Columbo S04E04 Troubled Waters (1975) – 7/10 Columbo crime detective TV review

Cast / crew
Peter Falk: Lieutenant Columbo
Robert Vaughn: Haydn Dansiger
Jane Greer: Sylvia Dansiger
Dean Stockwell: Lloyd Harrington
Bernard Fox: Preston Watkins
Robert Douglas: Dr. Pierce
Patrick MacNee: Captain Gibbon
Poupée Bocar: Rosanna Welles
Director: Ben Gazzara
Writer (Screenplay): Bill Driskill
Writer (Story): Jackson Gillis
Writer (Story): Bill Driskill
Writer (Series’ Creator): Richard Levinson
Writer (Series’ Creator): William Link
Producer: Everett Chambers

Columbo S04E04 Troubled Waters (1975)

Mrs. Columbo has won a cruise aboard a luxury boat, er, ship, but her husband’s detecting skills are quickly called upon… to find her. Then early one morning a cabaret singer is found shot to death and Columbo starts doing what he does best.


Classic Columbo, well-paced and directed with a more solid story than usual (even though it doesn’t always look like it) and history’s longest rendition of Volare. Columbo’s detecting abilities seem to be less miraculous here than in other weaker episodes, we get the same clues as he does (the feather, specifically) and you can see why and how he pieces things together. Falk’s brilliance as Columbo can never be overstated and we get some classics in this episode. Columbo unexpectedly freezing mid-detection (due to seasickness), a queasy Columbo suddenly snapping into steely-eyed alert upon spotting an incongruous detail (a feather outside Robert Vaughn’s door), sneaking to Vaughn’s room when the body is brought into sick bay (the timing is genius) but even he… cannot use a magnifying glass the right way around. This is tremendous fun and baddie Robert Vaughn plays his part to perfection. His slow realisation that Columbo has got him is an absolute delight.

This Columbo episode contains violence, unpleasant scene.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.


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