Fade Into Murder
Season 6, Episode 1 (Story by Henry Garson, Teleplay by Lou Shaw and Peter S Feibelman, Directed by Bernard L Kowalski, Broadcast October 10, 1976)
I could spend hours talking about two things in this episode - the incredibly shitty shark puppet who menaces Columbo at a pier and SURPRISE WALTER KOENING out of nowhere in one scene (as “Sgt.Johnson” Sure, “My femmly is from Visconsin,” I bet). Seriously though, the shark scene contains a major continuity error, they could have chucked it with out losing anything from the story but they must’ve paid a good fourteen-fifty, maybe even fifteen bucks for that shark effect. GodDAMN, they’re gonna use it!
The Great Bard himself, Wm. Shatspeare, plays Ward Kimball, star of the popular Detective Lucerne television series and a ding-dang murderer (spoiler alert)! He also owns the world’s largest VCR, television, and clock radio.
Shatner was on two Columbo episodes, and this is definitely the stronger of the two. His chummy rapport with Columbo is actually pretty workable,particularly with Lucerne representing precisely the kind of televison detective to whom Columbo was a response…
Listen to Team Columbo discuss this episode with guest Maggie Serota at Just One More Thing: A Columbo Podcast!