Troubled Waters

Episode 27 – Troubled Waters

The twenty-seventh episode of Columbo was titled Troubled Waters and was the fourth episode of the show’s fourth season. A cruise to Mexico is disrupted when a businessman kills his lover to escape her blackmail attempt. In this podcast Gerry and Iain look at the breaks and swells of a unique episode.

 

 

This mystery takes place entirely on board a cruise ship headed for Mexico – with Columbo on board! The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Hustle star Robert Vaughn takes the lead antagonist role as killer Hayden Danzinger, a businessman determined not to be exposed by his blackmailing ex-lover Rosanna Wells (Poupée Bocar).

 

While British audiences might remember Vaughn’s memorable turns in Hustle and Coronation Street, it was as Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that he made his biggest impact, later appearing in 52 episodes of The Protectors before this, the first of his two appearances on Columbo. Interestingly, Vaughn has portrayed both Presidents Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt on film, the latter on two separate occasions.

 

This was the second consecutive episode to be shot entirely on location – indeed the filming took place during an actual cruise to Mexico, necessitating strong sea-legs from the supporting cast. Jane Greer captivated as Hayden Danzinger’s wife, Sylvia while returning actors Dean Stockwell (as the victim’s bandmate – and initial suspect – Lloyd Harrington) and Bernard Fox (Purser Watkins) played pivotal roles. Patrick Macnee was suitable authoritative as Captain Gibbon, while Robert Douglas (Dr. Pierce) and Susan Damante (Nurse Melissa) made for an intriguing medical team (Douglas would return to the show in Season 6 as a director). Other cabaret performances came from Peter Maloney as band leader Artie Podell and from Curtis Credel as a magician that shared his real-life name! Columbo regular Mike Lally appeared, but was uncredited for his role as a waiter on the cruise.

 

Director Ben Gazzara returned after directing last season’s A Friend in Deed, for his final stint behind the Columbo camera.Writer William Driskill would go on to pen two further episodes – each in Season 5 – after this effort, on which he shared credit with long-time Columbo writer Jackson Gillis

 

If you have thoughts on any aspect of Troubled Waters please share them below, or find us on Twitter at @columbopodcast.

 

The Columbo Podcast is widely available – on iTunes, Stitcher, tunein, Pocket Casts 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.

 

Troubled Waters was released in 1975. 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.

  • Largo

    “Troubled Waters” is the second fourth season Colombo episode in a row that illustrates how to ‘change up things’ without destroying the established Columbo Mystery Movie series format. Overall, “Troubled Waters” is mighty impressive for its wonderful cast of guest stars, its setting on a luxury cruise ship and a truly endearing performance by Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo. However, this Mystery Movie suffers from some script contrivances involving the murderer that just don’t make any logical sense — just to name a few: all of that nonsense with the receipt for the gun and writing the letter ‘L’ with the lipstick and the murderer not packing those golf gloves himself (precipitating the need to steal those latex exam gloves) — sheesh! Even though these various script contrivances bring this particular Columbo episode down a few notches, it is still rather enjoyable to watch.

    “Troubled Waters” stars Robert Vaughn as the murderer, Hayden Danziger. Robert Vaughn is probably best known for his lead role as Napoleon Solo in the hit NBC television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68). Here’s a little bit of trivia: the producers of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. originally wanted to bring James Bond to network television and had approached Ian Fleming about it. EON Productions, of course, had the film rights to the James Bond character and so Fleming created the Napoleon Solo character for Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe to use in their eventual The Man From U.N.C.L.E. series. Now do we all know what U.N.C.L.E. stands for, eh? It stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. I’m sorry but I really do love to point this bit of trivia out to folks. Ahem, moving on —

    Robert Vaughn’s Hayden Danziger character in “Troubled Waters” is a rich automotive entrepreneur with a huge network of car dealerships. Danziger is being threatened with sexual blackmail by the cruise-line’s lounge singer, Rosanna Wells (Poupée Bocar). Rosanna Wells is kind of a sexual predator of sorts — especially when it’s also revealed that she had a very brief sexual fling with one of the ship’s band members, Lloyd Harrington (Dean Stockwell), and has tossed him aside. In other words, Rosanna Wells apparently uses men like they were Kleenex. Along with Rosanna sporting a pair of ridiculous false eyelashes and her singing an extended version of the perfectly dreadful song, Volare — not to mention Rosanna’s complete lack of concern or alarm when discovering Danziger in her cabin room that first time — all of these nefarious items add up to a rather unsympathetic character in my personal logbook. But it still pains me to admit that a part of me is rooting for Danziger to pull off this murder and get away with it.

    Now I don’t like seeing women being victimized onscreen in any form just like I don’t condone premeditated killing at all. However, I still find myself wanting Hayden Danziger to succeed with his very risky, but brilliant murder plan on board this luxury cruise ship. However, it’s really too bad that Danziger then had to play stupid and leave a series of terribly obvious clues like a trail of Garanimals® clothing tags. But please forgive me here for the following comments for this is all just my dark side talking hypothetically. It really begs the question when Danziger fails to dispose of everything in the “world’s largest garbage dump” (as Columbo himself points out): the huge, all-encompassing ocean. I just shake my head at Danziger for planting that silly gun receipt and then resorting to that incredibly outrageous and melodramatic act of writing in lipstick on Rosanna’s mirror. Apparently, Danzinger has been reading too many dime store crime novels or something. Humph — the letter ‘L’ — this Columbo Mystery Movie almost goes completely to ‘L’ when this particular scene occurs, eh! 😉

    My ‘Why Didn’t Danziger’ list goes on: why didn’t he stash the gun in that brilliant hiding place that was revealed later involving the second pair of latex exam gloves— inside the coils of the emergency fire hose? He could have come back to it, stashed the gun in his waistband and then later — whalla! — tossed it in the ocean when he got the chance (of course, this is assuming that the planting of the gun receipt and that lipstick trick never happened). Every pair of swimming trunks that I’ve owned since I was a wee lad have all had an inside mesh pocket: so why didn’t Danziger stash that “popper” capsule casing inside of said inner pocket (or even swallow it) before collapsing into the swimming pool? To cover his elevated heart rate and blood pressure when rushing back to the ship’s infirmary after murdering Rosanna Wells, why didn’t Danziger feign an emergency situation such as: “Nurse — I’m having trouble breathing” and/or “Nurse — I feel like I’m going to be sick to my stomach.” Speaking of Nurse Melissa (Susan Damante), why didn’t Lloyd Harrington ask her out for a date? Melissa is an intelligent and caring professional working woman in addition to being very lovely — I just don’t understand this Lloyd character at all here. However, it’s also a shame that Melissa smokes cigarettes. But I digress ….

    The reason behind all of these silly script contrivances is that we need a showcase for our little detective character — and to enable his improvisational crime lab techniques on board the cruise ship, with John Steed and Dr. Bombay looking on in rapt attention and with much curiosity. Uhmm — I mean with Captain Gibbon (Patrick Macnee) and Purser Watkins (Bernard Fox) looking on while Columbo goes through his brilliant improvisational paces. Peter Falk puts in a rather sparkling performance in this episode and all of his costars are more than up to the task as well. Robert Vaughn is having a grand old time portraying the murderer, Hayden Danzinger, and it really shows here. Falk and Vaughn make quite the pair of adversaries and their ‘cat and mouse’ scenes are on par with other top tier Columbo episodes, in my humble opinion. I also feel that there are far more pluses than minuses within this Columbo Mystery Movie story and so I turn my eyepatch to many of the various plot contrivances and give almost all of them a pass.

    I sure hope that most of you feel that Hayden Danziger had a very strong motive for resorting to the terrible crime of first-degree murder. Hayden Danziger had to commit murder in this particular situation. The reason for this can be summed up in two words: Jane Greer. Hayden Danziger’s wife, Sylvia, was played by the great Jane Greer. After being in a number of bit parts in some ‘B’ movies throughout the early Forties, Jane Greer was cast opposite Robert Mitchum in the film noir classic Out Of The Past (1947). In this film noir, Jane Greer portrayed the ultimate femme fatale: Kathie Moffat. Out Of The Past is the quintessential film noir: a story of a basically good man being destroyed by an evil, seductive woman. No man should tangle with Kathie Moffat and the same goes for Jane Greer. When Sylvia Danziger tells Columbo that Hayden would regret it terribly if she caught him in an extramarital affair, she means business. When it comes down to the brass tacks, no man should mess with the brass of this woman, eh! If you haven’t seen the film Out Of The Past, you should check it out soon for it is well worth your time. Be seeing you!

    • That’s a great point on the golf gloves, Largo, that we missed in the podcast. The reason he’s so angry about the gloves being missing is because he needs them for the murder!

      • Largo

        Exactly — which is why it’s doubly frustrating to watch that particular scene between the Danzigers: Hayden’s perfect murder plan depends on having these golf gloves! So just why did he depend on someone else to pack them, eh? Inconceivable! 🙂

      • Largo

        It’s interesting that in this scene Danziger gets angry (because a manservant didn’t pack those golf gloves?) over this situation with the gloves and he, without really realizing what he’s doing, snaps at his wife. But Hayden quickly apologizes to Sylvia — and it’s the manner of his apology to her that (I feel) reveals how much he loves his wife and truly cares about their marriage. However, Hayden made a huge mistake in cheating on Sylvia in the first place and getting involved with the likes of Rosanna Wells in the second.

    • There is never a strong enough motive for murder, and especially not in this case. Danzinger had been a naughty boy and was being made to pay for it. He didn’t want to pay for the consequences of his actions and so, like some spoilt child, wanted to ‘make it go away’. Having said that, blackmail is deplorable and Rosanna should have been shopped for that.

      • Largo

        Uhmmm – Kieran, I guess your facetious detector must be malfunctioning again, eh? Now go and watch Out Of The Past and then get back to me. Be seeing you! 🙂

    • Ian Baxter

      Thanks Largo; as you say, so much of the contrivance is about giving the star a chance to shine, and he doesn’t let us down, ably supported by Vaughn. I really like the idea of Lloyd and the nurse getting together (I’m a big softy). Could have been an interesting extra twist to see them both arm in arm leaving the ship at the end.

      • Largo

        Even though I was being a tad facetious with that particular digression in my review, I’m what you might call a “sentimental sap-head.” So, truth be told, I feel that seeing Lloyd and Melissa together would be rather sweet. I mean, the last time we saw poor ol’ Dean Stockwell he got conked on the head with a block of ice by the eeeevil Robert Culp as Paul Hanlon. In other words, I highly approve of this alternate ending sequence for “Troubled Waters” with Lloyd and Melissa arm in arm as they both waltz off together in Acapulco. Oh dear, I believe I have something in my eye here — gotta go, eh! 🙂

  • This for me was a strange episode, almost in the ilk of ‘Dagger of the Mind’, but obviously nowhere near as bad.

    High points:
    – Seeing Columbo with different clothes on. I particularly liked his hawaiian-style shirt
    – Patrick McNee’s knees [try saying that if you’re drunk].
    – Direction by Ben Gazarra. Dean Stickwell’s [sic] eyebrows
    – Robert Vaughn being Robert Vaughn at his peak.

    Low points:
    – Bernard Fox.
    – Desecration of a perfectly good song (Volare). Interestingly this was the last thing that Poupee Bocar acted in. In terms of acting, she seems to have sunk [pardon the pun] without a trace after this, although she’s still with us and is around 80 now, so must have invested in a decent dinghy.
    – Lazy script with obvious plot holes [as described in detail by ‘him with the eye patch’]. For instance, no bruises on the body, even though the delectable Rosanna had been punched.

    NB Am I right in noting that this is the first time you see actual blood from a shooting in a Columbo episide?

    In summary, I enjoyed and resented this in equal measure. I think it was the British influence, sad to say.

    • Largo

      “Him” doesn’t wear an eyepatch. Just ask the Powerpuff Girls:

      • How come you have black hair in the animation and silver in the other one [bearing in mind the JB film predates the Powerpuff Girls by at least three decades]? Have you discovered the art of time travel, perchance?

        • Ian Baxter

          The question is; if Largo has perfected time travel which murderer would he choose to go back and help? Would he pack the golf glove for Danziger, or would he remind Tommy Brown to leave the car rental keys at the airport? 😉

          • Largo

            Gadzooks, Ian! Neither one of your time travel scenarios would apply to ol’ Largo. If I had a time displacement device, I would prevent Tommy Brown from abusing Maryann Cobb and then report him to the proper authorities. I’d also put the kibosh on Hayden Danziger’s tryst with Rosanna Wells in Las Vegas. Just call me the time traveling c–kblocker! 😉

          • Largo

            Another “great” use of a time machine would be to go back to the mid-1960s and buy up a whole bunch of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. collectibles like these! 😉

          • Ian Baxter

            Clever idea, I like it 🙂

            Columbo’s lack of violence and his personal dislike of guns, wouldn’t lend itself to a lot of ‘boys toys’ merchandising. I wonder what sort of Columbo collectables were made available?

          • Largo

            Real slim pickings on that one I’m afraid, eh! Here’s the only Columbo collectable (and the first Columbo paperback book) that I bought many years ago for my mom:

          • Ian Baxter

            As I’m being all soppy at the moment can I put in one more request for the use of your time displacement device?

            Could you please pop back to Double Exposure and save Roger the poor old projectionist?

            I look forward to re-watching that episode soon and reaching the part at the end where Columbo reveals that Roger, after receiving an anonymous tip off, wore a bullet proof vest and faked his own death, agreeing to play dead in order to help the police.

            Thanks in advance… can you say that to a time traveller?… well thanks anyway.

          • Largo

            I’m very sorry, Ian, but it looks like poor Roger White is slated for death on every alternate timeline that the Time Tunnel (or “Project Tic-Toc”) can currently locate. Only one timeline allows Roger to live a few years longer, but he still gets shot (by a deranged movie patron) in the projection booth of a major cinema in Los Angeles. Here is a snapshot I took of Roger White, via the Time Tunnel’s time-stream locater, just moments before he gets murdered:

  • Volare!

  • Largo

    Attention Gerry and Iain: Just a friendly note about Robert Vaughn’s character in “Troubled Waters” and the spelling of the last name: it’s Danziger and not “Danzinger.” To wit:

    • Largo

      Attention Gerry and Iain: Perhaps you were snacking on these delicious little cakes while doing all of your Columbo podcast work on “Troubled Waters” —

    • We’ve found the subtitles are not always reliable! Went with the imdb spelling.

      • Largo

        But the IMDB spelling is also “Danziger.”

        • Largo

          To wit:

          • Hmm…where did I get it from then…been a while since we recorded! Will ponder this.

          • Sorry? Who is Will? Has he joined the team?

          • Adrian Bailey

            Danzig was/is the German name for Gdansk, so the surname Danziger means “person from Gdansk”.

  • Roberto

    Another enjoyable podcast and troubled episode. Enjoyable episode but forced clues are forced. Gerry’s traditional concerns about overly risky behavior by villain are spot on here. Anyway, I don’t want to rain on a fun episode with the great Robert Vaughn.

  • Ian Baxter

    A fun episode!

    Columbo/Falk is on good form and is very entertaining. I like the moment where he shows the picture to Lloyd and drops the ‘act’ for just a moment, but good to see the existence of Mrs Columbo confirmed and that it is not all an act.

    The blackmailing singer… well I wanted Johnny Cash to pop his head round the door and say “sanctimonious hypocrite of a bible-spouting blackmailer”! However I think I could have a bit more sympathy for this killer if he hadn’t tried to frame someone else.

    A bit more information about the ship in the link…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_Dream_(1972_ship)

    • Nelson Heyward

      Hahaha love the Johnny Cash comment, very funny

  • Emrys

    Great podcast… and one of my very favourite episodes. Would love to write more but am in a rush. Just wanted to pop in and say that yes, the gloves would indeed retain those fingerprints!

    • Largo

      Thanks for stopping by, Emrys! It’s always great to hear from you, eh! Well, you’ve told us about those latex exam gloves retaining fingerprints (they do most definitely) — but I’d like to know how you feel about those missing golf gloves and how “Johnson” forgot to pack them for Hayden Danziger. Plus, I’d like to know which female character you prefer: firey Rosanna Wells or sweet Nurse Melissa? Inquiring minds want to know. Oh, and just one more thing: please post your Portmeirion Hotel pictures on the “By Dawn’s Early Light” discussion thread — none of us will mind your long hair. Be seeing you! 🙂

      • Emrys

        These episodes are populated by some pretty hot women. I, like you (I think), tend to prefer the less ‘obvious’ ones.

        Now that you’ve all pointed out the plot holes/flaws I agree that Danziger’s plan was haphazard to say the least. Terrible to say the most. But I forgive everything because I just love this episode.

        There is however one thing that I would have changed had someone let me have a run at the script. I would have taken out the references to Mrs Columbo. Up until this point, the existence of his wife has been ‘ambiguous’. For people like me who prefer (maybe that’s the wrong word) to imagine Columbo as a singular-minded, loner career cop with a penchant for ‘tall-stories-as-criminal-bait’… this element of the episode is a disappointment. There was no need for it. After all, it’s only touched upon to this extent a couple more times in the original series. This episode shuts the door on the ‘figment of his imagination’ idea (but not absolutely completely shut! The door is certainly not locked!). Then the come-back upped the game and demolished all happy-go-lucky theorising with a ‘painting by numbers’ crash of a wrecking ball! Ha ha! Never mind. I get the vibe that everyone here disagrees with me anyway!

        I think sweet over firey for me every(probably) time. 🙂

        • Largo

          Hayden Danziger’s basic plan is masterful: it’s the poor execution of it that is so terrible. But I blame that on those blasted script contrivances: which always necessitates the stupidly obvious mistakes on the part of the murderer just so Columbo will have enough clues to nab them. So why didn’t Hayden pack his own golf gloves? The answer, of course, is that the script demanded it so he could turn stupid and steal not one, but two pairs of latex exam gloves!

          Concerning Mrs. Columbo: are you really wanting to go back to this nonexistence theory again? Is this going to get ugly now? Are we going to have to reduce ourselves to a knock-down, drag-out fight over this one? Aw, come on, Emrys! It’s just a TV show! It’s just a blasted TV show! 😉

          Yeah, we’ll agree to disagree on the Mrs. Columbo issue. But we can both agree on one item here: the women that populate the Columbo Mystery Movie series. So let’s both hold on to that one, eh. I concur: I will take sweet over fiery (most) every day, eh! 🙂

          P.S. — Thank you so much for your very own “The Village” picture on the previous Columbo Podcast thread! Great stuff!

          • Emrys

            Ha ha! Well, you misunderstand me a little. There is no argument over Columbo’s wife… primarily because of this episode. Just thought it was worth a proper mention in this particular comments thread. And yes, I prefer ambiguity, but the script writers didn’t give it to me. You being a Prisoner fan I thought you’d also prefer every loose end not having to be tied?
            My family live only a few miles from the village. I used to visit all the time in my youth. Then when I finally watched the Prisoner I was like… bloody hell!!!

          • Largo

            Ambiguity in The Prisoner? Well, if one can decipher the symbolism involved in “Arrival” where Number Six smashes the Tinker-Toy set on the word “politics” and the symbolic use of that Carmen Miranda tune in “Fall Out” — all of this apparent ambiguity ceases. 😉

            You and your family lived near “The Village” — that’s so cool! Do you have any stories from any of your former neighbors there that might have been background extras during the filming of The Prisoner?

        • Arabian Knights

          Really, I think Columbo is pretty uxorious. J pegged him as a married dude right away, and that;s how he likes it.

  • Nelson Heyward

    This a fabulous episode definitely a A ++ my joint second with negative reaction. Falk and Vaughn on totally top form, love Columbos shirt and the music that is playing while he’s wearing it looking for Danzinger.

    Another great podcast fellas keep up the quality work.

  • Johnny

    Latex gloves hold fingerprints very well.

    Also, Mrs Columbo is first confirmed here indeed. It shut my brother up when he tried to claim she was a device used by Columbo, like his unending supply of nephews.

  • Peter

    I personally love this episode for reasons that Largo mentions. I thought Roseanne Wells to be an unsympathetic victim. Vaughn was great in this episode and interacted with Columbo well. I also think Nurse Melissa was very appealing. Beautiful yet approachable and friendly,nice contrast to Wells. Only inthe 70’s though would you find a nurse smoking in the infirmery. Must tell you back then that everyone seemed to smoke. My Dad would mowe the lawn with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He would wake up,tell me he felt like sh.., then light up a cigarette!

    • Largo

      Hey there, Peter! It’s great to find another Nurse Melissa admirer. Rosanna Wells is a voluptuous va-va-voom woman for sure, but she’s just too darn “loud,” if you know what I mean. I find Melissa far more attractive, eh. But to explain a little further —

      Now take the TV show Gilligan’s Island: there were two gorgeous beauties on this series — one named Ginger Grant and one named Mary Ann Summers. I much preferred Mary Ann. On the TV sitcom, WKRP In Cincinnati, there were two lovely lasses — one named Jennifer Marlowe and one named Bailey Quarters. I’m a ‘go for Bailey’ type of dude. Jennifer was just too much, eh. This is just how I roll, bro. Do you hear what I’m saying, Peter? 🙂

      • Peter

        Hey Largo! Of course I know what you mean. I much preferred Jacylyn Smith to Farrah Fawcett in Charlie’s Angels, for instance. The glamorous type is unobtainable, and if she deigns to “entertain” you, she will spit you out. The other type is approachable. You have a prayer and she does not intimidate.

        • Largo

          Indeed you do, Peter! Great minds think alike, eh: I much preferred Jaclyn Smith to Farrah Fawcett as well. Whenever I watched Charlie’s Angels, I’d turn the sound of the TV all the way down, put a good record on the stereo hi-fi set and just watch all of the pretty pictures on the television screen. I mean — whoever cared about any of the “plots” on this series, eh? 🙂

    • Arabian Knights

      Yeah, Nurse Melissa was sweet and the perfect handmaiden type typical of the day. I think she worked a lot harder than the clueless doctor.

  • Ian Baxter

    Just a wee helping hand for Gerry… IT’S A HOBBIT!

    With the help of my kids and some lego we have made a helpful guide. The one on the left is a Hobbit (Lord of the Rings), the one on the right is an Ewok (Star Wars). The one in the middle is a grape (Neither a Hobbit or an Ewok).

    Hope this helps 🙂

    • Largo

      1. One Lego Hobbit: The Lord of the Rings franchise is covered — check.
      2. One Lego Ewok: the Star Wars franchise is covered — check.
      3. No Lego Munchkin available (one grape substituted instead): The Wizard of Oz franchise is oh so not covered — no check (boogers!)

      But two out of three ain’t too bad, Ian! Now please tell me that one of your children has that awesome Lego Jawa Sandcrawler! 🙂

      • Ian Baxter

        Sadly no 🙁 (but the awesome Boba Fett Slave 1 is!)

  • Largo

    Before there was Marvel’s Avengers, there was Great Britain’s The Avengers (1961-69). I actually preferred this series over The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68), but both shows were a whole lot of fun to watch when I was a kid. For me and the rest of my fellow Americans, The Avengers didn’t debut until March 1966 on the ABC television network as a mid-season replacement. I don’t recall what series The Avengers replaced, but I’m so glad that it did so we could all enjoy this unique series. I had a huge crush on Diana Rigg as Emma Peel — who was an incredible heroine in the 1960s: she was an expert in martial arts and race car driving; Emma was also a crack shot, was more intelligent than John Steed (she scored higher on an IQ test in an episode), she did not have “typical” feminine fears and she could throw bad guys over her shoulder. What more could you ask for, eh? Of course, John Steed had other partner agents: Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman) and Tara King (Linda Thorson), but Emma Peel was my favorite and I was heartbroken when this show was cancelled one season after Diana Rigg had left the series. So here’s to Patrick Macnee as John Steed and to Diana Rigg as Emma Peel — The Real Avengers!

    • Arabian Knights

      Oh, I remember The Avengers, but being in Canada, I think we got it in 1965. Spy stuff was very big then. And we had two channels to choose from in my hometown (one English, one French) so Hobson’s Choice figured prominently.

      • Largo

        Indeed! The spy craze was in full swing here in the USA right after the release of Goldfinger (1964) and so 1965-66 was the ‘one-two punch’ for this particular popular phenomenon. In 1966, I had a color picture of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel that I cut out of TV Guide magazine and had stuck on the inside of my lunch box. So whenever I was in the school cafeteria, I’d have this same lunch box propped up so I could gaze at Emma Peel while I ate. I guess I had it pretty bad, huh? 🙂

        • Roberto

          Diana Rigg and her black catsuits were quite the rage back in the day. She was the true star of the Avengers!

          • Largo

            Quite so, Roberto! Those catsuits or “Emmapeelers” were quite the fashion statement — and they were also very practical for all of Emma’s spy action stuff. As a child I would get kind of impatient with John Steed and crave more screen time for Emma Peel. But forget Anne Marie (Marlo Thomas in That Girl), Julia Baker (Diahann Carroll in Julia) and Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore in The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Emma Peel was the true “liberated woman.” Emma Peel was there as an equal to men (of action!) before any of those others! 🙂

  • Largo

    R.I.P Patrick Macnee (Feb. 6, 1922 – June 25, 2015). Goodbye, Patrick — you’ll be sorely missed. :.(

  • FIG_PUCKER__hashtag_PokeInAPig

    I don’t think anyone here has mentioned Peter Falk’s throwaway gag in this episode where he peers intently through the magnifying glass with his left eye (his glass eye!).
    I know this is an old thread but I only found the podcast a few days ago (I was just googling for columbo podcast on the off chance somebody had done this). Good work guys, I think the content and duration of your podcasts is just right.

    • Thanks! Glad you’ve found the podcast and are enjoying it. Didn’t spot this, but I’ll need to go back and look!

      • FIG_PUCKER__hashtag_PokeInAPig

        I might be mistaken, I can’t remember which eye is false, but I’m sure he did something like that, or crossing his arm over his face to reach the healthy eye with the magnifying glass.

  • Largo

    R.I.P Robert Vaughn (Nov. 22, 1932 – Nov. 11, 2016). Farewell, Robert — we will miss you dearly. :.(

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4198174d45d63d645b11a68b5efbda13f197abc63a79b032fa7d23b910f20f51.jpg

    • Very sad.

    • Adrian Bailey

      By coincidence or design 5USA showed this episode this afternoon. Vaughn, MacNee and Falk in top form. One of the great detective movies imo. Of course it’s all a ridiculous conceit, but what brilliant melodrama! And the denouement is one of the cleverest/best in all the series.