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Columbo: Fade in to Murder

Ward Fowler plays detective Lt. Lucerne in a hit TV show. However, Fowler has some skeletons in his closet, and the show's producer, Clare Daley, is blackmailing him, so Fowler decides to murder her. He steals a gun from the TV props department, and a ski jacket and ski mask from the show's wardrobe. Knowing that Clare plans on dropping by a corner shop one evening he stages a holdup while she is there. After knocking out the shop's owner he shoots Clare in the back, hoping the police will think the murder was the result of the holdup man panicking when Clare tried to escape. Columbo discovers several clues that show that the murder was premeditated, with the holdup as a cover-up, so since Clare and her husband Sid were known to despise each other and had been separated for some time, Fowler plants some clues in an attempt to frame Sid for the murder.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 6x1
Airdate: Sunday October 10th, 1976

Special Guest Stars
Lola AlbrightLola Albright
As Clare Daley

Guest Stars
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
As Ward Fowler
Bert RemsenBert Remsen
As Mark Davis
Alan MansonAlan Manson
As Sid Daley

Co-Guest Stars
Timothy CareyTimothy Carey
As Tony (as Timothy Agoglia Carey)
John FinneganJohn Finnegan
As Assistant Director (as J.P. Finnegan)
Victor IzayVictor Izay
As Conroy
Shera DaneseShera Danese
As Molly
Frederick DraperFrederick Draper
As Joseph (as Fred Draper)
Jimmy JoyceJimmy Joyce
As Camera Operator
Frank BaxterFrank Baxter
As Walter Gray (as Frank Emmett Baxter)
Danny DaytonDanny Dayton
As Director
Walter KoenigWalter Koenig
As Sergeant Johnson

Dorothy DellsDorothy Dells
As Julia
Main Cast
Peter FalkPeter Falk
As Lieutenant Columbo
Episode Quotes
Columbo: He didn't mean any harm. Forgive me for saying so. I sometimes have a silly effect on people, you know what I mean? Just being a police lieutenant, you know. At least I hope that's why.

Ward Fowler: ou think she was murdered, don't you?
Columbo: I, I beg your pardon, sir?
Ward Fowler: You heard me.
Columbo: Yes sir, I did. Uh, I mean, yes, I do think it was a premeditated killing, sir. I mean I think the robbery was staged to cover up the murder. Um, how did you know, sir?
Ward Fowler: Why else would you be here?
Columbo: It could be just a routine check, sir.
Ward Fowler: No, Lieutenant. They don't send a police detective stumbling around, asking silly, fake, innocent questions on a routine check. I know that from my show.
Columbo: Silly, fake, innocent questions, like what, sir?

Columbo: The parka and the ski mask, that's where they both came from.
Ward Fowler: And the gun?
Columbo: Oh, come on, sir. You're putting me on. You know that guns don't come from the wardrobe department.
Ward Fowler: Of course. How stupid of me.
Columbo: Nope, that's the props department, sir, not the wardrobe department. How does a smart man like Lt. Lucerne make a mistake like that?
Ward Fowler: Because you're not talking to Lt. Lucerne at the moment, are you, Lieutenant? You're talking to Ward Fowler.
Columbo: Well, what's the difference, sir?
Ward Fowler: The difference is Ward Fowler's under suspicion of murder. And a man under that kind of threat is apt to make mistakes, he's apt to get rattled.
Columbo: Well, whoever said anything about Ward Fowler being under suspicion of murder?
Ward Fowler: Lt. Lucerne did.
Columbo: He did?

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRichard Levinson  |  William Link
ProducerEverett Chambers
Associate ProducerJoseph D'Agosta
Music EditorRobert Mayer
Set DecoratorPeg Cummings
Director of PhotographyMilton Krasner
Art DirectorMichael Baugh
ScoreBernardo Segall
Film EditorRonald LaVine
SoundJerry E. Smith
Assistant DirectorMark Sandrich, Jr.
Unit ManagerBob Anderson (3)
Executive Story ConsultantWilliam Driskill
Women's CostumerGeorge R. Whittaker
Sound Effects EditorBrian Courcier
Theme MusicHenry Mancini
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