Magnum, P.I.

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Magnum, P.I.
Magnum P.I..jpg
Title card (seasons 3-8)
GenreCrime drama
Created byDonald P. Bellisario
Glen A. Larson
Written byDonald P. Bellisario
Glen A. Larson
Chris Abbott
Directed byRay Austin
Michael Vejar
Ivan Dixon
StarringTom Selleck
John Hillerman
Roger E. Mosley
Larry Manetti
Narrated byTom Selleck
Theme music composerIan Freebairn-Smith (season 1, episodes 1-11)
Mike Post
Composer(s)Ian Freebairn-Smith (season 1, first four episodes)
Pete Carpenter
Mike Post
John Cacavas (multiples)
Velton Ray Bunch
Ron Jones
Frank Denson (season 1, one episode)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes162 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Donald P. Bellisario
Glen A. Larson
Tom Selleck
Producer(s)Tom Greene
Location(s)Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi
Running time48 min. (excluding commercials)
Production company(s)Glen Larson Productions
Belisarius Productions
Universal Television
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Audio formatMonaural
Original runDecember 11, 1980 (1980-12-11) – May 8, 1988 (1988-05-08)
Chronology
Related showsSimon & Simon
Murder, She Wrote
 
  (Redirected from Robin's Nest (estate))
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Magnum, P.I.
Magnum P.I..jpg
Title card (seasons 3-8)
GenreCrime drama
Created byDonald P. Bellisario
Glen A. Larson
Written byDonald P. Bellisario
Glen A. Larson
Chris Abbott
Directed byRay Austin
Michael Vejar
Ivan Dixon
StarringTom Selleck
John Hillerman
Roger E. Mosley
Larry Manetti
Narrated byTom Selleck
Theme music composerIan Freebairn-Smith (season 1, episodes 1-11)
Mike Post
Composer(s)Ian Freebairn-Smith (season 1, first four episodes)
Pete Carpenter
Mike Post
John Cacavas (multiples)
Velton Ray Bunch
Ron Jones
Frank Denson (season 1, one episode)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes162 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Donald P. Bellisario
Glen A. Larson
Tom Selleck
Producer(s)Tom Greene
Location(s)Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi
Running time48 min. (excluding commercials)
Production company(s)Glen Larson Productions
Belisarius Productions
Universal Television
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Audio formatMonaural
Original runDecember 11, 1980 (1980-12-11) – May 8, 1988 (1988-05-08)
Chronology
Related showsSimon & Simon
Murder, She Wrote

Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the American CBS television network.

According to the Nielsen ratings, Magnum, P.I. consistently ranked in the top twenty U.S. television programs during the first five years that the series was originally broadcast in the United States.[1] Originally appearing in a prime time American network timeslot of 8 p.m. Eastern on Thursdays, Magnum, P.I. was one of the highest-rated shows on U.S. television.

Contents

Premise[edit]

Private Investigator Thomas Sullivan Magnum resides in the guest house of a posh, 200-acre (0.81 km2) beachfront estate, known as Robin's Nest, in Hawaii, at the invitation of its owner, Robin Masters, the celebrated-but-never-seen author of several dozen lurid novels. Ostensibly this is quid pro quo for Magnum's services based upon Magnum's expertise in security; the pilot and several early episodes suggest Magnum also did Masters a favor of some kind, possibly when Masters hired him for a case. The voice of Robin Masters, heard only a few times per season, was provided by Orson Welles (one last "appearance" was provided by a different actor, Reid Crandell).

With Magnum living a luxurious life on the Estate and operating as a P.I. on cases that suit him, the only thorn in the side of this seemingly perfect lifestyle on the Estate, is Jonathan Quayle Higgins III (played by Texas-born veteran actor John Hillerman), an ex-British Army Sergeant Major, a (on the surface) stern, "by-the-book" ex-soldier whose strict ways usually conflict with Magnum's much more easy-going methods. He patrols Robin's Nest with his two highly trained "lads", Doberman Pinschers, Zeus and Apollo. Often as a humorous aside during various episodes of the series, Magnum must bargain with Higgins for use of estate amenities other than the guest house and the Ferrari 308 GTS (e.g., tennis courts, wine cellar, expensive cameras). The relationship between Magnum and Higgins was initially that almost of a "friendly nemesis", but as the series progressed over the seasons, an unspoken respect and fondness of sorts grew between the pair, and as such, many episodes dedicated more screen time to this "odd couple" pairing after the relationship proved popular with fans.

A recurrent theme throughout the last two seasons (starting in the episode "Paper War") involves Magnum's suspicion that Higgins is actually Robin Masters since he opens Robin's mail, calls Robin's Ferrari "his car", etc. This possibility is contradictory to numerous references throughout the series' earlier run (e.g. phone calls from abroad; the fact that Robin is recognised by famous people). Although the three of them have been together before, Magnum is convinced that Higgins hired an actor to play Robin Masters (a short rotund guy with an Orson Welles voice, as Magnum puts it).

Aside from Higgins, Magnum's two other main cohorts on the islands are Theodore "T.C." Calvin (Roger E. Mosley), who runs local helicopter charter service Island Hoppers - and so often finds himself persuaded by Magnum to fly him during various cases; and Rick Wright (Larry Manetti) (who refuses to use his birth name, Orville), who owns a local bar. In the Pilot, this was "Rick's Place" in town, inspired by Casablanca, with Rick appearing in suitable 1930s attire. However after completion of the Pilot, executives on the series felt that audiences would be unable to fully connect with this element, and instead Rick moved to running the plush beachside King Kamehameha Club - which has exclusive membership and Higgins on the board of directors, and yet Magnum often strolls around, using the facilities and running up an ever unpaid tab, further fueling the Magnum / Higgins feud. T.C. and Rick are both former Marines from VMO-2 with whom Magnum served in the Vietnam War.[2] The series was one of the first to deal with Vietnam veterans as "human beings" and not as shell-shocked killers, and was praised by many ex-servicemen groups for doing so. Magnum often dupes, tricks or bribes T.C. and Rick into aiding him in various ways on the cases he works on, much to their frustration, though the deep friendship between the group, including Higgins, proved to be one of the key elements of the series over its eight-season run.

Magnum seemingly lives a dream lifestyle: he comes and goes as he pleases, works only when he wants to, has the almost unlimited use of a Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole as well as many other of Robin Masters’ luxuries. He keeps a mini-fridge with a seemingly endless supply of beer ("Old Dusseldorf in a long neck"), wears his father's treasured Rolex GMT Master wristwatch, is seemingly surrounded by countless beautiful women (who are often his clients, victims or connected in various other ways to the cases he solves). Other characteristics specific to Magnum are his thick mustache, a Detroit Tigers baseball hat, and a variety of colorful Aloha shirts.

Nearly every episode is narrated, in voice-over, by Magnum at various points; and Magnum and Higgins often break the fourth wall by locking eyes with or, occasionally, directly addressing the audience; other characters also do this, though less frequently.

At the end of the seventh season, Magnum was to be killed off, which was intended to end the series. The final episode of the season, "Limbo", after seeing Magnum wander around as a ghost for nearly the entire run-time, closes with him seemingly walking off into heaven. However, following outcry from fans, who demanded a more satisfactory conclusion, an eighth, final season was produced, to bring Magnum "back to life", and to round the series off.[3] A number of other episodes also make reference to supernatural occurrences and the seeming existence of ghosts.

The show also recognized the existence of the fictional elite police unit that appeared in the series Hawaii Five-O. In the pilot episode, Magnum references the unit's chief McGarrett by name. This was a tribute to the long-running show starring Jack Lord, that ran on CBS from the fall of 1968 through to the summer of 1980—-to be replaced, in essence, in the fall of 1980 by Magnum, P.I.. The show also did crossover episodes with Simon & Simon and Murder, She Wrote. The episodes "Ki'is Don't Lie" and "Novel Connection" begin respective plots that conclude on the Simon & Simon episode "Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend" and the Murder, She Wrote episode "Magnum on Ice", both of which featured Tom Selleck as Magnum and John Hillerman as Higgins, while Jameson Parker and Gerald McRaney guest starred on Magnum, P.I. as the Simon brothers A.J. & Rick and Angela Lansbury guest starred as Jessica Fletcher. For re-run and overseas purposes, the first half of these crossovers (the Magnum episode) also had alternate endings filmed, which wrapped the story up in a single episode and so allowed repeat showings to be shown as "stand alone" stories instead of being two-part crossovers. The successor series to Hawaii Five-O, Hawaii Five-0, paid tribute to Magnum, P.I. when in the 2013 episode "Hoa Pili" the cast referenced the show Magnum, P.I. as they were flying over the island in a helicopter to the sound of the Magnum, P.I. theme.

Cast[edit]

The Cast of Magnum, P.I.:
(left-to-right) Larry Manetti as Orville "Rick" Wright, Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, Roger E. Mosley as T.C. and John Hillerman as Jonathan Quayle Higgins III.

Recurring characters[edit]

Guest stars[edit]

Former Five-O cast members Kam Fong, Herman Wedemeyer, Harry Endo and Zulu guest-starred on Magnum, P.I.

Setting[edit]

The boathouse, or guesthouse in Magnum, P.I., during the mid-2000s.

Robin's Nest is the fictional beach front estate on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, which serves as the residence of the main characters. In the series, it is portrayed as owned by a renowned novelist Robin Masters, who is seldom present at the estate and entrusts Jonathan Higgins as the estate's caretaker and Thomas Magnum as its security expert. Higgins resides in the estate's main house while Magnum occupies the guest house.

In reality, Robin's Nest is a private residence owned by local Hawaiian politician Eve Glover Anderson, who is the stepdaughter of Cox Communications heiress Barbara Cox Anthony, the wealthiest Hawaiian resident until her death on May 28, 2007.[6] The property is known locally as "The Anderson Estate."

The Anderson Estate is located on the east shore of Oahu at 41-505 Kalanianaole Highway (Route 72) near Waimanalo Beach (21°19′30″N 157°40′48″W / 21.32500°N 157.68000°W / 21.32500; -157.68000. It was built in the early 1930s, and comprises a large main house, a boathouse (which in the series, appears as the guest house that Magnum occupies), a gatehouse, a private tennis court, a beach front and the tidal pool.

In the Magnum, P.I. series, the estate was primarily used for exterior scenes set at Robin's Nest. Virtually all of the indoor scenes set at Robin's Nest were filmed at the Hawaii Film Studio.

Vehicles[edit]

Cars[edit]

Robin Masters' cars

Others

Aircraft[edit]

Development[edit]

Selleck's contract commitment to the Magnum, P.I. series famously cost him the role of Indiana Jones in the first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which went to Harrison Ford.[11] Selleck was unable to take the part of Indy as Magnum was due to start filming in March 1980. However, because of a writer's strike, the start of production on Magnum was delayed until December 1980, which would have allowed Selleck to play Indy.[citation needed] In Magnum, P.I.'s final season, the producers gave a nod to his sacrifice with the episode "Legend of the Lost Art", which parodied the film.[original research?]

List of episodes[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Awards[edit]

Selleck won an Emmy in 1984 for his portrayal of the title character. Three years later, co-star John Hillerman also won an Emmy.[13] In 1981, series creators and writers Glen A. Larson and Donald P. Bellisario received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Episode in a TV Series.[13][14]

DVD releases[edit]

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all eight seasons of Magnum P.I. on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4.

DVD nameEp #Release dates
Region 1Region 2*Region 4
The Complete First Season*18September 7, 2004[15][16]September 13, 2004December 1, 2004
The Complete Second Season22April 12, 2005July 4, 2005September 19, 2005
The Complete Third Season*23January 31, 2006January 30, 2006July 12, 2006
The Complete Fourth Season21April 4, 2006June 26, 2006September 20, 2006
The Complete Fifth Season22October 10, 2006February 12, 2007March 21, 2007
The Complete Sixth Season21February 27, 2007May 7, 2007July 4, 2007
The Complete Seventh Season**22October 30, 2007March 31, 2008June 4, 2008
The Complete Eighth Season***13March 4, 2008May 19, 2008September 3, 2008
Seasons One, Two****, Three & Four84N/ANovember 20, 2006N/A

* Includes the crossover Season 2 episode from Simon & Simon titled "Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend".
** Includes the crossover Season 3 episode from Murder She Wrote titled "Magnum On Ice".
*** Includes the bonus Season 5 episode from The Rockford Files titled "White on White and Nearly Perfect" featuring Tom Selleck.
****Includes a bonus episode from The A-Team titled "Diamonds 'n' Dust" and Knight Rider titled "Brother's Keeper".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Entry for Magnum, P.I from the Museum of Broadcast Communications website
  2. ^ The three buddies wear a gold Team Ring, which bears a Croix de Lorraine on a black field, as a bond of wartime camaraderie
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080240/trivia?tr=tr0733474
  4. ^ In the last episode, "Resolutions 2", where Rick gets married, the priest announces Rick's full name as being Orville Wilbur Richard Wright (he actually hated being named after both of the Wright brothers, hence the more appropriate nickname. The series ended in a cliffhanger, as the audience never sees whether or not Manetti's character said the legally operative phrase "I do". The name may be a discontinuity, as early on in the series Roger E. Mosley's character had referred to him as "Elliot," though in the first episode he is in fact identified as Orville.
  5. ^ "Almost Home" - Season Three, Episode 10
  6. ^ "Isles' richest person, with $12.6 billion, dies". The.honoluluadvertiser.com. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  7. ^ Ferrari 308 GTS, Magnum Mania, The Ferrari, http://magnum-mania.com/Articles/The_Ferrari.html
  8. ^ a b Magnum, P.I., TV Series, 1980-1988, Internet Movie Car Database, http://imcdb.org/movie_80240-Magnum,-PI.html
  9. ^ Mercedes-Benz SL [R107] (Col. Buck Green referred to it as a 450SL when Rick went missing), Internet Movie Car Database, and at least one Corvette in an early episode while Thomas and Rick drove side-by-side on a two-lane byway. http://imcdb.org/vehicle_32875-Mercedes-Benz-SL-R107.html
  10. ^ T.C.'s Chopper, Magnum Mania!, http://magnum-mania.com/Articles/The_Chopper.html
  11. ^ "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark | Making Raiders of the Lost Ark". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "TV Ratings > 1980's". ClassicTVHits.com. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  13. ^ a b Magnum, P.I. (series) at the Internet Movie Database
  14. ^ The 1981 Edgar Award was won for an episode entitled "China Doll."
  15. ^ The Region 1 version of the Season 1 DVD release comes with an extra disk, featuring extra episodes from later in the series.
  16. ^ The Season 1 release (both Regions 1 and 2) has an error in the episode "China Doll": the musical cues are about 30 seconds off throughout much of the episode.

External links[edit]