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The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 8
Season Number: 1.8
Air Date: 1/29/1981
Writers: Allan Cole, Chris Bunch, Frank Lupo
Director: Lawrence Doheny
Producer: J. Rickley Dumm
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Guest Stars
Michael V. Gazzo (Victor DiGorgio), Shawn Hoskins (Sharon Karns), Paul Gale (Steve Caldwell), Michael Nader (Mitch Caldwell), Kathleen Nolan (Gloria Marston), Jake Hoopai (Kono), Robert Harker (Chauffeur), Michael Hasegawa (Pier Guard)
Episode Brief
After an attempted dog-napping, Higgins volunteers Magnum's services to guard a wealthy socialite's quarantined dog. Things get complicated when the dog's former owner, Victor DiGiorgio, who also happens to be a notorious gangster, tries to get him back. In time, "Sir Algernon Farnsworth" finds himself to be the most wanted dog in Hawaii.
Rating
8.0(66 votes)Rate Episode
Notes
1 In the closing credits, mixed in with various shots from the story, are several bloopers and outtakes from the episode involving Tom Selleck and John Hillerman (visual only, an extended version of the closing credits theme song plays over them). This is one of only a handful of episodes to showcase bloopers or outtakes in the closing credits.

2 The familiar Mike Post & Pete Carpenter Magnum P.I. "iconic" theme song is heard for the first time in the closing credits, as well as variations of it in the episode score. This theme will soon become the standard opening credits theme song, replacing the original Ian Freebairn-Smith version in three episodes time (in "Thicker than Blood"). It should be noted that this version is looped and has a slightly different structure than the version that will be used for the rest of the series. The guitar and bass in particular are noticeably different, as well as the time signature.

3 Sir Farnsworth is played by Leo the Dog, a 12 year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Smooth Fox Terrier mix. Leo appeared in episodes of M*A*S*H and Kung Fu, and will later become a regular cast member of the 1982 television series Tales of the Gold Monkey (as "Jack the Dog"), another Donald P.Bellisario show. He passed away in 1989 at the age of 21!

4 Broadway playwright turned actor Michael V. Gazzo (Victor DiGorgio) played a nearly identical character in The Godfather Part II (as Frank Pentangeli), a role where he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

5 List of notable filming locations: 6 Veteran television actress Kathleen Nolan (Gloria Marston) was President of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) from 1975 to 1979. She was the first woman ever elected as President of SAG. She will make another appearance on Magnum P.I. in Season Two's "Double Jeopardy".

7 Higgins "breaks the fourth wall" ("locking eyes" with the audience) for the third time. Higgy Baby won't break the fourth wall again until Season Eight's "Legend of the Lost Art"!

8 The details of how this script came to be written and pitched to Don Bellisario can be found in this blog entry by scriptwriter Allan Cole.

9 The registration sticker on the license plate of Robin's GMC Jimmy says "1976". There also appears to be more than one brown and orange Blazer used in this episode. One had the rear tire carrier removed, a large dent in the passanger side door, standard late 70's-'80 plaid seats, and a loose headliner (behind the sun roof). The other has the spare carrier in place, no dent, leather and sheepskin seats, and the head liner is not loose. Also, notice in the shots where "Sir Farnsworth" is in back, how messed up the interior is. (Noted by N1095A)

10 The gangsters car at the airport was a 1979 (or 1980) Ford LTD sedan (with a tan interior and single set of lights). This model (with a wide hood ornament) in later years became the Crown Victoria. The other car they used was a Mercury Marquis (with a red interior). The Mercury Marquis was the vehicle Steve McGarrett used in Hawaii Five-O. The two guys at the gas station claimed to be from "Five-O" (another reference to the show on Magnum). (Noted by Tim)

11 Tennis greats Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg are mentioned by Higgins. He implies that they are going to be staying on the estate for a short time while they are in Hawaii!

* The SS Oceanic Independence's sister ship, the SS Constitution, will be featured heavily in Season Six's "All Thieves on Deck" (6.15).
** The pier will later be used as the homebase for T.C.'s Island Hoppers heli-charter business for many episodes.
*** Sunhala will later be used extensively in Season Seven's "Novel Connections" and the Murder, She Wrote crossover episode "Magnum on Ice", and has also appeared in episodes of Rockford Files ("The Hawaiian Headache"), Hawaii Five-0 (the "V For Vashon" trilogy), and Charlie's Angels (as the Angels' homebase in the five "Hawaiian" episodes of Season 5: "To See An Angel Die", "Angels of the Deep", "Island Angels", "Waikiki Angels", and "Hula Angels").
Quotes
1
Magnum: There are times when one human being really shouldn't take advantage of another, but this wasn't one of them.

2
(Magnum and Sharon are being chased by aging mobster Victor DiGorgio, and his nephews Steve and Mitch, through a banana field, when they stumble upon two pot farmers with rifles)
Magnum: Hi, guys.
Pot Farmer #1: Hey, you're tresspassing. I got the right to shoot tresspassers.
Sharon: We're not tresspassing... We're being chased.
Pot Farmer #1: You're being chased?
Sharon: Yes. Besides, the banana plantations were converted back to the government when the leases ran out, so we can't be tresspassing, especially since I work for the gov...
Magnum: Me! She works for me! We got a couple of guys following us from 5-0 on our tail.
Sharon: I thought you said they weren't from 5-0?!
Magnum: Well, not all of them. The Justice Department always sends a couple of local cops with one of their federal agents.
Pot Farmer #1: You've got the Feds after you?
Sharon: No!
Magnum: Yes! We came up here in our pickup truck with a load of c-leaves. We were looking for our patch when they jumped us. You see, we didn't realize you guys were already up here. I'm sorry.
Pot Farmer #1: That's ok.
Magnum: How far is the highway from here?
Pot Farmer #1: About a mile down.
Sharon: Thomas!
Magnum: What?
Sharon (Points to pot plants): This is cannabis! Grass!
Magnum: Yes! Yes, I know it is. Uh, your stuff looks much healthier than ours anyway.
Pot Farmer #1: Well, you should try our Puna buds, bra.
Magnum: Yeah, right. That's good stuff. Let's go! Let's go!
(Magnum and Sharon run for a bit, then stop)
Sharon: Come on.
Magnum: Just a minute, I wanna try to get a fix on where we are so I can let them [the cops] know about their little "patch".
(Multiple shotgun blasts heard off in the distance)
(Cut to Victor, Steve, and Mitch)
Steve: (regarding the pot farmers) Who the hell are they?
Victor: They gotta be moonshiners. There's gotta be a still around here somewhere.
Mitch (looks at Victor): They're growin' grass! We've stumbled upon their patch!
Victor: Grass? Why would anybody be growing grass in a bananna patch?

3
(The Lads are locked in a cage)
Magnum: Cheer up Higgins. They'll forgive you... someday.
Higgins: Oh, they quite understand... Believe me Magnum, I've explained to them precisely who's responsible for their incarceration. (smiles)
(The Lads growl at Magnum)
Flubs
1 It's very hard to see, but during the fight scene at the dog kennel (where Magnum gets stabbed with the needle), you can see one of the camera crew off to the side. You have to freeze frame it to see him clearly. (Noted by Gary Dalbianco)

2 During the car chase with the mobsters, between 21:22 and 24:28, if you look carefully you'll notice that two different cars are used for Victor's car. For most of the chase, one car has single headlights, while the other has double headlights (at 22:27, 23:47, and 24:12). (Noted by J.G. Manoukian)

3 Several times during the foot chase with the mobsters, you can hear the unmistakable sound of Kookaburras (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 (irregardless 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 "J. "Digger" Doyle". (Noted by Tony Smith)

4 Also during the plantation foot chase scene, at 25:50, a film crew camera shadow is easily evident on the left-hand side. (Noted by Marco Beardo)

5 Towards the end (when Steve and Mitch run Rick's white van off the road), Steve jumps in Rick's van, hijacks him at gunpoint, and says "...follow that car" (an Oldsmobile Cutlass-type car). The van follows the car, but in two separate aerial shots, the car is following the van, not the other way around! (Noted by Carmen & Giuseppe Raudino)


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