Dr Ray Flemming is a renowned psychiatrist who is having an affair with a patient, Joan Hudson, when his wife finds out. Flemming kills her and enlists the help of his lover to make it look like he boarded a plane with his (still alive) wife, had a fight on board and then continued his trip to Acapolco while she stormed off the plane (only to be murdered while he was a time zone away). The perfect crime and the perfect alibi he thinks but when he returns from his trip he finds that two things have ruined his plan – his wife still being alive (although critical) and a muddled little police officer called Columbo.
Overall fans of the series will enjoy this but may find that it is a bit flatter and toned down from the better films in the series. The chase is low key and not as fun as it could have been and the performances are pretty flat (Falk is yet to make the character his own and the one we know) but it is still an enjoyable tvm and worth seeing for being the film that started the long running series.