MAGNUM P.I. (80s TV Series)

By Mark Nobes

Starring Tom Selleck as the Aloha shirt wearing private investigator, Thomas Magnum, this popular U.S. crime drama series ran for eight seasons (162 episodes) and was originally shown on CBS between December 1980 and May 1988. The series was also eventually shown here in the UK, of course.

Magnum P.I. was nominated for several Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. In 2013, it was ranked No. 32 on TV Guide's list of the "60 Greatest Shows of All Time.". The series was a huge success, both commercially and critically.
Magnum is a retired U.S. navy official veteran from the Vietnam war, who is now living in Hawaii as a private investigator (hence the P.I.) helping to solve local crimes - many cases involve danger and intrigue, which is what made the show so watchable.
He lives on a huge 200 acre estate called Robin's Nest (in Hawaii) which is guarded by two Doberman dogs called Zeus and Apollo. The estate is managed by an ex Sgt. Major from the British army called Jonathon Quayle Higgins III, who is played by John Hillerman.
Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck and a Ferrari
Other characters include Theodore "T.C." Cavin (played by Roger E. Mosley) who runs a Helicopter charter business called Island Hoppers, and Rick Wright played by Larry Maneth, a local bar owner who's real name was Orville - it's no wonder he hated his real name!
Dozens of guest stars also appeared throughout the series, and although these were mostly American, there were some British celebrities which included Bruce Forsyth (yes, really!) and Patrick Macnee,

Magnum was living the kind of lifestyle that the majority of us could only dream about (fast cars and the Hawaiian scenery) and that was part of the appeal of the show. For me, TV is escapism from the torments of the real world, and a bit of fantasy is always good for the soul!

His laid back fashion style included Hawaiian shirts, a thick 80s moustache and baseball caps.

Rumours were rife that the show was to finish after the end of the seventh series (in which Magnum was killed), but after rather a lot of complaints from fans, an eighth series was squeezed out with Magnum being brought back to life, although ratings were now nowhere near as high as the first five series, which attracted 16 to 18 million viewers and ranked in the Top 20 of most-watched TV shows. Series 6 to 8 failed to even make the Top 30.

Robin Masters' Cars

The Robin 1 was a Ferrari 208 GTB/GTS, with a 1979 and then a 1981 model being used from seasons 1-6. In seasons 7-8, a Ferrari 308 GTSi was used. 
The Robin 2 was originally a 1980 Audi 100 for seasons 1-4, and then a 1985 model for seasons 5 to 8.
The car used as the Robin 3 was a 1980 GMC Jimmy Siera for seasons 1 to 3. In seasons 4-6, a 1983 GMC Jimmy Chevrolet S-10 Blazer was used. A Jeep Wagoneer XJ was used for seasons 7 and 8.
Look-In July 2 1983 ft. Magnum

Magnum on the cover of Look-In magazine No.27 July 2nd 1983


In 2018, a The Magnum P.I. reboot was launched, with Jay Hernandez replacing Selleck in the lead role, and has run for for five seasons so far. It's just one of many classic television shows that have been rebooted or revived in recent times - it seems that there is a huge demand for nostalgic television, and networks are happy to oblige.
Magnum P. I. Annual 1983