ONE MORGUE THING
TV murder mystery scribe Peter S. Fischer has died aged 88. Closely associated with Richard Levinson and William Link, the trio co-created the juggernaut Murder, She Wrote and Fischer wrote several dozen episodes. Before that he was a reliable writer for Levinson and Link in the Columbo stable, behind a string of Falk fan favourites that began with Jack Cassidy, nuff said, in “Publish or Perish”. Indeed it showed his dexterity as a Columbo screenwriter that he could be behind both “A Friend In Deed”, one of the darkest tales where Columbo superbly squares off against Richard Kiley as his corrupt superior, and some of the funniest scenes in series history (pushy nuns, town drunks, and cranky driving instructors galore) in Dick Van Dyke episode “Negative Reaction”.
In his later years he wrote a series of whodunnits situated in Golden Age Hollywood, and returned to the Columbo fold for the hit-or-miss 90s episodes with stories like William Shatner as a Limbaugh-esque killer and the bizarrity of George Wendt as a Columbo villain. “NORM! What’ll it be, Norm? Enough beer to get my mind of this so-called cop in a raincoat who thinks I’m a murderer.” One more thing – Fischer was a unique pick for Death Is International.
Peter S. Fischer
10 August 1935 – 30 October 2023, aged 88
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