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The Black Orchid

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 16
Season Number: 1.16
Air Date: 4/2/1981
Writer: Robert Hamilton
Director: Ray Austin
Producers: Rick Weaver, Andrew Schneider
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Guest Stars
Judith Chapman (Louise DeBolt Jackson), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Christie DeBolt), John Ireland (Wyndom Jackson), Robert Apisa (Kimo), Robert F. Hoy (Bart), Ray Austin (Philippe)
Magnum has been hired by a woman to act out some of her rich, bored sister's fantasy dramas, concocted from 1930s Dashiell Hammett films, but soon finds himself involved in a real mystery.
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1 The King Kamehameha Club "Beach Bar" is seen for the first time! It will be used extensively in many future episodes and will become a fixture of the series. The King Kamehameha Club beach bar scenes are filmed at Waialae Beach Park on the south shore, near the Kahala Hotel & Resort and Waialae Country Club.

2 The syndicated version of this episode usually has the opening scene at the abandoned airfield completely removed. So at the end, when Louise says, "This time the drug dealers are using real bullets", it doesn't make any sense to the viewers. (Noted by grundle)

3 A couple of deleted scenes can be seen in the opening preview and the closing credits. In the opening preview, Christie (in a bikini) is seen talking to Magnum ("It's an attention-getter", she says). At the beginning of the closing credits, Louise and Christie (both in bikini's) are seen sitting at a table at the King Kamehameha Club beach bar, with Higgins standing next to them. Neither of these scenes are in the episode.

4 When Magnum P.I. ceased production in 1988, Tom Selleck, Larry Manetti and two business partners took ownership of a restaurant in Honolulu ("Restaurant Row", at Ala Moana Blvd and Punchbowl St.) and renamed it The Black Orchid, which according to Manetti was named after this episode. The restaurant was an upscale fine dining establishment. Unfortunately, it folded after only a couple of years of operation.

5 Magnum delivers a couple of really good Sam Spade (Bogart version) impersonations, including a delightful "play acting" scene with Judith Chapman. Magnum wears a fedora style Panama hat, a cheaper one likely manufactured in Cuenca, Ecuador. This is in contrast to the expensive Montecristi Panama hat that Frank Sinatra will later wear in Season Seven's "Laura". (Hat info by Tim)

6 Judith Chapman (Louise DeBolt Jackson) will appear again in the show in Season Two's "The Woman on the Beach" (2.3).

7 Kathryn Leigh Scott (Christie DeBolt) appeared with Tom Selleck in the 1979 movie (and failed TV show pilot) The Chinese Typewriter. She is perhaps best known for her role as Maggie Evans, the waitress-turned-governess, on the ABC cult serial Dark Shadows (from 1966 to 1970).

8 The scenes at Wyndom Jackson's house were filmed at the famous Dillingham Ranch in Waialua, on the North Shore. (Noted by Sam).

9 As mentioned by Higgins, Louise Jackson's Rolls Royce is a 1936 Gurney Nutting Sedanca Coupe.

10 The beautiful Rolls-Royce that Louise Jackson (The Black Orchid) is riding in on her first trip to the estate is a 1936 Gurney Nutting Sedanca Coupe. (Noted by seahawks1)

11 Episode director Ray Austin has a small part in this story (Philippe). He also has a small role in "Ms. Jones" (5.19), another episode in which he directs.

12 "Honolulu General Hospital" is fictional. The establishing shot is actually "Shriners Hospital for Children" at 1310 Punahou St.. (Noted by Sam)

13 The scene with Higgins talking about the black orchid (and how it's not possible in nature) can be seen briefly in the 1990 Quantum Leap episode "Another Mother". The scene is playing on a TV set and being watched by an 11-year-old girl in 1981. The camera actually zooms in on the episode and runs for a good 25-30 seconds (both Magnum and Higgins are seen/heard). Nice touch by Bellisario.

14 Stuntman/actor Robert Apisa (Kimo) makes his first of six appearances on the show.
Higgins: I don't think I've ever encounterd a Rolls of that vintage in the islands. It's simply impeccable.

Louise Jackson: Some wives drink, some take lovers...but I play.

Louise Jackson: ...Only because the touch of my hands drives you crazy.
Magnum: What?!
Louise Jackson: I feel it, too. It's the electricity, the chemistry between us. It's overwhelming. It's overpowering. Crushing us together.
(Magnum grabs Louise and pulls her close to him)
Magnum: I don't think you realize how vulnerable we really are. Rick and T.C.... I mean, the one-eyed man.
Louise Jackson: (whispers) The one-earred man.
Magnum: The one-earred man, of course.
Louise Jackson: I know you're fighting your Code of Honor, but this feeling is just too intense. You can't help yourself... and I can't resist.
(Magnum smiles at the camera, kisses Louise forcefully)

Magnum: Just wait one minute. You think you can just admit you sent those goons after me and then just walk away! I don't believe you people, you're just incredible!

Magnum: I know what you're thinking. After the phoney beach attack, I should have said goodbye to Louise. But you know something, I was starting to have a good time. Maybe she wasn't the only one who had fantasies about famous detectives who are heroes. (Narration)
1 In the opening scene, just after Louise shoots Philippe and his partner, there is a 3 or 4 meter distance betweem the two bodies on the ground. Seconds later, the bodies are much closer together. (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulze)

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