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Magnum P.I.

By Paul Gaita

A ratings hit for eight seasons on CBS, the action-mystery series Magnum, P.I. makes its DVD boxed set debut in an impressive five-disc package that offers not only the entire first season, but some rarely seen episodes. Positioned in the old Hawaii Five-O time slot (Thursdays at 9) in December of 1980, Magnum quickly became a hit, thanks to the combination of smart and witty scripting, gorgeous locations, and the considerable charm of lead Tom Selleck as former Naval Intelligence officer Thomas Magnum, who gives up his position to become a private investigator on Oahu with the help of fellow Vietnam vets T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) and Rick (Larry Manetti). Magnum also provided security for the lavish estate of wealthy (and never-seen) mystery writer Robin Masters, which gave him access to the author's expensive vehicles (including a prized Ferrari), much to the disapproval of Masters's manservant Higgins (Jonathan Hillerman).

A rare series that skillfully blended action, humor, drama, and suspense, Magnum, P.I.'s first season gets the boxed set treatment its fans have been hoping for, with all 18 first-season episodes (including the two-part pilot, "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii") included on four discs. The fifth disc contains four rarely shown bonus episodes, including season 3's "Ki'ls Don't Lie," which featured a crossover plot with Simon and Simon, as well as its conclusion ("Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend"), which kicked off S&S's second season; the latter episode has never been aired as part of Magnum's syndicated package, which is another reason for fans to pick up and enjoy this long-awaited set.

Highlights of the second season include Magnumís attempt to stop an international assassin ("The Jororo Kill," with Tyne Daly), the arrival of Hemingway-esque author Mad Buck Gibson (Darren McGavin) in the episode of the same name, and the aforementioned two-parter, which reunites Magnum with a woman he thought to have died after marrying her while serving in Vietnam. The usual array of classy guest stars are also on hand for this season; in addition to the aforementioned actors, there are turns by Mimi Rogers, Vic Morrow, Vera Miles, Jill St. John, and Elisha Cook Jr. (who plays a much different character than his recurring role as "Ice Pick" in future seasons).

And Magnum obsessives should note early appearances by Gillian Dobb, who played Agatha Chumley in numerous subsequent episodes, as well as one of Higginsís colorful, estranged half-brothers in "The Elmo Ziller Story." Itís unfortunate that the set itself doesnít match the quality of the Episodes--extras are limited to second-season episodes from Knight Rider and The A-Team--but Magnum fans should be pleased to have all the episodes in a single set, and best of all, commercial-free.

 

Magnum P.I. on DVD!
Magnum P.I. is now available on DVD! Get it at Amazon.com!
Season One, Season Two

 

Share Your Memories!

Do you have a favorite episode of Magnum P.I.? What do you remember about the series? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Magnum PI was a great show and every episode is better than almost every other TV series in history at least in that genre of show. The reason MPI was so good was because of the depth of the characters, the story development and the depth of the show in general. I was in college when the show began and even though I liked the show a lot I really didn't watch it on a regular basis until I saw 'Home from The Sea'. I had lost my father in much the same way and I could really relate to that part of show and Magnum's relationship with his father. At that moment I knew there was something special about MPI and I never missed another episode. Everything about the show seems to confirm that MPI was special. The former cast members, simi-regular guest stars and others affiliated with the show that I have seen interviewed and spoken to all seem to say the same thing, that it was one of the best experiences of their lives. Tom Selleck was always very generous during the production to everyone and especially to Hawaii. He is well loved there according to fans who live in Hawaii."

--Anonymous

"I loved Magnum P.I. My favorite episode is actually at the final episode where Magnum went back into the navy with his little daughter and everyone suspected "Higgey-baby" (Higgins) as also being Master Robins. I loved the car, the soundtrack, I actually wish that I could buy the soundtrack on disc. I also loved the fact that this guy lived on a mansion in Hawaii for practically nothing and had all the women too. I loved his job, a private eye, I was always hoping that Magnum would marry the female lawyer that he was always with though."

--Anonymous

"Best episode: 'Unfinished Business' Runners-up: 'Did You See the Sunrise?' 'Home from the Sea' 'Death & Taxes' Best Writing: 'Mac's Bac' 'Unfinished Business' 'Home from the Sea' Best Lighting: 'Did You See the Sunrise?' 'All for One' Best filming: 'Death & Taxes'"

--Jorge

"I loved the show when I was younger and watched it with my Dad. Now that I'm at the age my Dad was when he watched Magnum, I've become more appreciative of the show and can relate to it as well. I wish Universal would get there act together and realize that Magnum is more popular than ever."

--Anonymous

"I always found it interesting that Magnum P.I. replaced Hawaii Five-0 on CBS's schedule. It seems like when McGarrett's show was coming to an end, CBS execs decided to invent another Hawaii-based show to take advantage of all they had invested their. Anyone know the origins of this show?"

--SidneyM

"Perhaps one of the greatest television P.I.s of all time, Thomas Magnum invited us every week to the sun-drenched beaches of Hawaii, and a lifestyle most people would be envious of. With his trademark mustache and vibrant Hawaiian shirts, Tom Selleck created a role that was both exciting and easy to relate to. One of the best moments of the series came with the two-part opener of season three, where the ethical Magnum guns down a Russian enemy in cold blood."

--Brian Bailey

"My favorite episode of Magnum PI would have to have been a tie between "Deja Vu", "Limbo", and "Infinity and Jelly Doughnuts". Magnum PI was one of the greatest shows to come alive and I'm glad I was there to see it. Still one of my all-time favorite shows."

--80sgurl

"When Thomas Magnum was reunited with his wife Michelle in Hawaii, that had to be the greatest episode and wish it was around to see again."

--Kim A. Davis

"Don't Eat the Snow In Hawaii was my favorite episode. Why, because it lauched the rest of the series. [Editor's note: That may well be the most logical reason ever given here!]"

--Kryptic

"Of all the MPI episodes, my favorite has to be "Limbo". It has everything in it...romance, friendship, kindred spirits, action, violence, great music etc. etc. Even after all these years, it still makes me cry whenever I watch it."

--LoyalFan

"Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii was my favorite episode of Magnum, and IMO the best pilot ever. I was hooked on the series from about 1 minute in when Magnum sneaks onto the estate to test it's security. Brilliantly written, produced, directed and acted. If you've never seen this series before, you should try to. It works just as well today as it did in 1980."

--Matt D

"A terrific soundtrack. An incredible setting. Nice car. Beautiful Ladies (Apppreciating that one more these days though!) And an actor who can keep his "cool" with a moustache and a pair of hotpants. One of the benchmarks in my childhood memories."

--Rutger

"Magnum P. I. was and is my favorite show. The creators and writers did an outstanding job at having the show follow into the next episode or the next season. Tom Selleck aka Thomas Magnum did an excellent job in playing the laid back private eye, but also to the intense and emotional role. The episode when Magnum received a video tape in the mail and he put it in the VCR and played it. What he saw next was something he did not expect, which was his wife, Michelle and his daughter getting into a vehicle only to have the vehicle explode. Magnum showed such great emotions. Yes, it brought tears to my eyes when I saw it for the first time. He made you feel as if the experiences he was having on the show, were real. On other episodes, he showed the comedy side of himself, as did the co-stars. Magnum's relationship with Jonathan Higgins was excellent, showing the recentment they had for each other, but yet showed respect. Magnum's relationships with T. C. and Rick were excellent, the meeting at the club. What I thought was so funny about the show is all the beer that Magnum drank, he never got intoxicated. What a man he was? Another episode, which I cannot recall the name. But entailed the extra being brought in. He would call Magnum with poems or riddles. Magnum walked the streets and they played a Phil Collins or Genesis song. He found the apartment where the riddle person was watching his prey. They never would show this persons face, only his teeth. He was very animated in his voice. At the end, Magnum shot the guy at a outside theatre. That episode was so intense. I wish I could recall the name of that episode. The first show finale, where Magnum was shot and was in a coma. That was the best finale of any show I can recall. Again, the emotions of seeing him with the tubes in him and having a breathing machine. Seeing his co stars around him. Especially seeing Higgins express his true feelings for Magnum, took my breath away. The reflections Magnum had about his father, wife, daughter, or when Mack died. The writers and creators had a great way of tying all those events together and see the mission that Thomas Magnum was striving for. Whatever he really was striving for, who knows, but he sure had fun along the way. I could go on and on about this series. I have them all or close to all on tape. I have not watched them lately. I obviously need to so I can brush up on the names of all the episodes. I wish they would be able to get the movie going. Also, I wish they would release a DVD collection of all the episodes. If you never watched or gave the show a chance, try to catch it in syndication."

--Higgiebaby

"As another Magnum PI fan, I feel the need to put my two cents worth in also. One of the best TV shows of the Awesome80s. With out a doubt. Just wish they could make more fantastic shows like this. But, I feel that era is over. Shows nowadays are not as sincere as Magnum PI once was. Too much animation these days, as I feel would be the case if there is ever a Movie made of Magnum PI. Mike Koskie"

--Michael

" Magnum P. I. was the best of the detective shows ( Rockford Files a close second) because it was about a character most of us can relate to. A Vietnam War veteren who handled his experience well, but was still tormented by those memories. He had great friends who were there with him and of course, the relationship and marriage to Michelle.

Magnum had it all: A great car, a great place to live in Hawaii, the girls, and the intelligence. In the end, Magnum had one lady among those he got close with: Michelle from Vietnam. I especially loved the Vietnam-related episodes because you got the feel of the real "hell" Magnum, T. C. , and Rick experienced.

I liked All For One, Little Girl Who, when Magnum finds out he has a daughter and Did You See the Sunrise??--The only thing I didn't like about this episode was the death of Mac.

I also the silly episodes as well, especially the Luther Gillis and anything involving Jim Bonnick. I especially like the episode titled, " The Love-For-Sale Boat". Lots of action and comedy. But two episodes are my " personal" favorites because of their use of music. " Death and Taxes" with Genesis' "Mama" in the episode and the Frank Sinatra episode "Laura" featuring "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, " again by Genesis. Very Miami-Vice in its style."

--Orville Wright

"It was great to see a show develope all the characters and not just the main star, and that's what made Magnum P. I. so great- you got to know T. C. , Rick, Higgins, Agatha, and even the lads Zeus & Appollo well as Magnum himself - I only wish that Universal studios would release the other seasons 3 thru 8 faster then the first 2 seasons - at this rate it will be 8 years till all are out on DVD - I might be impatient, but Heck there isn't anything good on TV these days, nothing at least that would make me watch weekly as Magnum P. I. Also what a good lineup CBS had in the Awesome80s From Murder She Wrote, Magnum, Simon & Simon, and Diagnosis for Murder - some darn good TV"

--Johny G.

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: December 11, 1980 - September 12, 1988

Cast: Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley, Larry Manetti, Orson Welles

Network: CBS

Genre: Detective Drama

Theme song

Image courtesy of CBS


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