Magnum, p.i. (1986) – Photo Play and L.A.


The season 6 finale, Photo Play, originally aired 10 April, 1986 and was written by Bruce Cervi from a story by Chas. Floyd Johnson.

Shelley Faraday (Cassie Yates) is a photographer working on a book about road signs, she hires Thomas (Tom Selleck) for help because it seems someone is trying to steal something from her, because of something she saw or photographed, but she doesn’t know what.

When her film is developed, we discover that Shelley has photographs of a man who is supposed to be dead. All the evidence says that the man, Owen Kirk is dead, but Thomas is convinced that he may still be alive, or perhaps there’s a different, family connection.

There’s a funny moment when Thomas is forced to give a speech for Agatha’s (Gillian Dobb) Cat Admirers’ Society, because he saved a feline who was in the tidal pool, and his speech. Actually there are a number of them in this episode, Higgins (John Hillerman) watching snooker and not sharing his caviar, Rick (Larry Manetti) in a wig.

Agatha gets caught up in things, when she’s held hostage by the baddies for Shelley’s film and negatives. Her abduction is the only thing that seems to be able to draw Higgins from the snooker tournament. He and Thomas go in after Agatha.

This ended up being a fun, and funny, episodes and while not a season finale in the way things now play out on television, it’s a nice wrap-up and everyone gets a great character moment (or two).

Also, watch for an uncredited appearance by James Cromwell as a French police officer!


L.A. opens the penultimate season. It aired on 1 October, 1986, and was penned by Chris Abbott, and guest stars the lovely Dana Delaney. A full length feature episode, the guest cast also includes Alfonso Ribeiro.

Thomas is on the mainland serving a writ while things carry on at home.

Marti Jensen (Mona Miller) is an up and coming comedy act in L.A. whom Thomas meets on the flight to Los Angeles,  while friends of Kenny’s (Riberio), who are all on T.C.’s (Roger E. Mosley) little league team (that sees Higgins slinging hot dogs instead of Magnum) are involved in a car theft and they are now looking for Kenny.

Thomas gets pulled into events that require his investigative skills when Marti is murdered. Police Lieutenant Sam McKee (J.A. Preston) oversees the investigation on the mainland, while Tanaka (Kwan Hi Lim) is working on trying to find Kenny in Hawaii.

Magnum meets Cynthia Farrell (Delaney), and entertainment lawyer, when he serves her the writ, but there’s something between them right from the start.

We also get to hear the “Don’t look at the dogs, work the lock” line that we haven’t heard in forever.

Thomas’ investigation leads him to realize that Marti didn’t have a lifestyle so dissimilar to his, which leads him into more trouble, and violence as the killers start to pursue him, but it’s his moments with Cynthia that are really fun to watch. The way they connect and interact with one another is a delight, and you want Thomas to be happy, he’s earned it at this point, but, of course, the series can’t have Thomas tied down in a relationship, so…

It’s a nice way to open the season, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

Until next time, Aloha!


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