If you were around to watch the original Magnum TV series, you already know whats in this. I watched the original series during my high school years and sitting down and watching the series again reminds me not only of those times, but of how good the show was.
If you never watched the original show, let me just say that introducing yourself to Magnum and his pals would be well worth your time. This is the ultimate “buddy” show. The dynamic that evolves between the main characters is a rare pleasure to watch. Some of the episodes (The two parter called “Ivan” jumps to mind… but that will have to wait for later season releases)are particularly well done and have some amazing moments.
Of course, there are going to be some stinkers mixed in there. But to be honest, they are particularly few and far between.
One of the best elements of the show is the relationship between Magnum and Higgins. Its the classic love/hate deal with a level of mutual respect that sustains a very funny back and forth of gotchas between the two.
Once all the seasons have been released, and you watch that final episode with Magnum walking off into the sunset in his dress whites on the beach with his daughter in hand, you mill most likely wonder three things. First, when will they make a movie so we can all see what happens next. Second, did Rick or didn’t he? Finally, you will be just a bit jealous that we can’t all have the kind of friendships that Magnum, TC, Rick and Higgins share.
Of course, there is the technical side of the DVD. Frankly, I was not too optimistic about the likely quality of the video. I am happy to report that the transfer to DVD is just about as clean as anyone could possibly hope for. I am watching the DVD on a 50″ rear projection LCD TV. So any quality problems with the image would be particularly obvious. Also, my DVD player is an older Toshiba model. No progressive scan or any of the other common quality boost features you find in newer decks. The bottom line is that there is no reason to be concerned in any way about the quality of the transfer, it’s top notch.
So take the time to introduce yourself to Magnum and his friends, you won’t regret it.
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One of the top rated shows on the 1980s decade, Magnum, P.I. thrilled audiences with its exotic setting and fast-paced action. Winner of multiple Emmys and Golden Globes, the show was a mainstay in the Top 20 Nielsen Ratings. Its Vietnam flashbacks (exploring the combat experiences of the main characters) were widely lauded, and Magnum, P.I. is considered the first television series to give recognition to the obstacles faced by Vietnam Veterans reentering American society. The range of topics, combined with a clever wit and heightened suspense, make Magnum, P.I. one of the more widely appealing TV series of its era…
Magnum, P.I. covers the life of Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck), a former Naval Intelligence officer who resigns his position in order to set up his own private investigation business in Oahu, Hawaii. Through either luck or acquaintance, he lands a job as head of security for bestselling author Robin Masters’ luxurious beachfront estate. This enables Magnum to drive around in Masters’ sporty flame-red Ferrari, make use of various high-tech toys, and live a life of relative ease in the estate’s guest house. But Magnum constantly butts heads with estate manager Jonathan Higgins (John Hillerman), a former British military man in his own right, and one with a strict penchant for order and discipline. Despite their conflicts, Magnum and Higgins maintain a healthy friendship, while Magnum’s friends Rick Wright (Larry Manetti) and T.C. Calvin (Roger E. Mosley) are forever being drawn into Magnum’s dangerous investigations…
The Magnum, P.I. (Season 1) DVD features a number of exciting episodes including the season premiere “Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii” in which Magnum learns of the death of his childhood friend and Navy buddy Dan Cook. Skeptical of the officially cited cause of death, Magnum launches an investigation of his own with the aid of Dan’s sister Alice. Eventually, the trail leads to an old military friend from Vietnam who might possibly be involved in a smuggling operation. Meanwhile, Magnum and Alice put their own lives on the line as they discover that someone is determined to put an end to their investigation… Other notable episodes from Season 1 include “No Need to Know” in which Magnum is hired to protect one of Higgins’ friends from IRA assassins, and “Lest We Forget” in which a veteran of Pearl Harbor turned (Supreme Court Nominee) hires Magnum to investigate when he receives blackmail threats relating to his past…
Below is a list of episodes included on the Magnum, P.I. (Season 1) DVD:
Episode 1 (Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii: Part 1)
Episode 2 (Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii: Part 2)
Episode 3 (China Doll)
Episode 4 (Thank Heaven for Little Girls, and Big Ones Too)
Episode 5 (No Need to Know)
Episode 6 (Skin Deep)
Episode 7 (Never Again, Never Again)
Episode 8 (The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii)
Episode 9 (Missing in Action)
Episode 10 (Lest We Forget)
Episode 11 (The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club)
Episode 12 (Thicker Than Blood)
Episode 13 (All Roads Lead to Floyd)
Episode 14 (Adelaide)
Episode 15 (Don’t Say Goodbye)
Episode 16 (The Black Orchid)
Episode 17 (J. “Digger” Doyle)
Episode 18 (Beauty Knows No Pain)
The DVD Report
If you drew even a single breath between the years of 1980 and 1988, you know this show. You might not know you know it, but Magnum is part of your soul.
What’s great is that once you go out and buy this set, you’ll realize that it’s a bigger piece of your soul than you’d thought. I’m wiling to bet that even the crappy theme song that was used for the first half of this season rings a bell. You can’t think of it now — you CAN remember the brash, catchy, action/adventure theme song that was adopted after the first few episodes — but you’ll remember that old song and say, “Oh, yeah. I never knew this was the original Magnum theme.”
And then the episodes start. From the very first minute of the pilot, you get to see why this was one of the top-rated TV show of the eighties. There are car chases, Vietnam flashbacks, competent mysteries, astoundingly good comedy, sexy stewardesses, gravitas, suspense, drama, exotic locations, and remarkable consistency.
What’s crazy is how quickly the show hit its stride. This set contains a couple crossover episodes and specials from later seasons, and — aside from the opening credits — it’s very tough to tell the difference between those and the first-season episodes on the discs. The cast and crew went into the show with confidence, and a pretty clear idea of what they hoped to accomplish. So the writing is great right off the bat. The cast jelled instantly; even though their characters weren’t fully fleshed-out, they played like actual people. (It kind of makes you realize how often other TV shows — and movies — are filled entirely with stock characters, stereotypes and cardboard cutouts.) Larry Minetti as Rick is particularly grand as the proprietor of an eighties club, and the stellar John Hillerman nearly steals every scene as the overbearingly British Retired Sergeant Major Jonathan Quayle Higgins.
But let’s have a word on the subject of Tom Selleck. This is the guy who was originally cast as Indiana Jones, but had to bow out because Raiders of the Lost Ark was scheduled to begin shooting at the same time as Magnum’s first season. Did he make the right decision? It’s tough to say whether Thomas Magnum is a better or worse character than Indiana Jones, but it’s obvious that there wasn’t a bad choice to be made there. He’s absolutely delightful as Magnum, though, so let’s just say that he made the right call.
To quote Magnum, “I woke up one day, age 33, and realized I’d never been 23.” Arrested adolescence found the perfect actor in Tom Selleck, it seems. He plays the part of Magnum perfectly, but more than that, he anchors and holds together the cast and carries the stories quite ably.
Overlook the bad wardrobe and hair that clamor for screen space. This was 1980, and frankly, the hairstyles seen here were remarkably tasteful for that year. Not timeless by any stretch of the imagination, but tasteful.
Very first spoken line of the series: As two Dobermans are charging and Magnum is trying to pick the lock on a chain-link fence… “Don’t look at the dogs. Work the lock,” Magnum tells himself. “Work the lock. Don’t look at the dogs. You looked at the dogs!” So good.