As I put the final touches to the review of Now You See Him, here’s a little sneak preview of some of the articles soon to be winging their way to the blog, plus updates on a few other initiatives in the pipeline.
Much of what I’m covering here is related to direct feedback from my reader survey of earlier this year with the end goal of giving Columbo fans more of what they want and offering them the best opportunities to interact with like-minded fellows. So here’s what’s going on…
These are picking up pace, as intended, and fans’ favourite Now You See Him will be posted next weekend. Season 5 finale (and fans’ un-favourite) Last Salute to the Commodore will follow in early July. With only three episodes in Season 6, we ought to be well on the way through Season 7 by the end of the year. HUZZAH!
Feedback from the reader survey suggested you’d love to hear recollections from cast and crew about their memories of being on the show. As a result, I’ve been busily trying to line up interviews, knowing that they could take months to come to fruition. I’m happy to report, however, that I interviewed two-time guest star (one-time killer) Ed Begley Jr a few weeks ago, and followed that up with an in-depth discussion with author Mark Dawidziak, whose awesome The Columbo Phile remains the great literary tribute to the show, 30 years after publication. Look out for both soon!
Hopefully a few more will come together too, because I can assure you these conversations are packed with interesting recollections and happy memories.
Columbo locations map
Hopefully you’ve already noticed this, but a lovingly created interactive Columbo locations Google Map was released a couple of weeks ago on the blog. This was again put together based on feedback from readers, and it’s been a smash hit so far.
The map continues to evolve, with more locations from the 70s’ series being added all the time. If you think there’s mileage in an equivalent for the 80s, 90s and 2000s episodes, do holler! If you haven’t yet seen the map, read more here.
Columbo website forum – help make it happen!
Many readers have suggested they’d love to see a forum added to the site in order to chat openly with fellow fans and not be restricted to commenting on individual posts. I’m in full agreement and will be adding one ASAP. To do so, I need to raise sufficient funds to upgrade the site to allow plug-ins. You can help make this happen by making a small donation to the cause right here. So far, we’re about 60% of the way there.
Spanner in the works here. I’ve set up a Columbophile YouTube channel, which currently serves as a repository for some of the best existing Columbo videos, including more than 25 full episodes. Problem is that when I try to add new clips that I’ve edited myself, they’re immediately blocked on copyright grounds. Universal evidently has the channel pegged, which will make adding my own content nigh on impossible.
The way I see it I’m trying to use snippets from the show under FAIR USE legislation as part of reviewing and critiquing the show, which is legal and above board. But if every attempt I make to upload content is immediately blocked, I’m never going to get a fair crack of the whip. Ho-hum.
In order to embed video clips into blog content I’m currently using Vimeo. You can visit my page here. If it’s not shut down I’ll start using it more regularly.
Man, who knew audio editing would be so frustrating and tedious to learn? Not me, which is why recent attempts to get to grips with it have left me confused and enraged in equal measure. I won’t consider starting this until I definitely have the skillz to do a professional job, so for now it’s on the back burner.
HELP NEEDED – APPLY WITHIN!
There are a couple of areas I need some assistance / guidance in, so take a look below and let me know if you’re the guy or gal for me!
70s’ car expert needed!
Columbo is awash with beautiful 70s cars, and many readers have suggested they’d be interested in an article chronicling the most wonderful vehicles ever to grace the series. Unfortunately my knowledge of vintage cars is rock bottom so this isn’t a topic I feel I can do justice to, but if you’re an enthusiast who can write, and who can debate the merits of Beth Chadwick’s Ferrari Daytona, Buddy Castle’s Chevrolet Corvette and Riley Greenleaf’s Cadillac DeVille, please email me!
Calling Columbo artists!
If you’re a professional artist who has Columbo wares for sale, I want to hear from you! Whatever your style is, I’d love to bring quality Columbo artwork (of the sort shown below) to the attention of fans everywhere. If this sounds like you, please hit me up via email!
That’s about it for now, folks. As always I constantly appreciate the support and feedback received from the Columbo community. You’re a ruddy lovely bunch! And with that, I propose a farewell toast until we meet again:-
I enter my email address below on your home page and I get an error message. Please allow firstname.lastname@example.org to receive messages from your fantastic website.
Hi Bruce, not sure what the problem is. I’ll set up an invite to be sent to that email address and you ought to then have the option to accept the invite to subscribe.
I’m so happy to have found this site! We just watched Murder of a Rock Star on MeTV and I’m still puzzled by one thing. Why does Dabney Coleman leave the gardener’s truck several blocks away (under the tree with the berries)? Why not park it back where he took it, so the gardener isn’t suspicious, and subsequently tells Columbo “truck moved.”
Oooh, I haven’t watched that one for so long that I can’t recall this scene in any detail. Hopefully another reader will be able to assist!
I watched murder of a rock star a few weeks back i do remember the scenewith the gardeners truck it ultimately cracked the case, but not in as much detail so i wont comment , the episode was not a bad addition I quite like it but it is not one of the first episodes most people would choose to watch .
I’m a new reader, so I apologize if I’m suggesting something you already covered. I’d like to know more about the show’s rather weird TV history. What were the other shows Columbo was rotating with? How was it brought back more than a decade after being canceled?
Great to see The reviews coming thick and Fast , I would like columbophile to know that Every Sunday on 5USA They play 7 columbos back to back lasting more or less the whole day which is an increase on before, just highlights the popularity of columbo
It do also be on ITV 4 some Sundays , and The great Columbophile is Adding to that Greatness With all this exciting stuff coming up , looking forward to Now You see him , I am sure Columbophile will pay tribute to jack cassidy who tragically perished only 8 or nine months .
So true….would have been great to see Cassidy in a 4th episode, he & Falk were great together….. here in the states Columbo is on TV every Sunday evening for just one episode on ME TV. I have the box set though which is well worth the money.
We get at Least 5 episodes on a Sunday in the UK , and sometimes 1 or 2 on a Saturday .
My wife and i have always admired the beautiful homes and cars in the 70’s episodes. I’m no car expert but that’s a pretty cool subject to look into. Abigail Mitchell’s powder blue Rolls was the most gorgeous ride i have ever seen. As always thanks!
All great ideas! Can’t wait.
I have gone on imcdb.org before, and find it to be good only in a basic sense. It might have a solid ID of year, make, model etc. but I think many of the high end cars driven by the killers in Columbo actually have good real life stories. I am convinced the Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz cars were actually owned by producers, studio executives and star friends. Although it could take years of part time effort, I envision an episode by episode break down of the cars and their stories.
I am so happy to know I was not the only viewer to hate Diane Bakers drunken histrionics in Last Salute. I also thought Peter and Robert Vaughn were goofing off during their scenes together.
“Now You See Him” makes up for many of the less than stellar episodes. I’ve always like Ed Begley, Jr’s father, and really grew to enjoy Jr’s work on the Christopher Guest ensemble’s improv classics like “This is Spinal Tap”, “A Mighty Wind”, “For Your Consideration”, and of course “Best in Show”. If I didn’t know they were related, I’d never have guessed that Jr. was Sr’s son. They look and sound nothing alike.
My lust for the young and tipsy Diane Baker clouds my perception of the Commodore episode. I’m a John Dehner fan, though his surliness in this ep and his relationship with the hippie “Naval Architect” was too unbelievable of a story line, and the final half hour felt like it droned on for hours as Columbo deduced the stencil letters of the ship, and the never ending “Commodore’s watch” portion turned my wife off totally. She doesn’t understand my fascination for Columbo due to this one episode. I did learn a few more parts of a sailboat boat from Robert Vaughn (like a mizzen), so there has to be some good things to have come out of it, and I’m confident that Columbophile will shine light on the positives. I’ll watch it again to see if my perception can change. Perhaps an edited version would be more palpable.
Nobody is a bigger Columbo fanatic than me, but I’m afraid the only edited version of that mess that will be palpable is one that ends after the opening credits. My God, imagine if they actually ended the series on that disaster!
Looking forward to all the goodies. I’ve noticed that some of the full episodes on the Youtube are blocked, unless I switch to vpn mode.
As far as the autos used in Columbo:
IMCDB is a cracking resource, but what I need is guidance beyond the aesthetics into why certain cars are more desirable/pricier/rarer etc than others, because my own knowledge is negligible.
Well, no kidding. I sure didn’t expect someone who drives around a battered 1959 Peugeot convertible, Model 403 to be an expert on fancy cars.
I sometimes put too much thought into why the Hollywood Producers/Directors use certain objects or locations (with the exception of people like Stanley Kubrick, who didn’t place anything on the screen without specific underlying reasons). Maybe they have a pool of vehicles they can draw from on set, and they use what is available that day or week of filming, or perhaps people volunteer to let the networks borrow or lease their specialty vehicles, like from Jay Leno’s enormous collection of autos.
I equate this to certain songwriters who confound their fans with song lyrics, making them deduce a myriad of explanations of hidden meanings in their song lyrics….when all the while, the artist just puts gibberish words together simply because they rhyme.
I understand Columbo’s love for nothing pretentious; his dress, appearance, and the beat up looking auto, but that thing is always breaking down. I can see him with an old Datsun, VW, or any vehicle that was reliable, but I never understood his love for that specific vehicle, especially when they used several during the filming, with different shades of grey or whatever color that is, and even a convertible. To me, that means he bought several variations of the same model.
I have a question about the majority of the Peugots that he drives (but not all). What is the metal piece that is located right at the bottom of the front windshield inside the cab? It looks like you could store things between the design of this metal, like envelopes or post-its. It looks like it would leave a strange indentation in the skull of the passenger during a wreck, especially without the seatbelt that was alluded to by the driving instructor (played by Larry Storch in ‘Negative Reaction’). Is this metal rack just for looks or does it have a purpose?
I think the metal rack was to store things in, such as parking tickets.
I can’t wait for the forum. I might be on there as much as I’m in Twitter. 😂
We’re closing in on the total (now nearly 80% of the way there) so hopefully won’t be long till the forum is a reality. Thanks so much for your own contribution!
Oh nice! Getting close. 🙂 You’re welcome! Happy to help!
You would conduct a great interview with Stephen Fry, who is quite the aficionado.
I’d love the opportunity, but suspect big Stephen will remain out of reach for a humble blog.
You never know unless you give it a try. Interviews with celebrity fans would be an entertaining read, plus they’d hopefully get you extra traffic on twitter.
So excited! Especially for the interviews! I would also love to see a fun Columbo\Killer relationship analysis really dissecting Columbo’s dynamic and relationship with some of the best killers which includes Abby Mitchell, Oliver Brandt and Donald Pleasance’s awesome turn as Adrian Carsini
OMG, is that Batman picture from an actual comic? Because if so, I want to read it!
Bracing myself for the ‘Last Salute to the Commodore’ review. I’m sure if I stay calm and take deep breaths, I can get through it.
No, not an actual comic sorry. Gabriel Hardman created this, but it’s a one-frame-only illustration as far as I know.
Looking forward to all the great stuff. But don’t you think you should offer some filler between the two upcoming reviews? I never realized these two episodes were shown back to back. My God, after being in 7th heaven following one of the top-5 all-time episodes, the poor viewers must have required shock therapy when they went from that high straight into the utter dregs of Commodore, which was apparently produced after Diane Baker shared her leftover rotten booze with the writers and with director McGoohan, and they all produced that foul mess in a drunken stupor. Perhaps you can review some Mickey Mouse cartoon in between, to help ease the fall for all of us.