Customer Reviews: Magnum P.I.: Season 1
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on September 7, 2004
If you were around to watch the original Magnum TV series, you already know whats in this. I watched the original series during my high school years and sitting down and watching the series again reminds me not only of those times, but of how good the show was.

If you never watched the original show, let me just say that introducing yourself to Magnum and his pals would be well worth your time. This is the ultimate "buddy" show. The dynamic that evolves between the main characters is a rare pleasure to watch. Some of the episodes (The two parter called "Ivan" jumps to mind... but that will have to wait for later season releases)are particularly well done and have some amazing moments.

Of course, there are going to be some stinkers mixed in there. But to be honest, they are particularly few and far between.

One of the best elements of the show is the relationship between Magnum and Higgins. Its the classic love/hate deal with a level of mutual respect that sustains a very funny back and forth of gotchas between the two.

Once all the seasons have been released, and you watch that final episode with Magnum walking off into the sunset in his dress whites on the beach with his daughter in hand, you mill most likely wonder three things. First, when will they make a movie so we can all see what happens next. Second, did Rick or didn't he? Finally, you will be just a bit jealous that we can't all have the kind of friendships that Magnum, TC, Rick and Higgins share.

Of course, there is the technical side of the DVD. Frankly, I was not too optimistic about the likely quality of the video. I am happy to report that the transfer to DVD is just about as clean as anyone could possibly hope for. I am watching the DVD on a 50" rear projection LCD TV. So any quality problems with the image would be particularly obvious. Also, my DVD player is an older Toshiba model. No progressive scan or any of the other common quality boost features you find in newer decks. The bottom line is that there is no reason to be concerned in any way about the quality of the transfer, it's top notch.

So take the time to introduce yourself to Magnum and his friends, you won't regret it.
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on April 21, 2005
One of the top rated shows on the 1980s decade, Magnum, P.I. thrilled audiences with its exotic setting and fast-paced action. Winner of multiple Emmys and Golden Globes, the show was a mainstay in the Top 20 Nielsen Ratings. Its Vietnam flashbacks (exploring the combat experiences of the main characters) were widely lauded, and Magnum, P.I. is considered the first television series to give recognition to the obstacles faced by Vietnam Veterans reentering American society. The range of topics, combined with a clever wit and heightened suspense, make Magnum, P.I. one of the more widely appealing TV series of its era...

Magnum, P.I. covers the life of Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck), a former Naval Intelligence officer who resigns his position in order to set up his own private investigation business in Oahu, Hawaii. Through either luck or acquaintance, he lands a job as head of security for bestselling author Robin Masters' luxurious beachfront estate. This enables Magnum to drive around in Masters' sporty flame-red Ferrari, make use of various high-tech toys, and live a life of relative ease in the estate's guest house. But Magnum constantly butts heads with estate manager Jonathan Higgins (John Hillerman), a former British military man in his own right, and one with a strict penchant for order and discipline. Despite their conflicts, Magnum and Higgins maintain a healthy friendship, while Magnum's friends Rick Wright (Larry Manetti) and T.C. Calvin (Roger E. Mosley) are forever being drawn into Magnum's dangerous investigations...

The Magnum, P.I. (Season 1) DVD features a number of exciting episodes including the season premiere "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii" in which Magnum learns of the death of his childhood friend and Navy buddy Dan Cook. Skeptical of the officially cited cause of death, Magnum launches an investigation of his own with the aid of Dan's sister Alice. Eventually, the trail leads to an old military friend from Vietnam who might possibly be involved in a smuggling operation. Meanwhile, Magnum and Alice put their own lives on the line as they discover that someone is determined to put an end to their investigation... Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "No Need to Know" in which Magnum is hired to protect one of Higgins' friends from IRA assassins, and "Lest We Forget" in which a veteran of Pearl Harbor turned (Supreme Court Nominee) hires Magnum to investigate when he receives blackmail threats relating to his past...

Below is a list of episodes included on the Magnum, P.I. (Season 1) DVD:

Episode 1 (Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii: Part 1)

Episode 2 (Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii: Part 2)

Episode 3 (China Doll)

Episode 4 (Thank Heaven for Little Girls, and Big Ones Too)

Episode 5 (No Need to Know)

Episode 6 (Skin Deep)

Episode 7 (Never Again, Never Again)

Episode 8 (The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii)

Episode 9 (Missing in Action)

Episode 10 (Lest We Forget)

Episode 11 (The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club)

Episode 12 (Thicker Than Blood)

Episode 13 (All Roads Lead to Floyd)

Episode 14 (Adelaide)

Episode 15 (Don't Say Goodbye)

Episode 16 (The Black Orchid)

Episode 17 (J. "Digger" Doyle)

Episode 18 (Beauty Knows No Pain)

The DVD Report
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on April 17, 2005
If you drew even a single breath between the years of 1980 and 1988, you know this show. You might not know you know it, but Magnum is part of your soul.

What's great is that once you go out and buy this set, you'll realize that it's a bigger piece of your soul than you'd thought. I'm wiling to bet that even the crappy theme song that was used for the first half of this season rings a bell. You can't think of it now -- you CAN remember the brash, catchy, action/adventure theme song that was adopted after the first few episodes -- but you'll remember that old song and say, "Oh, yeah. I never knew this was the original Magnum theme."

And then the episodes start. From the very first minute of the pilot, you get to see why this was one of the top-rated TV show of the eighties. There are car chases, Vietnam flashbacks, competent mysteries, astoundingly good comedy, sexy stewardesses, gravitas, suspense, drama, exotic locations, and remarkable consistency.

What's crazy is how quickly the show hit its stride. This set contains a couple crossover episodes and specials from later seasons, and -- aside from the opening credits -- it's very tough to tell the difference between those and the first-season episodes on the discs. The cast and crew went into the show with confidence, and a pretty clear idea of what they hoped to accomplish. So the writing is great right off the bat. The cast jelled instantly; even though their characters weren't fully fleshed-out, they played like actual people. (It kind of makes you realize how often other TV shows -- and movies -- are filled entirely with stock characters, stereotypes and cardboard cutouts.) Larry Minetti as Rick is particularly grand as the proprietor of an eighties club, and the stellar John Hillerman nearly steals every scene as the overbearingly British Retired Sergeant Major Jonathan Quayle Higgins.

But let's have a word on the subject of Tom Selleck. This is the guy who was originally cast as Indiana Jones, but had to bow out because Raiders of the Lost Ark was scheduled to begin shooting at the same time as Magnum's first season. Did he make the right decision? It's tough to say whether Thomas Magnum is a better or worse character than Indiana Jones, but it's obvious that there wasn't a bad choice to be made there. He's absolutely delightful as Magnum, though, so let's just say that he made the right call.

To quote Magnum, "I woke up one day, age 33, and realized I'd never been 23." Arrested adolescence found the perfect actor in Tom Selleck, it seems. He plays the part of Magnum perfectly, but more than that, he anchors and holds together the cast and carries the stories quite ably.

Overlook the bad wardrobe and hair that clamor for screen space. This was 1980, and frankly, the hairstyles seen here were remarkably tasteful for that year. Not timeless by any stretch of the imagination, but tasteful.

Very first spoken line of the series: As two Dobermans are charging and Magnum is trying to pick the lock on a chain-link fence... "Don't look at the dogs. Work the lock," Magnum tells himself. "Work the lock. Don't look at the dogs. You looked at the dogs!" So good.
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on May 23, 2006
WARNING ... Watch these discs as soon as you get them so you can return them if they are bad. Don't trust that they have no visible scratches, I have discs that look perfect but when played have about 15 minutes that are unviewable on BOTH sides of the disc. Double sided discs are terrible quality, I don't think we have the technology to do this yet properly. The policy of a time limit at AMAZON.COM means you need to watch ALL the discs before I got a chance to watch more than the pilot episode, so when you order be sure you have about 22 hours to kill.
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on October 20, 2004
...should I buy this collection, or not? If you're a fan of the Magnum PI series, you NEED to get this set!

Yes, there is a lack of special features, like other sets. Most notably a lack of the "artist's" commentary. Each episode does have its own "menu" with the original airdate listed and a short synopsis.

No, there is no booklet or documentation included.

No, you will not miss that.

What you WILL enjoy, are the ORIGINAL "opening trailer" sequences and title montages which are beautifully intact, despite the fact that the title sequences in the first season continously evolved from episode to episode back in the day. Ending credits are also intact showing choice snipets from that episode (sometimes with hilarious effect). When I saw them in the early eighties for the first time, I thought every show should duplicate this technique. If you have ever attempted to watch the series on cable reruns, you will see that the title sequence has been made "generic" and/or standardized no matter the episode or season. Forget about the ending credit sequences, since those are usually overtaken by the station's advertising. It may seem unimportant to most, but to diehard fans it's little features like that make shelling out $40 worth it.
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on July 15, 2003
Magnum, P.I. is one of the best TV series ever produced. Gorgeous Tom Selleck played the lead character, tooling around Hawaii in a red Ferrari. John Hillerman provided a wonderful contrast with his portrayal of Higgins, and Roger P. Moseley and Larry Manetti were terrific as Magnum's war buddies. The series had excellent production values and really, really good scriptwriting. The superb balance among mystery/suspense, drama and comedy has yet to be matched.
Selleck went on to a fairly successful movie career and recently returned to television in a recurring role on NBC's 'Friends'. 'Magnum' really showed off his acting versatility as well as his good looks and is the catalyst that led to all his later success.
I desperately want to own the entire series but refuse to purchase it on VHS, which (as we all know) fades and degrades in other ways both visual and sonic. I would also love to see the release have special features including cast/crew interviews. How about it, eh? Let's get this baby out on DVD!
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on September 4, 2003
What is the problem, Universal? My God, there are so many LAME series that are now on DVD, why not put out one of the best action//drama/comedy shows EVER MADE? There are LITERALLY legions of fans that will buy this set as soon as it's released. COME ON!! And while you're at it, get Tom Selleck and the gang on the big screen for a Magnum, p.i. movie!
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on November 18, 2006
This is a great show with great writing and acting. Unfortunatly I had to purchase & return this 3 times (season 1). Once from Circuit City, twice from Amazon.

The 1st disc freezes and skips and is basically unwatchable. I think Amazon should pull his item from its inventory and complain to the manufacturer. They should have never put this on a double sided dvd.
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on June 10, 2004
Magnum P.I. is my favorite TV show of all time. I will gladly purchase all 8 seasons on DVD if they are released. Season 1 aired during the 1980-1981 TV season, and consisted of the 2 hour pilot, plus 16 regular 1 hour episodes.
Season 1 is a great introductory season. However, it's also one of my least favorite seasons. That's not to say it's a bad season, because it's not. However, season 1 doesn't have any of the truly outstanding episodes of future seasons, such as "Memories Are Forever" (season 2), "Did You See The Sunrise?" (Season 3), "Home From The Sea" (season 4), "Echoes Of The Mind" (season 5), "Limbo" (season 7), and "Unfinished Business" (season 8). Thus, I'm giving season 1 a 4 star rating.
The episodes from season 1 are:
"Don't Eat The Snow In Hawaii" - This is the 2 hour pilot. "Don't look at the dogs. Work the lock. Work the lock. Don't look at the dogs. Oh! You looked at the dogs." This is a great introduction to the series. However, if you really want to recruit new fans, I recommend you show them the season 4 episode "Home From The Sea."
"China Doll" - This is a good action/adventure story.
"Thank Heavan For Little Girls And Big Ones Too." Magnum gets hired by 5 little girls. Not one of my personal favorite episodes.
"No Need To Know." - This is my favorite episode from season 1. Alfred Hitchcock said that having a bomb go off isn't suspenseful. What is suspensful is knowing that there's a bomb that's about to go off. The last several minutes of this show are Hitchcock all the way.
"Skin Deep" - This is the episode where Magnum seems to think, "Well, as long as she's dead, I might as well eat the food in her refrigerator." And I love Higgins's graphic descriptions of the effects that a gunshot wound has on the human body when fired from various distances. This is one of the better episodes from season 1.
"Never Again Never Again" - Magnum realizes that "Kessler is a Jew." Yes. And later he would become Doc Ibold. Good episode from this season.
"The Ugliest Dog In Hawaii" - Actually, the dog looks fine to me. But this episode if just too formulaic.
"Missing In Action" - A mysterious plot involving the military doesn't save this relatively boring episode.
"Lest We Forget" - Another routine episode with too much forumla.
"The Curse Of The King Kamehameha Club" - Since the Club plays such a big role in the series, why not give it its own episode?
"Thicker Than Blood" - Magnum and T.C. get into a big fight.
"All Roads Lead To Floyd" - The old guy is a really, really bad driver. Boring episode.
"Adelaide" - A good story about a woman and her horse. Women sure do love horses. Pretty interesting story. And the horse knows how to defend himself.
"Don't Say Goodbye" - The Ted Danson character gets killed by a boat propellor.
"The Black Orchid" - This is a very enjoyable episode, with some nice homages to Bogart type characters and stories. This is one of my favorite episodes from season 1. The presence of guest actress Judith Chapman makes this a very interesting episode. She will return in the far superior season 2 episode "The Woman On The Beach," which, in my opinion, is better than anything from season 1.
"J. Digger Doyle" - We get to see and hear Robin Masters in this episode. Notice how he gets his ideas from everyday occurences.
"Beauty Knows No Pain" - Magnum gets a little more exercise than he had wanted.
Magnum P.I. is my favortie TV show, and I think I have a right to point out its flaws. I never did like the idea of just blindly praising every episode. I recommend season 1 to all Magnum fans. But please keep in mind that most of the future seasons are better.
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on September 6, 2004
For the reviewer below who was asking, these are indeed the full, unedited episodes! The Pilot is always split into two parts in syndication, although it was originally shown as a movie-length episde in one part. It's in two parts on the DVD but if you select "play all," it is the full version and runs about 93 minutes. If you play it as 2 parts, part 2 starts exactly where part 1 ended so nothings missing. Of the other episodes I've watched, they come in just under 50 minutes--they were somewhere around 49:45--which was the standard for tv shows back then. I've taped some episodes off of Hallmark Channel, and they seem to come in at about 45 minutes, so they cut quite a bit out. As for the quality, I've never seen the show look this good on tv. There's some dust here and there, moreso in scenes where they use stock footage, but for the most part I think they look incredible! Everyone needs to go out and get this set if you're a fan--you won't be disappointed. Yes, there aren't any extras, but hopefully we'll see some in further seasons, which we'll only get if everyone buys this first season. The menus start with TC's helicopter flying across the screen to the familiar theme song and then different scenes from the show. There's a "play all" option and chapter stops too. Also, the pilot and the first episodes have the different theme song that was used before they switched to the one that everyone knows. I haven't watched them all, but I believe I read that the switch takes place sometime during the first season. Get this set!
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