A double review from me today. And later I plan to watch part two, ‘Simon & Simons’s ‘Emerald’s Are Not A Girls Best Friend’ for the first time.
Californian P.I.s A.J. and Rick Simon arrive in Hawaii to try and track down a “cursed” artefact, which is due to be sold at a high society auction on the Masters Estate where Magnum has been collared into providing security. Not a classic, but good fun…
This review contains spoilers.
This episode is a crossover with another 1980s private investigator series, ‘Simon & Simon’ (1981-1989). Apparently, after that show’s first season, ratings were low, and in a last bid to attract viewers, the show was moved directly after ‘Magnum, p.i.’ on Thursday nights, with this crossover story designed to put MPI fans onto that series. It seemed to work, as ratings quickly picked up, and the show ran for a number of years.
I quite like the story. It is fun for not being too highly charged, instead showing a lot of Magnum’s daily life on the Estate. More of these sort of stories would be used from this season onwards.
One of my favourite moments comes as we first see the “cursed” Ki’i, causing Magnum, elsewhere, to suddenly fall off his surf-ski!
I did find Magnum’s dinner with Catherine (Morgan Fairchild) to be a bit dull; I think it was supposed to ooze chemistry between the two, but it just didn’t work, and the episode would have done just as well without it.
It’s strange that Simon & Simon seemed to be played very much as the villains of the story. Maybe it’s just where I wasn’t familiar with them (it’s one of the few ‘80s detective shows I wasn’t into, though I might pick up the DVDs), but even so, they came across to be as the bad guys for much of the time.
To note is, after it was destroyed in the feature-length / two-part ‘Did You See The Sunrise?’ previously, the Ferrari is suddenly back. I suppose it could be argued that Robin Masters is so rich, that he simply replaced it with another.
Also to look out for, briefly filling in for Higgins at the auction, is Gillian Dobb as a character called Mabel. Dobb, who had played two very minor parts in season two (‘Mad Buck Gibson’ (uncredited) and as a hotel receptionist in ‘The Elmo Ziller Story’) would go on to play Agatha Chumley, a much recurring friend of Higgins, starting in just a couple of episodes time. It could even be argued that it is the same character as seen here, but the writers / producers hadn’t settled on a name yet.
There are two versions of this story. In the original version, Catherine escapes, a Higgins takes a flight to chase after her with the Simon brothers, as continued in that series’ ‘Emeralds Aren’t A Girls Best Friend’. In the re-run version, designed for stand alone viewings, Higgins manages to stop Catherine’s plane before it takes off. Two scenes play differently in the re-run version.
I remember this story as being much more fun than when I came to re-watch it to review, but it’s still a good one. It has a number of nice character moments, and is simply good fun.
Other notes, bloopers and misc.:
* All of the commercial breaks are abridged on the DVD versions of this episode.
* The Region 1 Season One DVD contains the original version and the follow-on ‘Simon & Simon’ episode, but the Region 2 one does not have this bonus disk.
* Nothing much else to add on this one, other than the suddenly returning Ferrari. As mentioned in my review, it could be argued that Robin simply bought a replacement. It makes more sense than similar cases in some other shows – for example, in ‘Starsky & Hutch’s second season two-parter ‘The Set-Up’ (which features Roger E. Mosley as a rather ‘eccentric’ pilot), Starsky’s car is blown up, only to return in the next story with no mention!
I think RM replaced it. Thats what we can assume atleast. About blown up cars returning. Watch the seventh episode of season three in Miami Vice when the black Ferrari Daytona suddenly is back in a carchase
It was blown up five episodes earlier and was replaced by a white Testarossa.
I haven´t noticed it until just now. I couldn´t believe my eyes.