Mr. White Death
Writer: Reuben Leder
Director: Jeff Haden
Producer: Chas. Floyd Johnson
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
(Earl Gianelli), James Edgcomb
(Phil Lewis), Linda Ryan
(Cora Gillson), James Grant Benton
(Harry Meacham), Ric Marlow
(Salvatore Marchese), Lord James Blears
(Referee), Farmer Boy Ipo
(Big Zongo), Reri Tava Jobe
(Jo), Robert Apisa
An aging, former professional wrestling champion asks Magnum to find his long-lost son, but elements of his story do not ring true.
Surprisingly, the legendary Ernest Borgnine
) does not receive a 'Special Guest Star' billing for this episode.
The DVD version of this episode has gaps for all the commercial breaks, which is rare for the DVDs. Most of the episodes on the DVDs have abridged commercial breaks.
This episode opens with a flashback scene to Miami in 1955. Stock aerial footage of Miami is used, but no scenes were actually filmed there. Miami (1975) will be used in the opening flashback scene of "Way of the Stalking Horse
Magnum's injured right index finger from the previous episode "Foiled Again" (explained as something that happened while Magnum was coaching T.C.'s Pee-Wee football team) appears to have been a real injury that Tom Selleck suffered around the time "Foiled Again" was filmed. The injured finger is noticeable (although unbandaged) in several scenes of this episode as well. (Noted by Lady Annella)
5 Ms. Jones
), the "Hall of Records" clerk, is seen for the first time. She will be seen again in "Blind Justice
" (5.7) and "Ms. Jones
" (5.19). The nameplate on her desk gives her name as "Ms. W. Jones", but we learn in "Ms. Jones" that her first name is "Madeline".
List of notable filming locations:
7 Lord James Blears
) is a pro wrestling icon from the late '40s to the early '60s. "Lord Tally Ho", as he was called, and Gene Kiniski
were World Tag Team champions from 1952-1956. He was later a famous announcer and promoter for the local Hawaiian wrestling scene in the '60s and '70s. Blears will appear again on the show, as a bartender, in Season Four's "Squeeze Play
The Samoan wrestler (Big Zongo
) who wrestles with "Mr. White Death" at the beginning is played by Farmer Boy Ipo
, a real life Samoan wrestler who performed mostly in Hawaii. He was part of a tag team duo known as "The Samoan Connection".
Tom Selleck's main stunt double & stand-in (Tom Lupo
) makes an uncredited appearance as one of the bad guys who is looking for Earl
. He has a line ("We finally got ya Gianelli"
), but still receives no screen credit. (Noted by IslandHopper)
Poor Rick takes a real pounding in this episode. He gets hit in the face no less than four different times!
As Magnum is leaving the "Hall of Records" for the last time (just after he gives Ms. Jones his handkerchief for the second time) and is walking out of the building towards the Ferrari, you can see a woman looking out a groundfloor window in the direction of the cameras
. From her reaction, she doesn't appear to be an "extra", but rather someone who works in the building who happened to look out her office window just as the cameras were rolling! (Noted by IslandHopper)
More random clothes changing is seen. Both Magnum and Phil Lewis wear different outfits in what appears to be the same day. Also, during the same driving scene, Magnum wears both his Detroit Tigers cap and his Da Nang cap!
T.C. wears his Hughes Helicopters cap for the third time.
14 James Edgcomb
) previously appeared in Season Two's "The Last Page
Magnum mentions the "hot tub" at the estate again. Previously mentioned in Season Two's "From Moscow to Maui
" (2.4), the hot tub will never be seen. Higgins mentions playing a game of billiards (with Earl) at the estate. The pool table was briefly seen in the "Pilot Movie
", but it is never seen again.
Higgins history learned in this episode:
- When Higgins was in the West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Own) his nickname was "Punkie"!
- In WWII, he was in Anzio, Italy during part of Operation Shingle. His friend Corky Bostwick "took a terrible hit". Corky later became a pro wrestler known as "The One-Legged Limey". For a time, he wrestled with Earl in South America.
- His regiment was once stationed in Rangoon (date unknown, but probably in 1945). "Life was quiet, peaceful, tranquil, until Lt. Hilton-Thorpe was transferred in. Then it became a ghastly and depressing business."
- In '51 or '52, he was in Liverpool, where he became a wrestling aficionado after watching his first professional match there. The match featured Yuri Karamazov*, "the Russian Bear".
At the first wrestling match, Pablo Cruise
('70s pop/rock band) and The Whispers
(R&B vocal group) posters can be seen on the wall behind T.C. and Magnum.
* The name "Yuri Karamazov" is fictional. The real "Russian Bear" is Ivan Koloff, who didn't start wrestling until the late '60s.
Earl Gianelli: Yeah, the Mag's puttin' me up for a couple of days.
Higgins: The Mag!?... How Magnaminous.
T.C.: Come on, Rick. You gotta learn how to defend yourself. That way, you won't have to depend on your freinds all the time to defend you.
Magnum: I remember when I was five years old, I found this little puppy in the street. It had been hit by a car and was in pretty bad shape, so, I brought it home and my dad and I took it to the vet. One hundred twenty bucks. The little puppy grew into a big Saint Bernard. It ate a five hundred dollar couch and my dad's favourite armchair. The next day, my dad put it in the back yard, where it dug under the fence and ran away. Ever since then, I've been wary about taking in big, adorable pups, one of life's lessons you just have to keep learning over, and over again.
The opening scene is supposed to take place in 1955 Miami. However, when Sal Marchese enters Joey's Barber Shop he gets a magazine before sitting down in the barber chair. The magazine Sal picks up is a National Geographic from April 1982. (Noted by IslandHopper)
Roger E. Mosley's stunt double (Bob Minor
) can easily be identified in two seperate scenes - (1) towards the beginning, during the brawl backstage at the club Earl is wrestling in, (2) at the estate, when Earl is showing T.C. the "Tazmanian Tiger Dance". Larry Manetti's stunt double can also be identified in the scene where Earl is twirling Rick on his shoulders. (Noted by IslandHopper)
When Magnum races towards the estate's main building, the shot of the car's wheels as they skid to a halt is actually backwards, because the dust from the ground is being sucked under the wheels instead of being kicked up from the wheels.
Higgins says he lost touch with Corky Bostwick after Corky was injured during Operation Shingle
in Anzio, Italy during WWII, yet in "One More Summer
" (2.17) and "The Case of the Red Faced Thespian
" (4.12) Higgins mentions being with Corky in India in 1949!
When Earl is showing T.C. and Rick the "Tazmanian Tiger Dance" move, and Earl flips Rick, Rick falls forward and the bottom of his shoes are white. When Earl shows them both the "Detroit Death Grip" Rick falls on the groung again, but this time the bottom of his shoes have heals and are black. (Noted by Mark Seaman)
As Phil is walking toward Earl at the Airport, you will see "Dole" Pineapple boxes to Phil's left. Some of the boxes have what looks like white tape covering a portion of the "D" in Dole in an attempt to make it look like a different brand (i.e. "Cole"). However, one of the boxes does not have the white tape covering the "D." Regardless of the tape covering the "D", you can still tell very easily that they are "Dole" Pineapple boxes. Just as Phil stops briefly, you can see a Skycap in the background carrying a "Dole" box. The "D" on the front of the box has the white tape to make it look like "Cole", but the "D" on the side of the box is not covered by the tape and clearly says "Dole". (Noted by IslandHopper)
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