Friday, March 20, 2020

THE 6TH ANNUAL FAVOURITE TV SHOW EPISODE BLOGATHON: Magnum, P.I., Holmes is Where the Heart Is, 1984


Terence Towles Canote is hosting The 6th Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon. This is one of my top favourites of the annual blogathons and I am looking forward to all of the contributions to be found HERE.


HOLMES IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Written by Judy Burns and Jay Huguely
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxie
First aired Thursday, March 8, 1984 (Season 4)

Jonathan Quayle Higgins (John Hillerman) is a very busy man. As the caretaker of the Robin's Nest estate on Oahu for the successful author Robin Masters, Higgins has many duties that became more complicated with the arrival of private investigator Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck). What the two men have in common is a military background, Higgins attended Sandhurst and Magnum is a retired Navy Seal. 

Magnum has been installed on the estate as the head of security after having done a favour for Robin Masters. From this place of luxury, he works at his leisure, annoying Higgins, wrecking Mr. Masters' Ferrari, and tricking his friends, and fellow vets, T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) and Rick (Larry Manetti) into assisting on his assignments.

Tom Selleck

On his downtime, Higgins is busy writing his memoir. He appears to currently be involved in that activity, but something feels different. For the past few days, Higgins has been incommunicado locked in his den. The sound of the typewriter is driving Magnum crazy. It is not the noise, it is his curiosity that has been piqued, plus he needs a special lens for a job and that lens is in the den.

John Hillerman

Higgins: "It is the singular purpose of this narrative to factually present the details of my detective friend's adventure. Without bias, on his behalf, I offer his inferences, deductions, and solutions leaving to the reader the task of final judgment."

Higgins was appointed executor to the estate of his late friend Sir Alec Ramsay. Upon the sad occasion of Sir Alec's funeral, their mutual friend David Worth (Patrick Macnee) arrives, acting mysteriously and confusing Higgins by using Sherlock Holmes' alias "Sigerson."

Patrick Macnee

David, as if undercover, is deep into the persona of Sherlock Holmes. Nothing Higgins says about reality has an impact on David; he is "Holmes." Higgins' devotion to his friend makes him powerless to do anything other than become his "Watson."

Holmes is persuaded that Sir Alec's death was caused by murder, and that murderer is none other than Moriarty. Adding to the puzzle are two suspicious men, Hopkins (Maurice Roeves) and Lever (Michael Billington) claiming the right to Sir Alec's papers for the British Museum.

While the strangers' credentials check out, Higgins intuitively retains Sir Alec's diary. The diary leads Higgins to believe that his friend Holmes has a right to be skeptical about Sir Alec's death. It appears to Higgins that the illegal drug trade on the islands is involved.

Patrick Macnee

Holmes reveals to Higgins that he has tracked Moriarty who is in disguise as a respected Chinese businessman Hoon Ching (Danny Kamekona). Our modern-day Holmes and Watson find themselves in the midst of a power-play for the illegal drug trade between Ching and his son Victor (George Cheung).

Patrick Macnee, John Hillerman

In the course of their tracking the actions of the Ching criminal enterprise, Higgins learns some disturbing news. The British Museum men are actually MI6 agents tracking their former colleague who has escaped from a sanitorium. David had been placed in the facility when his mental health began failing him. No matter how befuddled, 30 years as a spy makes him too much of danger to be allowed to wander free.

After capture, Higgins is about to be tortured by Victor Ching when his dear friend Holmes comes to his rescue. Sadly, as David is about to, once more, escape MI6, it is his Watson who enables capture by his enemies. Holmes had solved the case but lost his freedom.


Throughout this day, Thomas keeps coming up with hair-brained schemes to get Higgins out of the den, and finally one of them works. While Higgins is walking with "the lads", the Dobermans Apollo and Zeus, Thomas invades the den and reads Higgins' confidential memoir. Higgins is naturally resentful of Thomas' trickery and his cavalier humour toward what he has read.


Chastened, Thomas sincerely asks about the case and what has made Higgins devote so much time to it now. David had forgiven Higgins for his transgression as Watson and during recent years, the two friends corresponded and enjoyed solving intricate puzzles. What led Higgins to relive this amazing and emotional adventure of ten years past?

Thomas: "Forgive me for being such a boor these last few days."
Higgins: "My obsession, as you call it. It did, however, seem terribly important that it be done now."
Thomas: "He died."
Higgins: "Last week. It seemed terrible for a man who so loved excitement. Simple pneumonia."

Patrick Macnee was perfect in the role of the fantasy Holmes, displaying tenacity, energy, and the surety of the rightness of his cause. The force of his personality took Higgins on a grand adventure with real world consequences. We should all be so crazy!

Homes Is Where the Heart Is has a lovely melancholy feel mixed with character-driven humour making it a charming and memorable episode in the series.


John Hillerman was nominated for the Emmy (4 nominations) and the Golden Globe (5 nominations) awards for Magnum, P.I. He won the Emmy for playing Higgins in 1987, and the Golden Globe in 1982.












33 comments:

  1. Hi there,Hope all well- I loved this review - my dad would have loved this one too with those actors who played his heroes Steed and Higgins!

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    1. Things are fine here. Different - but fine.

      I'm so happy that your dad would have been pleased with this acknowledgement of the fine work of Mr. McNee and Mr. Hillerman. It's nice how these actors find a place in our family.

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  2. Ha, I thought I've seen all the Magnum episodes there are. Apparently I missed a few. Sounds great, I have the show and will dig it up soon.

    On a different note, I hope you and your family are doing fine up North.:) Classic movies will see us through.

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    1. Isn't that grand to have a "new" episode to check out?

      Wishing you the best of health in these trying times. The lockdown and social distancing is hardest on our son. His autism/development delay makes him happiest when he can stick to routine, which is impossible these days.

      I still have to get out to dialysis three times a week, and the staff has to treat the patients so there is an underlying worry, but we don't speak of it - we crack wise like folks in 1940s movies.

      Let's hope that someday we will be looking back on this time and patting ourselves on the back for getting through it while still caring for others.

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    2. I've already come to hate the phrase social distancing. It's just weird. I knew about your son, but didn't know you have to go to dialysis. That's bad under the best of times. Hope all works out for you. Keep wise-cracking, it's all we can do now. :)

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    3. Gavin is coping quite well. He couldn't have been a better companion. Perhaps just the fact that he came home on Saturday was enough "normal" for him.

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  3. Although I've never seen this show (and why is that?) I always thought the casting of Tom Selleck and John Hillerman was a stroke of brilliance. And this episode that you reviewed, sounds like a gem.

    I hope all is well with you and yours, and especially with your treatments. This new way of living is hard to adjust to, isn't it?

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    1. Magnum was a favourite of mine during its initial run and was fading in my memory, but catching up with some of the special episodes proves that it really holds up well.

      We had a power outage at this afternoon's dialysis treatment. The machines came right back on due to a back-up generator. However, for those of us watching TV or using the internet it was "pow".

      I think this new way of life is going to last a lot longer than we hope. Time to start looking forward to 2021.

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  4. KENNY ROGERS died today(MAR. 21) at the age of 81. Besides being a big-name country singer he was also an actor. Some of the women he sang with were DOLLY PARTON, DOTTIE WEST, KIM CARNES and SHEENA EASTON. He starred in five GAMBLER TV-Movies and two mystery movies set in a casino. The title of those two were MCSHANE. He also did the TV-Movies COWARD OF THE COUNTRY, RIO DIABLO and he played himself in BIG DREAMS AND BROKEN HEARTS-THE DOTTIE WEST STORY with MICHELE LEE.

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    1. I basically gave up on pop music sometime in the mid-80s, but I do remember Kenny's hits.

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  5. I meant Coward of the COUNTY. Kenny Rogers also guest-starred on TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL and DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN. He was on a music special that LYNDA CARTER did. He also was on the INTIMATE PORTRAIT of LINDA EVANS. Kenny worked with MISS EVANS on the second GAMBLER movie and she had a cameo role on the fourth one. Kenny was once married to MARIANNE GORDON from the music/variety show HEE HAW. Also Kenny was a fine photographer and brought out some books with pics of his celebrity friends. Kenny was a big star. Was Kenny big in CANADA?

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    1. I want to correct an error-Kenny Rogers died yesterday-Mar. 20. CHRISTINE BELFORD was in the first GAMBLER movie. I remember MISS BELFORD from her episode of MAGNUM, PI about a prize show horse. She is a good actress and very pretty, first as a brunette then as a blonde. Christine was still a brunette then. I think in that episode MAGNUM said something to HIGGINS(probably) that ADELAIDE(the character played by Christine) wore sensible shoes. ADELAIDE was also the title of the ep. I didn't know until a few years ago that CHRISTINE has been married to NICHOLAS PRYOR since 1993. He played her love interest on BEVERLY HILLS, 90210. She played SAMANTHA SANDERS, an actress and the adoptive mom of STEVE(IAN ZIERING). The girl Steve is dating is the daughter of the man that SAMANTHA is romantically involved with. Christine was on BANACEK, its second(and final) year. She also guest starred on MURDER, SHE WROTE four times. She also guest starred on THE INCREDIBLE HULK. I think what I like best about the show MAGNUM is the humor and the relationships between Magnum and Higgins and also between Magnum, RICK and T.C. I liked it when Magnum would call Higgins HIGGIE BABY.

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    2. Kenny and the First Edition had a variety show that was taped in Canada back in the 1970s.

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  6. I think this may be my favourite episode of Magnum P.I. and much of it is because of the presence of Patrick Macnee. Mr. Macnee had already played Dr. Watson at this point (in the TV movie Sherlock Holmes in New York) and he would eventually play the detective himself in the TV movie The Hounds of London. It was a real treat seeing him play David Worth, who is so deep into Holmes he could be the genuine article! Anyway, it is a very fun episode. Thank you so much for taking part in the blogathon!

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    1. As always, it was my pleasure to participate. What are the odds of my choosing a favourite episode? I should have known with Patrick Macnee in the mix.

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  7. I loved Macnee's performance as Watson in Sherlock Holmes in New York (with Roger Moore as Holmes) Have never watched an entire episode of Magnum PI, but I watched some snippets to get a feel for a John Hillerman tribute I posted on my own blog a few years ago.

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    1. I remember your piece on Hillerman, especially the quotes you used.

      Although I really enjoyed Tom Selleck in his guest starring role (Lance White) on The Rockford Files, I might not have watched Magnum if it weren't for the inclusion of John Hillerman. I absolutely adored him as radio sleuth Simon Brimmer, so I had to take a peek at the new show set in Hawaii.

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  8. I'm not a big Magnum fan, but John Hillerman was great on it and I love Patrick Macnee. This sounds like a fun episode and one that I will definitely check out!

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    1. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

      When hubby and I were getting to know each other, favourite shows came up. He watched and assumed I watched Family Ties and Cosby. At that time they were opposite Magnum, so - no, I didn't watch them. Nonetheless, we went forward with the relationship!

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  9. I remember seeing BARBARA RUSH and GWEN VERDON guest star on MAGNUM, PI. I mentioned CHRISTINE BELFORD earlier. Do you know(and like) her work? Also what are your favorite things about MAGNUM, PI?

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    1. Magnum created a nice sense of family with its characters. They benefited from fleshing out the character's backgrounds with continuing storylines that didn't overwhelm individual episodes. I liked the narration from Thomas. Interesting guest stars and the sometimes quirky storylines kept my attention as well.

      I remember Christine Belford as one of those familiar faces who popped up on programs I watched back in the 1970s and 1980s.

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  10. TOM SELLECK was in the TV-Movie TWELVE MILE ROAD. It aired on CBS in 2003. WENDY CREWSON played his ex-wife. MAGGIE GRACE played his daughter that he is getting to know better. His live-in girlfriend was played by ANNA GUNN. TEGAN MOSS played the daughter of the girlfriend. Both Wendy and Tegan are CANADIANS.

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    1. I didn't see that one, filmed in Alberta. I was very fond of the Jesse Stone movies filmed in Nova Scotia.

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  11. I know a lot of TV-Movies were filmed in CANADA(and also some TV-Shows). Were the three western movies that Tom Selleck did for TNT filmed in Canada? They were LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER, CROSSFIRE TRAIL, and MONTE WALSH. He won a WESTERN HERITAGE AWARD for each of those movies.

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  12. Crossfire Trail and Monte Walsh were both filmed in Alberta, Last Stand at Saber River in New Mexico.

    Monte Walsh is a rare remake for me, that equals the original. Lovely performances.

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  13. Besides MONTE WALSH and the JESSE STONE movies what are some of your favorite TOM SELLECK movies? He was in a popular comedy movie THREE MEN AND A BABY plus its sequel. He was also in a movie titled THE LOVE LETTER.

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    1. I thought Three Men and a Baby was very cute. In and Out is hilarious. Quigley Down Under is a favourite. The Sacketts mini series is a fond memory.

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  14. Why does HIGGINS have two phones on his desk? Is the red one to talk to ROBIN MASTERS only? Or is one his personal phone? P.S. I just thought of something. I knew that the dog that played DOG on PETTICOAT JUNCTION (and also he played BENJI) was named HIGGINS in real life. But I never thought about HIGGINS(JOHN HILLERMAN) having the same name as a dog. MEREDITH MACRAE worked with DOG/HIGGINS on P.J. and she also did an ep of MAGNUM, PI.

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    1. I believe one was indeed the "Mr. Masters" phone.

      Funny thing about Higgins (the dog), on the show his name was "Dog."

      Meredith MacRae was a lovely singer/actress. Talent does seem to run in families.

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  15. I never watched Magnum P.I ( Murder She Wrote takes up most of my free TV watching time )....but this episode sounds GREAT! Especially with Patrick MacNee being in it. He was great as Watson in "Sherlock Holmes in New York".

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    1. Macnee was the perfect guest for this role. It is what makes it such a favourite episode.

      I can understand Murder, She Wrote taking up your time. There was that time she went to Hawaii...

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  16. LARRY MANETTI and NANCY DECARL have been married 40 years! According to imdb Nancy had uncredited roles in THE REMARKABLE MR. PENNYPACKER (as Ann Pennypacker) and BATMAN(66)(as teen girl). She also did 2 eps of MAGNUM, PI(as a different character each time). I saw Larry and Nancy on the game show TATTLETALES. They married in FEBRUARY and MAGNUM came on later that year-in DECEMBER.

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    1. Gosh, I don't remember Larry and Nancy on Tattletales. Of course, it has been along time since I last saw the show, but it was fun.

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