The fifth episode of Columbo was titled Lady in Waiting and marked the first time a female killer featured on the show. This episode saw Columbo try to overturn a coroner’s inquiry verdict of accidental death. In the podcast Gerry and Iain look at the methods and motives of Lady in Waiting and try to ascertain whether justice can be done.
This episode returned to a smaller core cast than had been used in recent episodes, with only Leslie Nielsen‘s straight-shooting Peter Hamilton, Susan Clark‘s enigmatic killer Beth Chadwick and Jessie Landis‘ overbearing Mrs Chadwick playing key roles, along with Richard Anderson (best known for his subsequent performances in The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman) as our victim, Bryce Chadwick.
Nielsen is, of course, now the best known of these actors. At the time Lady in Waiting was produced he was already proving a prolific performer, with multiple television roles to his name, but it was to be almost ten years later that his international profile took shape, first with Airplane! and then with the Police Squad series and the subsequent Naked Gun movies. This appearance came twenty years into what became a sixty-year acting career and offers only occasional hints of the deadpan comedy Nielsen would come to be known for.
There was no trivia question again this week, but if anyone would like to discuss anything covered in the podcast or related to Lady in Waiting then please feel free to comment here, or find us on Twitter at @columbopodcast.
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Lady in Waiting was released in 1971. It is 75 minutes long and originally aired on the NBC network. It can be viewed on Netflix in the United States and is available on DVD in other countries, including a comprehensive box set of all eleven seasons released by Universal.