Magnum, P.I.: Season 1, Episode 3

China Doll (18 Dec. 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 144 users  
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Magnum is hired to protect "The Soul of Soong," an ancient Chinese vase, until it can be delivered to its owner.


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Title: China Doll (18 Dec 1980)

China Doll (18 Dec 1980) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Episode cast overview:
Susie Elene ...
Mai Ling (as Suesie Elena)
Duffy (as Lee DeBroux)
George Cheung ...
Choi (as George Kee Cheung)
Yankee Chang ...
Lee Woodd ...
Lee Gaber ...
Tourist husband
Marvin Wong ...
Ho Ling
Alice Lemon ...
Tourist wife
Roland Nip ...
Pin Ling
Remi Abellira ...


Magnum is hired to protect "The Soul of Soong," an ancient Chinese vase, until it can be delivered to its owner.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

18 December 1980 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first episode to try the "new" theme music. This was later rejected and replaced with the original theme. See more »


The kidnapper gives up his hostage before he gets his ransom. All Magnum gives him are instructions for a meet with his associates, which is a completely transparent trap. See more »

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User Reviews

the blinking assassin... an iconic scene
4 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is a mixed bag of the interesting and the cheesy. The interesting parts are the priceless "Soul of Song" vase, the Tong assassin tracking it, and Mai Ling, a love interest of Magnum.

Some of the cheesy included the loud argument between Magnum and T.C. at the beginning of the episode in front of paying clients. It was meant to characterize their friendship, loud and boisterous, I get it, but experienced military men would not be discussing personal business so loudly and obliviously in front of strangers. It was over the top. Also, some of the acting was wooden, but they usually made the best of it. For example the stoic Cousin Ho: "Hi Ho" "Bye Ho."

The deadly Tong assassin with the Red Dragon tattoo on his hand and lightening-quick reflexes had a tell... he blinked just before he struck. He kidnaps Mai Ling and holds her hostage for the vase. Magnum remembers where Mai Ling had come from just before they met and the chase for the real vase leads back to a Chinese cemetery on Kauai.

The "tell" of the blinking Tong assassin works to great effect in what I consider to be an iconic scene of this series: when Magnum holds a .45 to the Tong assassin's head as he is about to strike and tells him "no one is that quick." We see the Tong blink; simultaneously a shot is fired and the scene fades to black.

This episode is worth watching for that scene alone as well as some funny moments like Rick undercover as a lazy pedicab driver. 7.5/10.

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