Black on White
Writer: Donald P. Bellisario
Director: Alan J. Levi
Producer: Douglas Green
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
(Doc Ibold), Gillian Dobb
(Edwin Clutterbuck), Lynne Moody
Magnum manufactures a fake quarantine in effort to keep an eye on and protect Higgins from Kenyans taking revenge for a 1950s massacre by killing members of Higgins' old army regiment.
This is the third "Higgins-centric" episode of the series, following "Tropical Madness
" (2.7) and "The Elmo Ziller Story
This episode features one of the best "twist" endings of the entire series!
Higgins' spinster friend Agatha Chumley (Gillian Dobb
), a fellow Brit, appears for the first time! Agatha will be seen in 28 episodes total. Agatha apparently isn't overly familiar with Magnum at this point in the series, as when Higgins mentions Magnum, she asks "That sordid man who lives in the guesthouse? The one who causes all the trouble?"
. Gillian Dobb has appeared on the show several times previously, in small roles as minor characters - see "The Elmo Ziller Story
" (as Sylvia), "Mad Buck Gibson
" (as Higgins' beach croquet partner), and "Ki'i's Don't Lie
" (as Mabel).
Future British star Ian McShane
) makes his second and final appearance on the show. He previously appeared in the early first season episode "Skin Deep
The handheld game that Rick gives Magnum is a TomyTronic Pac-Man
, a handheld version of the classic arcade game Pac-Man
, released in 1981. For copyright reasons, the identifying sticker has been removed from the top of the game. The game can be seen again in "Birdman of Budapest
" (3.16). (Noted by Shermy)
Higgins recites part of Lord Byron
's "lessar known"
poem "So, we'll go no more a roving
" (1817) - "For the sword outwears its sheath ... Yet we'll go no more a roving, By the light of the moon."
Magnum is seen eating Fig Newton's dipped in milk for the first time. We will see him eat this snack several more times to come, notably in "I Do?", "Smaller than Life" and "The Case of the Red Faced Thespian". Magnum also wears his gray U.S. Naval Academy t-shirt for the first time.
A wonderfully-spooky night shot
of London's Clock Tower
can be seen at the beginning of this episode.
Doc Ibold contracted African Hemorrhagic Fever in 1963 when he was in Nigeria with the Peace Corps.
Agatha mentions the Victorian era English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning
In the scene toward the end when Magnum is talking about paradise, he mentions that he came to Hawaii to get away from the "horrors of war". (Noted by VM02)
In 1953, Higgins was in Kenya and learned the ways of the Masai
. He was present during the Mau Mau Uprising
. They had been in the bush for one week when they found two missing Privates, horribly mutilated. It was a full moon. At midnight, they found the Mau Mau killers, but Jonathan was slashed in the thigh by a panga. He sent the lads on. They tracked the Mau Mau to the village of Berebe, where they massacred men, women, children. Higgins reported it and requested court martials for himself (even though he wasn't present) and his men, but he was absolved and the others just sent out of the country. The men included Private Buckminster, Private Taylor, and Private Edwin Clutterbuck, among others.
Magnum: Living alone has some terrific advantages - you can eat, sleep, go in and out, and burp whenever you want. It also has one terrific disadvantage - when you loose something, you've got no one to blame but yourself.
Higgins: Oh, my God!
Magnum: What's wrong?
Higgins: The London Blitz didn't look this bad! How can you live in such filth?
Magnum: It's not "filthy". It's just a little messy.
Magnum: What was it like?
Higgins: It was bloody. The Mau Mau came from the Kikuyu tribe. And the Kikuyu could be a savage people ... but then, so could we. They take away our bowlers
[hat] and school ties, remove us from our cities where others kill our meat, from our books and films, we vicariously live out our basery emotions, and set us down in the African bush where every living thing is killing or being killed. We could be as savage as any tribe on the face of the earth ... if you know what I mean.
Magnum: Yes, I've been there.
T.C.: Kiamani ... Bibi Kiamani. Ain't that pretty.
(Higgins is playing the handheld Pac Man video game and slowly walks up to Magnum)
Higgins: I say, Magnum, this is most difficult.
Magnum: Not really, kid. Of course, it does take excellent peripheral vision, intense concentration and quick reflexes to score really well.
Higgins: I'm sure I'll do better with a little practice. So far I've only reached 24,000. How many points have you scored?
(Magnum slowly turns his head and breaks the "4th wall" staring directly into the camera)
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