is left to Poirot to find the killer. Written by
Problem at Sea is not one of my favourites of the series, but it is still a well made and interesting episode. Beautifully photographed with splendid costumes and scenery and an evocative atmosphere, Problem at Sea also has a music score that further adds to the mood, intelligent, sometimes funny, sometimes tense writing and a story that while taking some time to get going held my attention right up to I feel the pretty ingenious if slightly gimmicky final solution. The acting is as good as can be, with David Suchet continuing to impress as the dapper detective and Hugh Fraser suitably amusing and naive. Of the support cast, who in general are solid if never always standing out in the way Suchet and Fraser do, Sheila Allen delights as the domineering Mrs Clapperton. Overall, a good interesting episode if not one of the best of the series. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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