6 little details you never noticed in Columbo ''Double Exposure''

Robert Culp sure loved that green blazer.

Lt. Columbo's brilliance was picking up on all the little details — while not letting suspects know he was picking up on all the little details. We're here to help you do the same.

"Double Exposure" is a delightful third-season mystery from Columbo, which originally aired right before Christmas in 1973. Well, we've unwrapped some fun trivia from this episode that will delight you.

1. Robert Culp wore this green blazer every time he played a 'Columbo' killer.


"Double Exposure" was Robert Culp's third time portraying the killer on Columbo. He appeared in each of the first three seasons. By the point that this aired, during the holiday season of 1973, no actor had played a killer more than once. Culp must have relished his chances to murder on Columbo — as much as he loved this green blazer. His character sports the jacket as he takes a drink in "Double Exposure." He also paired the look with a mustache in "The Most Crucial Game," and first modeled the sportscoat in "Death Lends a Hand." Note the distinctive buttons.

2. This photographer was the voice of Brainy Smurf.


Danny Goldman shows up late in the mystery as "Press Photographer." (Though, Columbo calls him "Milt.") The actor might be most recognizable as a nerdy medical student in Young Frankenstein, but his biggest role was voicing Brainy Smurf (not to mention King Smurf) in more than 200 episodes of The Smurfs cartoon in the 1980s.

3. Arlene Martel was entirely cut from the episode.


Star Trek fans will recognize Arlene Martel as T'Pring, the Vulcan who was "bonded" to Spock in the standout episode "Amok Time." Columbo fans will recognize her as… well, nobody at all. Martel (billed "Martell") played Tayna Baker in the episode, but her role was cut entirely from the mystery. Her character's name does come up in conversation, however, which we'll get to below.

4. The Magnolia Theatre had recently hosted the premiere of 'Battle for the Planet of the Apes'.


Located on Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank, California, the Magnolia offered movies for $2.50 — or just $1 for weekday matinees, as you can see for High Plains Drifter here in "Double Exposure." The episode was filmed in 1973, not long after Battle for the Planet of the Apes premiered in the moviehouse on April 28, 1973. The joint did not typically host Hollywood premieres, but this was the fifth Apes film, after all. According to the Bijou Memories blog, the Magnolia was the only theater in Burbank and Glendale to allow smoking in the auditorium. In the back rows only. The seat arms even had little ashtrays instead of cupholders. Those were the 1970s, kids.

5. Stephen J. Cannell recycled the name "Tanya Baker".


Stephen J. Cannell created hit series such as The Rockford Files, The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero, 21 Jump Street and The Commish. Few in television history were better at crafting crime tales with a comedic touch. Cannell wrote "Double Exposure," which featured the aforementioned (left on the cutting-room floor) character "Tanya Baker." Funny, his script for the premiere episode of The Rockford Files, 1974's "The Kirkoff Case," centered around a "Tawnia Baker," played by Julie Sommars. What did the name mean to him? Perhaps a clue lies in his mother, Carolyn, whose maiden name was "Baker."

6. Chuck McCann's character was an inside joke.


Chuck McCann delighted Seventies kids on the goofy Far Out Space Nuts, a Sid and Marty Krofft show that paired him with Bob Denver (a.k.a. Gilligan). In "Double Exposure," he played a projectionist. What's the joke? In 1970, McCann had starred in a movie called The Projectionist. Yes, he played the projectionist in that, a man who dreams of becoming a hero like in the movies he shows. It also happened to be the screen debut of Rodney Dangerfield. He should have talked to Arlene Martel about getting respect.

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RoberttheWallace 45 months ago
Danny Goldman also portrayed a near-psychotic killer in an unforgettable episode of " Hawaii Five-O " { Yes, MeTV--bring this Awesome series back to your schedule }. . .can still in my minds eye, hear his tremulous voice saying: " Missssster McGarrrrrret! " kinda spooky!
cperrynaples 50 months ago
Danny Goldman died of a stroke this weekend at the age of 80! RIP!
Greg 50 months ago
Arlene Martel appears in The Greenhouse Jungle. And there is a scene in that episode ironically where she is talking on the phone with Sandra Smith (Dr. Janice Lester)...Mrs Spock and Mrs Kirk.

I have the DVD of Double Exposure, there is no footage of Tanya Baker.
Andrey 50 months ago
Oh , and just one more thing ... (couldn't resist that on a Columbo thread.)

I saw Battle for the Planet of the Apes during it's first release ... though not in Burbank, California.
Andrey 50 months ago
Arlene Martel might have been best known for her role as 'Tiger', the beautiful French resistance operative in Hogan's Heroes. At least to me anyway. Trekkies would obviously disagree.
Hard to believe she would have been in her late seventies/early eighties by now.
Lacey Andrey 50 months ago
Arlene Martel was also the "scream queen" turned princess in the Banacek episode "The Three Million Dollar Piracy" BUT fans will ALSO remember that she was the cleaning woman who aided Robert Culp in the Outer Limits episode, "Demond with the Glass Hand."
I had the pleasure of meeting with Ms. Martel at the San Diego Comic-Con some years back and she was very nice to all her fans.
randalllong100 50 months ago
I’ve got a blue jacket I could have loaned them. Size 42 L.
RichardSpencer 50 months ago
I think for me, the funniest Colombo scene, is of him taking the shortcut, and running down the hill and falling.
BopperEJ RichardSpencer 50 months ago
That is absolutely the best. I totally laugh hysterically every time I see that scene!
RoberttheWallace 50 months ago
Say--when is MeTV going to bring back the Absolute best program ever: " Hawaii Five-O ". Several years ago, MeTV aired it faithfully, then suddenly for some reason, cancelled; Please MeTV, bring back " Hawaii Five-O "! !
MarkSpeck 50 months ago
I love the ending where Columbo uses Keppel's technique to capture him.
Jeffrey 50 months ago
One of Chuck Mc Cann's better roles was in the Bob Newhart show...funny Ep fer sure
Scott 50 months ago
Actually, Rodney Dangerfield was an extra in a crowd scene in the film "The Killing" in 1956. He is recognizable, but had no lines
James 50 months ago
The scene at the Magnolia Movie Theater where the movie "High Plains Drifter" with Clint Eastwood was billed on the marquee, I saw that movie in the Summer of 1973 in a drive-in theater out west.
Shawn 50 months ago
I never understood why Dr. Kepple left the converter in the lamp? The entire episode is a bit too farfetched in my opinion.
x60hz11 Shawn 50 months ago
Yeah really! Wasn't that stupid??
BillWilson 50 months ago
Actually, Ms. Martel DOES appear in the uncut version of the episode, available on DVD. She's only cut out in syndicated broadcasts.
daDoctah BillWilson 50 months ago
Saw her about a week ago in a MeTV airing of a Perry Mason episode that I checked out because it guest-starred both Victor Buono and Zasu Pitts. Didn't know Arlene was in it, and after recognizing her watched for her name in the closing credits, but she was listed there as "Arline Sax".
Lacey BillWilson 50 months ago
A LOT of people are cut from the syndicated episodes and even the current release of DVDs. I am not sure why but you cannot get full episodes of Banacek even though A&E showed them in the mid-1990s.
owls82 50 months ago
Hoping you do have space to fit in THE F.B.I. this summer.
Pacificsun 50 months ago
I don't know for sure, but think this article was strung together a little too thinly. Green jacket a coincidence, or a styling preference. Why nick the wardrobe budget if the guest star has no issues with costuming. If I remember the Double Exposure episode right, the projectionist actually had a key role. Wasn't the point to demonstrate the timing of the movie's reel change, because the cue for doing so appeared at a particular point? What does Rodney Dangerfield have to do with it. Arlene Martel changed her screen name often enough (not sure why) just that her T'Pring role (and therefore credit) is the most well known. But she appeared in many series of that era. (She was a beautiful in person as on screen, just FYI). "Nerdy medical student in Young Frankenstein" ... or would that be some quirky assistant running around, in that crazy Mel Brooke's inspired comedy??
BobZayas Pacificsun 50 months ago
I think that you are confusing the projectionist in Double Exposure who was trying to blackmail the Robert Culp character with the projectionist in Make Me a Perfect Murder who was trying to show Columbo a trick of the trade using a nickle.
Pacificsun BobZayas 50 months ago
Appreciate the clarification. I guess my memory is unclear about Double Exposure. But what I do remember is someone showing Columbo when movie reels are changed over from projector 1 to 2. Which is a white circle (print mark) appearing in the upper left corner of film, to advise the projectionist. I thought it was an interesting to reveal the cue because I always enjoy behind-the-scenes stuff (or tricks of the trade)! Thank you for contributing to MeTV comments! 😉
MarkSpeck BobZayas 50 months ago
Chuck McCann DID have some sort of trick for changing reels that involved a coin.
Beverly 50 months ago
I love your station!

I am a big COLUMBO fan. Thank you for showing the program. So many famous stars in the episodes. Please look back and find some different ones for us to watch🙏


My favorite Western is THE WILD, WILD WEST. I loved it when you carried the program. Will you show it again?
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Pacificsun Pootiebear 50 months ago
It's still on! Catch it while you can!!
Beta6 Pacificsun 50 months ago
I hope not the Three Stooges.
SashaPayneDiaz Pootiebear 50 months ago
NO !!!!!!!!!!
SashaPayneDiaz Pacificsun 50 months ago
I'm hopin' for THREE!!!!!
texasluva 50 months ago
I worry. I mean, little things bother me. I'm a worrier. I mean, little insignificant
details - I lose my appetite. I can't eat. My wife, she says to me, "you know, you can really be pain."
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Pacificsun ma2lyssa 50 months ago
Very much remember! The course of that plot was an exception. (IMO) she had so much interplay with Falk (not only being a good actress!) but to throw the viewer off a bit. (Questioning her true involvement in the plot). Remember the episode was part of the original series. Variations in the plot could've happened. The woman was so proprietary, it made her look (possibly) guilty.
texasluva Pacificsun 50 months ago
We are All lurking and waiting to catch you. Notes will be taken then pointed out . It's NOT get Christie Love! Just You
Pacificsun texasluva 50 months ago
Wiseguy and I go way back. He probably doesn't even remember. But in the days of Disqus (commenting platform) we had some very robust exchanges regarding such topics as Perry Mason, and more. But always fair in debate, and made me think though a lot of discussions. Always enjoyed his input. But he's a bit strict on grammar and spelling! That, you have to be really careful about!
Geronimo79 ma2lyssa 46 months ago
And he never gets angry. Except with Robert Conrad in "exercise in futility". I think that was the name of the episode. He blamed For a girl's death. I think it might have been fatality not futility.
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