The Good

I can think of few other actors who would bring the depth and humor to the role of Thomas Magnum that Tom Selleck does.

The Bad

Not really any extras. I would have liked an in-depth interview with Tom Selleck about the show.

Tom Selleck plays the put upon private investigator (that James Garner pioneered as Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files) Thomas Magnum to perfection in Magnum P.I.: The Complete Third Season. This show, which focuses on the exploits of a P.I. in Hawaii, is filled with great looking women, interesting stories and lots of adventure. Whether Magnum is trying to prove that someone (sometimes himself) is innocent of a charge, or he’s looking for someone’s long lost relative, or he’s dealing with the ghosts of Vietnam it is always done in a tactful way. Every time consuming event in his life seems like it’s a minor roadblock along the way, as he is just trying to enjoy himself anonymously on the island.

What I always liked about this show was the supporting cast of characters. There’s John Hillerman as the uptight Higgins, Roger E. Mosley as T.C. and Larry Manetti as Rick. Other characters came in out of the show, some for more than one episode, and on the whole I think that there was a real depth to Magnum P.I. and this probably accounts for why it ran for 8 years.


Bonus Episode

This is an extra feature of sorts. It’s a an episode from Season Four titled Letter to a Duchess. It focuses on Thomas and Higgins and how they have to save a woman named Lady Wilkerson. The twist is that Higgins is in love with her but she thinks a love letter she sent is from Magnum. It’s a good, if not entirely indifferent episode, but I wish they would have put more bonus features on this three disc set.


Full Frame - 1.33:1. With the muted colors and lack of texture that seem to define the show’s of the 1980s, these pieces of TV seem to play perfectly into the compression stats of today’s DVDs. While I think releasing shows like this in Blu-ray or HD might be going a little bit overboard, overall I like the compactness of these episodes. Also, due to the lack of harshness that these images have, I never noticed any areas of overcompression.


English Dolby Digital 2.0 - Subtitled in English, Spanish and French. Okay, this might sound odd but I really like Tom Selleck’s voice. I think it perpetually sounds like he has a piece of either pie or bread in his mouth. One might think that this would make his voice somewhat inaudible, but I never had a hard time hearing anything that he had to say. There isn’t anything that amazing about the way the audio for these discs is designed, but considering the straightforwardness of these shows I don’t think their needs to be anything too outrageous.


All three discs that make up this 3 disc set are housed in their own slim plastic case inside a larger, vinyl, cardboard box. Tom Selleck graces the front cover with a purple and white Hawaiian shirt barely covering his chest. Also featured is the classic red Ferrari and the other main members of the cast. Images of the island are all around them. The back features a bunch of different shots from the show, a description of what it’s about, the aforementioned “Bonus Episode” listing and some technical specs. Nothing too amazing about the packaging, but like a lot of 1980s TV it gets the job done.

Final Word

Okay, I have to be honest, some of the plots on this show are a bit farfetched but I think that might be a minor complaint. The episode that really stands out is one in which a Russian Colonel who held T.C. and Magnum as POW’s comes back after them in Hawaii. It’s actually the first episode that kicks off this set titled Did You See The Sunrise?. While I am sure at the time this probably seemed like a great idea, looking at it now it just seems a bit out there. Still, the actor’s play this show with the 1980s sensibility that Vietnam instilled in them, and as a result it really handles the subject matter with kid gloves.

Magnum P.I.: The Complete Third Season was a very enjoyable show to revisit. While not one of my absolute favorites from this time period, it really is a piece of entertainment that has aged well over the years.

Magnum P.I. was released .