Magnum, p.i. (1988) – Legend of the Lost Art and Transitions


This is it, the penultimate entry for Magnum (Tom Selleck). This week’s installment starts off with a great sense of fun with Legend of the Lost Art. Selleck was originally in line to play Indiana Jones before Universal optioned the series, and this seems to be a little bit of a nod to that.

Airing on 10 February, 1988, this one was written by Jay Huguely, and sees Higgins (John Hillerman) asking for Thomas’ help in recovering a priceless artifact, The Lost Art of the Ancients, before it falls into the wrong hands!

This is just a fun episode, with Thomas outfitted in Indy gear, even carrying a whip and donning a fedora. There are nods aplenty (shots, moments, beats, dialogue and snakes) to the big screen series, and it definitely gives a hint about how Selleck would have been in the iconic role.

There are villains in the form of a double agent named Peter Riddley-Smythe (Anthony Newley) and his thugs, fisticuffs, traps, escapes, and a pretty girl, Connie (Margaret Colin).

Everyone gets some great moments, including Rick (Larry Manetti) and T.C. (Roger E. Mosley), who apparently reads archaeology magazines, but this is very much Selleck’s chance to shine in a story that is more than a nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s a Magnum homage.

This is an episode that doesn’t take itself seriously, and has a lot of fun, and I loved that they got to do it. I would never want to swap out Harrison Ford for Tom Selleck, but this is a bit of nice alternate take on the classic movies, and serials on which they took their inspiration.


Transitions aired 17 February, 1988 and was penned by Chris Abbott. It allows us to check in with private detective Luther Gillis (Eugene Roche) one last time.

The manuscript for Ronin Masters’ latest novel has been stolen, and Higgins wants Magnum to find it. He in turn gets help from Luther who is on vacation in Hawaii once again.

The series is hinting at its end, Thomas wants to go home to Virginia for a little while, but Higgins put the kibosh on it, telling him he needs to help out around the estate first and recover the manuscript. As a deal, Higgins says he will completely pay for Thomas’ trip. So he agrees and begins hunting for clues and leads to find the missing novel.

In addition to Thomas’ upcoming ending, we see Rick and Cleo (Pyhllis Davis) spending some time together, and T.C.’s son, Bryant (Shavar Ross) makes an appearance, flying with his dad at Island Hoppers.

And of course, there is lots of throwing around of the theory that Higgins is Robin.

It’s not the most engaging of stories, it plays ok, but following on the tail of the previous episode, and knowing the next episode (a two-parter) is the last one, this one feels like a bit of a letdown.

It does, however, set up lots of things to be tied up next week though.

Until then, 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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s