Stitchin Up Columbo
Having worked on a way to prevent transplant rejection Dr. Barry Mayfield (Leonard Nimoy) finds himself frustrated by lead scientist Dr. Edmund Hidemann's (Will Geer) lack of urgency in moving things forwards. So when Dr. Hidemann agrees to have the heart surgery he has been putting off Dr. Mayfield finds it the perfect opportunity to get rid of him and move in to the lead scientist position. But when Nurse Sharon Martin (Anne Francis) becomes suspicious that Mayfield may have intentionally botched the operation in such away that Dr. Hidemann will die later on he bumps her off so that she can't stop him. That leads Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) to investigate the crime not something he finds easy as he is queasy around hospitals.
Like many TV series "Columbo" always relied on the cameos as much as the star of the show and "Columbo: A Stitch in Crime" certainly knocks it out of the park with not only Leonard Nimoy in the role of a killer but Will Geer as well and who could hurt the loveable Grandpa Walton. And both play their parts well with Nimoy bringing both cold and analytical to his role whilst Geer has the quirky loveable side which of course is what their fans will enjoy.
Aside from the cameos "Columbo: A Stitch in Crime" has something else and we have the question of a potential second murder as we become aware that Dr. Mayfield didn't do the surgery on Dr. Hidemann correctly and you wonder exactly what Mayfield did. In truth it isn't much and of course not the focus of the movie as Columbo is unaware of this but it gives the movie that extra edge especially when it comes to the movie's conclusion.
But beyond those extra bits "Columbo: A Stitch in Crime" is your standard episode of Columbo with us watching as Lieutenant Columbo sniffs around as he seeks out the killer. And typically he has a hunch as to who the killer is early on when Dr. Mayfield didn't respond to the news of a murder in the way that a normal person would. But the usual playfulness you get in an episode of "Columbo" is lacking with director Hy Averback giving this episode a bit more of an experimental side with what I imagine back in 1973 were some trippy visual effects.
What this all boils down to is that "Columbo: A Stitch in Crime" is one of those episodes which is okay but is boosted more because of the calibre of the stars in the pivotal supporting roles. I say okay although trust me when say that when it comes to the conclusion of this one with Columbo at one point losing his rag with Mayfield.