S01E06 - Originally broadcast Jan 19 1972
Directed by Edward M.Abroms, Written by Lester Pine, Tina Pine and Jackson Gillis
Starring Roddy McDowall, Ida Lupino and James Gregory
There’s nothing quite like an episode with three writers.
Roddy McDowall plays an heir to a chemical fortune who suffers the combination of a domineering uncle-by-marriage (James Gregory, better known - to me anyway - as Inspector Luger from Barny Miller) and a profligate lifestyle. With his uncle threatening to reveal the dirt he’s got on the kid, Roddy’s being forced out of the company his father founded. Bum deal!
Interesting thing about this episode is that at the beginning, you’d be forgiven for thinking that McDowall’s the injured party; his uncle hired a creep to spy on him, is forcing him out of the biz, is a dick … but as the episode plays on, Roddy’s fun-time, anything-for-a-laff veneer peels away and you’re treated to the heightened awareness that all the characteristics which seemed endearing about him at first are actually pretty demeaning, insincere and even abusive. Dang.
A number of scenes end up on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, a thing which terrified me as a kid and my parents hauled me on it when I was, I dunno, four years old.For the record, you used to be able to smoke on that thing and, brother, everybody was. It was like a slow-moving space capsule from planet cancer.
Episode 4 of the Just One More Thing podcast is now available for download either through iTunes or on the site. Join Jon and RJ as they welcome pop culture commentators Chris Sims and Matt Wilson to discuss Roddy McDowall murdering Inspector Luger from Barney Miller with an exploding cigar!
A late-night snack, invented by the Earl of Nantwich, which consists of the dampest thing in the fridge, pressed between two of the driest things in the fridge. The Earl, who lived in a flat in Clapham, invented the nantwich to avoid having to go shopping.
Columbo is the greatest detective in the world, and it is a travesty that there are 9000 Sherlock reboots and none for him.
The idea of a return of Columbo with Danny Trejo is the best thing I’ve ever heard.
Etude In Black
S02E01 - Originally broadcast Sept 17 1972
Directed by Nicholas Colasanto, Written bySteven Bochco
Starring John Cassavetes, Blythe Danner and Myrna Loy
Falk collaborator Cassavetes plays a classical symphony conductor with a simultaneous yen for shtupping the piano player … and murder! Falk and Cassavetes also take turns behind the camera. NBC requested that this episode be stretched out from a 90 minute runtime to a full two hours, meaning something like an additional twenty minutes had to be shot. There’s a scene in Cassavetes’ character’s mansion which is probably wholly a product of these two.
Speaking of the mansion. dumb trivia/coincidence: The mansion is a location in LA called The Bundy House and was used, among other shots, as the governor’s mansion in the opening of the 1980s Robert Guillame sitcom Benson. Likewise, Columbo first appears in this episode in his veterinarian’s office, and the name on the vet’s door is … DR.BENSON! Dunh Dunh dunnnnnnh!
Myrna Loy plays the symphony’s patron in a manner from a whole other era of film. I love Myrna Loy, but she’s definitely bringing a whole different sensibility of performance to this role than any other actor.
Tremendously hilarious voiceover/redubbing from a character named Sgt.Meyer, who seemed to be speaking through his nose inside a bathroom accessible only through a tin-can telephone.