Magnum, p.i. (1982) – Mr. White Death and Mixed Doubles


Thomas (Tom Selleck) finds himself wrestling with an old man, and catching up with an old flame in this week’s sojourn to Hawaii!

First up is Mr. White Death, which aired 18 November, 1982, and was penned by Ruben Leder. Ernest Borgnine guest stars as Mr. White Death, himself, Earl Gianelli. A former wrestling champ, he is now eking out a living on the wrestling circuit, which has brought him to Hawaii. After he saves Thomas, Rick (Larry Manetti) and T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) from a bit of a beating, he and Thomas go for dinner, and upon learning Thomas is a private investigator, asks him to help find his long-lost son, Phil (James Edgcomb).

As Thomas investigates, we get some comedy from the fact that Higgins (John Hillerman) and Earl have mutual friends, and that at some point, Higgins was referred to as Punky, something Magnum won’t let go of. Earl also spends some time teaching the boys some wrestling moves…

But when Thomas finds Phil, the man denies the fact that Earl could be his father, and Thomas begins to think something else may be going on.

Thomas tries to investigate, and finally learns the truth about Earl’s past, and why Phil is behaving the way he is, and it all ties up nicely with a very poignant scene at the airport.

It’s a nice episode, and it was cool to see Borgnine hanging with the boys in Hawaii!!!


Thomas and Rick are eager to play in the Pro Am Mixed Doubles tournament in the next episode, Mixed Doubles, which aired 2 December, 1982 and was written by Rob Gilmer and Ruben Leder. T.C. is coaching Magnum, and Higgins begins coaching Rick, and the two coaches contrive a gentlemen’s wager… you know that won’t end well.

Thomas is looking forward to the tournament, as he is expecting to be paired with an old flame of his, Ginger Leah Grant (Elaine Giftos). Higgins interferes, however, on behalf of Robin Masters and pairs the private investigator up with the young, and bratty Carrie Reardon (Kim Richards) so Thomas can keep an eye on the young woman, as she has been receiving death threats.

Problems arise between Thomas and Ginger when some of the evidence points to his old flame as the prime suspect, but the investigator is absolutely stunned to find out who is really responsible for it, but they may not be the only one with designs on the young tennis star…

There are a lot of fun moments in this episode, Rick gets along really well with his partner, Thomas begins to regale everyone with a tale from his past, much like Higgins would do, and it goes badly, and Agatha (Gillian Dobb) shows up for the tag of the episode as the bet is resolved and the loser has to honor the agreement…

More next time!!




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