It’s a brave fan who claims that Columbo’s comeback adventures were superior to his ‘classic’ outings in the 60s and 70s. Nevertheless, there are some thrilling highlights to be found in the 24 episodes that aired on ABC between 1989 and 2003.
Mrs Columbo’s phony funeral, Robert Culp’s growling comeback and the Lieutenant having his portrait painted by a world-famous artist are moments that would have graced any episode from any era. And while the overall calibre of guest was somewhat lower, new Columbo was still able to attract a cavalcade of household names to appear.
Faye Dunaway’s appearance in 1993’s It’s All in the Game might just make her the biggest star to ever appear in the show, while we were also treated to appearances from Patrick McGoohan (as actor and director), Tyne Daly, Fisher Stevens, William Shatner, Rip Torn, George Hamilton, Rod Steiger and Ed Begley Jr. It certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom.
I’ve been running an on-going poll to establish fans’ favourite Columbo episodes on this site for several years, but the vast majority of the love that gets shown goes to those classic era Columbo outings released between 1968-78. As one might expect, the revival episodes get something of a short shrift, with very few even ranked within the top 30. However, if we start to compare apples with apples, it ought to be easier to see which of the newcomer episodes really have won over hearts and minds.
With that in mind, I now invite you to submit your vote for your single favourite ‘new’ Columbo episode. Simply choose your number one episode from 1989-2003 from the list below and hit ‘Submit’. I’ll leave the poll open for a few months and will then compile an article showcasing your top 10 selections.
Now jump to it and vote as confidently as Nelson Hayward voted for himself in Candidate for Crime!
NB – it may take a minute or two for your vote to register, so fear not if it’s not shown in the results right away. I’m also being informed the poll may not show up AT ALL if you’re viewing via Firefox. If so, I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do to resolve this straight away, sozzer folks.
Very many thanks to all those who cast a vote. I have my suspicions about which episodes will fare well (I’d expect Agenda for Murder, Columbo Goes to College and Rest in Peace, Mrs Columbo to jockey for position at the top of the standings), and which will fare badly (looking at no episode in particular No Time to Die), but who knows? Maybe you’ll spring a few surprises on me.
Do share your thoughts on your top episodes from the ABC years below, including referencing your favourite scenes, so due credit can be given to best of the best from Columbo’s less loved second coming.
Do also take a minute to vote for your absolute favourite Columbo from any era here. I run an updated fans’ top 10 article every year and competition for a place is always red hot!