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
Invited to the home of chemical company CEO Rueben Astwell for dinner and to view Mr. Astwell's collection of Belgian miniatures, Poirot finds Astwell universally disliked and shortly thereafter murdered. But the murder is only one piece of the puzzle when Poirot discovers Astwell's chemical company has developed synthetic rubber so precious that someone has broken into the company to try and steal the formula. Astwell himself is more than willing to sell it to the highest bidder, even the Nazi's. Written by
Hans Meyer [letter]:
My dear Horace; We were all disappointed not to see you at our conference in Berlin. England is in danger of becoming isolated, you know. Many interesting developments were discussed, in particular Sir Reuben Astwell's new Astoprene compound. It's rumoured that Farben's over here will manufacture it under license. But then, you know what gossips scientists can be.
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I have been a fan of Agatha Christie and of the Poirot series for several years now. The Underdog is not one of my favourites, but it still has plenty that I love about the series on display. It is very well made, with some scenes having a nice autumnal feel to them, and the scenery, costumes and photography are splendid, complete with an evocative atmosphere. Right from the iconic theme tune to the haunting under-scoring, the music adds much to the mood of the episode without being over-bearing. The script still has its perfect blend of humour, thoughtfulness and tension, and the story is always interesting with the hypnosis parts a nice touch and the final solution satisfying if not entirely unexpected. The victim himself is such an obnoxious bully, perhaps the most unpleasant and most deserving victim of the series, that you are actually glad when he is done in and you feel sympathy for the murderer. The acting is its usual reliable itself, with the four leads outstanding especially David Suchet, who as far as I'm concerned hasn't given a single bad performance in this role. All in all, well made, entertaining and well acted. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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