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The Original Magnum P.I. Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Blimpoy06, Sep 12, 2018.

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  1. mark-edk

    mark-edk Second Unit

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    This was intended as a pilot for Erin Gray but apparently didn’t take off. Really enjoying the HD iTunes set. The early eps are new to me and the look terrific.
     
  2. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    105 “Need to Know”

    105a.JPG

    Here we have the first nice words Higgins ever said to Magnum. I’m going to note their interpersonal interplay when development happens and track it.

    105b.JPG

    I had this girl fingered early, but it was still a fun episode.

    105c.JPG

    I'll post another episode on Saturday.
     
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  3. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    "No Need To Know"

    A British Army Brigadier responsible for a mass killing in Northern Ireland is staying on the islands at Robin's estate while factions of the IRA are trying to assassinate him.
    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-08h56m10s568.
    Because of his intelligence background in the Navy, Magnum is taped by U.S. Federal agents to keep a eye on the Brigadier and report anything of interest to them. A pair of female guest are also staying at the estate and were apparently vetted by the SAS before Magnum returned from another case.
    vlcsnap-2018-09-16-21h50m04s964.
    A man is seen taking photos of the estate and the guest off shore from a small boat. Magnum tries to investigate him and is told by the Feds that he is of no consequence. This same man is latter found swimming in the tidal pool near the estate and shot dead by the SAS
    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-08h44m52s888.
    Both the Americans and the British feel the threat is over. Magnum doesn't believe it is. The man was carrying no weapons or explosives on him when he was shot. He figures out that the car the Brigadier is using to go to the airport is the target and is about to set off after him when he is held at gun point by one of the female guests. The man was her contact on the outside and she was the assassin. Magnum is trying to reason with her when the SAS take her down.
    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-08h50m10s410.

    This is another strong episode that builds on the characters while telling an interesting story. We see rather than being told what probably made Magnum resign from the Navy. He has a strong understanding of the mentality and aims of Federal agencies and does not like the mind games they play with civilians and each other. The lack of transparency between the Americans and British disgusts hims during this affair. The title of the episode, "No Need To Know" is used frequently by both sides. And while not afraid to kill, he would like to attempt a non-violent solution if possible. Again, an attitude Magnum most likely has after seeing so many lives lost in war.
    Higgins is responding to Magnum's insistence to the British that he be told the truth about the dead man since he is responsible for the estate. Aside from this rare show of respect from both men, we see more of the old solider in Higgins. He still leaves the room after being asked to stay by Magnum. This shows that Higgins has dignity and a sense of propriety, and is not just a foil for Magnum.

    The writer of this episode was Frank Lupo. He will go on to co-create The A-Team and Riptide with Stephen J. Cannell, and create the show Hunter.
     
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  4. Message #44 of 93 Sep 19, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h49m50s168.

    1.05 "No Need to Know"

    The best episode so far, IMO. A nice espionage twist here, as Magnum is hired by a couple of government agents to keep an eye out for anyone suspicious lurking around the Masters' estate, as one of the guests, Brigadier General Ffolkes (Richard Johnson), a former commanding officer of Higgins, has been targeted by IRA assassins.

    While the plot is not overly complicated, there is some pointed political commentary, as Magnum decries how neither side (the Yanks and the Brits) seem to be willing to share information with each other, despite being allies. Also, the brutal methods of the SAS are called into question. Mostly, though, the episode is just plain fun, and I rather fell for this week's "Babe of the Week," Robin Dearden (who went on to become Mrs. Bryan Cranston in 1989). She is just too damn cute for words.

    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h44m12s34.

    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h40m53s108.

    Some further nice touches include the concern shown by Higgins (alluded to in Darin's and Alan's posts above) for Magnum's safety after nearly being strafed by machine gun fire by Ffolkes' guards. Magnum also shows respect for Higgins by demanding he be kept in the loop despite the hesitation and suspicion of his federal contact. We also see Rick try to cheer Magnum up at episode's end with some homemade spaghetti sauce, wine and a few wise words. The bonds between these men are starting to come to the fore in the storytelling, and that's a very good thing...

    As usual, we get some good comedy bits, too, including the shenanigans with Magnum borrowing T.C.'s beloved "ladykiller" white dinner jacket, and Magnum taking full advantage of Higgins' forced generosity with Robin Masters' liquor and cigars.

    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h40m20s14.

    I also liked how cheap the federal agents were. Magnum putting an orange juice for the hungry, quiet one of the pair on his tab, despite Rick's eye roll, was a nice touch. I wonder too if the name "Ffolkes" is a reference to the cool Roger Moore action thriller (also known as North Sea Hijack) that came out in 1980 (though in that movie, Moore's character's name was spelled with a lower-case "f").

    All in all, a very good episode, despite a few predictable plot elements. And man, that Robin Dearden was something else...
     
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  5. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    I see you guys aren't afraid of spoiling the episodes - not that the reveal of the baddie in this one was a big surprise. Good to know, as I was wondering how to dance around the twist in 1.06, "Skin Deep." (What a good episode that was! Can't wait to talk about it in a few days' time.)
     
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  6. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    Magnum is a hard show to discuss without giving away any spoilers. Much like The Rockford Files, part of the fun is watching conventional detective tropes of the 60's and 70's being subverted. It will become much harder in future seasons not to "let the cat out of the bag" in order to discuss the relevant points of each episode. I'm hoping keeping it to the episode at hand should be sufficient. It is a forty year old show, and not exactly appointment TV at this stage.
     
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  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My suggestion to those that haven't watched all of Magnum episodes to not read this thread.
     
  8. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    That's impossible to do if you're running point on a season and haven't seen the episodes in 30+ years. I like to go into an episode knowing nothing about it, especially if others consider it good or bad because it taints how I view it. There's an expectation then. I think a good argument can be made, especially since we're being patient and accommodating others by going three days between posts (which has me a bit bored, to be honest) that spoilers, or even praise or scorn for future episodes, should be hidden using the spoiler tool. Isn't that what it's for?
     
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  9. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Alan, if you wish to go through the episodes at a faster pace, please go ahead. I don't want you to lose enthusiasm for watching the show if the current pace is too slow. I have no problem with your usual one episode a day pace. I'll just poke along a few episodes behind you. Darin is very familiar with this show and can keep up with your faster pace, I'm sure. The thread might lose momentum if we have too long a gap between reviews, as well.

    As to using spoiler tags...well, that might be a good idea, for those who haven't seen the show in a long while, or have never seen it. I'm not sure how to use spoiler tags here...can someone point me to a tutorial about it elsewhere on this site?
     
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  10. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    I appreciate that Jeff. How about this as a compromise? One episode every two days, and if you get jammed up once in a while, holler out and I'll go three days. But the default is two. What do you say?
     
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  11. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    An episode every other day works fine for me, Alan. In fact, you can let rip with episode 1.06 any old time...I watched it yesterday, so can chime in on that one right away.
     
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  12. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    Let's not skip episode 5.
    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-22h54m34s406.
     
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  13. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer
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    I do not have any Magnum discs, but I am definitely enjoying all of the comments. Used to be appointment viewing for me after 5-O went off. Had to get my Hawaii fix and the characters kept me coming back each week. I still have fond memoties of this show. Your comments are causing me to remember why I enjoy this series. May be placing this on my birthday (October) or Christmas wish list shortly. :)
     
  14. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Darin, "Skin Deep" is episode 6 on my set; "No Need to Know" is 5. The DVD set has the pilot in 2 parts.
     
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  15. Message #55 of 93 Sep 20, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
    Carabimero

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    Yeah, I'm going with Skin Deep as 106. I did Need To Know above.

    106 “Skin Deep”

    I love seeing a writer get screen credit, especially twice in one episode.

    106a.JPG

    This episode was well-directed, building tension from the first scene.

    It’s great to see RCA TK 250s again. Been a while.

    106b.JPG

    It’s also fun to see this young man, since the first thing I ever remember seeing him in is DEADWOOD.

    106c.JPG

    And even more fun when Magnum says into a radio mic, “This is McGarrett of Five-O…”

    I appreciated the scene where magnum and TC discuss their PTSD. Or not. Great stuff.

    106d.JPG

    This episode was fun all around.

    106e.JPG

    And since the episode was dedicated to him, I dedicate this post to him, as well.

    I'll post 107 on Saturday.
     
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  16. Message #56 of 93 Sep 20, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
    Jeff Flugel

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    Yes, the epilogue scene between Magnum (who has had flashbacks to Vietnam all episode) and T.C., and what they can't talk about, is nicely done.

    Magnum: "Hey, T.C. You ever think about 'Nam? I mean, have memories flash through your head without really thinking about it?"

    T.C. (with a serious look on his face, a flashback going through his head at that very moment) "Nah. Never."

    Magnum: "Yeah, that's kind of what I thought."

    T.C. "How about you?"

    Magnum: "Who me? No."

    More on this excellent episode later.


    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h58m32s139.
     
  17. Message #57 of 93 Sep 20, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
    Jeff Flugel

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    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h56m38s27.

    1.06 "Skin Deep"

    OK, I'm going to say right off the bat - that's one cool aloha shirt Magnum is wearing this episode.

    This was the best episode yet. The show is just going from strength to strength. The editing was really well done here, starting with the shotgun blast that segues into Magnum's nightmare about Vietnam, to Higgins skeet shooting, and continuing throughout the episode. We see that Magnum knows very well what hideous damage bullets can do to the human body.

    The case of the week is a good one, and even though there is a plot element reminiscent of a famous film noir, the story still managed to take me by surprise.

    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h55m05s154.

    Great to see Ian McShane in full-on jerk mode, as a sleazebag movie producer, a few years before he would find fame as the irrepressible, roguish antique expert in Lovejoy. McShane would return to Magnum in season 3.

    Our mysterious "Magnum Babe of the Week" here is Canadian actress Cathie Shirriff. I'm not sure she convinces as a dramatically improved actress, but she's convincing as a good-looking one.

    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h57m46s254.

    Lots of good stuff this episode. I like how we see Magnum's process, returning to the scene of the murdered woman's house, watching videos of her past movies, acting workshops, etc., to get a better sense of her. He also helps himself to various items from her fridge, including milk and yogurt. Hey, a P.I.'s gotta eat.

    We get to see Magnum call in favors to get more of Higgins' expertise (in this case, shotgun ballistics). And, since Rick had much more screen time last episode, here T.C. comes to the fore, and once again, saves Magnum's bacon at the finale. Magnum gets shot again (this time in the leg). That's like 2 times in 6 episodes. At the rate he's going, he's going to be in a sorry state by series' end.

    One more thing: the actor playing the coroner (Tom Fujiwara)? He's a good actor, and the scene between him and Magnum is a good one. But I'm sorry - that is one baaaaaaad toupee.

    vlcsnap-2018-09-19-15h56m55s2.
     
  18. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Hope you join in with your own comments once you get the set, Doug!
     
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  19. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    Cameraman Robert Van Der Kar was killed while filming this episode. Here is a excerpt from Larry Manetti's book, Aloha Magnum

    "
    The worst thing that happened during that transitional first year was a freak accident I wish I could forget. We were shooting an action sequence, a scene that required suspending one of our cameramen, Bob Van Der Kar, upside down from a helicopter following another helicopter. The choppers were cruising a few feet above the water when suddenly the sea swelled and sent a huge wave smashing into the tail of the first helicopter. It buckled, tossing the cameraman into the sea before crashing seconds later into the water. Even though he'd dislocated his shoulder, the injured pilot, Robert Suanders, tried to find Van Der Kar and pull him out. But the cameraman was gone. When police divers found him later, it was clear that he died instantly,"

    vlcsnap-2018-09-20-22h27m24s541.
     
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  20. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for that background info, Darin! It certainly puts this otherwise fun episode in a more sobering context. I had presumed that Van Der Kar had passed away from some other illness, like a heart attack or something. Very sorry to hear that it was a tragic accident resulting from filming the episode.
     
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