Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Starring: Simon MacCorkindale and Melody Anderson.
Manimal lasted only 8 episodes from Septembet 1983 to December 1983 and it was rated number 15 out of 50 worst T.V shows of all time according to TV Guide but despite all that the showhas gained a cult following across the world.
The show follows the adventures of Jonathan Chase(Simon) who has the ability to transform into any animal he wants to.He fights all kinds of evil doers in each episode.He is assisted in hios quest by his friend TC(Michael Roberts) and cop Brooke Mackenzie(Melody).They are the only two people to know about Jonathan's ability.
As observed in the wikipedia article on the show that the show had primitive looking special effects by today's standards plus their were logical errors through out the show.Jonathan changes into different animals,mostly panther and hawk in each episode andduring the transformation process his clothes are shredded but when he transforms back to human form his clothes are intact!But despite all these short comings i loved the show as a kid(i first saw it during the early 90's).Its campy but its entertaining as well.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


Actors: Tom Selleck,John Hillerman,Roger E.Mosley and Larry Manetti
Genre: Action/Adventure/Mystery/Comedy
Seasons: 8 (December 1980-May 1988)
Episodes: 162
Running Time: 48mins approx.each episode
Creator:Donald P.Bellisario and Glen A.Larson
Magnum P.I  is one of my all time favorite shows.I never saw the show when it was in its original run beacuse firstly i was born in the year the show started and secondly the show was never shown by the national television channel in Pakistan(it was the only t.v channel in Pakistan during the 80's.It was not until the early 90's that i was able to watch Magnum P.i for the first time,thanks to the opening of couple of private T.V channels.I loved the show.They showed only the first four seasons.It was not until February this year that i was able to watch it again on DVD.I bought all the 8 seasons(comprising 45 DVDS) and although the purchase left a huge hole in my pocket it was worth it.Everynight i used to watch atleast one episode of the show and on weekends two to four episodes,depending on the free time i used to get.I finished the entire series in 3 months and loved it so much that these days i am watching the entire series again.Watching it makes me feel as if i am visiting four fun loving friends with whom you have a real good time.
The show started in December 1980 in the time slot left vacant by Hawaii Five-o.The show was an instant hit and catapulted Tom Selleck to super stardom.Virtually everyone who is familiar with Indiana Jones movies knows that Tom Selleck was the original choice for the Indy role but couldn't do it because he had already commmited himself to Magnum and he was unable to play Indiana because of filming conflicts.As it turned out that year in 1980 there was a writers strike which delayed the filming of the  T.V show by a couple of months meaning Tom could have easily played Indiana and still be able to do Magnum P.I!From the moment the shows pilot episode aired the show was a blockbuster ratings hit and went on to stay in the top 20 shows for the first 5 seasons.Actually,i also feel that the first 5 seasons are terrific but the quality starts to dip from season 6 and unforunately the quality kept going down as the seasons progressed.Overall the show is immensely entertaining.
Thomas Magnum is a private investigator who also serves as a security expert for Robin Masters beautiful estate called Robin's Nest.Robin Masters is a world famous author of mystery novels who spends most of his time travelling around the world.The estate is looked after by an Englishman Johnathan Quayle Higgins,an ex-British Military sergeant.Both Thomas lives in the guest room of the estate and is free to use the facilities of the estate specially the beautiful red  Ferrarri.Both Thomas and Higgins are at odds with each other over the usage of the facilities and over their different living styles.It seems as if Higgins hates Magnum but that is not the case.He respects Magnum and the good he tries to do for the people.Besides both are retied soldiers.Higgins served in World War 2 and Magnum alongwith TC(Mosley) and Rick(Mantelli) fought in the Vietnam war.Higgins respects Magnum and values his friendship but never shows it.Magnum knows that.Magnum's two best friends TC and Rick also live in Hawaii.TC runs his own chopper service called The Island Hoppers and Rick manages the King Kamemeha Club.Magnum always needs their help in solving the cases.Rick does the intelligence work and TC helps in travelling but more often than not both are reluctant to help him and are conned into helping by Magnum.The show also has a voice over by Tom Selleck(a technique that shows like MacGyver and Burn Notice would use later).The episodes do not have a set pattern.They combined action.adventure/mystery/comedy and drama beautifully.The main focus of the show is the friendship between the four lead characters and the code of honor of soldiers that they are bound with.Throughout the show their friendship is tested one way or another.This is what i like about the show and all the characters are so loveable.Magnum is a strong fleshy and human character and not like a Michael Knight who falls for the female guest star in every epiosde of Knight Rider and there were a lot of shows like that at the time.The episodes varied in genre.Most combined elements of act/adv/com/mys but their were episodes that were in dramatical in nature especially the episodes focusing on Magnum's past.
The show like other big shows of the time head an array of big TV and movie stars in guest roles.The legendary Frank Sinatra also starred in a season 7 episode called Laura.The other thing that i love about this show is the beautiful setting of Hawaii.Its an awesome place and i just wish someday i could visit the place.
The show also had a number of recurring characters like Mac(Jeff Mckay),assistant D.A Carol Baldwin(Kathleen Lloyd),Lt. Yoshi(Kwan Hi Lam),Lt.Maggie Poole (Jean Bruce Scott of Airwolf fame) and Elisha Cook Jr.
After 8 successful seasons the show ended in 1988.To be honest,after season 5 the show took a steep dip and the last
 season was really disappointing.But overall its one of the best TV shows i have ever seen.Infact its has become my second favorite show of all time behind Murder She Wrote.Highly recommended.