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The Elmo Ziller Story

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 39
Season Number: 2.21
Air Date: 3/25/1982
Writer: Robert Hamilton
Director: Mike Vejar
Producers: Rick Weaver, Andrew Schneider
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Glenn Cannon (Doc Ibold)
Guest Stars
Robin Dearden (Lexi Ziller), Barbara Rhoades (Marcella Ziller), Med Flory (Texas Gunman #1), John Dennis Johnston (Texas Gunman #2), Gillian Dobb (Sylvia), Henry Kapono (Dan), Carolyn Shofner (Cowgirl)
Episode Brief
Magnum meets Higgins' illegitimate half-brother, a swaggering Texan named Elmo Ziller, who was supposedly murdered. Now, Ziller's daughter asks Magnum to protect her father from ruthless killers, while Ziller asks Magnum to prove that his wife is trying to murder him. Meanwhile, Magnum can't help thinking that Higgins and Elmo are one and the same.
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1 This is the second "Higgins-centric" episode of the series, following "Tropical Madness" (2.7).

2 John Hillerman plays Texas cowboy Elmo Ziller, one of Higgins's illegitimate half-brothers. Elmo is from Hondo, Texas (about 40 miles west of San Antonio). At the end, we find out that "Elmo" was actually Higgins in disguise. Higgins met Elmo only once in his life, on June 6th, 1944 at Gold Beach! Higgins' first words to him were, "Get your ruddy posterior down before it's shot off!" We don't know for sure whether or not the real Elmo is still alive (after the truck bombing seen at the beginning of the episode). John will play two more half-brothers in future episodes, Fr. Patty McGuiness in "Faith and Begorrah" (3.23) and Don Luis Mangueo in "Who is Don Luis Higgins?" (6.19). He will also play his own father, Albert Stanley Higgins, in "Deja Vu (2)" (6.2).

3 Tom Selleck does most of his own horse riding for this episode.

4 Most of the rodeo acts are noticeably made up from pre-existing stock footage.

5 60's starlet Barbara Rhoades (Marcella Ziller) is best known for her role as lady bandit Penelope "Bad Penny" Cushings in The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968 Don Knotts comedy) and as Jodie Dallas's future wife, Maggie Chandler, in the legendary television series Soap.

6 Early in the episode, there is a scene where Magnum is searching for Higgins at the main house. The camera follows Magnum from room to room, giving the viewer a rare glimpse of the overall layout of the main house.

7 Robin Dearden (Lexi Ziller) previously guest starred in Season One's "No Need to Know" (1.5).

8 Rick and T.C. memorably dress up as rodeo clowns for part of this story. A shot of Rick as a clown, dodging a bull, will be used on the 3rd, 4th and 5th season title sequences. Rick looks like some sort of "Rasta-Clown", while T.C. looks positively frightening, like a "Psycho-Clown", or something!

9 The Japanese string quartet in the Belvedere Club is heard playing one of the most popular compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is the "Romance" of the Serenade No. 13 for Strings in G-major (KV 525 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"). (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulze)

10 T.C. is seen wearing a horizontally striped New York Yankees baseball cap.

11 The rodeo scenes were filmed at a real working corral in Waimanalo, the New Town and Country Stables. This location was previously used in Season One's "Adelaide" (1.14). (Noted by rubber chicken)

12 Gillian Dobb has a small role in this episode as Sylvia, the Belvedere Club desk clerk. Gillian will later play the major reccurring character of Agatha Chumley, starting with Season Three's "Black on White" (3.6). In the same scene, Walter Chotzen (uncredited) plays a bellhop. Walter will later play the first Icepick in Season Three's "Past Tense" (for one episode only).

13 Henry Kapono (Dan, the rodeo worker) is a famous Hawaiian musical artist. He's best known for his work in the popular contemporary hawaiian pop duo Cecilio & Kapono. You only see him briefly and he has only one line of dialog.

14 The "Belvedere Club" scenes were filmed at a private residence in Kahala. This same house will later be used in Season Three's "Foiled Again" (as Velma Troubshaw's home). Interestingly, the home was also used extensively in a 1974 Hawaii Five-0 episode ("How to Steal a Masterpiece"). (Noted by rubber chicken)

15 Higgins mentions playing Polo in India (date unknown).
Magnum: Howdy part...(laughs)... No, I can do it! I can do it! ... Here goes. Howdy partner, (laughs) you just ride into town? See, I'm headin' up to the ranch house to see Higgins. So you just be still and say right there... (chuckles)

(Magnum is determined to find out if Elmo is really Higgins or not)
"Elmo Ziller": What the hell are you trying to pull?
Magnum: I wanna pull your mustache!
"Elmo Ziller": You wanna what?!

Magnum: Higgins ... Higgins, listen to me. How ever you're doing this, why ever you're playing this game with me, stop it right now. Don't ride this [Bronco]. Look I know your pride, but you can quit right now.
"Elmo Ziller": Let her rip! (rides Bronco)

(to Magnum)
"Elmo Ziller": You must bring me the head of Marcela Ziller.

(to Magnum)
Higgins: You have more "dumb luck" than anyone I know.
1 The opening scene shows the attempt on Elmo's life as taking place in the "Texas Hill Country", but later the incident is described as having occurred outside El Paso, Texas. The two areas are not the same. They are, in fact, separated by some 450 miles! (Noted by David Wilton)

2 When Magnum comes back to the guesthouse after jogging his shirt is sweaty, yet when he enters the guesthouse his shirt is suddenly dry. (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulz)

3 In the scene beginning at mark 28:00 the same group of people can be seen passing back and forth in the background. The cowboy at 28:44 and 28:57, another one at 29:09 and 29:14, and the couple at 28:52 and 29:17. (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulz)

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