Dr. Bart Keppel has a very high opinion of himself. Notwithstanding that opinion, he is being fired by Vic Norris, so Bart plans a murder, constructing a perfect alibi for himself while building evidence against the victim's wife. He kills Vic while running commentary on a promotional short film; but, even in the most perfect planning, there are bound to be some failures, and you can be sure that Lt. Columbo will find them out.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Nine years after this episode aired, Robert Culp and Chuck McCann would appear together again in an episode of The Greatest American Hero (1981) titled The Greatest American Hero: Captain Bellybuster and the Speed Factory (1982). The interesting difference being that in the Columbo episode Culp's character Dr. Kepple kills McCann's character Roger White and in The Greatest American Hero episode, Culp's character Bill Maxwell's goal is to save the life of McCann's character Mickey aka Captain Bellybuster. See more »
When Dr. Kepple offers Vic some beluga caviar, he pronounces the type as "be-lu-jah" instead of "be-lu-ga". See more »
I usually watch Columbo for the guest villains/murderers, and this episode stars the arrogant Robert Culp, who's in my opinion second only to Jack Cassidy as far as great guest stars/killers go. Culp perfectly portrays Dr. Bart Kepple, a research specialist who's responsible for this new fangled gizmo called subliminal messaging, and he's a very proud and confident man. The method of the murder is quite original, yet very risky, but Culp makes any routine murder that much more interesting. Kepple naturally underestimates Columbo, and tries to outsmart him, even though Columbo is adept at playing dumb to the arrogant suspect. Speaking of dumb, that award goes to the film projectionist, who stupidly blackmails Kepple and practically asks to get himself killed, in which Kepple obliges. Lastly, the conclusion is better than many other episodes, as Columbo uses Kepple's technique against him.
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