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
After his character collects Columbo from Heathrow Airport, John Fraser, who has spent nearly all his career in the UK, only appears in scenes filmed outdoors, as part of the restricted filming in Britain. See more »
The tyres on Superintendent Durk's car in the London scenes are clearly of a different make to those on it in the scenes "in the country" (actually shot in the US). See more »
Mr. Tanner, he was properly disturbed finding the master expired, and before breakfast and all; so, I stayed around to help see to the removal of the remains. Uh, just took His Lordship off, they did, to... to have him properly coffined for public mourning, uh, considering his station.
What is he saying?
Det. Chief Supt. William Durk:
His Lordship died... of some sort of accident.
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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 »
Likeable, but fragmented and uncertainly paced Columbo adventure set in London
Early on in the Columbo series, the producers obviously felt confident enough to take the "man in the mac" out of his familiar American environment and place him in London, to solve a murder - nevertheless, the results are decidedly mixed.
The episode boasts a wonderfully hammy performance from Richard Basehart, as one of the murderers (ably assisted by British actress Honor Blackman)and there are some very humourous scenes as we see Columbo cause mayhem at Heathrow airport and also as he scours London to take snapshots with his brother-in-law's camera.
Notwithstanding these strengths, the adventure is rather thinly plotted and uncertainly paced (the finale really comes without any significant build-up); and the murder set-up itself does not render the ingenious array of clues typical of many of the best Columbo adventures (all we really have here is a turned-over book, an unbroken set of reading glasses, rain spots on a car and an umbrella!).
Additionally, the episode does have a fragmented feel to it owing to the fact that not all of it was filmed in London (the scenes in the London pub are somewhat exaggerated and many of the character actors have awfully manufactured Cockney accents).
This is an average Columbo adventure, but still better than many of the detective shows of its kind.
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