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J. "Digger" Doyle

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 17
Season Number: 1.17
Air Date: 4/9/1981
Writer: Donald P. Bellisario
Director: Winrich Kolbe
Producers: Rick Weaver, Andrew Schneider
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Orson Welles (Robin Masters - voice only), Patrick Bishop (Pat)
Guest Stars
Erin Gray (Joy "Digger" Doyle), Stewart Moss (David Clark), Ric Marlow (Rene), Jacqueline Ray (Lisa), Diane Crowley (Mrs. Blaisdell)
Episode Brief
Magnum tries to impress a beautiful fan of Robin's that he befriends by showing her Robin's Nest, only to learn that she is actually a top security expert hired by Robin to test the estate's security after receiving a threat on his life.
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1 According to Higgins, the Robin's Nest property covers 200 acres ("extending from the mountains to the sea"). Only the five acre main compound is wired for security, however. In addition to the Oahu estate, Robin Masters also owns the following properties: An apartment in Manhattan, a villa in Andros, and a chalet in Innsbruck. We also learn that Robin dictates his novels, rather than writing them.

2 This is one of the very few episodes where Robin Masters makes an on-screen "appearance" (body doubled by Bruce Atkinson) and one of only two episodes where he actually visits the Estate (the other being Season Three's "The Big Blow"). His face is never seen in any episode, only his body is seen. This is also one of only two episodes in which Orson Welles receives an onscreen credit for providing the voice of Robin Masters. Welles voiced two other episodes uncredited.

3 Many people believe that this episode (and Season Three's "The Big Blow") proves that Higgins is not Robin Masters (as is hinted at in future episodes), as Robin appears in person at the same time Higgins is around. This indeed proves that Robin Masters is a real person, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Robin is the one who writes the novels and owns/runs the Estate. Higgins could easily have hired someone to perform this role (to make appearances and take the credit for writing the novels). Higgins would have an interest in doing this because the nature of the novels ("tawdry pulp novels") would sully his family name. So, he ghost writes the novels, pockets most of the money and lives the kind of life he wants to live (in anonymity) on Oahu.

4 There was a short-lived attempt to spinoff Erin Gray's "Digger" Doyle character into a seperate show, but it never got off the ground.

5 The estate drawing that Digger uses to formulate a defensive plan is notable for several reasons:
  • The estate's guesthouse and tennis court are "incorrectly" shown as being to the left of (or behind) the main house, when they are in fact on the far right side (north side) of the property (and closer to the ocean).
  • The drawing makes the property appear much bigger than it really is (three acres). The amount of property between the main house and Kalanianaole Highway (61) is too large. In reality, Kalaniana'ole Highway (61) is much closer to the main house.
6 The Golden Spike is the second Robin Masters novel to be named in the show. All total, there will be thirteen Robin Masters novels identified.

7 Jacqueline Ray (Lisa) was married to Tom Selleck from 1970 to 1982, and is the mother of his son Kevin. She will appear again on the show in Season Three's "Birdman of Budapest" (3.16).

8 T.C. calls Higgins "Higgy-Baby" for the first of many times to come. We also hear Higgins' full name for the first time, Jonathan Quayle Higgins III. (Noted by Jay-Firestorm)

9 Robin Masters' car in the opening scene is an extremely rare, pre-1962 Rolls-Royce Phantom V! The bodywork is by James Young rather than the standard factory bodywork. This car will also make an appearance in Season Three's "Of Sound Mind" (3.13). His plane is a Lockheed Jetstar II, one of only 40 built. (Noted by Reg & Tim)

10 The "Laseronics" setting (both inside and outside) was filmed at the Kaneohe Omega Transmitter station* [Google Map], a USCG facility that was used to transmit very low frequency signals for global radio navigation (mainly for aircraft). Magnum says he was at one time stationed at the transmitter station when he was in the Navy. The Omega stations (there are nine total around the world) were permanently terminated in 1997 due to the success of the Global Positioning System. The building is still there today, but it is not open to the public. The long flight of stairs on the side of the mountain (adjacent to the Omega transmitter station) that Magnum and Digger climb is the Haiku Valley Ladder, also known as "The Stairway to Heaven".

11 "Five-O" (from Hawaii Five-O) is mentioned again. At about 47:25, when he interrupts Magnum and Digger, Higgins reports that "Five-O" had apprehended people at the airport. (Noted by Tim)

12 The unusual red upright phone on Higgins desk (Mr. Masters private line) has been changed to a more conventional phone. (Noted by Tim)

13 Lots of "Higgins History" in this episode:
  • He was a Sergeant Major with the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own), an infantry regiment of the British Army, in WWII. The PWO was active from 1685 to 1958.
  • He entered WWII in 1942 under Field Marshal Harold Alexander's command in the British/American 15th Army Group. A group of Tuaregs captured him, but he was unable to bribe them. It was 130 degrees in the shade. He was tied out in the heat without a hat in the desert, and was always afraid of the sun after that experience.
  • Later in 1942, Higgins raided a Jerry supply dump with the lads and ran into some Bedouin women with a dromedary that spit all the time.
  • On October 8, 1942 Higgins got supplies to Chinese guerillas high in the Himalayas with 25 men and a Sherpa guide. They hit snow at 10,000 ft. and were burdened by 50 lb. packs; they lost the guide in an avalanche at 12K ft.
  • In 1967 in North Wales, Higgins was with the Army Investigative Unit. He had a fascinating case: A private killed a corporal in the latrine because the sergeant told the private all corporals are homosexual but straighten up again when they get their stripes.
* The Kaneohe Omega Transmitter station was also used in a 2010 episode of Lost ("Happily Ever After"), for both inside and outside filming.
Robin Masters: It was the Paris of Hemingway and Fitzgerald that Mark sought, even though he knew it only existed on celluloid and in the yellowing pages of books. A Paris of absinthe and rainy afternoons and warm women. He concentrated on those images when the pain from the....
(short while later)
A laser beam cut through the night like the singing sword, lighting the black with Merlin-like pyrotechnics. It was at that precise moment that Mark realized Madonna had tried to kill him. It was absurd, but all Mark could think was that the sound of the laser shattering the window was precisely like the tinkle of ice against crystal....
(short while later)
He tried to remember that she had sold the laser chips to Vladimir and because of that he could die, but he couldn't resist her. The soft silk of her gown clinging suggestively to her body seemed to Mark like the label on the bottle of a Lafite Rothschild, which could only hint at the pleasures that lay within.
- narrated passages from an unnamed Robin Masters novel

Magnum: Higgins, you ok? It's me, Magnum.
Higgins: Zeus, Apollo, kill!
Magnum: Must be a reflex action.

Rick: You're never gonna stay in shape drinking beer, Thomas.
Magnum: Oh, look who's talking. The only excercise you get is walking between the bar and the dining room.
Rick: You don't have to excercise to stay in shape. All you have to do is get a lot of rest and drink a lot of fruit juice.
Magnum: Sounds like the cure for the flu.

Higgins: I still don't know how you knew Robin's tapes were in the guesthouse?
Magnum: Robin asked me to hold them for him the last time he was here.
Higgins: You mean you had them in the guesthouse all along?
Magnum: Yes, now Higgins...
Higgins: Where were they hidden?
Magnum: They weren't. I just put them with the rest of my cassettees.
Higgins: You mean, you had Robin's manuscripts just laying out in the open, with Jefferson Starship, Blondie, and Styx?
Digger (laughs):
Magnum: There is also Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. Now Higgins, if you don't mind, Digger and I were comparing investigative techniques.
1 The opening scene in the south of France has two flubs: (1) The road features yellow lane markings, but in France they are always white, (2) Just before the fadding of this scene, you can see in the background 3 road signs for directions to 3 Cities - Marseille (22 km), Aix-en-provence (6 km) and Meyrargues (5 km). These are incorrect distances between the three cities. It is physically impossible to be at the same time 22 km from Marseille, 6km from Aix-en-provence and 5 km from Meyrargues! (Noted by Philippe Vezes)

2 At the King Kamehameha Club beach bar, Rick is drinking fruit juice and reading a book on fruit juice. The color of the fruit juice in his glass changes several times (lighter/darker), as does the amount of juice (full, half-full, etc.). (Noted by IslandHopper)

3 When Magnum rescues a kidnapped, drugged up Higgins and carries him piggy back up the mountain, there are several medium distance shots which clearly shows Higgins to be ... a doll! You can see the arms and legs flopping around in unnatural ways.

4 At the 27:22 mark, when Higgins is driving the Audi, several Magnum P.I. film crew members (and a camera) can briefly be seen off to the side of the road, just before he stops the car. (Noted by Rich Currey)

5 The word "lay" (a transitive verb meaning "to place or put") is used incorrectly by both Magnum and Higgins, instead of "lie" (an INtransive verb meaning "to recline or rest in place"). When Magnum was LYING on the sofa in the study, he said he was just going to "lay there" (it should be "lie there"). Then, in the last scene, when Higgins asked about Robin Masters' tapes, he asked if they were just "laying there" with Blondie, Styx, etc.. Higgins would never misuse "lay" for "lie"! (Noted by golfmobile)

6 During the escape scene at "Laseronics", when Magnum and Digger are scoping out the front gate, you can hear the unmistakable sound of Kookaburras, which are a native bird of Australia, "laughing" in the background. There are no Kookaburras in Hawaii! This can be forgiven, however, because Kookaburra "laughing" calls have been used in many films or television shows that require a "jungle sounds" backing track (regardless of whether the jungle in question takes place in Australia or not). The Kookaburras can also be heard in Season One's "Skin Deep" and "The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii". (Noted by Tony Smith)

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