Let me tell you a story. Back in 1904, I used to be in the Army. For 3 glorious years, I went to the office every day from 9 to 4:30 (with an hour and a half for lunch), typing up and processing awards and various evaluation reports and generally doing the best job I could. When I had to, I went out for field training and would (for lack of a better phrase) “play Army”, where I would sit in a communications center for 8 hours at a time, checking to see if the radios worked occasionally.
W…at does any of this have to do with Magnum P.I.? Well, I was stationed in Hawaii. American tax dollars were hard at work training yours truly to push paper and defend the Pacific from attack (it must have worked, there were no substantial Pearl Harbor recreations I can immediately think of). But with all the commerce and valuable resources the state has, one of the things that remains a tourist spot to this very day is touring the house where private investigator Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck, Runaway) stayed, along with the house caretaker Higgins (John Hillerman, Blazing Saddles) and his menacing Dobermans Zeus and Apollo.
Basically, the premise of the show was pretty straightforward, in that Magnum would usually be given cases to solve, and his interior monologue would be the driving force of the show. He occasionally enlisted the help of his friends and Vietnam war buddies, specifically Rick (Larry Manetti), now a club owner that would help get him any requested information, and TC (Roger Mosely, Leadbelly) a helicopter tour guide that would take him to various islands when needed.
Universal has released the third of the shows eight seasons onto DVD now for the world to see. They have previously packaged their television sets on flipper discs, and this is no different. 22 episodes are on 3 flippers, so if you want to enjoy the magic of nonstop television watching of Universal TV seasons, go get a multi-disc player.
Straightforward non-stop 2 channel Dolby Digital soundtracks accompany each episode. Everything is up front and sounds clear, with no noise issues or mosquito noises.
It’s a television series from the early ‘80s, the chance of seeing this in anamorphic widescreen is simply unrealistic. The Hawaiian backdrop is reproduced nicely, and really starts to get me thinking about just how great it is. Do yourself a favor and go.
Universal always skimps on the extras for whatever reason, and this is no different. There’s an episode from the fourth season that’s included and is the only extra on the disc, but why include that, when Season 4 is only months from coming out? You can almost feel the lack of effort.
If you’re a fan of the show, you should definitely pick this one up. For those who are unfamiliar with the power of Magnum or of Selleck, there are some pretty good moments in it, but don’t really have too much character definition. The usual substandard Universal job is in full effect here too, so for those of you who are going to buy this, you know who you are.
Special Features List
- Season 4 Episode