If I had a dollar for every time a Lieutenant lover had bemoaned the lack of a Columbo Blu-ray boxset, I’d be a wealthy man indeed. If you’re amongst those many fans, this week’s news that the series will get a Blu-ray release this year may well have set your heart a-flutter.
According to Frank Tarzi, VP of Acquisitions at Kino Lorber, there are two Columbo boxsets in the works: one featuring the ‘classic era’ 1968-78 episodes; and the second containing the 1989-2003 revival episodes. The classic episodes are set to be released in late summer, with the ‘new Columbo‘ set following in late 2023 or early 2024.
While a Japanese Blu-ray boxset has been available for some years, its prohibitive pricing has placed it out of reach of most fans. I’m also not aware of any extensive extras on that particular set. More than merely releasing the series in glorious HD, the new boxsets will provide the sort of extras fans have been clamouring for since Columbo was first made available on DVD in the early 2000s. For the Blu-ray, each episode will feature audio commentary from experts of the day as well as archival excerpts from those involved in the production.
The new boxsets will provide the sort of extras fans have been clamouring for since Columbo was first made available on DVD in the early 2000s.
Of course, it’s agony that so many guest stars (including Peter Falk himself) will not be able to contribute their recollections of the series personally, but there should still be plenty of excellent background intel to satisfy serious fans. Here’s hoping the likes of Steven Spielberg, Lee Grant, Dick Van Dyke, William Shatner, Clive Revill, Susan Clark and Trish Van Devere may pop up on the audio tracks to provide first-hand commentary on the filming of the show, too.
Given the resurgence of interest in Columbo since the ultra-successful Rian Johnson series Poker Face acknowledged it as a major influence this year, I’d expect this updated release to sell like bowls of chilli at a Columbo Convention. You’ll be able to find out more info on release dates, pricing and extras right here as and when details become available.
In the meantime, do sing out on what you’d like to see included as extras on the sets. Personally, I’ve got everything crossed that the full series of Dale Kingston’s World of Art will work its way onto the discs. We patient fans deserves nothing less…