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A twisting tale of complex family relationships
15 November 2018
This is a solid detective case for Magnum, full of the customary twists and turns that continue to delight the viewer.

Fun, action packed and unpredictable, this is a great episode.

8 out of 10.
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Magnum, P.I.: Ki'is Don't Lie (1982)
Season 3, Episode 2
Light hearted tale of a supernatural curse
15 November 2018
A fun episode involving a supposedly cursed artefact that brings an early demise to all who handle it.

Following the serious tone of "Did You See...?" this is an appropriate change of pace.

Morgan Fairchild brings the glamour to this week's episode.

8 out of 10.
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Magnum, P.I.: Did You See the Sun Rise? (1982)
Season 3, Episode 1
Pitch perfect; perhaps the definitive "Magnum" tale
12 November 2018
"Did You See..." is the feature length episode that kicks off Season 3 with a bang. Written by Donald P. Bellisario, this is an extremely well executed television movie.

From the beginning, there's a sombre air over the proceedings; a feeling of nightmarish unease that soon becomes a reality.

Gritty, uncomfortable and uncompromising for a peak-time television show, this is a classic episode and fan favourite. Once seen, this is never forgotten.

Bo Svenson plays the ultimate Magnum bad guy, the psychotic Ivan.

10 out of 10. Just brilliant. After two seasons, this story demonstrated that the series had only just found its feet.
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Magnum, P.I.: Three Minus Two (1982)
Season 2, Episode 21
A satisfying conclusion to Season 2
11 November 2018
With "Diamonds Are Forever" Bond girl Jill St. John co-starring in this episode as fashion designer Jan Kona, the emphasis in this episode is glamour. St. John is great; the second series of "Magnum" has set the bar high for female actors.

T.C. poses as super-photographer "Mr. Alex" whilst Magnum investigates who's intent on killing the directors of Kona Fashion. As always, Roger E. Mosley is a comic delight.

The Herculean Denny Miller makes his first appearance in the series, playing the appropriately named Ox. He's a formidable figure and, as Magnum says, it's never wise to "fight an oak tree".

9 out of 10. Packed with sequences that will end up filling most of the opening titles for this whole season.
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Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab (2018)
Season 11, Episode 6
Emotionally charged but is this "Doctor Who"?
11 November 2018
I'm torn with tonight's episode, "Demons of the Punjab". Whilst it's a well directed, polished production, I'm feeling the series is moving away from what "Doctor Who" is all about. I had high hopes when I read Chris Chibnall was taking the helm. I've now serious doubts about the future of the show at his hands.

Despite me wanting to really like Jody Whittaker, her performance feels too one dimensional.

The series is also lacking the sheer fun and escapism of previous seasons.

7 out of 10. I think the series is starting to suffer from an identity crisis.
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Magnum, P.I.: The Elmo Ziller Story (1982)
Season 2, Episode 20
A Tale of Two Higgins
11 November 2018
This is a fun yarn and the second story to co-star the very lovely Robin Dearden (she first appeared as Mandy in the IRA-centric tale, "No Need to Know" in Season 1).

Magnum is asked to look after Higgins' half-brother Elmo Ziller, after an attempt on his life in Texas.

The episode contains a standout performance from John Hillerman as the Texan half-brother of Higgins.

As always, there's more to things than initially meets the eye.

8 out of 10. A good hearted romp.
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Magnum, P.I.: The Last Page (1982)
Season 2, Episode 19
When's the war going to end?
11 November 2018
A Vietnam themed story, "The Last Page" deals with the sensitive subject of soldiers coping with life after the battlefield.

The black and white flashbacks from early in the first season are long gone. This episode begins with a 'Nam-based incident that still haunts Taylor Hurst (Robert F. Lyons) eleven years later.

Joanna Kerns plays the wife of Hurst's friend who was killed in Vietnam. This is the first appearance of Kerns in the series; she plays another character in Season 3.

Magnum's rubber chicken (and this isn't some kind of strange euphemism) makes its third (?) appearance in the series.

Solid. 8 out of 10.
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Magnum, P.I.: Double Jeopardy (1982)
Season 2, Episode 18
Magnum goes to the movies.
7 November 2018
In "Double Jeopardy", Robin's Nest is used as part of a film shoot. Husband and wife actors, Jack Martin and Olivia Ross, are finishing their scenes when tragedy strikes. Was an attempt made on Jack's life? Magnum is called in to investigate.

Olivia Ross is played by the very beautiful Dana Wynter (who will play another role in a subsequent season).

A fun and dramatic episode.

7 out of 10.
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Doctor Who: The Tsuranga Conundrum (2018)
Season 11, Episode 5
One cute extraterrestrial doesn't an episode make
4 November 2018
The flattest of the latest season, "The Tsuranga Conundrum" feels like a lot of filler despite a clean, beautifully created set and a wonderful CGI gremlin, the Pting. It's one cute creature despite its lethal attributes.

There's a little too much running around corridors and empty exposition, not enough real human drama to engage the viewer.

Mandip Gill isn't given nearly enough to do and has to stand around looking interested. Thankfully, we have a Yasmin-centric episode to look forward to next week.

6 out of 10.
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Magnum, P.I.: Texas Lightning (1982)
Season 2, Episode 17
The stakes are high for Magnum on this ocean bound adventure
4 November 2018
The "Texas Lightning" of the title is a beautiful high stakes card player, Jeannie 'JL' Lowry (played by Julie Sommars). She hires Magnum for protection during a big poker game aboard a luxury yacht.

Jack Hogan is the bad guy, Thompson. You can tell he's a baddie as he's shooting live birds from his super-yacht. And he hangs out with at least a couple of assassins.

A decent caper, Sommars is a delight and the story moves at a brisk pace.

8 out of 10. Good escapist fun.
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Magnum, P.I.: One More Summer (1982)
Season 2, Episode 16
A "Hail Mary" for Magnum
3 November 2018
One of the weaker episodes of "Magnum", this tale requires a mammoth suspension of disbelief and a love for American Football.

A jaw-droppingly illogical moment occurs in the opening scene. Why would a crowd of people rush towards the sound of gunshots and then just stand in plain sight of a potential shooter? Even Magnum himself acts this way halfway through the proceedings.

Not one of my favourite episodes by a long throw, this represents a "busted play" during the second season.

6 out of 10. It's not a bad episode, it just failed to engage me.
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Magnum, P.I.: Italian Ice (1982)
Season 2, Episode 15
Magnum tangles with the Italian Mob in a magnificent episode
3 November 2018
"Italian Ice" is just wonderful entertainment. Beginning with Magnum's nighttime raid on a secluded Sicilian villa, this episode barely stops for breath.

This week's love interest is none other than the very talented Mimi Rogers. She's excellent as Tom's somewhat sceptical girlfriend.

Lenny ("The Godfather") Montana plays the Sicilian Marquis' muscle and Ann Dusenberry co-stars as the rescued friend of Robin. Is there more to this young lady than initially meets the eye?

Unpredictable, action packed and extremely funny, this is a 10 star episode.
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Magnum, P.I.: Try to Remember (1982)
Season 2, Episode 14
A battered and bruised Magnum battles with abnesia
3 November 2018
Following a near fatal cliff dive in Robin Masters' Ferrari, a badly bruised Magnum desperately tries to recall the events leading up to his predicament.

The excellent Kwan Hi Lim plays Lieutenant Yoshi Tanaka for the first time in this episode. He's great and there's instant chemistry between the lieutenant and Magnum.

Whilst the denouement is predictable, this is an enjoyable yarn and John Hillerman is on top form.

9 out of 10.
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Magnum, P.I.: Computer Date (1982)
Season 2, Episode 13
A solid, well rounded episode
3 November 2018
"Computer Date" is a thoroughly entertaining episode from Season 2. There's a lot to like and never a dull moment.

Magnum is deep into an investigation of financial misconduct at a large company when he's asked to look into a top-ranking manager's wife's activities. He's uncomfortable to discover she appears to be having an affair with Rick and has to cope with the resulting fallout.

Added to this, Higgins has an impending reunion with his old flame, Lady Ashley, and asks Magnum to work him into shape before they meet.

The icing on the cake is Mac doing something other than leafing through paperwork in his naval environment. Great to see him actively on a case with Thomas.

10 out of 10. Genuinely entertaining, this is one of my favourite episodes from the second season.
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Magnum, P.I.: The Jororo Kill (1982)
Season 2, Episode 12
Tyne Daly's investigative reporter leads Magnum into danger
2 November 2018
"Cagney and Lacey" star Tyne Daly appears as a reporter who Magnum met in Vietnam and who needs his help tracking down an assassin in Hawaii.

The opening scene in France bears a striking resemblance to Hawaii; a suspension of disbelief is paramount here.

Despite a team of writers, this isn't one of the strongest stories from Season 2. The concept of a "transvestite" hitman is original but the execution is somewhat disappointing. What could have been a real thriller turns out to be mildly exciting. However, female impersonator Christopher Morley is very convincing as the villainous Bannister.

Burr ("The Incredible Melting Man") DeBenning appears as one of this week's guest stars.

There's a great scene with Mack and Rick to enjoy.

7 out of 10. Really hoped this would be a stronger episode.
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Magnum, P.I.: Ghost Writer (1981)
Season 2, Episode 11
Chaotic comic adventure for Thomas and friends
2 November 2018
"Ghost Writer" is a light hearted yarn, a comic interlude around the half mark point for Season 2.

Patch Mackenzie, who plays the writer Virginia Fowler, is absolutely delectable. She also has great comic timing, essential for a chaotic caper like this one.

Jon ("Creepshow") Lormer plays Barker the butler, who endures quite a bit of physical abuse at the hands of the gang. I genuinely felt sorry for this character.

Even the actress Louise Lewis has to spend some of her time in the boot of a car - this episode doesn't treat the more mature members of the cast gracefully.

Roger E. Mosley is hilarious as TC suddenly has a few extra dollars to spare.

8 out of 10. Light on story but the cast are great.
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Magnum, P.I.: The Sixth Position (1981)
Season 2, Episode 10
Who knew that TC was a balletomane?
2 November 2018
An enjoyable, if somewhat anticlimactic episode, "The Sixth Position" has a handful of memorable moments.

We discover that TC is a fan of ballet and, in particular, the beautiful and spunky ballerina Kendall Chase (played by Andrea Marcovicci).

There's some blossoming romance in between Magnum trying to juggle two cases, a sprinking of international intrigue and a frustrated Higgins who desperately wants Robin Masters' camera back.

8 out of 10. A rather dull coda but a fun show nonetheless.
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Magnum, P.I.: The Taking of Dick McWilliams (1981)
Season 2, Episode 9
An appropriate "bookend" to the previous episode
1 November 2018
Thematically, "The Taking of Dick McWilliams" has quite a lot in common with the previous episode. Both feature ageing and flawed, larger-than-life titular characters.

There are some spectacular helicopter scenes during a chase sequence, one of the trademarks of "Magnum, P.I." There's even a little nod to another Universal Hawaii-based detective show.

This has something of a "filler" episode feeling, though. It's good but not great, missing some of the sparkle of the majority of Season 2 episodes.

7 out of 10.
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Magnum, P.I.: Mad Buck Gibson (1981)
Season 2, Episode 8
And now for something completely different...
1 November 2018
Rather than the normal detective caper, "Mad Buck Gibson" is very much a character driven piece.

Darren McGavin plays the titular role - an intrepid and somewhat reckless individual who, like Robin Masters, is a bestselling novelist.

The truly beautiful Vera Miles plays Gibson's first wife, Joan.

Great performances by all.

Watching this episode, I realised there's rarely a week when one of the main characters isn't bruised, cut, shot or otherwise injured. It's a perilous occupation hanging out with TM.

8 out of 10. A bitter sweet instalment.
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Magnum, P.I.: Wave Goodbye (1981)
Season 2, Episode 7
Despite the terrible title pun, a great episode
1 November 2018
"Wave Goodbye" is a top notch episode from Season 2, filled with memorable performances from a talented cast.

The late, great Vic Morrow makes an appearance as Police Sergeant Jordan. Morrow brings gravitas to every role, no matter how small. He's splendid here as the cop with a drinking problem,.

The beautiful Diane Crowley makes her second appearance in the series, this time as the unfortunate Kacy.

Wings Hauser is excellent as the wide eyed and troubled Vietnam vet, Nick.

W.K. Stratton is also solid as the young Police Officer Kelly.

9 out of 10. An almost Higgins-free episode after the previous Higgins-centric tale.
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Final Prayer (2013)
Low budget, found footage scares
31 October 2018
"The Borderlands" is a pretty solid "found footage" horror movie set in rural England.

Whilst it follows familiar horror tropes, there are some genuine scares during its 90 minutes of screen time. Part "Paranormal Activity", with sprinklings of "The Descent", what the movie lacks in originality, it replaces with heart and soul.

Gordon Kennedy is excellent as the troubled Deacon.

7 out of 10. Worthy of an inclusion in your Halloween line-up.
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Magnum, P.I.: Tropical Madness (1981)
Season 2, Episode 6
"A sumo wrestler....and a dwarf!"
31 October 2018
"Tropical Madness" is a tongue-in-cheek Higgins-centric tale involving a beautiful "English rose" with potential ulterior motives, a large "sumo" and a "dwarf".

In the middle of all the chaos, a bewildered Thomas Magnum tries to make sense of it all.

The strongest John Hillerman episode to-date, the viewer can't help but warm even more to the stiff upper lipped Higgins. He is "bloody marvellous" here, an absolute joy.

9 out of 10. A lighter episode following "Memories are Forever" but a welcome palette cleaner nonetheless.
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Magnum, P.I.: Memories Are Forever (1981)
Season 2, Episode 5
The beginning of a truly epic story arc for Thomas Sullivan Magnum
30 October 2018
This top drawer, double-length tale of "Magnum" has everything the viewer had come to expect from the series, and much more.

Revealing a previously unseen backstory to the character, "Memories Are Forever" introduces us to Magnum's wife, Michelle (played by the late Marta DuBois) and the "gung ho" Colonel Buck Greene (Lance LeGault , who will be familiar to many as Colonel Decker from "The A-Team").

Incidentally, the story contains a truly jaw-dropping visual transition from Vietnam to modern-day Hawaii. Brilliant stuff. It's little touches like this that makes the series so special.

10 out of 10. The seeds are sown for many seasons to come.
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Magnum, P.I.: From Moscow to Maui (1981)
Season 2, Episode 4
Intrigue and action; another fun installment
30 October 2018
Beginning with an expensive airborne action sequence, this is top drawer entertainment.

The chiselled Jeff Pomerantz plays the defecting Russian pilot, Yuri Dolgof. He resembles a blond Mel Gibson, not surprising that Nina (Susan Heldfond) has fallen for him.

The terrific Allan Rich plays a suited and very sweaty Russian agent.

Another ensemble episode, all the main characters shine.

Great fun.

9 out of 10.
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Doctor Who: Arachnids in the UK (2018)
Season 11, Episode 4
Planet of the spiders - Clever title and a fun episode for the new Doctor.
29 October 2018
Whilst "Arachnids in the UK" ends with a whimper rather a true climax, there's a lot to enjoy about this fourth episode in the latest series.

Chris "Mr. Big" North is wonderfully annoying as the billionaire entrepreneur Robertson. He relishes the role and is a lot of fun, eating up the screen at every opportunity.

The CGI spiders are the real stars of this episode and they're rather wonderful. Things have moved on since their extraterrestrial cousins from Metabelis III visited the planet back in 1974.

The new space / time effects are beautiful; a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes.

8 out of 10. Simple, straightforward and back to the style of classic Who.
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