Magnum, P.I.

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A private investigator who works when he wants, lives in a beach front estate in Hawaii, drives a posh Ferrari, runs up an unlimited tab at a swank bar, and charms attractive women in peril - that's the lifestyle of Thomas Magnum, aka Magnum, P.I. The highly successful mystery/action/drama series ran for eight seasons, and garnered multiple Emmy awards, including Tom Selleck for Best Actor and Joh
Starring
John HillermanLarry ManettiTom Selleck
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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  1. 64. Ep 64 - Home From The Sea
    January 1 1984
    47min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Magnum fights for survival after a boating accident sets him adrift.
  2. 65. Ep 65 - Luther Gillis: File #521
    January 1 1983
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Magnum reluctantly teams up with a veteran gumshoe to find a missing girl.
  3. 66. Ep 66 - Smaller Than Life
    January 1 1983
    49min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A man who claims to work for the CIA says he needs help in a matter of national security.
  4. 67. Ep 67 - Distant Relative
    January 1 1983
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Rick holds Magnum accountable when Magnum's date - Rick's sister - turns up dead. Look for a cameo by Carol Channing.
  5. 68. Ep 68 - Limited Engagement
    January 1 1983
    48min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    While trying to solve a string of robberies, Magnum befriends two seemingly helpless elderly sisters.
  6. 69. Ep 69 - Letter To A Duchess
    January 1 1983
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A mysterious Englishwoman thinks Higgins' love note came from Magnum, who she prefers.
  7. 70. Ep 70 - Squeeze Play
    January 1 1983
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Robin wagers the estate on a softball game between the King Kamehameha Club and a magazine publisher's team.
  8. 71. Ep 71 - A Sense Of Debt
    January 1 1983
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    TC gets into a bare-knuckle boxing contest to repay an old debt while Magnum is working on a case - and catching up on his baseball - in Detroit.
  9. 72. Ep 72 - The Look
    January 1 1983
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Magnum searches for a disc jockey's boyfriend who was last seen in Vietnam.
  10. 73. Ep 73 - Operation: Silent Night
    January 1 1983
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    TC's chopper - carrying Magnum, Higgins and Rick - crash lands on an island the the Navy is preparing to use for target practice.
  11. 74. Ep 74 - Jororo Farewell
    January 1 1984
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A young prince pursued by terrorists takes refuge at Robin's estate.
  12. 75. Ep 75 - The Case Of The Red Faced Thespian
    January 1 1984
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    One of the guests at Robin's "Great Gatsby" party is murdered - and Higgins is the suspect.
  13. 76. Ep 76 - No More Mr. Niceguy
    January 1 1984
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Magnum's reunion with his Navy buddies is scuttled when his contact at the DA's office loses her job and needs his help to get it back.
  14. 77. Ep 77 - Rembrandt's Girl
    January 1 1984
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Carol Burnett plays a woman who suspects her paroled father, a counterfeiter, is back in business.
  15. 78. Ep 78 - Paradise Blues
    January 1 1984
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Magnum is confounded by TC's renewed affection for a woman from their past who attracts nothing but trouble.
  16. 79. Ep 79 - The Return Of Luther Gillis
    January 1 1984
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Magnum finds himself working with gumshoe Luther Gillis again after someone kidnaps Higgins and Luther's secretary.
  17. 80. Ep 80 - Let The Punishment Fit The Crime
    January 1 1984
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A woman who persuades Magnum to look for her brother also finagles a role in Higgins' musical production for a British politician.
  18. 81. Ep 81 - Holmes Is Where The Heart Is
    January 1 1984
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Higgins recounts the escapades of a slightly bent English buddy who believed he was Sherlock Holmes.
  19. 82. Ep 82 - On Face Value
    January 1 1984
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Magnum feels responsible for a bystander injured during a high-speed chase.
  20. 83. Ep 83 - Dream A Little Dream
    January 1 1984
    49min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    It's a case of deja vu for Magnum when a surfing champ, who was Magnum's first client, once again needs his protection.
  21. 84. Ep 84 - I Witness
    January 1 1984
    48min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    After the King Kamehameha Club is robbed, the three eyewitnesses - Higgins, TC and Rick - have different views of what happened.

More details

Directors
Ivan Dixon
Supporting actors
Roger E. Mosley
Season year
1984
Network
UNIVERSAL PAY TELEVISION
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

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Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

585 global ratings

  1. 92% of reviews have 5 stars
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  3. 1% of reviews have 3 stars
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  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

M. G WatsonReviewed in the United States on August 11, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
"Oh my GOD!"
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For those of you who didn't grow up in the 80s, it's probably difficult to understand the grip that MAGNUM, P.I. had on an entire generation of American youth. It was "must-see TV" long before that term had been coined, MAGNUM's fourth season begins by putting the viewer on notice that, though the show had more than sixty epsiodes under its belt by this point, it still had plenty to say.

MAGNUM is the story of Thomas Sullivan Magnum III (Tom Selleck), a decorated Vietnam vet who walked away from a promising career as a Naval officer to become a private investigator in Hawaii. His motive? "I turned 33 and realized I'd never been 23." Of course it doesn't hurt that Magnum has befriended the mysterious novelist Robin Masters (never seen but voiced by Orson Welles until his death), who allows TM to live in the guest house of his massive Oahu estate, Robin's Nest, drive his Ferrari 308 GTS, swim in his private lagoon and basically live the life of Reilly even though he's always broke. Unfortunately for Magnum, paradise comes with a price, in the form of the estate's manager, Johnathan Q. Higgins (John Hillerman). Magnum is fun-loving, irresponsible, hot-tempered, and a slob: Higgins is pompous, tyrannical, disciplined and very much the English gentleman. The two men engage in a constant and amusingly childish conflict with neither gaining the upper hand for long; yet beneath their constant bickering is mutual respect and even friendship...though both would be tortured before they'd admit it.

In his investigations, Magnum is often aided (reluctantly) by his former comrades in arms from Vietnam, Theodore "T.C." Calvin (Roger E. Mosley) who owns a chopper service called Island Hoppers, and Orville "Rick" Wright (Larry Manetti), who manages the exclusive beachside King Kahmehameha Club. The hulking T.C. shuttles Magnum around the islands in his chopper, while Rick runs license plates and uses his network of underground contacts, most notably a gangster named Icepick (usually played by Elisha Cook, Jr.) to furnish Magnum with intelligence.

If MAGNUM sounds pretty cliched on paper -- broke private eye living above his means, with a gang of conveniently placed friends -- the results on screen were spectacular. While the show made much use of the bristling masculine charisma of Selleck, it deliberately undercut him to prevent the character from being tediously perfect: Magnum gets humiliated by Higgins, mocked by his friends, and not occasionally thumped by various opponents ("My God, you've been beaten up again!" is a constant Higgins refrain). He's generally broke, and any grandiose scheme he concocts is sure to come to ruin. A master of psychological manipulation -- he's constantly conning everyone to help him -- he is also prone to falling victim to the same tactics when used against him. Magnum is a badass, but he's also a chump, and that is the source of his appeal. We can relate to this dude, even though he drives a Ferrari and lives on an estate.

MAGNUM was also noteworthy for the edginess of some of its scripts ("Did You See the Sunrise?" has the most shocking ending of any television show in the whole of the 1980s), the perfection of its musical score (the definition of iconic), and the fact that it was among the first TV shows to depict characters who had fought in Vietnam and were coping, each in their own way, with the experience. Magnum was a SEAL long, long before most of America had even heard of the SEALs: in a sense he made Vietnam service "cool" for television characters, something rather long overdue when the show premiered in 1980. The show was also unusual in that the characters sometimes break the fourth wall and look directly at the audience, an effect which is always hilarious. But what sells MAGNUM more than anything else is the is the superiority of its writing, and the chemistry between the actors. The scripts, even in the weaker episodes, are head-and-shoulders above most of what was being written in the 80s, and written by folks who actually understood the characters and how they think, talk and behave. As for the actors, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better comedic or dramatic team than Selleck and Hillerman. Mosley and Minettei, while not necessarily the greatest actors of all time, are also perfectly cast, because of the familiar ease with which they interact with Magnum. You buy the relationship, and you buy it from episode one.

OK, that was the background in the unlikely event you needed it. Here are some of the best episodes:

"Home from the Sea" -- The season opener is a perennial fan favorite. Magnum, while surf-skiing far from shore, is knocked into the water by a careless speedboater and must tread water for 24 hours to survive. As he struggles to stay alive in shark-infested waters, he draws on the memory of his father to give him strength. It's tough to watch this without weeping.

"Luther Gillis File #521" -- Magnum must pair up with a blundering gumshoe from St. Louis named Luther Gillis: the story is told from GIllis' perspective and is flat-out hilarious.

"Distant Relative" -- Rick asks Magnum to look after his supposedly innocent kid sister while she visits Hawaii. When tragedy strikes, Rick blames Magnum, who works to prevent Rick from self-destructing.

"A Sense of Debt" -- T.C. enters the world of bare-knuckle boxing to repay a debt he owes from his Vietnam days. Donald Richard Gibb guest stars.

"The Look" -- A radio deejay famous for her sexy voice hires Magnum to protect her from a stalker while she tries to find her missing former flame. This episode is not what you think it is.

"Operation Silent Night" -- a beautiful Christmas-themed episode finds Magnum, Rick, T.C. and Higgins stranded on an island used for gunnery practice. Hilarity and pathos ensue.

"Paradise Blues" -- A trouble-prone former flame of T.C.'s arrives in Hawaii, and Magnum tries to control the damage. The ending is a shocker.

"Home is Where the Heart Is" -- a touching episode in which Higgins remembers a former MI6 comrade who went off the deep and and began to believe he was Sherlock Holmes. Patrick Macnee guest stars.

"On Face Value" -- During a chase, Magnum's stray bullet causes a possibly crippling car accident, and he must cope with the consequences. Beautiful acting work here by John Hillerman.

"Dream A Little Dream" -- Magnum recalls, with both pain and nostalgia, his first case as a private investigator, one which ended in a romantic entanglement with a female surfing champion that he wasn't ready for.

There are other gems in here too. Carrol Burnett guest stars in "Rembrandt's Girl," most of which takes place in a bank vault. "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime" combines hilarity with some of the most Magnum-esque sequences in the whole series (Magnum, bullied by four goons, elects to meekly throw himself in the ocean rather than fight: name another hero who would do this). "Limited Engagement" sees Magnum, P.I. imitate Quincy, M.E., and tackle injustice at a home for retired thespians while working undercover as a convenience story clerk. "Letter from a Duchess" sees Magnum and Higgins competing for the same woman. There are, of course, some clunkers here and there. "Smaller Than Life" doesn't work, and the season closer, "I Witness" is a modestly funny but largely boring "Rashomon effect" episode in which Rick, T.C. and Higgins recall the same event differently. By and large, however, Season 4 of MAGNUM shows little if any falling-off in quality from the previous three excellent seasons, and the DVD includes a bonus episode from Season 5 ("Mac's Back").

MAGNUM was one of the great shows not merely of the 80s but of all time. It was a rare moment in history when the whole of a television show exceeded the sum of its parts and created something that went way beyond mere entertainment, so that even weak or flat-out bad episodes nevertheless retain a characteristic charm and charisma. I will never tire of visiting Robin's Nest, and I bet you won't either. Highly recommended.
3 people found this helpful
Mr. WReviewed in the United States on June 28, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Magnum season 4
Verified purchase
More great Magnum right outta the gate! with the
season opener - Home from the Sea:

like this episode, this season reveals more about the protagonist’s (Thomas Sullivan Magnum)
background. Another highlight of the season is the writers bring in more comedy along with
the sleuthing and drama. Another nice touch is the running theme of Literary books which
Magnum touches on in several episodes during his narrations, something that jogs the ole
memory, and maybe even encourages the viewers to harken back to those olden days when
book clubs and reading books were more the mainstream of culture…
instead of just turning on the TV, or ploppin’ in the ole DVD.

Working class folks/or those of us in school during the 80’s cant miss with
picking up this season, now that we are older and hopefully not nearly so busy,
and finally have the time to catch those episodes we always seemed to miss. Or maybe
even reading a few of those books we never had the time or the opportunity to. Treat
yourself to another great season, you’ll be the better for it & happy that ya did :)
I’d think critics would rate the episodes 4 or 5 stars, or at least thats what Id give.

I’m now looking forward to season 5 through 8, most of these I missed,
being much too busy myself in the middle/ late 80’s with school & work,
Living Life, enjoying sports and the great outdoors, and very little time
left over for TV.

Dick Shawn & Chuck Mangione are the only two guest stars
I can recall at this time, but there were others like Luther Gillis
and lots of the beautiful famous female stars (like Sheree North).
2 people found this helpful
JamesReviewed in the United States on June 28, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great show
Verified purchase
Magnum PI was from the 1980s and I really didn't watch alot of tv back then.....I am so glad I found this series now....Who'd a thunk that this is almost 40 years old and now in 2021 I enjoy this series so much. I'm onto season 4 and plan on watching all the seasons. Wow, I can't believe I did not watch this series all those years ago.....I guess it just goes to show you that better late than never, if that makes any sense. I guess actors and actresses are lucky....they live on through their art....and yes, I think this is art....for what is art really, but something that is creative, imaginative, and sharing and making someone feel emotions. Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Larry Manetti, and Roger Mosley are great and have a good chemistry considering how different they are. I know some think I may be weird for calling tv shows art, but I don't care...I think even shows like this are 'art'....I am admittedly somewhat perplexed, but this may be included in one of my top 10 favorite tv series of all time. Maybe my tastes are too common and silly, but these shows are FANTASTIC....(btw, I wrote this review after a few beers LOL). Furthermore, whatever happened to guys like Tom Selleck's Magnum and Rick and TC and Higgins.....they may be different, but familiar at the same time. I miss people like that.
RisseReviewed in the United States on June 1, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Do not purchase season 5 it's only 3 videos
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You can only view three videos (even though I purchased season 5) for 14.99. I want my money back
6 people found this helpful
Jim DavisReviewed in the United States on June 26, 2009
4.0 out of 5 stars
A mid-life crisis that lasted for 8 seasons...
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Magnum, PI is in its essentials about a man who sees the oncoming train of approaching middle age and flees the station. He is enabled in this by landing a dream "job" which doesn't really entail him having to work unless he really wants to. His friends indulge him and his fellow estate resident despairs of him.

Magnum, PI had a lot going for it - likable characters (a must for any show I watch), exotic locale, good writing, and on screen talent that could make it all work. It's a hard show to pigeonhole - it can swing from comedy to action to drama to tragedy - sometimes in the same episode.

The centerpiece of the show is the relationship between Magnum and Higgins - Higgins obviously likes Magnum but just can't bring himself to approve of Magnum's infuriating irresponsibility. Magnum for his part likes Higgins but just can't understand why he worries about things Magnum considers unimportant. The development of this relationship is a joy to watch. The relationship between Magnum and his much put upon friends Rick and TC is much more longstanding and stable.

Season 4 offers 21 episodes and 1 bonus episode from season 5. All that is not excellent is very good. There is nary a loser in the bunch - my least favorite is "Jororo Farewell".

I dock this collection a single star based on production values. Double sided DVDs are a crime against nature although mine played fine with only occasional artifacting. There has also been a slip in value as there are no on disc episode summaries, original air dates, or scene selections as there were for previous seasons. In addition to the season 5 bonus episode already mentioned there is a "The Great '80s TV Flashback" feature describing other (presumably Universal) TV shows available on DVD.

If you're new to Magnum starting at season 1 would be advisable since there is a certain amount of continuity that carries forward but nothing that would prevent you from enjoying this season. If you've already worked your way through seasons 1, 2, and 3 this is more of the same great stuff. Enjoy!
4 people found this helpful
MaoriReviewed in the United States on July 17, 2016
3.0 out of 5 stars
Buy season 1...then proceed with caution.
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I was quite a big fan of [I]Magnum[/] (and [I]Magnum[/I] reruns) in the 80's and early 90's, but as with most TV shows, season 1 is far and away the best.
After that, they kinda seem to forget they are in Hawaii, most of the stories could take place pretty much anywhere, the plots become increasingly unlikely and the gumshoe shlock and shtick get a little bit too thick for my tastes.
Still ok for die-hard fans.
By far the best episodes of this season are [I]Home from the Sea[I], featuring a relatively realistic shark encounter - something not often seen on screen - and the subtly 'Red Pill' [I]Letter to a Duchess[I].
Jon WarshawskyReviewed in the United States on April 29, 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars
The show with a past
Verified purchase
I'm happy to report my Fourth Season DVDs played fine. More importantly, the series really comes into its own during its fourth year on the air. While most programs designed for an hour slot, Magnum and Higgins' characters have enough depth to them that each hour is something of a glimpse into their lives. In particular, you can't watch this season without appreciating something about Magnum's past influences, his father, author Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie and others. While all of this is wrapped in the sometimes dated trappings of an '80s TV show, a lot of the substance of the show survives.

This season includes what may be the best hour of television writing of its era, the Home from the Sea episode. As another reviewer mentioned, this is the "treading water" episode and it cemented many viewers' bond with Selleck's character. No staged fist fights, no explosions, no Ferrari chases. Not many episodes come close to this.

Other memorable episodes include Distant Relative, which focuses on Rick, Rick's sister and Magnum as a "babysitter" for a not-too-innocent twentysomething. Letter To A Duchess, in which Higgins has a crush on a British woman who falls for Magnum, also stands out: all the right sets, enough action, and it illuminates the Magnum-Higgins relationship that turns out to be the show's core.

Vietnam always lurks not far below the surface in the series, and The Look is an interesting (but dated) tie in to Magnum's past, with a female disc jockey who plays a role similar to Tyne Daly's female-friend-in-Vietnam from the excellent "Jororo Kill" episode in season two.

Another brilliant episode: Operation Silent Night, in which the main characters are marooned on Christmas Eve on an island used for Navy gunnery practice. By this point in the series, the writers no longer had to rely on props like the Ferrari and the bikini babes at the King Kamehameha Club to make it work.

On Face Value also rises to the top. An unexpected twist in a car chase puts Magnum into a wrenching situation, possibly the most affecting since Vietnam. An intense 'hour', all about character and inner struggle, with amazing performances by Selleck and Hillerman (Higgins). Overshadowed only by Home from the Sea.

The fourth season includes some of the best, and some lesser material -- although even the Luther Gillis episodes have their moments. There are a few here you'll only watch once, but more that are lifetime keepers.
43 people found this helpful
S. MoranReviewed in the United States on July 19, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Get the six disc version
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When netflix cancelled this show I got fed up and decided to buy it. I got in a hurry and didn't look at the two versions available. The single sided six disc version is newer and cheaper but for some reason when I did a search amazon defaulted to the older one. Lesson learned I guess.
7 people found this helpful
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