Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, private investigator and former Navy SEAL
Hawaii, Summer 1981
Series: Magnum, P.I.
– “No Need to Know” (Episode 1.05, dir. Lawrence Doheny, aired 1/8/1981)
– “All Roads Lead to Floyd” (Episode 1.13, dir. Ron Satlof, aired 3/12/1980)
– “J. ‘Digger’ Doyle” (Episode 1.17, dir. Winrich Kolbe, aired 4/9/1981)
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario & Glen Larson
Costume Designer: Charles Waldo (credited with first season only)
Costume Supervisor: James Gilmore
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today is the end of Hawaiian History Month as well as one week before my first-ever trip to the Aloha State, so let’s return to the Paradise of the Pacific via the aloha style frequently worn by Tom Selleck in Magnum, P.I.
As established from the beginning of the series, Magnum is a private investigator and former Navy SEAL who exchanges his security expertise for his cushy dwellings in the guesthouse of enigmatic author Robin Masters’ lush Oahu estate. Taking cases as they suit him, speeding around the island in Masters’ red Ferrari, and working with old war pals T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) and Rick (Larry Manetti), the only drawback to Magnum’s lifestyle are the limitations imposed by Masters’ strict majordomo Jonathan Quayle Higgins III (John Hillerman)… though even Magnum can often work his charm and trade favors for Higgins to earn a few extra perks—like access to Masters’ wine cellar.
Magnum’s wardrobe blends preppy staples of the ’80s, military-inspired garb, and the floral shirts associated with the Hawaiian islands—a contrast to the previous major Hawaiian-set series, Hawaii Five-O, where Jack Lord’s cop character Steve McGarrett regularly wore conservative suits and ties. On the other hand, Magnum embraces dressing casually at every opportunity, even wearing jeans when he’s forced to borrow a dinner jacket for the evening in “No Need to Know” (Episode 1.05).
This episode is the first to feature the black colorway of Magnum’s “Star Orchid”-printed aloha shirt, a variation of the green Star Orchid shirt that appears multiple times throughout the first three seasons. Continue reading