Season 4 Episode 4

Troubled Waters

Aired Unknown Feb 09, 1975 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
50 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Troubled Waters
While holidaying on board a cruise liner, Columbo helps capture the killer, of the singer with the ships band.

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  • A little seasick

    I got left at the port with this subpar episode. With the previous episode registering as my favorite, this outing has little to recommend including no distinguishing performances. Robert Vaughn is smarmy but unconvincing as the culprit and Dean Stockwell seems lost as the likely suspect. The captain and the bandleader were others that annoyed me more than they enriched the plot. The crime has no flair or any of the meticulous execution so prevalent in the series. Was there a motive? I can't remember offhand. I'm surprised by the score and praise lavished in the previous review. Danziger leaves the sniffers behind for Columbo to fish out of the pool but manages to pitch all the other critical evidence over the starboard side?? Didn't like it and didn't buy it. A forgettable effort in an otherwise superb Season 4.moreless
  • Spoilers

    The mystery is great, and the way Columbo figures it out and befriends Mr. Danziger is perfect. Danziger does not know whether to like Columbo, or hate him. The pace of this episode is perfect, it rolls along just like a cruise. The ship itself is also a wonderful backdrop for the episode.

    During a break of the band, the singer is murdered. The Captain asks Columbo to help him to find the murderer. Everything seems like a member of the group is culprit, but Columbo finds the right advice to unmask the right man.

    A key episode in the series, if only because so many thematic elements are gathered together which appear as well in "How to Dial a Murder", "Now You See Him", "Étude in Black", etc.

    "Troubled Waters" is something of a lab experiment isolating Lt. Columbo to reveal the quanta of luck, fate, instinct, training, intuition and skill that go to make his character.moreless
Peter Falk

Peter Falk

Lieutenant Columbo (no first name)

Jane Greer

Jane Greer

Sylvia Danziger

Guest Star

Robert Vaughn

Robert Vaughn

Hayden Danziger

Guest Star

Patrick Macnee

Patrick Macnee

Captain Gibbon

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (4)

    • 94 minutes long.

    • On Page 44 of the Nov 2-8 1974 issue of TV Guide, the following was printed in the regular feature "TV Teletype: New York - Eric Levin Reports".

      "The 700 passengers who booked a recent 12-day cruise to Mexico got an additional treat: the company of NBC's Columbo and his production crew. Aboard were PETER FALK, ROBERT VAUGHN, PATRICK MACNEE, DEAN STOCKWELL and BEN GAZZARA. Passengers were cast as backdrops and extras in the episode, "The Cruise," which will be telecast early next year. The cruise line gave the TV people a two-thirds discount on the fare--figuring no doubt, that free publicity would be well worth it."

    • This episode was filmed aboard Princess Cruises' Sun Princess on an actual voyage from San Francisco to Puerta Vallarta.

    • Along with Shera Danese, Robert Vaughn is one of only two actors to play a murderer and a victim on the series.