The third episode of Columbo was titled Dead Weight and focused on not just a murder investigation, but on the relationship between the killer and a witness to his crime. In this podcast Gerry and Iain consider the highs and lows of Dead Weight and how it compares to the two earlier episodes.
There was a slightly expanded cast for this episode, compared with the compact groups from Murder by the Book and Death Lends a Hand. Eddie Albert‘s military-hero-turned-killer Major General Martin Hollister is the driving force in Dead Weight, but the arc of the story is really the journey of Helen Stewart, played by Suzanne Pleshette.
Supporting these key characters are four more, each with their own role to play. John Kerr‘s Colonel Roger Dutton is our unfortunate victim and Kate Reid plays Mrs Walters, the carping mother of Helen Stewart. Minor roles are also played by Val Avery (as Harry Barnes) and by Timothy Carey as café owner Bert.
There was no trivia question this week, but if anyone is able to provide clarity on the military ranks we discussed or would simply like to discuss anything covered in the podcast or related to Dead Weight then please feel free to comment here, or find us on Twitter at @columbopodcast.
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Dead Weight was released in 1971. It is 76 minutes long and originally aired on the NBC network. It can be viewed on Netflix in the United States and is available on DVD in other countries, including a comprehensive box set of all eleven seasons released by Universal.