Just one more thing.. ๐Ÿ“

Posted: September 5, 2011 in ๐Ÿ“ Articles

R.I.P Peter Falk

Peter Falk who played one of the much loved characters on TV died June 23rd 2011 of alzheimer’s at the age of 84. His portrayal of detective lieutenant Columbo created by William Link and Richard Levinson has graced our TV screens for over 40 years. I have been a fan as far back as I can remember. I used to watch this programme religiously every Sunday with my Grandmother who introduced me to the character at a very early age.

Unlike other detective programmes the audience is fully aware of the killer from the first scene. We witness the murder then we get to watch how our scruffy, unorganised unlikely detective unravels the case piece by piece with nothing more than the aid of a notebook, a cigar and a cup of black coffee.

The format of the show is still one that is unique by giving the audience all of the information at the beginning of the episode we are then able to witness the mind games and manipulation between Columbo and the villain from start to finish. It is not a question of who did it but more a question of how can our detective prove they did do it.

Columbo’s style from the get go is misdirection, always perceiving to be one step behind his culprit asking naive questions all the while luring them into a false sense of security and confidence. Once they become overconfident the Lieutenant will begin to show them the error of their ways until the cracks start to appear and the villain becomes a panicking unsettled desperate mess.

Most of the antagonists on the show were wealthy rich people who lived glamorous lives who felt they were above the law with Columbo acting as the underdog. The villains were always played by great actors of their time such as, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from Star Trek, Dick Van Dyke (Mary Popins), Ruth Gordon (Rosemary’s Baby) and one of my personal favourites who appeared in and directed numerous episodes Patrick McGoohan (Escape from Alcatraz).

This style of show with celebrity villains paired off against a respected actor with a great mind is still one that could be used today. In the real world we are never short of a celebrity scandal or somebody who believes they are above the law. Subject matter that we can all still relate to.

If anybody is interested in watching any episodes of Columbo I would suggest watching them all but I have listed five of my favourite episodes that I think everybody will enjoy.

Prescription: Murder (Pilot Episode Season One)

A Stitch In Crime (Season Two)

Playback (Season Four)

Now you see him ( Season Five)

Fade To Murder ( Season six)

It is the end of an era but Columbo will never be forgotten, at least not in my house. I think film makers today could still learn a thing or two on the story telling mechanic of Columbo. I Thank Peter Falk for all his hard work and years of dedication and the many many years of entertainment that he has given and still continues to give me and my family.

Rest In Peace Peter Falk.

Sebastian Bowen.
The Fishtank Podcast.

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