The Lt. Columbo Forum

An area where fans from all over can ask each other questions and voice their own ideas and opinions on anything Columbo.

This Forum is fondly dedicated in memory of  "cassavetes45"  (Carleen Zink),
Columbo's greatest fan and a great friend to us all.
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Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

So many of the ABC episodes miss the mark that I think a more challenging task is rating the weakest of the original NBC episodes.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Welcome Mike! Have fun'll love it.

Definitely No Time to Die for me....horrible!!

Re: Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Yeah!!! I hated 'no time to die' too - in fact it's the ONLY Columbo that I've never been able to watch a 2nd time around.


Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Well in that case Eric...I would probably say Lovely But Lethal...I just feel claustophobic when I watch that one...and I get the creeps watching Sian Barbara Allen hold her cigarette so weirdly.

Re: Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

I agree with both U and Cass. "No Time To Die" is the absolute most ridiculous episode ever created. I'll think of more, just a little brain dead right now. Welcome by the way. Edmonton huh I'm going to feel sorry for your Edmonton oilers after tonight's game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Raleigh....When Carolina wins "The Cup"

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Duly noted Mike -- it's always been my contention that Three Pukes on the Commodore ended the series, and observations like yours confirm it.

That's the one where Columbo poetically leaves his buffoons behind and rows off into oblivion, never to return as we so admired him.

I placed an order for season five, but only for a couple of episodes. Seasons 6 and beyond don't count
in my book as anything more than just plain character
murder with too many notes.

Re: Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

I don't go as far as you and write off seasons 6 and 7, there are some good episodes there, although there was a noticable deterioration. (I don't consider the revival of the series in the 1980's -90's truly Columbo so they don't come into consideration).

The worst episode - "Mind Over Mayhem".
If Columbo were made into a Saturday Morning Kiddie cartoon, they would make something like this. I can't believe Levinson and Link would associate their name with that turkey. The robot...really?

Second worst episode-"Last Salute to the Commodore"--I loved Robert Vaughn so much in "Troubled Waters" I can't believe he would want to be associated with clunker episode.

Third worst episode--"Lovely But Lethal". Martin Sheen is a pretty good actor but he was really lousy in this one, but fortunately, he was killed off early. I also don't like how Sian Barbara Allen held the cigarette! Very Miles is a totally bland nothing.

Re: Re: Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Worst episode was "Undercover."

Too bad about the Oilers, Mike. They gave it a good run.

Re: Re: Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

For me, seeing Martin Sheen get bumped off is one of the redeeming features of the episode! :)

Vera Miles just seems totally miscast as a bonafide Columbo killer. It's more easy for me to envision her as part of the ensemble in a supporting part in an episode. My own pick for who would have been better in her role would have been Joan Collins.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

First, I would like Mike to explain HOW he could POSSIBLY think that "Undercover" was the worst episode - and not "No Time To Die"?!!! "Undercover" was ssssslightly better.


Of the 69 episodes of "Columbo", I consider 10 of them to be of "below par" quality. Or Two and Half Stars **1/2 or less.

Here are all 10 of those episodes, in running order.

Death Lends A Hand (**1/2)
Any Old Port In A Storm (**1/2)
Mind Over Mayhem (**1/2)
Last Salute To The Commodore (**1/2)
The Bye-Bye Sky-High IQ Murder Case (**1/2)
No Time To Die (*)
Columbo: Undercover (**)
Strange Bedfellows (**)
A Trace Of Murder (**1/2)
Murder With Too Many Notes (**)

"No Time" gets one star (*) based merely on the fact that Peter Falk was in it and the name "Columbo" was attached to it. Otherwise, the story, acting and even the production was absolutely terrible.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Oops. That should have been DAVID up there whom I wanted to explain himself. Not Mike. Sorry!

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

i was waiting to hear you weigh in on this one didn't disappoint.....

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

I have seen two stinkers recently from the "new" Columbo series: "Undercover" and "No Time To Die".

Of the original series I really found "Old Fashioned Murder" hard going. I also thought that "Lovely But Lethal" and "Double Shock" could have been much better.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes


how can you rate Death lends a hand that low?
I wonder why this is one of the worst episodes in your opinion.

For me it's great fun: great casting, excellent final clue and lots of humour.

By the way, I agree with most of you in placing No time to die and Undercover at the bottom of the list.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

I have never understood why so many people dislike "Lovely but Lethal." Although I wouldn't consider it among the very best, I love the setting, the eerie music with the scratching noises, and a really unique and clever final clue that pays homage to the old saying "caught red-handed." Vera Miles may not have been among the best villains, but I still thought she was amusingly *******

Anyway, now for my least favorite episodes:

Short Fuse
Mind over Mayhem
Old-Fashioned Murder
The Conspirators

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Fine...I'll clean up my language...I thought she was amusingly witchy.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

the ones i find myself skipping over most often among my tapes:

old fashioned murder
the conspirators
last salute to the commodore
troubled waters
dagger of the mind

i haven't seen lovely but lethal in years, so not sure if that would be on my list, too.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Having just watched the S5 DVDs I have to say Commodore is one of the worst. If there ever was a candidate for a 90-minute ep, this is it. Some cuts I'd make: The ending took over 20 minutes, was very drawn out and boring. The meditation scene was a waste. The mizzinboom (spelling?) scene was tedious, in fact the entire ep was difficult to follow. Having Mac and Bruce Kirby made things more cluttered.

About the only thing good that came out of watching Commodore was seeing Wilfred Hyde-White - he caused me to go and watch Dagger again LOL.

Re: Columbo's Worst Episodes

Mike, those two are pretty bad, definitely in the top 5. I would also throw in "Last Salute to the Commodore."