Columbo (1971)

3 mistakes in Troubled Waters

(29 votes)

Starring: Peter Falk

Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Troubled Waters - S4-E4

Factual error: In common with a number of characters in numerous episodes, Columbo hopelessly contaminates crucial evidence - at the end of the episode he handles the surgical gloves used by the killer with bare hands.


Troubled Waters - S4-E4

Other mistake: When Rosanna's body is brought to the ship's medical room, the doctor confirms that there are no bruises on the body, yet she had been forcibly punched in the face earlier that day by Mr Danzinger (Robert Vaughn). The punch was hard enough to knock her over therefore a bruise should be visible, even through make-up.

Troubled Waters - S4-E4

Plot hole: The cruise ship is sailing from LA to Mazatlan in Mexico. Looking at a map, the ship will hug the west coast on its journey therefore is never far away from land. The murder takes place on the first evening of the cruise only a few hours after setting sail by which time they won't be far from San Diego. Why didn't the captain order the ship into San Diego or another suitable harbour and let the police take over the investigation?

Columbo: Oh, I didn't come to ask any more questions. I came to arrest you.

More quotes from Columbo
More trivia for Columbo

Show generally

Question: Why was Columbo never promoted, given that across the whole show he solves all the murders in such a spectacular fashion?

Answer: In the show, he was already a Lieutenant. A promotion would put him in the next rank up, which for the L.A.P.D. would be Captain. However, some of a Captain's duties would be overseeing other officers and ensuring they're compliant with policies, regulations, and standards. It would also most likely take him out of the field. This is something Columbo has no desire for as he rarely goes to police HQ's. Nor does he show interest in compliance and standards (for example, not going to his semi-annual evaluation at the firing range). However, he could still be assigned to a higher pay grade based on expertise, which is a form of promotion that does not include rank advancement. This would be going from Lieutenant I to Lieutenant II. I don't believe in the show it's ever started what his pay grade is. Although, in s02e01 (I believe) he mentions making $11K a year. Whether or not this was a true statement on his part, if you could find pay scale information for an LAPD Lieutenant in the 70's, it could give you an idea of his pay grade.


More questions & answers from Columbo

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.