Tom Selleck is back in action as Magnum P.I.: The Complete Fourth Season roars onto DVD for the first time ever! It?s more adventure, more mysteries, and more fun, Magnum-style, in all 21 thrilling episodes. Hop in the fam... more »ous red-Ferrari with Higgins, T.C., Rick and TV?s most charismatic detective as they take on drug dealers, royal assassins, brutal thugs, and, of course, those beautiful Hawaiian ladies. With thrilling bonus content including a bonus episode from Season Five and guest stars that include Patrick Macnee and more, it?s a trip back to Hawaii that you just can?t afford to miss!« less
5 stars for the TV season. 1 star for the defective DVDs.
grundle2600 | Pittsburgh, PA | 02/06/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Magnum P.I is my favorite TV show of all time.
My original plan was to buy all 8 seasons on DVD.
However, with the releases of the first 3 seasons, Universal has repeatedly released DVDs with a very high rate of defects. Many people on many different internet message boards, including myself, have been complaining about lots of problems on these DVDs, such as pixelating, freezing, skipping, etc. Some of the episodes are unplayable. Even after multiple exchanges at the place of purchase, some people still can't get a set that plays properly. These are manufacturing defects. Universal has been repeatedly informed of these defects, but has chosen to do nothing about it.
I own the first 3 seasons. But I'm done buying this show on DVD. Withholding my money from Universal is the only real way to express my disappointment with the defective DVDs. I won't be buying seasons 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8.
My 1 star rating is for the high rate of defects on these DVDs. If it weren't for the defects, I'd be giving this a 5 star rating.
Here are the episodes from season 4:
Home From The Sea - This is my #1 favorite episode of the entire series. I won't spoil it for you by revealing any of the plot. But I will say this: if you've ever seen the episode where Magnum treads water, this is it. This is a very emotionally intense episode. You know those big guys with the bulging muscles and the tattoos who claim they never cry? If you show them this episode, I bet they will cry. If you want to introduce the series to someone (of any size, age, or gender) who has never seen it before, this is the episode to show them. One thing that I love about this episode is the way that the dialogue at the end of every scene transitions into the dialogue at the beginning of the next scene, even though the two scenes are apparently totally unrelated. This episode is a masterpiece of writing, acting, directing, camera work, editing, and musical scoring. This episode is perfect. I think this may be the only G-rated episode of the series, as it has absolutely no violence, sex, or foul language. "You turkeys!!!"
Luther Gillis File 521 - Luther Gillis appeared in 5 episodes, and it's extremely easy to get them confused with each other. This is the first of those 5.
Smaller Than Life - An old friend of Rick's appears in this episode. But even Rick isn't completely sure as to his identity. Apparently, the friend may or may not be some kind of secret government agent. This episode has a really great scene of Rick, Higgins, and Rick's friend secretly entering a building.
Distant Relative - Rick talks Magnum into chaperoning his 22 year old sister. Rick isn't too pleased with the outcome, and he ends up punching Magnum in the jaw. This is one of the best episodes of this season.
Limited Engagement - Magnum works undercover to solve a string of robberies at a chain of grocery stores. Magnum also acts as a social worker to try to save some old people from being evicted from their retirement home. This episode is lighthearted and sappy, but it's not a totally bad episode. There are a few good scenes, such as T.C. repeatedly asking Magnum to fish pickled eggs out of a disgusting jar of brine, and then saying, "Oh dear me! I do believe that I've forgotten my wallet!"
Letter To A Duchess - A British woman is visiting the estate. Higgins writes her an anonymous love note. She mistakenly assumes the note is from Magnum. This episode is OK. But it's nowhere nearly as good as the brilliant "Tropical Madness" episode from season 2, which this episode kind of reminds me of.
Squeeze Play - Robin Masters makes a bet on a baseball game that Magnum is playing in. If Magnum's team loses, Robin has to give up the estate for a year to the owner of the other team. And that includes the guest house. So Magnum better win!
A Sense Of Debt - Several years before she played Brenda on "Beverly Hills 90210," Shannen Doherty appeared on this episode of Magnum P.I., where she brainwashed Zeus and Apollo into forgetting what their names are. Higgins is not amused.
The Look - Magnum visits a disc jockey in Hawaii that he knew from his time in Vietnam.
Operation Silent Night - On Christmas eve, Magnum, T.C., Rick, and Higgins are stranded on an island that the navy is planning to use for gunnery practice. This is one of my favorite episodes of this season.
Jororo Farewell - The season 2 episode "The Jororo Kill" is one of my favorite episodes of the series. This inferior season 4 episode brings back some of the same characters, but this time, the plot is pretty bad. A young prince runs away from home because he wants to be a regular boy instead of a prince. Another lame episode with Magnum as a social worker.
The Case Of The Red Faced Thespian - This is a really cool episode with many pop culture references. This one's a lot of fun. Higgins is planning a party with a 1920s/Great Gatsby theme. In preparation, he uses miniature explosives to try to kill some rodents that have dug tunnels under the estate. But like Wyle E. Coyote trying to kill the Road Runner, Higgins ends up giving himself a concussion. When the party does take place, Magnum walks into one of the bedrooms, and sees a woman lying dead on the bed. Higgins is standing there, dressed in Shakespearean clothing, and reciting a confessional line from Othello, "Desdemona, Dead! I killed her!" Magnum has to prove that Higgins is innocent, and that his "confession" is the result of his concussion combined with his obsession with Shakespeare, and not from actually having committed the murder.
No More Mr. Nice Guy - Magnum tries to catch a drug dealer.
Rembrandt's Girl - Hooray for guest Carol Burnett, who is a phenomenally amazing actress, and always gives an absolutely brilliant performance! Boo for the lame, cliche, and unoriginal script, which has Magnum and Burnett getting locked inside a bank vault! Fortunately, Burnett would return to play the same character in the season 8 episode "A Girl Named Sue," which has a much better script than this one. In that season 8 episode, Burnett has gotten her own license as a private investigator, and she and Magnum unknowingly get into a shootout against each other!
Paradise Blues - A jazz/pop singer that T.C. had been infatuated with many years ago comes to visit. She has a beautiful voice, full of emotion, conviction, and style. It's a true joy to listen to her sing. There's lots of great music in this one. However, I really hate the way the episode ends. What were the writers thinking?
The Return Of Luther Gillis - Higgins gets kidnapped. He's held hostage in a trailer with a bomb that's set to go off.
Let The Punishment Fit The Crime- This is the episode with the performance from the Mikado of "Three Little Girls From School Are We."
Holmes Is Where The Heart Is - Higgins recalls events of his life before he met Magnum, with a touch of Sherlock Homes added for fun.
On Face Value - Usually, Magnum is the epitome of proper gun use and safety. But not in this episode. And an innocent person suffers serious consequences as a result of Magnum's irresponsible actions.
Dream A Little Dream - Magnum recalls his first case as a private investigator, before he moved into the estate. After T.C.'s chopper gets bullet holes for the first time, Magnum says, "I promise that that will never happen again."
I Witness - Great Roshomon type episode. After the King Kamehameha Club is robbed by masked men, Magnum listens to T.C., Rick, and Higgins each give their own unique account of what happened. Magnum has to piece their stories together to find a common element so he can catch the thief. This is a very humorous episode, as each teller of the story embellishes it to make himself out to be the hero, and to make the others out to be cowards."
The show with a past
Jon Warshawsky | San Diego, CA USA | 04/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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.
Best TV series made but on the Worst DVD's
Jon Powell | Ontario, Canada | 03/10/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I completly agree with a couple of earlier reviewers. The show is absolutely the best, but the discs are garbage especially season 3. I bought season 3 when it first came out and noticed that all episodes on disc 1 side 1 kept freezing and skipping entire chapters. To make a long story short, I returned and replaced a total of 4 copies of season 3 only to notice the same defects in the same spots. The DVD player was not to blame because I played them on 3 different name Brand DVD players with freezing and skipping in similar places. I finally kept my last copy of Magnum only after a very knowledgable Best Buy employee convinced me to buy the Panasonic S29 or S77 DVD player because it contains error correction technology (both the Panasonic DVD players work equally well). Ever since I bought this DVD player my Magnum DVD's along with other DVD's I had problems with in the past have not skipped or froze at all. Universal must get their act together and start putting out "decent" products for us to buy and can't take its customers for granted. Cutting the budget to produce these DVD's may save money in the short term but Universal will lose customers in the long run."
Great Show but Terrible DVD's
James Walsh | New York City | 02/18/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It is a shame that the latest seasons of a great show like Magnum PI are being sold on terrible DVD's. I have season one and two on DVD, and they are great. Season Three was a terrible shock. Universal may have changed the digital labs that manufacture these products, and the new lab is incompetent. In any case wherever these disks are made should be shut down.
The new DVDs really ARE poor. Several episodes skip, freeze, loose audio or just lock up. My DVD player is a very good Sony, and I have no problems playing any other DVD's, but these new Magnum DVD's are really defective. Not only did season three play poorly, the color transfer is weak, and the images are noticeably grainier than season one and two. Why?
The first two seasons came with four hours of bonus episodes; season three came with only one. Also the subtitles are terrible now. They are abbreviated and no longer accurately convey the spoken words. Also they no longer have French subtitles. Why not? The DVD set only cost $39.00 so it's not worth sending back just in the hope that replacements will be better.
Universal knows there are millions of Magnum fans. It appears that it has cut its manufacturing costs and is shipping defective products knowing that the huge fan base of Magnum fans who will buy these DVD's anyway. That is a shame.
If you love Magnum definetly get Season 1 and 2. If you want to buy season 3 and 4 at least you have been warned. Don't expect them to be any where as good as season 1 and 2. They are not. "
Season 4, Still Solid, but...
jhjr88 | West Chester, PA | 06/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Magnum P.I. was my favorite show when I was growing up. I was ecstatic when they began releasing individual seasons on DVD. Fortunately, for myself, I have not had any problem with the playing of the DVD's like other individuals have experienced. I DO NOT like the double-sided DVD's!!! Way too easy to scratch and damage!!!
What I appreciate most about the DVD episodes is that they are the full-length, original, un-cut episode which runs 49-50 minutes long. Today's syndicated episode version's have 5-6 minutes of material trimmed from their original filming. Also, you get each season's original, beginning intro-theme song and footage as well as it's original conclusion footage and music. A true Magnum P.I. fan will remember the cheesy, musical intro the show had for it's first 11 episodes in Season 1, which was later changed to it's more popular theme song which is more synonomous with casual fans.
Season 4 begins the slow, downturn the series experienced in the middle of it's total run of 8 total years. Although, season 4 makes for decent entertainment, Season's 1-3 were the best, with season number 2 being my favorite. Some of the story lines in season 4 became far-fetched and corny. Season's 5 and 6 continued this downturn and the ratings were also, downtrodden vs. previous years. The show became re-invigorated in Season's 7 and 8 by getting back on track with continuing storylines the show had developed over the years, bringing most to a conclusion with the exception of one. Who was truly, Robin Master's? Perhaps as Magnum thought, it was Higgins, but, we will never, ever know for sure. You draw your own conclusion.
If you truly enjoy the show and have the time to view all 162 episodes, you need to own every episode from start to finish to fully understand the continuing storylines and view how the characters changed and matured throughout the 8 years Magnum was on the air. I for one, can not wait until future season's are released. There has not been since, another TV show that could and will ever match the the quick wit, friendly bantering, and entertainment that the cast delivered on a weekly basis. "