HOLLYWOOD – A lost episode of the long running TV Show Columbo starring Peter Falk as the shambling raincoat clad detective has been discovered and is to be released by Criterion on Blu-Ray and DVD.

The episode entitled ‘A Woman Under the Influence‘ was made in 1976 and directed by John Cassavetes.

Film historian Mark Cousins (no relation to Irish Cousins of Story of Film fame) greeted the find with studied indifference. He whined:

The episode broke ground and was ultimately too radical for the TV company to broadcast. It showed for the very first time Columbo’s oft mentioned but never seen wife, who we learn is called Mabel and is played with startling bravery by Gina Rowlands. The format of the show is totally different. There’s no crime and Columbo does no detecting. In fact he seems to work for the water company and most of the episode’s two hour and twenty minutes running time is devoted to Mabel’s distressing descent into insanity.

Although likely to split opinion, die hard fans will at least understand Columbo’s devotion to his work and reluctance to go home.

Columbo: A Woman Under the Influence will be released in 2015. 

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