Season 2 Episode 4

Dagger of the Mind

Aired Unknown Nov 26, 1972 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Dagger of the Mind
While on a work trip to London to learn the techniques of the British police, Columbo gets involved with the murder of Roger Haversham, a rich old businessman, that is financing the careers of two has-been theater stars trying to restart their careers. When Sir Roger threatens to finish their careers because he felt betrayed, he's killed. A short while after, his butler figures out the motives for his master's murder, and blackmails the actors, who have no other choice than kill him, and make it look like he committed suicide due to remorse because he murdered his employer. Columbo stills manages to catch both the murderers, with the help of a pearl and a new umbrella.moreless

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  • Columbo Crosses the Pond

    Columbo is off to Merrie Olde England in Dagger of the Mind. While on an official visit to Scotland Yard to review their policing methods, Lt. Columbo helps out on the case of a famous theater producer who was murdered. Bond Girl Honor Blackman (aka Pussy Galore) gives an excellent performance that has a lot of weight to it. And, the writing does a good job at using the established formula of the series while also changing it by taking Columbo out of . and having him shadow the official London inspector in charge of the case. Additionally, there are some fun pieces of comedy with Columbo playing tourist. Breaking convention, Dagger of the Mind is an impressive and refreshing new take on the Columbo murder mystery.moreless
  • Spoilers

    A transmutation of Macbeth into a theatrical vision, filmed by Quine and Unsworth (or Wolf) on location with a subtle eye for architectural marvels as well as their curious absence.

    The script conveys (or parlays) a brace of brollies and a string of faux pearls into a considerable amount of mischief. Along the way, long takes frame a good deal of brittle, fine humor.

    Sir Roger is introduced with a POV of the interior of his umbrella as he closes it to reveal a POV of the interior of the Royal Court Theatre, which is used to mount Macbeth in dress rehearsal featuring Richard Basehart and Honor Blackman, who very naturally "do and do and do." Basehart additionally favors the watcher with an offcamera rendition of Shakespearean vocal exercises. They read the reviews in bed with glee.

    The comedy mounts from reserved slapstick at the Heathrow baggage claim room, where Lt. Columbo is mistaken for a thief, to drawing room comedy at Detective Chief Superintendent Durk's London club, with the lieutenant avoiding autopsy photos over lunch. The first scene with Wilfrid Hyde-White as Tanner the butler is refined to a point of silken efficiency.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (In the wax museum)

      Columbo: Marvelous. Let me tell ya, I don't want to repeat myself but the other night when I saw that performance that you two--

      Frame: Durk, would you please explain what we're doing here.

      Dep Chief Supt Durk (indicating Columbo): Why don't you ask the tour guide?

    • Columbo: I just never have seen anything like you. Like that performance you both just gave...

      Nicholas Frame: Thank you. I didn't mean to be nasty, old boy. No hard feelings?

      Columbo: And you both must be exhausted. I don't know how you do it.

      Lilian Stanhope: With innocent, loving hearts. Good night, Lieutenant.

      Columbo: Well, whatever it is, it sure must be most unusual. Uh, the reason I say that is because, you know, when my wife and I try to remember what happened yesterday or the day before, well, we don't agree on anything. And you two, you not only agree, you use almost the exact same words to tell about it. (pauses to let his words sink in) Good night.

    • Columbo: Is that Big Ben?

      Superintendent Durke: Yes it is.

      Columbo: Well, look at that. A big clock like that and it´s only a minute slow.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Honor Blackman is credited as Special Guest Star. John Fraser and Richard Pearson are credited as From London - Special Guest Stars.

    • Peter Falk said in an interview that he didn't care much for this episode because the idea of the LAPD sending Columbo to London seem too far-fetched.

    • 120 minute episode.

    • 18 years after this episode aired, in the 1990 ABC episode "Columbo Cries Wolf" Columbo would mention getting a call from "an old friend Det Chief Superintendent Durk of Scotland Yard", asking him to look into the case. This is the character played by Bernard Fox in "Dagger of the Mind". A nice bit of continuity, and one of the few times the series would make a direct reference to another episode, especially with episodes between the NBC and ABC versions.