Magnum Mania! Banner

Previous Episode Next Episode

A Sense of Debt

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 71
Season Number: 4.8
Air Date: 12/1/1983
Writer: Jay Huguely
Director: Ivan Dixon
Producer: Reuben Leder
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Guest Stars
Denny Miller (Leon Platt), Shannen Doherty (Ima Platt), Greg Mullavey (Charlie Amos), Donald Gibb (Condley Willard), Robert Whiting (Claude), Barbara Sinclair (Wanda), Alan Trammell (Himself), Lou Whitaker (Himself), Todd Camenson (Detroit Bartender)
Episode Brief
After he runs into - literally - Vietnam veteran and professional boxer Leon Platt, T.C. steps into the ring in order to win a boxing prize that will save the man and his daughter from destitution. Higgins summons Magnum back from a job in Detroit to help before T.C.'s sense of guilt knocks him out for good.
8.1(39 votes)Rate Episode
1 The original script for this episode was titled "King of the Mountain".

2 This is the third "T.C.-centric" episode of the series, following "Thicker than Blood" (1.12) and "Past Tense" (3.5).

3 12-year-old, and future star, Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills, 90210) makes an early-career appearance here as Ima Platt. She was a Little House on the Prairie cast member (Jenny Wilder) when this episode was filmed.

4 Denny Miller (Leon Platt) previously appeared in Season Two's "Three Minus Two" (2.22) and will later appear in Season Six's "Photo Play" (6.21) as an FBI agent. Denny briefly played Tarzan in the late '50s and had some memorable roles on Gilligan's Island (as lost surfer Duke Williams, and as a method actor playing "Tongo the Ape Man") and The Brady Bunch (as Carol Brady's egomaniacal high-school boyfriend Tank Gates).

5 "Delta 4/1", Leon's unit that saved T.C. from his downed chopper in Vietnam, is in reference to Delta company 1/4 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. Delta refers to the U.S. Marines' Delta Company, which served in Vietnam and rescued many downed helicopter pilots. Leon's rescue of T.C. appears to be influenced by the Mayaguez incident of 1975, the last official battle of the Vietnam War.

6 T.C.'s nickname in the bare-knuckle, no rules boxing event is The Ebony Assassin of the East. T.C. mentions that he was Light Heavyweight Regional Gold Glove Champion at Camp Lejuene and "All-Southern Conference" at Grambling, but is cut-off. He's also seen wearing a Grambling sweatshirt.

7 Detroit Tigers stars Alan Trammell (shortstop) and Lou Whitaker (second baseman) make a brief apperance as themselves. Magnum briefly meets them at a bar near Tigers Stadium. Stock aerial footage of Tiger Stadium in Detroit is used for a brief establishing shot. Tiger Stadium was demolished in 2007. And Tigers manager Sparky Anderson is mentioned again.

8 Hollywood tough guy Donald Gibb (Condley Willard) previously appeared in "The Eighth Part of the Village" (3.4).

9 During her stay at the estate, Ima, without Higgins' knowledge, has re-named Zeus and Apollo, "Buster" and "Bobby-K". A memorable denouement has Higgins returning to the estate only to discover that Zeus and Apollo only respond to "Buster" and "Bobby-K"!
T.C.: Delta 4/1. It's a hell of a unit. They came in and drug me unconscious from a downed chopper in the middle of hell. They got there just before the V.C. would have got to me. Four of 'em bought it trying to save my neck, six more were wounded.

Leon Platt: Can't use these...
(removes boxing gloves from T.C.'s shoulder)
...This is King of the Mountain. Bare knuckles. No rules. Last man on his feet wins.

T.C.: Hey, this bare-knuckle stuff is easy!

Magnum: When you spend your every working day basking in the balmy breezes of paradise, when you play year round on the beautiful sunny beaches of the Pacific, where do you dream of going on a vacation? The answer is obvious: Detroit. Reason one: Detroit's a fun city. Reason two: There's a superior group of athletes there known as the Tigers! (Narration)

Higgins: You ran through a pen, striking Mr. Platt, who was chasing a pig?! It's so... Magnum-esque. The body has departed, but the spirit has remained behind to haunt me. Why?

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