Magnum Mania! Banner

Previous Episode Next Episode

Birdman of Budapest

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 56
Season Number: 3.16
Air Date: 2/10/1983
Writer: Louis F. Vipperman
Director: Mike Vejar
Producer: Chas. Floyd Johnson
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Guest Stars
Sylvia Sidney ("Elizabeth Barrett"), Joseph Wiseman (Dr. Albert Tessa), Jacqueline Ray (Ms. Roebuck), Fritz Feld (Lars), David Kraul (Vladimir), Mel Cabang (Taxi Driver)
Episode Brief
Magnum helps a woman looking to interview a reclusive bird expert, unaware she's actually a KGB assassin out to kill the man for his involvement in the 1956 Hungarian revolt. Meanwhile, he has troubles collecting his fee from a man whose beautiful employee is tough enough to shoot out the Ferrari's windshield to keep Thomas at a distance from her boss.
7.8(53 votes)Rate Episode
1 The opening scene uses stock newsreel footage from the Uprising of 1953 in East Germany and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In two of the shots, dead bodies can be seen lying on the ground. The fictional scene with Tessa that immediately follows the stock footage is supposed to take place during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

2 This episode features one of the most outlandish, hilarious scenes to be found in the series! At "Ms. Barrett's" command, Magnum is attacked by her KGB-trained Macaw! Magnum (who already had his gun drawn) fires at the bird, but misses. Magnum is viciously clawed and bitten by "Merlin" and is in trouble! Higgins comes to the rescue by using his awful-sounding Peregrine Falcon birdcall [something which came up earlier in the episode] which scares the deadly parrot away. While fleeing the horrific screeches coming from Higgins mouth, the Macaw flies straight into T.C.'s hovering chopper blades, and is reduced to minced feathers! Only on Magnum P.I. can you see something like this folks.

3 Jacqueline Ray (Ms. Roebuck) was married to Tom Selleck from 1971 to 1982 and is the mother of Selleck's stepson Kevin (from a previous marriage). She previously briefly appeared in Season One's "J. "Digger" Doyle" (1.16).

4 Higgins states that he spent 11 years tending to the bush that "Elizabeth Barrett" had cut down. This would mean that he has been at Robin's Nest since at least 1972. This will later be verified in "The Case of the Red Faced Thespian" (4.12) where we learn that 1972 was the year that Higgins replaced the original majordomo of Robin's Nest, Lowell Xavier Jameson.

5 The Kualoa Ranch, Honolulu International Airport, Byodo-In Temple and the Honolulu Zoo are used as filming locations.

6 The handheld TomyTronic Pac-Man game returns. Rick plays it this time. It was first seen in "Black on White" (3.6).

7 Fritz Feld (Lars) is a highly-recognizable character actor who appeared in over 140 films, both silent and sound, over a sixty year career. His famous trademark, usually when his character was incensed, was to "pop" his mouth by slapping it with the palm of his hand to indicate his "superior" annoyance. You can see him do this in this episode, at the zoo, just after he feeds the monkeys.

8 A picture of a young Tom Selleck in college volleyball uniform can be seen on the guesthouse mantel in the opening Robin's Nest scene. This particular picture is usually not seen on the mantel (or anywhere else) in the guesthouse scenes. Selleck was an All-American volleyball player at USC.

9 The "Dragon Bar" scenes were filmed at the Oceania Floating Restaurant at Pier 6 in Honolulu Harbor. This location was used for Magnum & Michelle's flashback wedding scene in Season Two's "Memories Are Forever".

10 The taxi driver that helps with Ms. Barrett's suitcase is played by Mel Cabang, a well-known local Hawaiian musician/comedian.

11 "Elizabeth Barrett" makes mention of a previous case Magnum was involved in (never seen in the show), one that involved Hungarian acrobats. The Hungarian acrobats, presumably the same ones, were previously mentioned in "Of Sound Mind" (3.13) and will be mentioned again in "By Its Cover" (3.21).

12 The Ferrari suffers a shattered windscreen. Ms. Roebuck shot it out with a gun in an act of vandalism.

13 Joseph Wiseman (Dr. Albert Tessa) was Dr. Julius No in the famous 1962 James Bond movie Dr. No.

14 Higgins was in Berlin, just after WWII. He was in "deep cover with MI6".
Magnum: I promise, Higgins. No football games on the lawn, no gunfire before breakfast, no stewardesses unless they promise not to yodel, ok.

Higgins: Magnum, I implore you. I beset you. Take that woman to Tessa at once before I go irrevocably, irretrievably mad!!

(to the bartender)
Rick: Gimmee some brew, Drew.
T.C.: Ice tea, Lee. (laughs)

Higgins: Are you telling me that the woman who has been driving me mad for a week is an imposter?
Magnum: I'm afraid so, Higgins.
Higgins: Well, if she isn't Elizabeth who is she?
Magnum: KGB? Hungarian Secret Police? I don't know, it doesn't matter. What does matter is she came here after Tessa and I led her straight to him.

"Elizabeth Barrett": I hate you!
Higgins: The feeling madam... is mutual.
1 When Magnum empties the wine bottle, the white cloth falls off the bottle when he sits it back on the table. In the next shot, when Higgins goes to take it away, the white cloth is back on nice and neat. (Noted by Sheedos)

2 Magnum gets his face scraped up by a Macaw, but in the very next scene his face is fine, with no scratch marks.

Shoot me an email if you'd like to have something added or corrected

Magnum P.I. on DVD

All 8 seasons are now available for purchase! External DVD Reviews

Rubber Chicken's Guide Magnum P.I. Locations

Magnum on the Web