It’s a few days late, but this review is dedicated to my favourite TV detective: Peter Falk, who passed away earlier this week. Sadly, his advanced dementia meant that Peter no longer remembered playing his most famous role: Columbo. Don’t worry Peter, we’ll remember for you. Rest in Peace.
‘A surgeon has an ingenious plan for murdering his partner in a research project, but a nurse catches onto the scheme.‘
The creators of Columbo must have had a hell of a time pitching this show. ‘It’s a whodunnit but we’re going to show you who the murderer is right at the beginning of the episode.‘ It seems bizarre, but thankfully some producer decided to take the gamble and we got one of the best detective shows to ever grace the screen.
In A Stitch in Crime, the murderer is played by Leonard Nimoy, and his character has quite a brilliant way to kill off his research partner. Unfortunately, one of the nurses figures out what he’s doing and he has to kill her off to stop her from exposing him. It’s at this point that Columbo enters the picture.
Peter Falk is in great form in this episode, he inhabits this character as if it’s a second skin. Columbo is tired, easily distracted and very deferential, but it’s all calculated to get the most out of his suspect. He even shows an uncharacteristic burst of anger in this episode because he knows it’s required to get the villain where he wants him.
The fun in this show is in watching how Columbo manages to get the murderer to make that one critical error. We’re never quite sure at what point Columbo has figured out who did it, his act is too good, but we know that he always gets his man. This show is all about the character of Columbo, and sometimes the plots can get a little silly, but the mystery in A Stitch in Crime was actually quite well executed. The method of the original murder in particular was quite brilliant.
Overall, this was a great episode from a great show. If you’re a fan of the genre, then Columbo is one of the best examples. Don’t worry about having to start from the beginning, each episode is self-contained. This is as good a place to start as any.
What I Liked – Leonard Nimoy’s character was a great adversary for Columbo. A satisfying conclusion.
What I Didn’t Like – Some scenes went on a little longer than necessary e.g. The drug overdose.
Rating – 4 out of 5 (Really Enjoyable)
Peter Falk – 16/09/1927 – 23/06/2011