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Skin Deep

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 6
Season Number: 1.6
Air Date: 1/15/1981
Writer: Donald P. Bellisario
Director: Lawrence Doheny
Producer: J. Rickley Dumm
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Remi Abellira (Moki)
Guest Stars
Ian McShane (David Norman), Cathie Shirriff (Erin Wolfe), Ron Masak (J.J. Stein), Tommy Fujiwara (Dr. Makudo), Paul Dennis Martin (Helicopter Pilot)
Episode Brief
When a beautiful model-actress is killed by a shotgun blast in a scenario closely resembling a scene from the script of an upcoming film, it is seemingly suicide. Magnum is hired by her former producer and lover to investigate any other men that she may have been seeing before her death; a case that Magnum is reluctant to take, but, feeling guilty for not taking it before the girl was killed, agrees to.
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1 During the filming of this episode, in a low-flying aerial sequence, a Hughes 369D (N58243*) helicopter crashed into the ocean, tragically killing camera technician Robert Van Der Kar (and injuring the pilot Robert Sanders). The official NTSB report found the cause to be pilot error, a misjudgement in altitude (i.e. the chopper was flying too low). The NTSB suspended Robert Sanders' license for 90 days. An on-screen caption before the closing credits of this episode reads:

This episode is dedicated to camera technician ROBERT VAN DER KAR who died during its filming

2 Prior to this episode, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley and Larry Manetti were listed in the opening credits as 'co-starring'. Starting with this episode they will be listed as 'also starring'.

3 Don Bellisario was obviously inspired by the classic 1944 film noir movie Laura (wealthy woman believed dead from a shotgun blast to the face suddenly turns up alive later on) when he wrote this teleplay. (Noted by MaiTaiMan)

4 The standard episode preview score is used for the first time (although in a longer form than usual). Only heard in its entirety once, in the previous episode "No Need to Know" (1.5), this will go on to be the commonly used theme on the trailers, although it will be re-recorded several times over the show's run. (Noted by Jay-Firestorm)

5 This episode features several Vietnam War flashback sequences. During one of the flashbacks, Rick is shot and subsequently saved by Magnum.

6 The film script that Erin Wolfe is seen reading is 'Skin Deep by Donald P. Bellisario', the same title and writer of this episode.

7 Magnum wears the rarely seen black and purple "Jungle Bird" shirt for the first time!

8 Higgins uses a Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun and gold Ray-Ban Shooter glasses for skeet-shooting. For his camera, he uses a Zero Halliburton medium camera case.

9 Future British star Ian McShane (Lovejoy, Deadwood) will appear again in the series in Season Three's "Black on White" (3.6).

10 Magnum makes his first reference to writing a book on how to be a world-class private investigator - Page 1, "Investigate the crime scene".

11 The fictional Five-O police unit from the TV show Hawaii Five-O is mentioned again (Magnum pretends to be McGarrett) as being a real Honolulu police unit. Further evidence that Magnum P.I. and Hawaii Five-0 exist in the same "universe". Previously, Five-O and Steve McGarrett were mentioned in the "Pilot Movie".

12 Cathie Shirriff's (Erin Wolfe) acting career was short (17 titles) and her last credited film or television role was in 1985.

13 The house used for Erin Wolfe's residence will later be seen in Season Two's "The Woman on the Beach" (as Lisa Page's house) and Season Eight's "Forever in Time" (as the house where the Hawaiian princess used to live). (Noted by golfmobile & Sam)

14 At the King Kamehameha Club indoor bar, Magnum is seen drinking a fictional "Flagler Beer". This beer will later be seen in Season Four's "Distant Relative" (4.4).

15 A recycled musical score from the TV show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is used for the climactic chase scene involving Magnum, Erin, and David Norman. It's a John Cacavas score taken directly from an episode titled "A Dream of Jennifer". (Noted by Operation Chessboard)

* N58243 is the chopper with floatation gear and long skids seen in the opening credits and in the first several episodes. After the accident, the show began using a Hughes 500D (N1095A) chopper. (Noted by N1095A)
Magnum: Sorry Higgins. I wouldn't blame you if you set the dogs on me.
Higgins: I would, but they're obviously busy. (supposedly launching clay pigeons!)

Erin Wolfe: So, a woman can't go out like a man, huh? She takes pills, or swims out to sea, or slits her wrists, but she ain't got the guts to blood-up the old face? Isn't that what you said David? Huh? Well, here's one woman who's gonna take it right between the baby blues just to show you how smart you really are.

Magnum: ...David hired me to find your lover.
Erin Wolfe: I don't have a lover!
Magnum: David believes you do, because of all the weekends that you disappear.
Erin Wolfe: I was here! Alone!
Magnum: David didn't know that. He figured wherever your lover was, that's where you'd be. That's why he hired me, to find your lover. And once I led him to your lover, then he'd kill all three of us.

Magnum: Hey T.C.
T.C.: Yo!
Magnum: You ever think about 'Nam? I mean have memories flash through your head without really even thinking about it?
T.C.: Naw, never.
Magnum: Uh-huh, that's kinda what I thought.
T.C.: How about you?
Magnum: Who me? No.
1 In the opening scene, when Magnum awakens to the sounds of Higgins skeet shooting on the estate lawn, Magnum leaves the guesthouse and then immediately appears on the far south side of the estate, at the main house. The guesthouse is on the far north side of the estate. This is a common occurance on the show, with Magnum coming and going to the guesthouse by way of the back side of the main house (which is on the complete opposite end of the estate).

2 When Magnum is wiping his prints from the revolver that he inspects at Erin Wolfe's house he then uses his bare right hand to replace the gun on the wall, rendering the prints that he just wiped pointless! (Noted by Kurt Hanson)

3 In a Vietnam flashback sequence towards the end of the episode (with Rick shot and Magnum waiting to ambush the shooters), you can hear the unmistakable sound of Kookaburras, which are a native bird of Australia, "laughing" in the background. There are no Kookaburras in Vietnam! 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 (irregardless of whether the jungle in question takes place in Australia or not).The Kookaburras can also be heard in Season One's "The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii" and "J. "Digger" Doyle". (Noted by Tony Smith)

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