• Craig Hunter

PT - Banacek - 016 - To Steal a King

Updated: Jan 26

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Show Notes


Welcome everyone to The Predictably Treacherous podcast.  Today's episode is Banacek "To Steal a King".  This is episode five of season one.  This episode was directed by Louis Antonio and written by Stephen Kandel.  The original air date was November 15th, 1972. Let's get right to the episode summary. 

Banacek investigates the disappearance of some coins


Mr and Mrs. Markham arrive at a hotel that offers suites for guests that require high security. Their room has a safe hooked up to police headquarters and with a code that Mr Markham will set himself.  He has a collection of 10 ancient coins that he is going to auction in a couple of days but he will be storing them until then.  

After locking the coins in the safe Markham goes to bed but when he checks on the coins in the morning, they're gone.  

Columbo Crossover

Kevin McCarthy who played Markham was in Columbo "Requiem for a Falling Star"

He had a long career including a tons of movies and tv.  He is probably best known for his role in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) about alien plant pods that are replacing people in a fictional California town.

Some reviewers thought the film was a commentary on the conformity of 50s America or of the dangers of the American people turning a blind eye to McCarthyism...maybe a bit of both.  That McCarthyism angle sounds a lot like the corporate media of today, the way that they encourage the Russiagate conspiracy, and non-conformists are "Russian bots"

Janis Page who played Mrs. Markham was in Columbo "Blueprint for Murder"

John Finnegan who played Lt. Hallohan was in several episodes of Columbo

he sounds a bit like this (clip Finnegan )

- Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003) ... Sean Jarvis

- A Trace of Murder (1997) ... Barney

- Strange Bedfellows (1995) ... Barney

- It's All in the Game (1993) ... Barney

- Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star (1991) ... Chief Quentin Corbett

- Uneasy Lies the Crown (1990) ... Waiter (uncredited)

- Columbo Cries Wolf (1990) ... Police Chief

- Fade in to Murder (1976) ... Assistant Director (as J.P. Finnegan)

- Last Salute to the Commodore (1976) ... Guard (as J. P. Finnegan)

- A Friend in Deed (1974) ... Lt. Duffy

- Lovely But Lethal (1973) ... Sergeant

- The Most Dangerous Match (1973) ... 1st Workman

- Blueprint for Murder (1972) ... Carl

According to Wikipedia John Finnegan met and formed friendships with Peter Falk and John Cassavetes in New York and then later, when Finnegan moved to Los Angeles, Falk and Cassavetes helped him land some roles.  In fact he appeared in 5 of Cassavetes' films, including "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974), "Gloria" (1980), and "Big Trouble" (1986)

Reviving the Tropes

So it looks like they decided to revive the tropes in this episode.  

Jay's Bogus Theory

let's listen to the clip ( clip jay)

Felix a wealth of knowledge

Another clip (clip felix) Banacek wants Felix to verify the authenticity of some ancient coins.  Hey Banacek...he's not Lovejoy (fantastic show by the way)

Ladies Man 

Sharon Clarke is all over Banacek from the moment they meet.  Let's listen to this clip of then walking in the park with her holding his arm.  This is the first time they have conversed other than the 30 seconds when the met two hours previous, (clip sharon clarke)

Polish Proverb

The two wealthy brothers who are after the coins are showing Banacek their private museum and the smart brother proposes a bribe to Banacek and then they threaten him and then we get the polish proverb (clip pp) 

Physical Skill

Now Banacek is back at the hotel asking the manager about permanent residents that are out of town.  He is taken to the twelfth floor by the head of security.  In the elevator the head of security pulls a gun.  They get off the elevator in the back of the kitchen and Banacek makes a break for it. Banacek gets shot at and there is a knife fight and a struggle in the kitchen and Banacek subdues him with a spray from the vegetable sprayer.  

Alright Banacek, enough of this.  Just gather everybody in a room and explain what happened.

Now back in Markham's room Banacek begins the big reveal: 

- the reveal is shot on an angle...crooked.

-  he has Markham open the valut like on the day of the robbery and when he does, the briefcase with the 10 Kings is inside.  

- Banacek opens the door and takes off the "912" on the door to reveal "1112".

- He explains that balanger made alterations to this room to make it an exact duplicate of the security suite two floors below.

- when Markham and Goldie arrived they were in the 9th floor suite and they put the coins in the vault of that suite.  Sometime during the night they were moved. Markham was drugged and moved and Goldie was in on it.  

- Lydia took pictures of the room.  Balenger took Markham up to 1120.  Balanger changed the telephone box to make 1120 an extension of 920.  

- when Markham ran downstairs to get the police, lydia and balanger moved their stuff back to room 920 because that's where markham would be bringing the police.  

- there was a small transmitter on the tumbler lock that recorded the numbers of the combination that Markham set.  

So, basically, they pulled the old switcheroo! It's not in the clip but Banacek mentioned that he figured it out because there was an extra towel in the room...anyways.

Next week on The Predictably Treacherous Podcast we'll continue with Banacek season 1 "$10,000 a page" where Banacek investigates a stolen book.

Tune in next week.

Intro music

Sweeter Vermouth Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/