The forty third episode of Columbo was titled The Conspirators and was the final episode of the show’s seventh season and the last of the original run. An Irish entertainer kills when he believes he has been double-crossed in a weapons deal. In this podcast Gerry and Iain look at the end of Columbo’s original run and reflect on season 7.
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Clive Revill takes top billing as Joe Devlin, an all-round entertainer and an active participant in the then-ongoing military dispute in Ireland. He arranges with Albert Paulsen‘s Vincent Pauley to acquire a large cache of weapons to ship out to Ireland (long way from LA to Dublin by boat!) but when he suspects foul play, executes Pauley in a hotel room.
There was a bigger cast for this episode than in recent weeks. Jeanette Nolan and Bernart Behrens as Kate and George O’Connell were crucial supporters of Devlin’s ambitions and of the arms deal he brokered with Pauley. Michael Horton played young Kerry Malone, the other member of their cell.
There were a number of other key roles – L.Q. Jones as Pauley’s weapons dealer; Sean McClory as the captain of the ship destined to carry the guns (a long, long way round) to Ireland; Deborah White as Angela, a book store assistant who provides a vital clue; and talk show host Carole Hemingway as herself
Leo Penn is behind the camera for the second of his three Columbo episodes after the Season 3 classic Any Old Port in a Storm working with Howard Berk‘s script from an idea by Pat Robison. Berk also wrote Season 4’s By Dawn’s Early Light and went on to pen two Mrs Columbo episodes in 1979. Pat Robison has no other screenwriting credits.
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The Conspirators was released in 1978. It is 100 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 the show’s seasons released by Universal.