Magnum, p.i. (1985) – Professor Jonathan Higgins and Compulsion


There are shades of Pygmalion for Higgins (John Hillerman) and Thomas (Tom Selleck) this week, in the episode Professor Jonathan Higgins, which was written by Jay Huguely from a story by Mary Lee Gaylor. This one originally aired on 10 January, 1985.

Higgins is expecting his cousin Sally Ponting ( Jillie Mack) to arrive in preparation for her island wedding. When she arrives, Higgins is stunned to see that Sally has embraced the punk lifestyle, and doesn’t speak or behave as one who is marrying into the social circle she is planning on.

He takes her under his wing, with Agatha’s (Gillian Dobb) help and attempts to teach her proper elocution and behavior.

Agatha also has her own problems this week, as it seems money she has invested has been lost in a bankrupt investment, one dealing with condos and real estate. Thomas agrees to look into it for her, and goes to work, trying to stay out of Higgins’ way.

There are a lot of laughs in this episode, but you can’t help but feel for Sally who is just an honest soul, and just wants to be loved for who she is.

The deeper Thomas investigates into Agatha’s case, however, the closer the two seemingly separate events seem to be. And when conclusions are reached, no one may come out of this the happier…

It’s funny that Thomas knows My Fair Lady and references that in regards to Higgins activities with Sally, and the major domo takes offense to it, citing, instead the original work as a more accurate depiction.

Just fun.


Compulsion, which was written by Chris Abbott with an airdate of 24 January, 1985, sees Thomas’ lawyer friend Carol (Kathleen Lloyd) in the center of a lot of trouble.

She is being harassed, and she believes it may be regarding a case she’s working on, which involves her late father, and a man named Lazarus. But what if she’s wrong?

She turns to Thomas for help, and he agrees, but as troubling moments continue to throw the two together, she realizes that her feelings for her investigator friend may have changed, and Thomas is worried it will affect their relationship.

Higgins is having his own problems. It seems some former schoolmates from Sandhurst, all of whom have done very well for themselves, are arriving on the island to see Higgins, believing that he owns the estate. Higgins shines on their belief, much to Agatha’s disappointment. Even Thomas, Rick (Larry Manetti) and T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) help him out.

Thomas poses as Higgins’ butler, Rick as his personal chef, and T.C. lands the Island Hoppers chopper on the estate, posing as Higgins’ pilot.

It’s nice to see how touched Higgins is by the efforts of his friends, but will he come clean in the end?

Not to slight Carol’s A-story, but I had much more fun with the B-story on this one.

Until next week… Aloha!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s