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The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 11
Season Number: 1.11
Air Date: 2/19/1981
Writer: Babs Greyhosky
Director: Winrich Kolbe
Producer: J. Rickley Dumm
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Remi Abellira (Moki)
Guest Stars
Gretchen Corbett (Christine Richards), Lew Ayres (Sidney Dollinger), Manu Tupou (Charlie), Sol K. Bright (Makua), Herman Wedemeyer (Coroner), Jo Pruden (Doctor), Elizabeth Smith (Mrs. Macao), Robert Oldt (Henry Lewis)
Episode Brief
Rick is organizing a surf-ski competition to be held at the King Kamehameha Club (much to the disapproval of co-committee member Higgins) when a Kahuna appears and places a "curse" on the club and all who use it. Magnum and others are skeptical, but it seems there may be something in it when one of the competitors suddenly collapses and dies, fire breaks out in the kitchen, and Rick falls ill. Magnum investigates to try and find if there is a more logical explanation behind the events, but his inquiries aren't helped by a hounding news reporter, who sees the series of strange incidents as a chance for a big news story.
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1 This episode features many "firsts":
  • First "Rick-centric" episode of the series.
  • First appearance of Magnum's surf-ski.
  • First use of the Magnum Chime audio motif.
  • First episode to take place completely away from Robin's Nest.
  • First mention of Rick's discotheque from the "Pilot Movie".
  • First time T.C. addresses Magnum as "T.M.".
2 This is the last episode to use the original Ian Freebairn-Smith theme song in the opening credits. Starting with the next episode, Mike Post & Pete Carpenter's iconic theme song, used on the end credits and in-episode incidental music since "The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii" (1.8), will be used throughout the remainder of the series' run.

3 The King Kamehameha Club surf ski race is 26.5 miles, from Molokai to Oahu. Out of 279 entrants, Magnum finishes a disappointing 58th. The race will be seen and mentioned in several more episodes to come.

4 Gretchen Corbett (Christine Richards) played attorney Beth Davenport in Seasons 1-5 of The Rockford Files. Tom Selleck had previously appeared in several episodes of that series as rival P.I. Lance White. Corbett is the first of several familiar Rockford Files faces to guest star in Magnum P.I., including Noah Beery Jr. in "All Roads Lead to Floyd" (1.13). Corbett will have another lead guest star role in "The Look" (4.9).

5 This is the last episode to feature Moki (Remi Abellira), the King Kamehameha Club bartender.

6 Hawaiian singer/entertainer Sol K. Bright (author of "Hawaiian Cowboy") has a small role in this episode as Makua. Sol is member of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

7 Academy Award (Johnny Belinda, 1948) and Emmy nominated actor Lew Ayres (Sidney Dollinger) played the Governor in the Hawaii Five-O pilot. (Noted by Tim)

8 When T.C. is talking to Magnum about the surf ski race, he briefly looks at the camera and clearly breaks the fourth wall. This is one of the few times anyone other than TM does this.

9 The historic Walker Estate in Nuuanu Pali is used as a filming location (Sidney Dollinger's home). It will be featured in seven future episodes.

10 Magnum wears the rarely seen black and purple "Jungle Bird" shirt again, instead of the usual red one. It was previously seen in "Skin Deep" (1.6).

11 Rick mentions the club that he owned in the "Pilot Movie", Rick's Cafe Americain (aka "The Snow Palace"). Here he refers to it as Rick's Cafe Americana. He even mentions Sam the D.J., and while it's not made overly clear, it seems that the club went bust.

12 The small country store that Magnum and T.C. drive up to was filmed at the Fujioka Store on the North Shore. The Fujioka Store was a plantation store for many years for the Waialua Sugar Company and its workers. The store is no longer there, but the Buddhist church behind it (Waialua Hongwanji Mission) can still be found there today. (Noted by Rajan Saigusa)

13 The King Kamehameha Club still has 45 years left on its lease, paying about $2000 a month.

14 On the closing credits, there is a shot of Magnum looking up and smiling at the camera (from the Rick's office) with the storm in the background; this shot was not used in the actual episode. (Noted by Jay-Firestorm)

15 The coroner is played by Herman Wedemeyer who was a regular cast member on Hawaii Five-O ("Duke" Lukela).

16 Magnum is seen parking the Ferrari in other peoples "Reserved" parking spaces at the King Kamehameha Club. We will see him do this again in future episodes.

17 The book that T.C. is reading in the Ferrari is The Kahuna (1972) by L. R. McBride.
Magnum: Hey Henry, how about a little one-on-one?
Henry Lewis: One-on-one with who?
Magnum: With me.
Henry Lewis: Oh come on, you gotta be kidding.

Charlie: I doubt his [the Kahuna's] powers can extend over you Magnum, but then ... you never know.

Christine Richards: You could have your own Ferrari, your own estate. You wouldn't have to borrow those things. You could buy them.
Magnum: That would take all the fun out of it, Christine.

(T.C. is reading from a book while riding in the Ferrari with Magnum)
T.C.: One of the most important rules about Kahuna's is summed up in one of their vows: Erm Janoa will keep thyself unknown. That is why curses are warning of death prayer...Death prayers?
Magnum: Keep going. That is why what?
T.C.: Um, That is why curses are warning of death prayers that are made known to their victims through the 'Mana'. Thomas, where did you get this book?
Magnum: I got it from Higgins. What else does it say about Kahuna's?
T.C.: Kahuna's look just like you and me... (both laugh) According to legend, the only way to know for sure if someone is a Kahuna is by the presence of a ruby flash, detectable in the eyes. (in a newscaster voice) "A ruby flash detectable in the eyes". Why am I reading this nonsense?
Magnum: Because I want to know what to expect when I find Makua.
T.C.: Makua?
Magnum: Yeah, he's the Kahuna that cursed the club yesterday.
T.C.: Whoa, whoa, whoaaa Thomas! You said you was taking me to some nice exotic place for lunch. You ain't mention nothin' about lookin' for no Kahuna!
Magnum: Take it easy T.C.. That stuff's all folklore anyway.
T.C.: Oh yeah? Well you tell that to Henry Lewis. (Who died at the club after it was cursed)

Christine Richards: Do you think the curse had anything to do with his illness?
Magnum: You're just not gonna give up are you! You're bound and determined to get yourself a splashing byline on network news! (Magnum violently slaps away the TV camera) Turn that damn thing off!
T.C.: Hey, hey Tom. Take it easy.
Christine Richards: I'm only trying to do my job. You ever heard of the first amendment?
Magnum: Oh look, I believe in freedom of speech too, but I'm sick and tired of you hounding me, making insinuations, and turing this whole thing into sensationalism. (points finger at Christine) Now you just stay out of my way!

(Rick has collapsed and is in the hospital, but they don't know what's wrong with him. The coroner has just told Magnum that Henry died of a potassium deficiency)
Magnum: Thanks, Doctor. You're a lifesaver!
Coroner: Lifesaver? I'm a Coroner!
1 When Magnum first visits Mr. Dollinger at his estate, as he is entering the room, you can see black tape on the floor on each side of Mr. Dollinger's chair, where Magnum and the maid are to stand for the next scene. (Noted by Gary Dalbianco)

2 While sitting at the pool with Magnum after the meeting with Mr. Dollinger, Rick tells Magnum that the board wants to cancel the "ski surf" race, rather than the correct "surf ski" race. (Noted by Travis Rutherford)

3 When Higgins, Rick and Magnum are in the upstairs office, Higgins is wearing a yellow and navy striped tie. Moments later, the fire alarm sounds and Higgins is seen in the kitchen with a burgundy and navy striped tie. The tie also switches back and forth in a later scene in the office. (Noted by Sam)

4 A boom mic shadow on the sugar cane can easily be seen for several seconds when Magnum, followed by Christine Richards and her cameraman, is walking to meet up with T.C. (who has a sore shoulder). (Noted by Jacob Accurso)

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