Magnum Mania! Banner

Previous Episode Next Episode

Past Tense

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 45
Season Number: 3.5
Air Date: 10/21/1982
Writer: Reuben Leder
Director: Michael O'Herlihy
Producer: Douglas Green
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Kwan Hi Lim (Lt. Tanaka), Walter Chotzen (Icepick)
Guest Stars
James Wainwright (Morgan Lyden), Drew Snyder (Jack Curry), Pat Studstill (Floyd Bryce), Jim Reynolds (Eugene Goorwitz), Frank Atienza (Warden Gilmer), Clay Wai (Ernie Cobb)
Episode Brief
There's terror in the sky when two bad guys posing as tourists hijack T.C.'s helicopter and force him to fly to a nearby prison where a breakout is taking place.
8.2(51 votes)Rate Episode
1 Higgins and T.C. get a lot of screen time in this episode, much more so than usual.

2 Icepick makes his first appearance in the show! For this episode only, he is played by Walter Chotzen. Screen legend Elisha Cook Jr. will play him for all remaining episodes, beginning with Season Four's "Distant Relative" (4.4). Icepick has a sister named Delores.

3 There is not one female seen in this entire episode!

4 T.C. has been flying commercially for seven years which means he started sometime around 1975, close to when he left the military.

5 Similar to the Ferrari in "Try to Remember" (2.15) and "Did You See the Sunrise? (2)" (3.2) and the Audi in "No Need to Know" (1.5), T.C.'s chopper crashes and is pretty much totalled!

6 The ending scene at the isolated beach (with the WWII concrete bunkers) was filmed at Nimitz Beach in SW Oahu. (Noted by rubber chicken)

7 Higgins uses his theory that unconscious people can hear us on Theodore. He will experiment with it again on T.C. in "Under World" (5.5), and with Magnum in "Limbo" (7.22).

8 Lots of "Higgins History" revealed in this episode:
  • 1945, Burma - Involved in the Burma Railway (otherwise known as the "Death Railway") and worked on the infamous River Kwai bridge.
  • 1951, New Guinea - A Lt. Hilton Thorpe was staked out, covered with honey, with his eyelids slit. After that ordeal, the lieutenant had to wear sunglasses and hated sweets.
  • 1957, Geneva - Ran the Arlington Arms, a quiet hotel frequented by Dukes, Earls and, occasionally, Viscounts.
  • Congo (date unknown) - With a peacekeeping force where he interrogated Major Horling, a cold-blooded killer who worked with Morgan Lyden.
  • Sudan (date unknown) - Surrounded by 300 furious Sudanese when Binky Sliberton accidentally walked in a hut of one of the local witch doctors.
9 The mysterious "Hungarian acrobats" are mentioned for the first time by Magnum/Higgins. They will be referenced again later in the season in "Of Sound Mind" (3.13), "Birdman of Budapest" (3.16) & "By Its Cover" (3.21).

10 The "Peridasteaus fly" that Higgins mentions is fictional. There is no such fly.
Tanaka: Magnum, you stay in the bullpen. Right now, I'm on mound.

Higgins: You remind me of a chap I once served with in the Sudan, Binky Sliberton. Binky had the most disgusting way of using people, like the time Binky brought us all a gift of freshly killed chickens. We found ourselves surrounded by 300 furious Sudanese. It seems that Binky had wandered into the hut of one of the local witch doctors and...

Higgins: I must say Magnum, your propensity for alienating people never ceases to amaze me. What did you do to him??
1 Near the beginning of the episode, when Magnum drags the injured driver out of the truck just before the explosion, they are obviously stunt doubles that are blown to the ground. Also, watch the driver as he lands in a totally different position to the next shot where he is on the ground next to Magnum. (Noted by Jay-Firestorm)

2 When T.C.'s chopper is hijacked and lands at the prison, the landing skids are thin. When the chopper is in the air they become padded, and thin AGAIN just before they crash. (Noted by Mark S.)

3 When T.C. and Higgins are standing near the chopper after it has crashed, T.C. leans into the chopper without his David Clark pilot's headphones, but in the very next shot he has them on. (Noted by Pete Van Nort)

4 During the scene at T.C.'s office, Magnum locks the door on the way out, but when Tanaka and the police enter they don't reach around the broken glass and unlock it. (Noted by A P Leyland)

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