|Peter Falk as Columbo|
The Wikipedia entry on Columbo reads: “According to TV Guide, the original plan was that a new Columbo episode would air every week, but as a motion picture star, Peter Falk refused to commit to such an arduous schedule, which would have meant shooting an episode every five days. The network arranged for the Columbo segments to air once a month on Wednesday nights. The high quality of Columbo, McMillan & Wife, and McCloud was due in large part to the extra time spent on each episode.” There was a time, however, when the actor did commit to a weekly series—a short-lived show that in many ways gave future Columbo fans a glimpse of the things to come: The Trials of O’Brien.
|Falk as Daniel J. O'Brien|
|The women in O'Brien's life: Joanna Barnes (L) and Elaine Stritch (R).|
Finders Keepers prompted me to purchase a DVD with two episodes from the series, including the premiere installment, “Over Defence is Out” (09/18/65).
|Ned Glass...though at first glance I could have sworn it was Sid James.|
“You wouldn’t dare…” admonishes his secretary. “You’re fired,” he snaps back at her.
The receipt for the missing money (Hanover stashed it in a storage shed) is not in the hotel room wall where Eddie left it; soon, O’Brien winds up having to defend Hanover from a murder rap when Benedict is croaked and Eddie is discovered hovering over his body with the murder weapon. Add a shady insurance investigator (Ned Glass) and Hanover’s former cellmate (Vincent Gardenia) to the mix and you have a splendid introduction to what would appear to be a most entertaining series. Danny O’Brien is Columbo with a law degree, in the second episode on this DVD he’s even shown in the courtroom complimenting on how splendid the prosecution’s witness’ testimony went. “You know—I just don’t have any questions…oh…except one…”
|The future's so bright, Vincent Gardenia has to wear shades.|
|Falk and Dolph Sweet|
|The two episodes on the Finders Keepers O'Brien DVD feature original commercials...including Mickey Freeman (Private Zimmerman on The Phil Silvers Show) lighting up a Roi-Tan Falcon...|
|Tammy Grimes, Reni Santoni|