Lillian Stanhope and Nicholas Frame are two famed actors in London, a venerated husband and wife team set to act in 'Macbeth'. Producer Sir Roger Haversham had been Lillian's lover but finds out he has been deceived by the couple and is ab out to cancel their widely anticipated and lucrative engagement. During a dressing room brawl between the three, Haversham is accidentally killed when he is hit in the head by a projectile thrown by Stanhope. As Haversham had not been seen by any of the cast or crew before he entered the couple's dressing room, the couple decide to hide his body and later take the corpse to his mansion and stage his "accidental" death. However, Lt. Columbo, in London to learn about new investigation methods used by Scotland Yard, smells something fishy in this supposed accident.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Only certain location shots, and one interior scene (Columbo's visit to Superintendant Durk's gentleman's club) were actually filmed in Britain. The rest of the studio scenes, and all those taking place at Sir Roger's country house, were made back in California. See more »
During a montage sequence of Colombo and Chief Sup. Durk on a boat traveling under Tower Bridge, the camera pans off of Peter Falk to reveal a prominent white microphone. See more »
John Fraser, who is Scottish, and Richard Pearson, who is Welsh, are credited as "From London - Special Guest Stars". See more »
The British Grenadiers
[British march from 1600s] See more »
below average Columbo
I've watched this a couple of times now and it gets worse the more you analyse. Compare it to the episode in Mexico where as a "fish out of water" Columbo has to help the local police. That episode is tightly scripted with a believable Mexican policeman and reason for Columbo to help out. Here we have lazy scriptwriting (exchnage visit) and cartoon English policemen going to their "clubs". Laughable! The theatre setting and "luvie" murderers have possibilities but marred by Basehart's Canadian drawl. The pub scene with "cockneys" is just ludicrous. The difference between the location shoot and the Californian and studio scenes is glaring and off putting.
The problem is Falk is not on camera enough to lift it, and a wealth of British character actors are wasted with not enough nuance in the script, and no interesting villain like Patrick MacGoohan, Jack Cassidy or Robert Culp to mask the story shortfalls with screen presence. The murder and denouement is just lame and it is surprising this episode came so early since it bears all the hallmarks of the type of episode you get when the series is going down the drain and a desperate attempt is made to liven the pattern up with a new location. Columbo has done far better than this, but I must admit that compared to more standard TV fare a bad Columbo is still better than a lot of other things you can pass the time with because Peter Falk is in it.
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