Just seen this episode,quite good.I should mention that it was shown on Channel 5 here in the UK.
Still has the formula of the originals,even if Columbo is quite a bit older.
Quite a chance for columbo to take with Blake (Anthony Andrews) putting himself in danger of losing his head, quite literally.I believe their was one other episode where Columbo puts himself in danger, but not quite sure which one .It is quite evident that the writing was slighly different with later shows,and I noted that Peter and Jackson Gillis were executive producers at least for this episode.
Jackson Gillis writing for the other shows were absolutley brilliant.I just wonder why was it decided to put Columbo in danger, and why?
You know, i wonder if Columbo WAS in fact in danger, or did he make sure that BOTH sides of the guillotine holder were safe? Could be. Put it took guts to literally put his head on the line.
There were several other episodes where Columbo put himself in danger. "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo" he 'sort of' puts himself in danger, but figures it out thanks to a visit to a psychologist in San Francisco. In "Strange Bedfellows" he teams up with the local mob. That's always sketchy at best. There's "Butterflies in the Shade of Grey" when he is on the mountain with Fielding Chase, and Chasae is in the trunk, allegedly getting tools when he actually was retrieving a shotgun to send Columbo to the Pearly Gates. Finally, in "Undercover" Columbo is 'required' to carry a gun and actually pulls it on Mo Weinberg. I love that scene because I doubt Columbo would even know how to use it!!!
I like this episode except for the very end -- in the other episodes mentioned, he backup or some kind of "wild card" to play in case the killer actually acted. In "Guillotine," however, it seemed unlikely he'd be willing to lose his head in the event the killer decided NOT to kill him at that point. Of course, some careful listening to the dialogue might reveal that the killer did indeed intend to kill him and Columbo intentionally played right into his hands to catch him in the act. I'll have to look at that one again.