History Series / Columbo

3rd Apr '18 1:23:38 AM jamespolk
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* BritishBrevity: There were never more than eight episodes in a season, due to ''Columbo'' actually being part of a WheelSeries. The fact that there were so few episodes allowed the episodes to be longer; ''Columbo'' episodes were 75-90 minutes long as opposed to about 45 minutes for a regular drama program.

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* BritishBrevity: There were never more than eight episodes in a season, due to ''Columbo'' actually being part of a WheelSeries.WheelProgram. The fact that there were so few episodes allowed the episodes to be longer; ''Columbo'' episodes were 75-90 minutes long as opposed to about 45 minutes for a regular drama program.



* ClockTampering: In "Fade in to Murder", the murderer uses this (combined with a video recorder) to establish an alibi. He slips up when he resets the watch of the friend he is using as an alibi: he sets it to right time, not realising his friend kept his watch five minutes fast.

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* ClockTampering: In "Fade in to Murder", the murderer uses this (combined with a video recorder) to establish an alibi. He slips up when he resets the watch of the friend he is using as an alibi: he sets it to right time, not realising realizing his friend kept his watch five minutes fast.



** Dr. Barry Mayfield does a poorly-planned gambit on a recovered drug addict. Mayfield drugs him in a desperate attempt to move suspicion away from Mayfield but this makes Mayfield even more suspect, after the needle mark was noted on the left arm of a left-handed man.

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** Dr. Barry Mayfield in "A Stitch in Crime" does a poorly-planned gambit on a recovered drug addict. Mayfield drugs him in a desperate attempt to move suspicion away from Mayfield but this makes Mayfield even more suspect, after the needle mark was noted on the left arm of a left-handed man.



* EvilLaugh: Dr. Barry Mayfield does one of these to Columbo to dismiss the theories that someone intentionally rigged Dr. Hidemann for heart failure, much to the Lieutenant's disgust. Columbo then slams a beverage pitcher, and tells Mayfield that he believes that he murdered Nurse Sharon, and makes a promise of police intervention to Mayfield that wipes the smile off his face.

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* EvilLaugh: Dr. Barry Mayfield in "A Stitch in Crime" does one of these to Columbo to dismiss the theories that someone intentionally rigged Dr. Hidemann for heart failure, much to the Lieutenant's disgust. Columbo then slams a beverage pitcher, and tells Mayfield that he believes that he murdered Nurse Sharon, and makes a promise of police intervention to Mayfield that wipes the smile off his face.



* EvilTwin: Dexter Paris in the episode "Double Shock" has a history of lying, petty crime and sponging off of others, but it is unclear if he or his twin brother, the serious and stoical but principled banker Norman, is responsible. [[spoiler:It was Dexter, but Norman was in on it.]]



** Dr. Mayfield in ''"A Stitch in Crime"'' is seen raising a tire-wrench to cause head trauma. Next, a shot of the victim's purse hitting the ground is shown, followed by a shot of Mayfield stealing contents from her purse next to her lifeless body.

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** Dr. Mayfield in ''"A "A Stitch in Crime"'' Crime" is seen raising a tire-wrench to cause head trauma. Next, a shot of the victim's purse hitting the ground is shown, followed by a shot of Mayfield stealing contents from her purse next to her lifeless body.



** Ken Franklin stages the murder of his writing partner using the only good idea for a murder he ever had as a mystery novelist, which is not enough to fool Columbo.

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** Ken Franklin in "Murder by the Book" stages the murder of his writing partner using the only good idea for a murder he ever had as a mystery novelist, which is not enough to fool Columbo.



* LaterInstallmentWeirdness: In ''Columbo cries Wolf'', in contradiction with the series' usual ''modus operandi'', the viewer never watches the actual moment of the murder, but the identity of the murderer is still well established. [[spoiler:Justified since the murder didn't happen in the beginning of the movie, but at the end. The beginning scene was a set up meant to trick Columbo into believing a murder took place in order for the culprit to use the investigation as publicity for his magazine.]]

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* LaterInstallmentWeirdness: In ''Columbo cries Wolf'', "Columbo Cries Wolf", in contradiction with the series' usual ''modus operandi'', the viewer never watches the actual moment of the murder, but the identity of the murderer is still well established. [[spoiler:Justified since the murder didn't happen in the beginning of the movie, but at the end. The beginning scene was a set up meant to trick Columbo into believing a murder took place in order for the culprit to use the investigation as publicity for his magazine.]]



* OddballInTheSeries: Two episodes--"Last Salute to the Commodore" during the original 1970s run, and "A Bird in the Hand" during the 1990s revival--were not [[ReverseWhodunnit Reverse Whodunnits]] but were structured as more classic mystery stories in which the viewer doesn't find out who the killer is until the end.

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* OddballInTheSeries: OddballInTheSeries:
**
Two episodes--"Last Salute to the Commodore" during the original 1970s run, and "A Bird in the Hand" during the 1990s revival--were not [[ReverseWhodunnit Reverse Whodunnits]] but were structured as more classic mystery stories in which the viewer doesn't find out who the killer is until the end.end.
** Season Two's "Double Shock" tweaks this by showing the murder in typical ''Columbo'' style, but then later revealing that the murderer is one of a pair of identical twins. So while we know one of them did it, we don't know which.



* PaintedOnPants: Roger Stanford in ''Short Fuse''. No wonder he went mad.

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* PaintedOnPants: Roger Stanford in ''Short Fuse''."Short Fuse". No wonder he went mad.



* PetsHomageName: The victim of one episode was a talented musician who had named her bird Chopin.

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* PetsHomageName: The victim of one episode in "Etude in Black" was a talented musician who had named her bird Chopin.



** In "Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star", Columbo takes down the top of his Peugeot convertible and says it's the first time he's had the top down since buying the car. Except it ''was'' down in "Last Salute to the Commodore", and possibly other episodes. He was definitely driving around with the top down in "The Most Dangerous Match". Well, it was a long time, so he may have forgotten those past occasions.
** Happens again in "Murder with Too Many Notes", as Columbo asks one of the musicians to teach him how to play "This Old Man" on the piano at the end of the episode. Except he played the song perfectly on piano in "Try and Catch Me". Both examples could be hand-waved as Columbo lying as part of his ObfuscatingStupidity act.

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** In "Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star", Columbo takes down the top of his Peugeot convertible and says it's the first time he's had the top down since buying the car. Except it ''was'' down in "Last Salute to the Commodore", and possibly other episodes. He was definitely driving around with the top down in "The Most Dangerous Match". Well, it was a long time, so he may have forgotten those past occasions.
** Happens again in "Murder with Too Many Notes", as Columbo asks one of the musicians to teach him how to play "This Old Man" on the piano at the end of the episode. Except he played the song perfectly on piano in "Try and Catch Me". Both examples could be hand-waved as Columbo lying as part of his ObfuscatingStupidity act.



* SmartPeoplePlayChess: The subject of one episode, where a SmugSnake Grandmaster murders his rival before a long-awaited match upon realizing he can't possibly win. But subverted by Columbo himself; the Lieutenant prefers checkers.

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* SmartPeoplePlayChess: The subject of one episode, "The Most Dangerous Match", where a SmugSnake Grandmaster murders his rival before a long-awaited match upon realizing he can't possibly win. But subverted by Columbo himself; the Lieutenant prefers checkers.



** Dr. Barry Mayfield is filled with egomania, successfully rigging Dr. Hidemann's heart valve with dissolving suture to attempt to murder him. Nurse Sharon Martin confronts Barry after noticing the suture left on a tray. Mayfield mocks Sharon for her accusation and coldly dares her to notify authorities. When Sharon makes good on her threat and schedules an appointment with a suture supplier (Mayfield eavesdrops), she is murdered with a tire wrench at her car.

to:

** Dr. Barry Mayfield in "A Stitch in Crime" is filled with egomania, successfully rigging Dr. Hidemann's heart valve with dissolving suture to attempt to murder him. Nurse Sharon Martin confronts Barry after noticing the suture left on a tray. Mayfield mocks Sharon for her accusation and coldly dares her to notify authorities. When Sharon makes good on her threat and schedules an appointment with a suture supplier (Mayfield eavesdrops), she is murdered with a tire wrench at her car.



* UsefulNotes/TheTroubles: In "The Conspirators", the villain is an IRA gun-runner named Joe Devlin, played by Clive Revill. He's portrayed as a philosophical KnightTemplar, who works as a poet and author in his legitimate life. He also raises funds for an organization called American Friends of Northern Ireland, which is more-or-less an {{Expy}} of NORAID (with the fact that the money really goes to the IRA being less of an OpenSecret than in real life). The [[AlwaysMurder requisite murder]] is of an ArmsDealer, who was planning to take Devlin's money and flee the country.
1st Apr '18 7:20:01 PM jamespolk
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* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Tomlin Dudek and his chess team from "The Most Dangerous Match" are from some unspecified eastern European country. They speak in thick accents but only in English. The one supposed instance of their own language is only written on paper and not shown to the camera.
26th Mar '18 4:16:31 PM jamespolk
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Added DiffLines:

* BritishBrevity: There were never more than eight episodes in a season, due to ''Columbo'' actually being part of a WheelSeries. The fact that there were so few episodes allowed the episodes to be longer; ''Columbo'' episodes were 75-90 minutes long as opposed to about 45 minutes for a regular drama program.
21st Mar '18 10:20:55 AM jamespolk
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* RefugeInAudacity: One of the licensed tie-in novels has Columbo investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the conspiracy behind it. The whole thing is so outlandish and goofy in its execution, mixed with lots of cursing, and is too hard to take seriously.
14th Mar '18 5:38:40 PM jamespolk
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* GilliganCut: A variation: in one episode Columbo is talking to the murderer and muses that he can't think of a motive for the crime... at which point the murdered man's (very attractive) wife shows up and begins crying into the murderer's arms.


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* InadvertentEntranceCue: In one episode Columbo is talking to the murderer and muses that he can't think of a motive for the crime... at which point the murdered man's (very attractive) wife shows up and begins crying into the murderer's arms.


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* SlobsVsSnobs: A key element to the series. Columbo never investigated ordinary working stiffs or drug dealers or mobsters or whatnot. No, he was always investigating a millionaire businessman or a famous athlete or a famous actor or an heiress--someone rich, that is. Part of the appeal was watching the rumpled, distinctively working-class detective in the ancient raincoat nailing some rich weasel for murder.
3rd Mar '18 12:16:14 AM jamespolk
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* BullyingADragon: Trying to shake down or blackmail someone that you know for a fact is a cold-blooded murderer seems to be one of the leading causes of death in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. This happens in, among other episodes, "Murder by the Book", "Dagger of the Mind", "Short Fuse", and "Lovely but Lethal". "Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star" subverts this with Trish Fairbanks, the associate Hugh Creighton uses to supply his alibi while he's out to murder Marcy Edwards. She's smart enough to form a contingency plan in case of her sudden death, and tells Creighton as much, so that he'll not be able to back out of her blackmailing him. She survives the episode.

to:

* BullyingADragon: Trying to shake down or blackmail someone that you know for a fact is a cold-blooded murderer seems to be one of the leading causes of death in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. This happens in, among other episodes, "Murder by the Book", "Dagger of the Mind", "Short Fuse", and "Lovely but Lethal". "Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star" subverts this with Trish Fairbanks, the associate Hugh Creighton uses to supply his alibi while he's out to murder Marcy Edwards. She's smart enough to form a contingency plan in case of her sudden death, and tells Creighton as much, so that he'll not be able to back out of her blackmailing him. She survives the episode.
1st Mar '18 6:08:51 PM jamespolk
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Added DiffLines:

* OddballInTheSeries: Two episodes--"Last Salute to the Commodore" during the original 1970s run, and "A Bird in the Hand" during the 1990s revival--were not [[ReverseWhodunnit Reverse Whodunnits]] but were structured as more classic mystery stories in which the viewer doesn't find out who the killer is until the end.


Added DiffLines:

* ReverseWhodunnit: TropeCodifier and still the most famous example. In every episode (with two exceptions, see OddballInTheSeries above), the murder is shown in the beginning and the audience knows who the killer is. The fun is in watching how Lt. Columbo will bring the killer to justice.
28th Feb '18 11:06:40 AM jamespolk
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* FelonyMurder: In the episode ''Death Lends A Hand'', private security contractor Carl Brimmer blackmails the wife of a wealthy newspaper mogul after discovering she was having an affair, and kills her in a fit of anger after she shows up at his home and threatens to tell her husband everything (ironically, Brimmer committed culpable homicide and was played Robert "Culp").
9th Feb '18 8:55:39 AM MarkLungo
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** Columbo applies his quirkiness, politeness, absentmindedness, humility and curiosity to off balance the suspect. This seems at first glance to be [[ObfuscatingStupidity an act]] but if you observe how he interacts with people he knows well, it turns out he's actually like that all the time. Columbo's abilities as a detective are never questioned by his superiors, only by the suspects and that's usually because he's getting too close to catching them.

to:

** Columbo applies his quirkiness, politeness, absentmindedness, humility and curiosity to off balance the suspect. This seems at first glance to be [[ObfuscatingStupidity an act]] but if you observe how he interacts with people he knows well, it turns out he's actually like that all the time. Columbo's abilities as a detective are never questioned by his superiors, only by the suspects suspects, and that's usually because he's getting too close to catching them.



* UsefulNotes/TheTroubles'': In "The Conspirators", the villain is an IRA gun-runner named Joe Devlin, played by Clive Revill. He's portrayed as a philosophical KnightTemplar, who works as a poet and author in his legitimate life. He also raises funds for an organization called American Friends of Northern Ireland, which is more-or-less an {{Expy}} of NORAID (with the fact that the money really goes to the IRA being less of an OpenSecret than in real life). The [[AlwaysMurder requisite murder]] is of an ArmsDealer, who was planning to take Devlin's money and flee the country.

to:

* UsefulNotes/TheTroubles'': UsefulNotes/TheTroubles: In "The Conspirators", the villain is an IRA gun-runner named Joe Devlin, played by Clive Revill. He's portrayed as a philosophical KnightTemplar, who works as a poet and author in his legitimate life. He also raises funds for an organization called American Friends of Northern Ireland, which is more-or-less an {{Expy}} of NORAID (with the fact that the money really goes to the IRA being less of an OpenSecret than in real life). The [[AlwaysMurder requisite murder]] is of an ArmsDealer, who was planning to take Devlin's money and flee the country.
9th Feb '18 8:51:02 AM MarkLungo
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''Columbo'' is a [[LongRunners long-running]] MysteryOfTheWeek series starring [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Oscar Nominee]] Creator/PeterFalk as Lieutenant Columbo, a blue-collar beat-down UsefulNotes/LosAngeles homicide detective whose [[ObfuscatingStupidity clownish antics and cheap cigars hide an exceptionally sharp mind.]] The series is composed of 69 TV-movies, beginning with every third episode of the '70s ''Series/TheNBCMysteryMovie'' and running through a '90s solo revival.

to:

''Columbo'' is a [[LongRunners long-running]] MysteryOfTheWeek series starring [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Oscar Nominee]] Creator/PeterFalk as Lieutenant Columbo, a blue-collar beat-down UsefulNotes/LosAngeles homicide detective whose [[ObfuscatingStupidity clownish antics and cheap cigars hide an exceptionally sharp mind.]] The series is composed of 69 TV-movies, beginning with every third episode of the '70s ''Series/TheNBCMysteryMovie'' and running through a '90s solo revival.
{{revival}}.



The entire series has been out on DVD for many years, and a large Blu-Ray box set in a deluxe wooden cigar box type package was released - in Japan. The classic NBC seasons are available on Netflix.

to:

The entire series has been out on DVD for many years, and a large Blu-Ray box set in a deluxe wooden cigar box type package was released - in Japan. The classic NBC seasons are available on Netflix.
Creator/{{Netflix}}.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Series.Columbo