It’s crime on a cruise ship in All Thieves On Deck! This episode aired 30 January, 1986 and was penned by Reuben Leder.
When Higgins (John Hillerman) is busy with other things, including poor Apollo the dog who was shot when someone broke into the estate, he offers Magnum (Tom Selleck), T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) and Rick (Larry Manetti) a trip on a cruise ship, with the caveat being that they guard a Hawaiian statue that Robin Masters is lending out, and is being put on display for the duration of the voyage.
Unfortunately there are a number of passengers that have their eye on it, and even after Thomas and the boys foil one theft, someone still gets away with it.
The list of suspects is long, there’s Russell Tate (Alan Hale Jr., the skipper from Gilligan’s Island), and his wife Sarah (Carole Cook), a would-be novelist, Denny Prine (Paul Sand), a young archaeologist, Peggy (Shelley Smith), Countess Dumont (Sarah Douglas) and her husband Phillippe (Thaao Penghlis), and all of them have a reason, a motive, or even just a desire to appropriate the statue.
The real comedy in this episode comes from the shared voice-over… we get Thomas’ typical monologue, but there is also the ship’s captain, James T. Lyle (William Windom), who has aspirations of being a thriller writer (and hopes Thomas can give his manuscript to Masters) who, inspired by the theft, as well as Magnum and his friends, begins writing his new book, using thinly veiled names to tell his tale.
This Island Isn’t Big Enough, which aired 13 February, 1986 and was written by Chris Abbott and Reuben Leder feels like a bit of a mixed bag, because at no point does Thomas, and his friends seem to be extremely worried over Rick’s disappearance.
The King Kamehameha III is discovered unmanned and empty. Rick was aboard her taking care of some VIPs who wanted a day on the water. Unfortunately they were attacked and boarded by gunmen, and Rick fell overboard, having been shot.
The other bodies are sealed in a container, and sunk, but are found by the police, even as Thomas starts looking for his friend with T.C. and Higgins at his side.
Joining him and causing just as many problems as he helps solve is Police Detective Lt. Gordon Katsumoto (Clyde Kusatsu), who has a bit of a John Wayne thing going on, behaving, and speaking as he believes The Duke would.
As he and Thomas reluctantly partner up to learn what is going on, we learn about pyramid schemes, a counterfeiting scheme, and murder. And while Thomas wants to work through the case, and he does, his main goal is to find Rick, though as mentioned, there doesn’t seem to be as much tension and worry surrounding the search as I would have expected.
They finally make a guess at where Rick could possibly be, and that leads to a final confrontation between the baddies, with Gordon helping out to save the day in true John Wayne-style.
Not my favorite episode so far…
Until next time, Aloha!