by William Link, Richard L. Levinson
Full Length Play, Drama / 4m, 3f
Providing the inspiration for the TV series Columbo, the theatrical predecessor Prescription: Murder tells the story of a brilliant psychiatrist and his mistress who hatch a plot to murder his neurotic, possessive wife. The execution of their plan and the creation of their perfect alibi depends on a bizarre impersonation. Lt. Columbo must engage the psychiatrist in a duel of wits until the doctor succeeds in having Columbo removed from the case...
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- Time Period: Contemporary, 1960s
- Setting: New York City. May.
- Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
- Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
- Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
- Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)
DR. ROY FLEMMING - a polished, urbane New York psychiatrist in his forties. Highly civilized, pragmatic, with a cold, functioning intelligence. He wears conservative, artfully-tailored suits.
CLAIRE FLEMMING - a brittle, sardonic product of New York's East side. She is in her early forties and shows the strain of a loveless marriage.
SUSAN HUDSON - Young and extremely attractive, with a hint of latent sensuality. She is not particularly complicated, but as the play progresses she shows the burden of the increasing tension.
LIEUTENANT COLUMBO - a rumpled police official of indeterminate age. He seems to be bumbling and vague, with an overly apologetic, almost deferential manner. This masks an innate shrewdness, and foxy knowledge of human nature.
DAVE GORDON - a smooth, boyish lawyer with his eye on a political future.
DELIVERY BOY - early twenties.
- Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
The two actresses playing CLAIRE FLEMMING and SUSAN HUDSON, though they needn't be strictly similar in face or figure, should have approximately the same hair coloring.