Magnum P.I: The Complete 
Fourth Series

Magnum P.I: The Complete Fourth Series


Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

See past the dodgy fashion and awful music and you might discover that the Eighties were a goldmine of good TV shows (okay, some were crap!) and most came from Universal Television studios. All the great ones, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Quantum Leap, etc were from Universal; they seemed to be on the ball.

One of the most famous, perhaps iconic, shows was Magnum P.I, which starred Mr Moustache Tom Selleck, in a role for which he gave up Indiana Jones. Created by Glen A Larson and Donald P Bellisario, it was about a naval officer who quits the life at sea and moves to Hawaii to start his own private detective agency. A zillionaire, called Robin Masters, hires him as his home security while he's away on a round-the-world trip. With free room and board at the Masters villa, Magnum races around the island in Mr. Masters' Ferrari, getting into all sorts of trouble, much to the annoyance of Higgins, the very prim and proper English butler, who looks like a cross between Alfred from Hudson Hawk and a mini Adolf Hitler.

Copy picture

His pals TC (Roger E Mosley) and Rick (Larry Manetti) help him in his investigations, which are only sporadically engaging. Don't get me wrong, Magnum P.I is highly watchable, but not exactly the kind of high concept show that you MUST watch every week. I mean, you'd be totally screwed if you miss one episode of Prison Break, but you wouldn't care much if you missed a Magnum. It's just the right amount of easy-going, with the occasional serious episode. If I had to categorise this, I'd say it's a light-hearted drama with intermittent action.

But PUH-LEASE Tom, buy some new shorts. Even if you are hard up, I will loan you a tenner just to buy a pair that are not so-short as these. I mean, come on! Whenever he sits down (never shutting his legs) you kinda get the impression that he's about to "come free at the side." And he REALLY has to work on making his run a little more masculine. Whenever he sprints, or dashes, it looks more like skipping to me. Not exactly tough guy behaviour.

Nit-picking aside, it's easy to see why Magnum P.I was such a success and why it lasted so long, even doing a few crossovers - sadly an episode of Quantum Leap, in which Sam leapt into Magnum, was cancelled. How cool would THAT have been? It has a dynamic mix of characters, fast cars and pretty scenery.

In the early Eighties, that's all you needed.

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2006
Share this with others on...
Magnum P.I: The Complete 
Fourth Series packshot
From the Eighties comes Mr Moustache as an iconic Miami private eye in desperately short shorts
Amazon link

Director: various

Writer: various

Starring: Tom Selleck, Roger E Mosley, Larry Manetti, John Hillerman

Year: 1983

Runtime: 1020 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


Search database: