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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The 1970's Complete Collection


Starring: Peter Falk
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Spirit Entertainment
RRP: £149.99

Certificate: 12
Release Date: 10 June 2024

Peter Falk stars as the cigar chomping, trench coat wearing, police lieutenant Columbo in the series that set the standard for the murder mystery genre. This 20-disc Blu-ray set contains the first 7 seasons of this ground-breaking series, including the 2 original pilot TV movies, now restored and remastered by NBC Universal in 4K. Enjoy once again this classic series that won a staggering 13 primetime Emmys...

For quite some time now, Sunday's has become Columbo day in our house. 5USA has back to back classic episodes of Columbo every Sunday and it's perfect as background noise whilst we work or relax. Of course, we've seen almost every episode countless times, but they never get old.

But now that Fabulous Films Ltd / Spirit Entertainment has released the first 7 seasons on Blu-ray, we can watch any episode whenever we want - which is a blessing because there are quite a few episodes that 5USA tend not to show very often.

The list of guest stars is endless (many of which appeared in more than one episode in more than one role) and includes Jack Cassidy, Vincent Price, Martin Sheen, Vera Miles, Vitto Scotti, Johnny Cash, Dick Van Dyke, Robert Vaughn, Janet Leigh, Ed Begley Jr., George Hamilton, Leonard Nimoy, Pat Morita, Leslie Nielsen, Patrick McGoohan, William Shatner and Falk’s second wife Shera Danese who played 6 roles in 6 different episodes.

The biggest issue I had with this collection is that it misses out the other three seasons which were broadcast throughout the late '80s/early '90s. Now, it's obviously a rights issue - the original series was produced by NBC, while the later series was the property of ABC - but It's a shame that we don't get the entire show's run in one collection. Also, £150 seems a little excessive, but I'm sure fans of the series won't balk at the chance to own these episodes on Blu-ray.

Some extras would have been welcomed, a handful of audio commentaries with Columbo experts, or a new feature on the historical importance and behind the scenes information. But the episodes stand the test of time and this is still great TV.


Nick Smithson

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