Dagger of the Mind

Episode 11 – Dagger of the Mind

The eleventh episode of Columbo was titled Dagger of the Mind and was the fourth episode of the show’s second season. Columbo travels to London and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation involving Shakespearean actors, butlers and cockney handymen. In this podcast Gerry and Iain consider the highs and lows of a controversial episode.

 

 

In a unique episode, compared to what had come before, Columbo was removed from his comfort zone and placed in London to learn from Bernard Fox‘s Detective Chief Superintendent Durk and the team at Scotland Yard. Although there was a limited amount of actual filming in the UK, the whole story unfolded across the Atlantic as Columbo failed to resist involving himself in a foreign investigation.

 

For the first time in Columbo so far we had multiple killers in Dagger of the Mind, as Honor Blackman and Richard Basehart‘s husband-and-wife team accounted for one fatality each. Their victims, John Williams‘ Sir Roger Haversham and Wilfrid Hyde-White‘s outstanding Tanner, play their parts but meet with tragic ends.

 

One of the more debated characters in this episode is Arthur Malet‘s Joe Fenwick, a particularly stereotypical portrayal of a cockney handyman. This exaggerated caricature grated with many viewers, though the character had an important role to play in the unfolding of Columbo’s investigation.

 

During this episode we asked listeners if they could remember how the episode was originally promoted on NBC. If you have thoughts on that issue or any other aspect of Dagger of the Mind then please feel free to comment below, or find us on Twitter at @columbopodcast.

 

The Columbo Podcast is widely available – on iTunes, Stitcher, tunein, Pocket Casts, Spreaker or pretty much wherever you choose to receive and manage your podcasts. If you enjoy the show it would be greatly appreciated if you consider leaving ratings and reviews on these sites – particularly iTunes – as that can make a big difference to growing the podcast’s audience.

 

Dagger of the Mind was released in 1972. It is 98 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.

 

The Columbo Podcast Team

The Columbo Podcast Team

The Columbo Podcast team develops, produces and promotes The Columbo Podcast.

  • Dominic

    What a frustrating episode! I agree with you that the only good thing about it is Wilfred Hyde-White. A brilliant actor who never gave a bad performance. Ironic that his two Columbo appearances are in the most critiqued classic episodes.

    • Agreed. I was particularly disappointed that they didn’t handle the Tanner-as-blackmailer plot better. Almost as though they added it in later to make up time.

      • Largo

        I agree with you both on this one. Tanner is the only character that I enjoy in this craptastic episode. The fact that he is killed off makes me loathe this episode even more. I mean — why sugarcoat it? “Dagger of the Mind” is one of the worst Columbo episodes ever made.

  • Apologies for this, but can we draw people’s attention to the Shorty Awards?

    We don’t expect to be Finalists, but it would be great to make a run at it. Voting is open until 19th February and we’re nominated in the Podcasts category.

    To vote, simply tweet “I nominate @ColumboPodcast for a Shorty Award in #podcast because…” and fill in a good reason at the end.

    If you don’t think we deserve a vote, don’t vote. No hard feelings!

    Cheers.

    • Largo

      You guys certainly deserve a vote, but I don’t have a Twitter account. I also don’t have a Facebook account. So what’s an antisocial-media type like me to do, eh?

      • If you don’t have Twitter it seems there is no way to vote. We appreciate the moral support anyway!

    • Emrys

      I did try to vote. But I freaked out when I had to allow someone to be able to tweet from my account. Er… no? Does anyone else not have a problem with this? Or am I being stupid?

      • Richard Hinton

        This is my 2nd year of Shorty nominations and haven’t encountered any issues. Plus, this site has the same conditions and no issues there either.

      • Emrys, if you copy the text of the voting tweet and just tweet it directly it will still be counted.

  • Largo

    Two words come to mind when contemplating this second season episode of Columbo: painful embarrassment. Speaking as only one American Columbo fan, I would like to apologize profusely to all of our cousins across the pond who reside in the United Kingdom for this same episode, which is entitled, “Dagger of the Mind.” Unfortunately, despite the fact that this mess is wrapped up inside a supposed whimsical, fun-loving type of tone, it is still overflowing with stereotypes and caricature and it all sinks the whole rotten enterprise to the lowest depths of a farce.

    My advice to Columbo fans everywhere is to avoid this rubbish. But if you feel that you must see every single episode, just hold your nose while you watch and endure “Dagger of the Mind” and consider it as a kind of Columbo nightmare. This whole sorry Columbo production is truly not only a dagger to the mind, it is also a dagger to the heart of fans worldwide. Sheesh — maybe there actually is something to that so-called ‘Curse of Macbeth’ after all, eh. Be seeing you!

    • Largo, good to hear from you. You’ll be pleased when you tune in to hear we do discuss the ramifications of mentioning The Scottish Play in a theatre!

      • Largo

        Excellent — I’m looking forward to listening to the podcast. Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and the very best adaptation is the Roman Polanski film from 1971. The only problem with this particular film production besides that gratuitous treatment of the sleepwalking scene is the fact that it didn’t star Sean Connery in the title role.

  • Richard Hinton

    I loved this Podcast, very entertaining straight from the “For some reason they don’t go past the London Eye or Millennium Dome” comment – made me chuckle. Your combined hatred of this episode was a joy to listen to.

  • Richard Hinton

    Thanks for the mention guys … I think I’m gonna get trolled now

    • Largo

      Or rather: it would have looked great to stupid American network executives, who can always be counted on to dumb down any television production.

      • Richard Hinton

        Good point – it would’ve been the executives that underestimated the intelligence and awareness of the American public. Great to hear some feedback on an American’s point of view.

        • We do mention in the show that they seem to have underestimated their audience.

    • Gummo Marx

      Yes i think that the idea wasn’t to gain fans in UK, but to show America that this Columbo episode was a ‘big event.’ I don’t hate this episode because while it was incredibly dumb, it wasn’t boring, padded beyond belief like many 90 minute episodes.

      • Largo

        Exactly, Gummo Marx — “Dagger of the Mind” was advertised in this manner: with several introductory shots of Columbo running around London in tourist mode, stressing the ‘Columbo is overseas, folks!’ angle. Then this was followed by a quick shot sequence revealing the ‘Shakespearean actors are a murderous couple — just like in Macbeth!’ aspect. I also remember that they included a shot of Honor Blackman reacting to Sir Roger’s wax head and then cutting to it falling on the floor. Quite the exciting event, huh? I sure hope I’m not boring you with all of this. Just one more thing …. uhmm … I had this written down somewhere …. blast, I can’t find it now. Oh well — carry on, folks! : )

        • Dixie Burge

          The only reason this episode appeals to me is to see Columbo running around taking pictures of everything around Buckingham Palace, from the Changing of the Guard to the Beefeaters–exactly what I did when I visited London from the USA 10 years ago!

  • Emrys

    Right, I’ve caught up. Shame is I now have to wait with everyone else for each episode.
    It’s still a novelty to hear people talking about Columbo. Keep up the good work and bear in mind I expect you to plough through to the bitter end. If you manage it, I’ll be with you every step of the way.

    I’ve watched Columbo as a way to relax for most of my life. Others might do some knitting or climb a mountain or something… I stick on an episode of Columbo. Therefore I have seen every episode tens/hundreds of times. Of the episodes you’ve covered so far I still think ‘Murder by the Book’ has my heart. Great director, one of the best villains, great music. Love it. I’ve mellowed to all the points you pull up as ‘problems’ over the years. (Although I concede you often make rather good points!)

    As for ‘Dagger of the Mind’, it has long been one of my least favourite episodes. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the worst of the original run – but it’s up there jostling for position one or two in the table. I do however take a more lenient view than others here – in the same way I’ve gradually mellowed to Dick Van Dyke’s Mary Poppins tosh.

    This is the most hammy, the most ‘stagey’ that Columbo ever was. You call this a “fish out of water” episode… but it’s more than that. Some of the other ‘fish out of waters’ still have that glamorous LA sheen about them – that Hollywood/famous/money thing is the very foundation of Columbo. Although there is obviously money involved with some of these characters (a Sir), the overall vibe is one of grime. Grimey pubs and bad decor. Yet I quite like it. Probably cause I have a thing for Honor Blackman and Knight Rider was my favourite 1980’s show.

    Anyway, when I first watched this episode back before I can remember, I didn’t like it very much. Now I view it as a cliched, snapshot of time. A sort of comedy. View it as such. Yes, it makes no sense – NO sense – but as you guys have found, you have to be careful when you pick apart the plot of a murder show like Columbo. You open a can of worms! Ha ha. So I’ll raise my hand as someone who doesn’t dislike or hate this episode. I just think it’s okay. But it’s taken me a loooong time to reach that position!

    Cheers.

    • Thanks Emrys, we appreciate the feedback. Listening to all eleven episodes in such a short space of time is an incredible effort!

      Glad to have you on board!

    • Largo

      Thank you for this wonderful post, Emrys! You are a fellow traveler: we both love the Columbo series, warts and all. I my sound rather harsh in some of my episode review comments at this site, but I’m still a huge fan of Columbo. I’m glad to see that we both agree on the hamminess of “Dagger of the Mind” — a ham-acted production of a very ham-fisted script, with a rather claustrophobic pall of staginess over the whole endeavor that even the many charms of Honor Blackman cannot elude.

      This episode isn’t the worst Columbo ever, but I feel that it is the worst episode of the second season. “Murder By The Book” is my favorite of the first season and definitely ranks in the top five overall Columbo episodes in my book. It would be interesting to compare our respective ‘Top Ten Columbo Episodes’ list sometime, eh. But right now I need to get back to work. Be seeing you!

      • Emrys

        It would definitely be interesting to read through different people’s top ten episodes lists. Even a cursory glance at forums such as this one reveals that we all see the very same episodes in such different ways. Still, actually writing a top ten list would take me some time! I could have a few very serious arguments with myself!

        • Largo

          Okay — I’m game, so everybody get your brickbats ready! Here is my NBC Mystery Movie Top Ten Columbo Episodes List:

          1. Identity Crisis
          2. Murder By The Book
          3. Death Lends A Hand
          4. A Stitch In Crime
          5. The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case
          6. Swan Song
          7. Any Old Port In A Storm
          8. Now You See Him
          9. A Friend In Deed
          10. Blueprint For Murder

          • Ian Baxter

            This was a lot tougher than I thought it would be… (we have only 4 in common)
            1. Swan Song
            2. Any old Port in Storm
            3. The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case
            4. Try and Catch Me
            5. Ransom for a Dead Man
            6. Blueprint for Murder
            7. Troubled Waters
            8. Negative Reaction
            9. By Dawn’s Early Light
            10. Death Hits the Jackpot

          • Largo

            Well, I made it a bit easier on myself by ranking only my favorite episodes from the original series run (1971-78). But I see that you’ve included one top Columbo episode from the second series (1989-2003) that aired on the ABC television network. With that in mind, here are my top ten favorites from the ABC Mystery Movie Columbo series:

            1. It’s All In The Game
            2. Agenda For Murder
            3. Rest In Peace, Mrs. Columbo
            4. Death Hits The Jackpot
            5. Columbo Cries Wolf
            6. Columbo Goes To College
            7. Sex And The Married Detective
            8. Ashes To Ashes
            9. Uneasy Lies The Crown
            10. Columbo Likes The Nightlife

          • Emrys

            I had a sleepless night last night. Every episode (of the original run) streaming through my head. Still haven’t got the order yet. How in hell did you guys narrow it down so quickly? Ha ha. More decisive I suspect.

          • Largo

            Well, just pick out at least two of your favorite episodes from each season from the original run that applies (two seasons didn’t for me) and then start ranking them. This is how I got started on my lists. Be confident. Be bold. Damn the torpedoes — full speed ahead, brother! : )

          • Emrys

            I’m currently at an old Mill house in the middle of nowhere. I turn on the TV.. Only 5 channels… And the episode of Columbo with Anthony Andrews (I think) the psychic is on. Small world. When I get home I’ll be bold!

          • Largo

            Yes! That’s the spirit!

          • Ian Baxter

            I’m now wondering if I was a bit too hasty… and beginning to think of other episodes I’d smuggle in to my top ten… maybe ‘Now You See Him’ at 3a, and ‘Short Fuse’ at 5a. One thing for sure… this episode is not even going to be a top 50.

          • Largo

            “Dagger of the Mind” ranks just above “Last Salute to the Commodore,” which isn’t saying too much. However, I think I would still rank both of these episodes above the two CINO (Columbo In Name Only) episodes: “No Time To Die” and “Undercover.” I’ve got nothing against Ed McBain, but both of these adaptations of his two novels just ain’t Columbo!

          • Ian Baxter

            Total agreement, you’ve just listed the worst.

            Mind you I thought the podcast was very entertaining, Iain and Gerry are very good at expressing their (and it seems our) frustrations. The muppets breaking into the wax Museum and other such observation very funny.

            So in an odd way I’m looking forward to revisiting the ‘lesser episodes’ and their accompanying podcast. Of course there will be someone out there that may want to argue the hidden talents of those we discard.

          • Largo

            Yes, indeed! I’m also looking forward to the podcasts covering these lesser Columbo episodes: mediocre productions such as “Mind Over Mayhem” (which I call “Where Did Robby the Robot’s Legs Go, Dammit?”) and “Murder, Smoke and Shadows” (which I call “Painfully Spielberg”).

          • Dixie Burge

            I’m going to make it easy on myself and say that all of Largo’s choices are mine, too, because they really are. Ian, “By Dawn’s Early Light” was an episode I was never able to warm up to, in spite of the fact that Patrick McGoohan was the murderer. Maybe because I’m a woman, the subject of a cadet academy is one I can’t get a handle on!

        • digger01

          Great idea! Here are my top 10:

          10. Swan Song
          9. Negative Reaction
          8. Bye-Bye Sky-High I.Q. Murder Case
          7. Double Exposure
          6. Any Old Port In A Storm
          5. Murder Under Glass
          4. A Friend In Deed
          3. Identity Crisis
          2. Murder By The Book
          1. Now You See Him

          From the second run of episodes, I’ll pick “It’s All In The Game”.

          • Largo

            Hokey smokes, digger01! As it stands now, we agree on 8 out of 11 Columbo episodes for what deserves top ten status. Great minds think alike …. or something like that, eh! : )

          • digger01

            Wow, I hadn’t noticed that! Pretty cool, Largo!

          • Emrys

            1. Any Old Port in a Storm
            2. Murder by the Book
            3. The Most Dangerous Match
            4. Double Exposure
            5. Fade in to Murder
            6. The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case
            7. Murder Under Glass
            8. A Friend in Deed
            9. Troubled Waters
            10. Double Shock

            I’ll tell you what though. I’m amazed my list has no Patrick McGoohan. He is always one of my favourite Columbo bad guys. But that’s the problem with top-ten lists… they always hurt the ones you love.

            What is becoming obvious though is that most Columbo fans appear to hate the same set of episodes. I bet a top five would feature the exact same names in varying orders! In fact a list of hated episodes would be far easier for me than the loved ones!

          • Largo

            But ya gotta have Patrick McGoohan! :.(

            Or maybe not. I’m very biased by the fact that I’m a huge fan of The Prisoner, which is my favorite television series of all time. Needless to say, “Identity Crisis” ranks at the very top of my Columbo Top Ten list. However, McGoohan makes such a great Columbo villain in each of the Columbo episodes in which he was the star. But that’s just my own opinion, eh. Be seeing you!

          • Emrys

            Yeah, I do agree. I should have a McGoohan in there! But I just seem to find some of the other episodes more fun. This is a recent turn of events though. By Dawns Early Light was my favourite as a kid. Just not enough space in that top ten. Can’t believe I left out the episode featuring Martin Sheen and Vincent Price too. That’s the problem with lists! I had to have that Shatner in there. No one else will ever pick that one!

            And great to meet a fellow Prisoner fan! The amount of times I’ve had to explain to people why my cat is called ‘Number Six’.

          • Largo

            Heh! “I am not a number, I am a free cat!” ; )

  • Richard Hinton

    I knew what a ‘Panderer’ was but had never heard of an ‘ageing ingénue’ – had to look that up!

    Never known the Wax Museum to be opposite The Royal Albert Hall!

    • Richard Hinton

      Talking of the Wax Museum – Did I spot Columbo smoking his cigar there!?

    • Ian Baxter

      The exterior of the wax museum is apparently the Royal College of Music

      • Richard Hinton

        That makes more sense, nice bit of info.

  • CarlosMu

    uh oh controversy! Or as they say in the UK, contROVersy!

    This should be fun, i can’t wait to hear it. My own feeling about this episode is that in a way I hate it and in a way i kind of like it. 🙂

  • Peter

    This is definitely not one of my favorite episodes but still enjoyed it nonetheless, mainly due to the British actors who I thought were fantastic. As an aside, the timing of the podcasts is perfect. I watch the entire Columbo series every winter on Netflix during the sports “dry season” between football and baseball. I am glad to see the comment sections are getting busier with each episode which to me means you are starting to get a following. Would love it if you could pull a coup and interview Shera Danese, Falk’s wife.

    • Thanks Peter. That would be a coup indeed!

      • Ian Baxter

        Ian Buchanan would be a good one to try and interview, you’ve a bit of time before his episode comes round, and the Scottish connection for you guys would be a nice touch. He must have some interesting insights into his episode and working with Falk.

        • Largo

          Well, actually I feel that Gerry and Iain should interview me first …. ahhh … uhmmm — D’oh! I mean they should interview the famous Richard Hinton first. Getting Richard Hinton as a guest on the Columbo Podcast would be the real coup! ( I am not a troll. I am not a troll. I am not a troll …. )

          • Richard Hinton

            I’m flattered by your request to hear my controversial views

          • Largo

            But …. but …. I don’t own a laptop!

          • Largo

            Desktop: check. No earring: check. Hood to cover baldness: check. Maniacal expression as I type: check. Whew — I feel so much better now! 😉

          • Ian Baxter

            Eye patch?

          • Largo

            Arrrgh, matey! I only wear that there eye patch on Fridays — ’cause that be fer “Pirate Fridays” over here where I be gainfully employed, eh. And I be sometimes pretending to be a pirate in the privacy of my own domicile when it ain’t a Friday — but only once or twice in a blue moon. But don’t be a tellin’ that last bit to any soul — ’cause it be dangerous to me health! Arrrgh! 😉

  • Ian Baxter

    My short review: Too much and wax and not enough works. (Great podcast)

  • Ian Baxter

    Love your observation that Captain Stereotype stole the umbrella.

  • CarlosMu

    I like the idea of Tanner scheming from the start, but I don’t think that’s the way it was. I don’t think he suspected foul play until after talking to Columbo. I say this because after Columbo leaves, they make a point of showing Tanner looking at the book. It’s clear that Columbo’s observation about the book has led Tanner to start putting the pieces together.

    In my other comment I said I kind of hate this episode and kind of like it. After hearing your podcast I realize that most of what I like about it is Tanner. The scene with him in their hotel room is excellent, it was a good choice to excerpt that scene in your podcast.

  • digger01

    I don’t have much to add to what Iain, Gerry, and others here have said about this oddity of an episode. I agree wholeheartedly that Wilfred Hyde-White was the bright spot. It’s fascinating to watch actors who appear to act so effortlessly, and Hyde-White certainly does that.

    I saw that TCM aired the classic “The Third Man” last evening, and Wilfred Hyde-White was excellent in that as well (looking much the same age as in Columbo, although 25 years younger!).

    This episode was shaky from start to finish. For starters, when Lillian and Nicky accidentally killed Sir Roger in the dressing room, why not simply claim that he collapsed as they stood talking? No one would have questioned that. A simple lump on the head from the cold cream jar would be explained by him hitting the floor.

    The other problems with the episode have been well-stated by all of you, so I will just say thanks for another fun episode of the podcast, and let’s all just pretend this never happened.

    • Ian Baxter

      couldn’t agree more with the calamitous move from an accidental killing to the clumsy murder

  • Largo

    I love you guys! Your “Dagger of the Mind” podcast was superb and deliciously snarky when it needed to be (in my book anyway). Plus you mentioned both of my favorite franchises of all time: James Bond and Star Trek. And did I hear Gerry say that GOLDFINGER is the “Best Bond?” This is my favorite James Bond film as well. Plus, let’s not forget your mentioning The Avengers’ Cathy Gale. Sweet! Needless to say, I give this particular podcast five stars ***** out of five stars *****

  • Maddie

    You guys did a great podcast, of a very poor episode. And once again love, love love all the trivia!

  • Anne Steele

    Just listened to Episode 11 of the podcast. I started late so not yet up to date. I’ve had a quick look at the comments for this episode and didn’t see my points mentioned, if they were I apologise. Two things: Laurence Olivier was married to Vivien Leigh ( not Janet) and Sir Henry Irving was a real actor.
    I love the podcasts, especially hearing the Scottish accents and hearing people say “outwith” they don’t say that in England.

    • Thanks for the feedback Anne, much appreciated.

      Good spot on the trivia – I’m off to read about Henry Irving right now!

  • Cor blimey, guv! This episode really wasn’t that bad, if you put all the stereotypical cliches to one side.

    One thing that no-one seems to have mentioned is the presence of Arthur Malet as Fenwick. Malet had form as he appeared in Mary Poppins as Mr. Dawes Junior – along with a certain Mr. Van Dyke who I couldn’t possibly comment on for fear of spoilers etc. He also appeared as a lost boy in ‘Hook’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’ (as the village elder), along with the wine steward from ‘Any Old Port In a Storm’. Funnily enough, the same year Malet appeared in this episode, he also appeared in ‘the Hound of the Baskervilles’ TV movie with Bernard Fox, John Williams and Ian Abercrombie, all of whom were in this episode, thus proving what a small world it really is.

    I must admit, whilst I found Richard Basehart’s character to be arrogant and somewhat of a bore, I felt that the actor did what was expected of him and Honor Blackman was her usual charming self. Of course, the standout performance was from Wilfrid Hyde-White, but then he was well practiced in this kind of role. There is actually a lovely quote from the man which I’ll state here ‘I’ve owned twelve horses, seven Rolls-Royces, and I’ve had mistresses in Paris, London and New York – and it never made me happy.’ Hyde-White is probably best remembered for his role as Colonel Hugh Pickering in ‘My Fair Lady’ and, of course latterly in ‘Buck Rogers’.

    Funnily enough on IMDB this gets a score of 6.9 out of 10 which, whilst not as good as some of the episodes, is still an amazingly respectable score. This is the average score based on the votes of 1,033 people.

    • Some great observations there Kieran – love the note on Malet, Fox, Williams and Abercrombie collaborating again!

  • Ian Baxter

    Came across this poster… the policemen over the body don’t match a scene in the episode that I remember, but it is a little atmospheric. Shame the episode doesn’t live up to it.

  • Sulayne Bonelli Barrett

    I think the problem we have here and correct me if I’m wrong…is that your guys are sensitive to the change in scenery because its in your own backyard. All of the other episodes are set in America so the setting and the cultural aspects can only be scrutinized so much and you just have to accept what is being presented to you as being as accurate as can be relatively expected. However, this episode being set in Europe means that you guys are more in tune with and therefor more critical of the portrayal. I’m from the Virgin Islands and anytime I see portrayals and depictions of the life in the islands its almost like nails on a chalkboard because its usually hideously inaccurate. I’m sensitive to it because I know how it really is to live in the islands; and its not all coconut drinks and tiki huts!! Real people lead real lives there. Anyway, I digress.

    Now my second comment is about the way Columbo behaved like a tourist which you found so grating. I found it to be quite acceptable. He’s after all a tourist and it was his first time there. The trip didn’t strike me to be all business because his escorts during the trip also took him sightseeing all over and were eager to show him around. So it doesn’t strike me as inappropriate that he would stop them and ask to see the changing of the guard. I think for many of the American viewers this episode was like their first trip to London and they were as excited to see these sights as Columbo was.

    I picked up early that the Butler is being conniving, but I agree that they should have drove it home more.

    Lastly, I do agree that at points the choices made by the killers in this episode were quite bizarre and I completely agree with your conclusions on those aspects. I think the ending with the pearl was the least remarkable. All that being said I still watch this episode over and over because I love the fact that he’s in London, however cheesy other’s might find it ;0)

    • Thanks Sulayne, I think you’re probably quite right about the different perspectives lending different emphasis. There’s definitely plenty to enjoy about the episode!

  • John Simpson

    I see that someone else caught that Lord Olivier was married to Vivien Leigh and not Janet, but I think that I can help you with one of the questions that you raised. In regards to “Of The Yard” you were probably thinking of “Fabian of the Yard” from the 1950’s television show based on the memoirs of the same name.

  • James Foster

    Just seen this episode for the first time so excuse the lateness. For any location fans out there, the pub umbrella scene appears to be filmed in the Lamb and Flag pub in Rose Street nr Covent Garden and not on a Hollywood set. http://www.lambandflagcoventgarden.co.uk/360-tour
    The interior proportions and appointments such as the fireplace are exactly the same.

  • Billy Balrog

    I only found these podcasts a few weeks ago and have already listened to roughly half of them – they’re excellent. This Columbo episode annoys me on so many levels – starting with the unlikely accidental death in the first place. As a Londoner, it always annoys me when cars driving through London magically fly past all the tourist sights (but in the wrong order) when in reality, a sensible driver would be on one of the ring roads. ‘Dagger of the mind’ is in my bottom three along with ‘Murder with too many notes’ and, inevitably, ‘Last salute to the Commodore’. I see that someone has sorted your Leighs out, but I note that you also missupposed (is that a word?) that Henry Irving was fictional – he’s not: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Irving

    Anyway – great work, guys. I wish I had commented on each episode as I went along but I listen while I’m out walking so it wouldn’t be practical, and I wasn’t sure if you’d still be responding to comments so long after the original ‘transmission’ of the podcast.

  • Lee Thomas

    I love Columbo, but this episode was horribly stereotypical of how most Americans view people from England. Mostly upper class and lower class Londoners. This episode storywise is alright but the episode is filled with corny dialogue and cringeworthy aforementioned stereotypial moments. Even Peter Falk seemed a bit embarrassed in some scenes. You can also blatantly tell the scenes shot in LA from the London ones. That said though, Peter seemed to really enjoy filming in London city, both in character and as Peter, running around like a looney. Bless him!

    • That’s a pretty fair summary! Hopefully the podcast scored more than six though!!