Butlersguild

JOHN HILLERMAN AS THE BUTLER HIGGINS

A ratings hit for eight seasons on CBS, the action-mystery series Magnum, P.I. makes its DVD boxed set debut in an impressive five-disc package that offers not only the entire first season, but some rarely seen episodes. Positioned in the old Hawaii Five-O time slot (Thursdays at 9) in December of 1980, Magnum quickly became a hit, thanks to the combination of smart and witty scripting, gorgeous locations, and the considerable charm of lead Tom Selleck as former Naval Intelligence officer Thomas Magnum, who gives up his position to become a private investigator on Oahu with the help of fellow Vietnam vets T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) and Rick (Larry Manetti). Magnum also provided security for the lavish estate of wealthy (and never-seen) mystery writer Robin Masters, which gave him access to the author's expensive vehicles (including a prized Ferrari), much to the disapproval of Masters's manservant Higgins (Jonathan Hillerman).

A rare series that skillfully blended action, humor, drama, and suspense, Magnum, P.I.'s first season gets the boxed set treatment its fans have been hoping for, with all 18 first-season episodes (including the two-part pilot, "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii") included on four discs. The fifth disc contains four rarely shown bonus episodes, including season 3's "Ki'ls Don't Lie," which featured a crossover plot with Simon and Simon, as well as its conclusion ("Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend"), which kicked off S&S's second season; the latter episode has never been aired as part of Magnum's syndicated package, which is another reason for fans to pick up and enjoy this long-awaited set.