The Taking of Dick McWilliams
Writer: Diane Frolov
Director: Winrich Kolbe
Producers: Rick Weaver
, Andrew Schneider
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
(Dick McWilliams), Irene Yah-Ling Sun
(Mitsu McWilliams), John Fujioka
(Nishimoto), Moe Keale
(Kaholo), Reri Tava Jobe
(Gloria Bower), Barbara Kelly
(Woman on Boat), Esmond Chung
The Japanese wife of an old Navy buddy comes to Magnum for help when her husband is kidnapped and held for ransom. She asks Magnum to handle the ransom drop without telling her father, who never approved of the marriage in the first place. However, the deeper Magnum gets into the case, the more suspicious he becomes of the circumstances.
Episode screenwriter Diane Frolov
will go on to produce and write for Northern Exposure
and The Sopranos
, among others. She was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award
for best dramatic series for her work on the sixth season of The Sopranos
. This is her second screenplay for the show. She previously penned the "Dead Man's Channel
" (2.2) episode.
This episode features a wonderful, memorable Magnum-Higgins scene. Their "rocky beach" scene
poignantly illustrates the complex but caring father-son relationship that Higgins and Magnum share. The scene is truly a "gem in the rough", and flies in the face of those with dismissive views of Magnum P.I.
as yet another 80's "musclehead" cop/detective show.
More evidence that Hawaii Five-O
exists in the same "universe" as Magnum P.I.
; after tracing a list of owners from possible cars that the kidnapper escaped in, T.C. comments "... The first one was a cop from Five-0. Figured he probably wasn't our man."
Rick asks, "What was his name?"
, to which T.C. replies, "McGarrett"
. McGarrett is, of course, the lead character in Hawaii Five-O
and is played by Jack Lord
. This is the third time McGarrett is mentioned by name, following the "Pilot Movie
" (1.2) and "Skin Deep
Native Hawaiian actor/singer Moe Keale
) makes his first appearance on the show. He will later be seen in "Murder 101
" (5.8) and "The Aunt Who Came to Dinner
" (7.20). Moe played Det. Truck Kealoha on Hawaii Five-0
List of notable filming locations:
(All locations ID'd by rubber chicken)
At this stage in the Magnum
series, Rick (at least some of the time) gets his information from a guy named "Shaky", not "Icepick". Icepick won't enter the scene until Season Three.
At the 40:20 mark, you get a very clear image of the famous Rainbow Towers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
in Waikiki (where T.C.'s helicopter operated out of). (Noted by Tim)
8 Irene Yah-Ling Sun
) will appear in Season Three's "Flashback
In 1948, Higgins was in Mandalay when Burma gained its independence. One of the lads was kidnapped because of his involvement with the daughter of an oriental tea merchant. As an aide to the former British governor, Higgins wanted to investigate, but it was out of his jurisdiction. The local authorities eventually found the comrades decomposed body. It was awful, as he was the finest cricket player in the regiment!
* This location will be used for many of the scenes in Season Four's "Operation: Silent Night" (4.10).
** This house is now the home of the William Twigg-Smith Gallery, which is part of The Contemporary Museum Honolulu.
Higgins: Good afternoon.
T.C.: Hey, Higgy-Baby.
T.C.: You expect me to hop over all 13 of these islands?
Magnum: That's the name of your service isn't it, Island Hoppers?
T.C.: Yeah, I'm thinking about changing it to Magnum's taxi service!
Magnum: Rule One in kidnapping cases: Always call the Police. Rule Two in kidnapping cases: Never call the Police. The truth is you flip a coin and take your chances.
(being evasive about how he got his black eye)
Rick: She was a BIG nun!
Kaholo (Moe Keale) and Dick have been "fishing buddies" for many years, and yet Mitsu cannot (a) visually identify Kaholo at Dick's kidnapping, (b) identify Kaholo's girlfriend Gloria's car that Gloria (Reri Tara Jobe) claims Kaholo uses frequently, (c) identify Kaholo's voice as the kidnapper at the kidnapping, or when he calls their house, or (d) identify the existence or location of the beachshack Dick and Kaholo use frequently. Mistu even has two nearly identical photos of Kaholo and Dick on the side table at her house, but the kidnapper's identify seems to be a total mystery! No wonder Magnum thinks she's in on it! (Noted by J.G.)
When Rick is stationed with binoculars in some shrubbery near the kidnapper's ransom pickup point, he radios to Magnum and T.C. in the helicopter, "This is Red Dog... Charlie spotted. Masked man riding yellow Bronco, over."
The vehicle is not yellow; it is orange with a black accent stripe and a white top. And it's not a (Ford) Bronco. It is a Jeep. What exactly is Rick looking at? (Noted by J.G.)
In the various helicopter scenes, a close look at the reflection in T.C.'s sunglasses shows that the helicopter is still on the ground! In fact, the reflection is so clear that you can see the same mountain peaks in the reflections no matter where Magnum and T.C. are supposedly flying in the helicopter. (Noted by J.G.)
Magnum, T.C. and Rick use license plate numbers collected during the kidnapper chase to locate several car owners. When Magnum locates Gloria Bower, he asks her, "Do you own a blue, 1974, sedan with license plate number AFF 444?"
This flub is astonishing because her car used at the kidnapping is a coup (two door) 1966 Ford Galaxie, and not a 1974 sedan (four door). Moreover, if you look at the kidnapping scene, the kidnapper's car license plate number is BNN 677, not AFF 444! Remarkably, Gloria is incapable of identifying her car's year, make, model, or license plate number. On the bright side, she got the color correct... it is
blue. (Noted by J.G.)
When Magnum and T.C. visit Dick and Kaholo's beach shack (36: mark) there is supposed to nobody there, but when they approach the shack you can see pants and shoes of crew members moving under the stack in the space between the floor and the ground. (Noted by Philippe Vezes)
Also at the beach shack, when Magnum and T.C. first arrive, the shack has large, wooden window shutters on all of the windows. But when they go inside, the shutters are missing from the two windows behind the actors. The film crew likely removed the shutters to increase ambient lighting.
During the fight sequence (after the 45:30 point), it is very clear that they are going back and forth with stunt doubles, especially just before and after Magnum gets kicked in the head. (Noted by Tim)
Shoot me an email if you'd like to have something added or corrected