As “Magnum P.I.” fans wait for the start of the second season, many are filling the time by binge-watching the first season. The five-disc series DVD collection arrived in June, two months after the April 1 finale aired. The collection includes the pilot as well as the 19 other episodes of the year, deleted and extended scenes from several episodes, as well as several very special shorts with cast interviews and behind-the-scenes shots of special effects and stunts.
Some of the extras in the collection help to tell an interesting alternate story that perhaps will surface in their second season, which starts Sept. 27. “Magnum P.I.” will join “Hawaii Five-0” on Friday nights on CBS and will air before “Bluebloods,” which ironically stars Tom Selleck who originated the role of Thomas Magnum in the 1980s.
The series DVD has many great moments included with the set, especially in the deleted and extended scenes. The special features produced specifically for the collection include the shorts “Aloha Magnum!,” “Magnum P.I.— The Rising of the Sun: Season 1,” “Scoring Magnum P.I.”, “Kumu and Katsumoto,” “Watch! Magazine Shoot With Jay Hernandez” and a very funny gag reel. The entire collection is a smart wrap-up of their first season and also gives fans some interesting ideas about what storylines could await them in season two.
This short feature about the pilot episode really gives fans a good look into how the series was cast and what went into filming the series’ first episode, “I Saw the Sun Rise.” Executive producers Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim discuss casting and their ideas for starting the reboot, and production designer Keith Neely, special effects coordinator John G. Hartigan and stunt coordinator Eric Norris all share stories about producing the groundbreaking pilot of the rebooted series.
“We knew the source material really well. I think that’s the key to any reboot — really knowing what made it tick, and what made it special to people, and trying not to repeat that but keeping the DNA of that alive,” said Lenkov.
Both Lenkov and co-executive producer Eric Guggenheim share how series star Jay Hernandez is someone the audience can definitely connect with and relate to as Thomas Magnum. “When we met Jay, we felt very comfortable that he had the same qualities that Tom (Selleck) brought to Magnum. He’s got that smile, that sort of charm, that sort of ease where you feel like he’s enjoying life,” said Lenkov.
Lenkov and Guggenheim share even more about casting the rest of the “Magnum P.I.” series regulars — Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, and Stephen Hill. Overall, all three were cast because they fit the image of what the producers envisioned for their characters, Higgins, Rick and TC. It was fun to see clips from their audition tapes, which really showed how perfectly they matched their characters right from the start.
The rest of the special feature focused on the stunts and how the production crew put together such an action-packed episode. Besides breaking down the opening stunt sequence and the closing finale stunt — where they demolished a second red Ferrari and had Magnum jumping onto a cargo truck before being picked up by TC’s helicopter — the entire short really shows how hard the cast and crew worked to create the pilot.
‘MAGNUM P.I. — THE RISING OF THE SUN: SEASON 1’
This special feature takes us through several moments from the first season. Writers and producers discuss some of their favorite scenes or character arcs from specific episodes or special episodes with favorite guest stars. Some of the favorite moments are the introduction of the Magnum Aloha shirt in “The Cat Who Cried Wolf,” Noelani and Higgins meeting and bonding over their mutual annoyance with Magnum in “I, The Deceased” and Katsumoto finding his former mentor’s killer in “A Kiss Before Dying.” One of the stand-out stunts of the season was in “The Day the Past Came Back” when the production shut down Interstate H-3 in order to shoot the ending gunfight and car chase.
But nothing was cooler than seeing Roger E. Mosley as John Booky in “A Kiss Before Dying.” The crew shared that his character was all his idea — down to his name, his outfit, and his set. Stephen Hill shared how special that was to him, as he plays the character TC originated in the 1980s version of “Magnum P.I.”
OTHER SPECIAL FEATURES
There were several other very short features that gave us even more insight into the creation of the series. Two standouts were “Scoring Magnum P.I.” which shows Brian Tyler and Keith Power re-orchestrating the “Magnum P.I.” theme song created by Mike Post and Peter Carpenter and “Kumu and Katsumoto.” The short focuses on the addition of Amy Hill, who plays Teuila “Kumu” Tuileta, and Tim Kang as Det. Gordon Katsumoto to the main cast. Both characters have become fan favorites much to the delight of the production crew. They were added so the series would have two characters who were born and raised in the islands and helped the show have more of a connection to Hawaii.