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Home From the Sea

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 64
Season Number: 4.1
Air Date: 9/29/1983
Writer: Donald P. Bellisario
Director: Harvey S. Laidman
Producer: Reuben Leder
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Gillian Dobb (Agatha Chumley)
Guest Stars
Robert Pine (Lt. Thomas Sullivan Magnum III, 1950), Susan Blanchard (Katherine Magnum, 1950), R.J. Williams (Magnum, 1950), Constance Forslund (Sandy), Geoff Heise (Goffrey Bonner)
Episode Brief
Magnum's tradition of spending the Fourth of July alone at sea turns to a life-and-death battle when his surf ski capsizes from a reckless boater and a strong current takes him further and further from land. Forced to tread water for hours in shark-infested waters, Thomas uses his memories of his mom and dad to keep himself alive while Higgins, T.C., and Rick begin a frantic search for him.
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1 This episode is sometimes referred to by fans as the "Treading Water" episode, as Magnum is literally treading water in the ocean for virtually the entire episode. This is one of the few episodes that does not feature any villians, or bad guys.

2 This is the first "Fourth of July" episode. Magnum's annual tradition of spending Fourth of July alone will also be featured in Season Seven's "Death and Taxes" (7.6) and "Solo Flight" (7.16). Magnum's dad came "Home From the Sea" on July 4th, 1951. His jet was shot down in the Korean War.

3 R.J. Williams received a 1985 Young Artist Award nomination for Best Young Actor, Guest in a Television Series for his portrayal of young Thomas Magnum in this episode.

4 The Ferrari has been upgraded! The 1980 308 GTSi has been replaced with a brand new 1984 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole! The '84 has black (rather than body color) vents on the front hood and a black spoiler on the rear roof panel. This is the last upgrade the Ferrari will have on the show. Larry Manetti reportedly bought the 1980 model for himself when it was replaced by the Quattrovalvole.

5 This episode was included in the 2011 The Best of the 80s: Magnum P.I. 2-disc DVD set from Universal, along with six other classic Magnum P.I. episodes ("Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii", "Memories Are Forever", "Blind Justice", "The Kona Winds", "Limbo" and "Resolutions").

6 Magnum's watch, the one given to him by his father, is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master (ref. 16750, with the "pepsi" bezel). This is a new watch. In previous seasons (1-3), Magnum wore a Chronosport Sea Quartz 30.

7 At the funeral, Magnum's father is referred to as Thomas Sullivan Magnum Senior. In "Resolutions (1)" (8.12), the last episode of the series, we learn that Magnum's grandfather (on his father's side) is also named Thomas Sullivan Magnum, and apparently so is his father. Thus, using the finale as canon, Magnum's correct full name is Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV.

8 Susan Blanchard plays Magnum's mom in the flashback sequences. Broadway star Gwen Verdon will play Magnum's mom in the present in several future episodes, starting with Season Six's "Going Home" (6.7).

9 The Hawaii Islanders were a real minor league baseball team (1961-1987) that played their home games at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

10 The polo scenes were filmed at the New Town and Country Stables in Waimanalo. This location was used for many scenes in Season Two's "The Elmo Ziller Story" (2.21). (Noted by rubber chicken)

11 We learn that Magnum was born in 1945. This contradicts the 1/05/1946 date shown on Magnum's driver's license in "Memories Are Forever (1)" (2.5).

12 The estate's phone number is 555-2100. In "Luther Gillis: File #001" (5.10) the number is given as 555-2481.

13 At some point earlier in his life, Higgins attempted to swim across the English Channel. He almost made it, but had to give up because of a nosebleed.

14 Higgins says that "just after the war" he was in Pakistan, where he encountered Lt. Teddy Fabishaw, a good officer but one with an unfortunate compulsion to worship lizards. Teddy lost his commission when he was caught with a Colonel's daughter performing an unspeakable act with an iguana! (Noted by Stephen Huntley)
Magnum: I've always felt at home on the ocean, even as a kid. Maybe that's why I spend so much time alone on it, even on the 4th of July. I know, the Fourth should be spent with your buddies drinking beer, or eating hot dogs at the ballpark, or hoping into a potato sack race with your best girl, or barbequing in the back yard with your folks. Maybe for most Americans, but for me it's been a day to spend alone, to remember. So, here I was all alone on the ocean starting my annual Independance Day remembrance. At least I wouldn't get my fingers blown off by a cherry bomb. (Narration)
(Magnum is knocked off his surf ski by a reckless boater)
You Turkeys!! My cap. You owe me, you Turkeys!

Agatha: Isn't the ocean beautiful at sunset? So romantic!
Higgins: Agatha my dear...
Agatha: Yes Johnathan?
Higgins: I know what you're thinking.
Agatha: You do?
Higgins: You're trying to capture my queen by sacrificing your knight.
Agatha: Oh Johnathan! Sometimes you a royal ass! I'm need some tea! (walks away)
Higgins: Sometimes I think I shall never understand women...

Magnum: I once had one [a shark] follow me on my surf ski. He just hung a few meters off my rudder. I know I set a personal speed record getting back to shore that day. (Narration)

Magnum: I'm gonna make it, Dad!
1 "Young Magnum" has brown eyes (not green) and straight hair (not curly).

2 Shots of the sea, especially directly before and after Magnum is knocked from his surf ski, vary in different shots. In some, it is much more choppier than others, and the sky and weather seems to change a lot, too. (Noted by Jay-Firestorm)

3 Magnum received his father's Rolex GMT Master watch in 1951 (the year his father died in the Korean War). The Rolex GMT Master didn't appear on the market until 1955, and the particular type of Rolex GMT Master that Magnum wears (ref. 16750, with the "pepsi" bezel) is a much newer one (from the early 1980s).

4 T.C. takes his little league team to see a Hawaii Islanders (AAA) baseball game at Aloha Stadium, but when we see the game in action, we see highlights from a Detroit Tigers game! Even worse, we see highlights of the Tigers playing two different teams!

5 The show has apparently forgotten the first name of Magnum's mom. In "Try to Remember" (2.15) her first name was "Martha". Here it is "Katherine".

6 When Rick and Sandy are on the boat at night talking to Higgins and T.C. over the marine radio the shot changes to show the entire boat in the water, where you can see a gentlemen dressed in all white steering the boat from the fly bridge. Rick and Sandy are below him in the control room cabin, and there was never a third person on the boat! (Noted by Miss Q)

7 When Rick has engine problems on his boat, he says he has to "drop anchor", because it would "take half the night to limp home past the reef." The only problem is, you can see Rabbit Island behind him! He is about two minutes from the pier where T.C. keeps his chopper, and about 2-3 miles from the nearest boat harbor! (Noted by John Hall)

8 The shark that Magnum encounters when treading water in the ocean has several flubs associated with it: 1) Magnum says the shark is 8 feet long, but the size of the fin that we see would equate to a shark at least twice that long, 2) In several shots, you can see that the fin has no "body" attached to it, 3) the movement of the shark fin is phoney; jerky, slow/fast movements, as if pulled by a boat. (Noted by John Hall)

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