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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action TV > Magnum, P.I. The Complete Fourth to Eighth/Final Season (Universal DVD Box Sets)

Magnum, P.I. The Complete Fourth to Eighth/Final Season (Universal DVD Box Sets)

 

Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes Season Four: C Five: C- Six: C- Seven: C+ Eight: C-

 

 

As Magnum P.I. continued its hit run, both the ratings and writing began to erode and the show began to lose both its energy and some of its focus. We first looked at the series with this review of the third season as follows:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/3302/Magnum,+P.I.

 

 

The show ran from 1980 1988 and the 83/84 Fourth Season saw the show become too comical and start to have a strange relationship with the idea of the Vietnam debacle that was ringing with an increasing phoniness that would make the later seasons the opposite of the early ones. Universal TV was not what it once was as the 1980s dragged on and the show declined painfully, ands slowly. In a last-ditch effort to prop up the series, the Seventh Season had a cross-over with Murder, She Wrote that was not as silly as expected. We did not see Jessica Fletcher drive the Ferrari and loose control! They also did a great episode with Frank Sinatra which would turn out to be a big event show and his last-ever acting role.

 

That brings us to the Eighth/Final Season now hitting DVD where the cast looks tired, the storylines are weak, the humor banal and show long in the tooth. CBS was in trouble at the time with an eroding audience and was holding on to any hit they could as NBC overtook them and ABC, plus cable, satellite and VHS was permanently cutting up what was once the might Big Three networks. Looking at these shows again, including the teases about who Robin masters was, the guest stint by Carol Burnett with mixed results and few new ideas, at least the show went out with some form of dignity, but the camera does not lie here. You can tell all involved knew it was coming to an end and this became the shortest season of all with only 13 episodes.

 

That may seem common now, but back then, that was considered half-a-season in the good old days. This can only have interest as a curio and for the most diehard fans, but otherwise, it is a sad ending to a show that for a brief time early on, was very watchable. The sun set before it got worse.

 

The 1.33 X 1 image on all these sets as it had been on the third we looked at before are decent prints, but can be a little softer than they should be and are likely older video masters that were done right. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad, but can be flat more often than not. To the credit of all these sets, playback is more consistent than usual for a TV series. Extras vary between sets, but usually include some audio commentary tracks. Sellecks appearance on The Rockford Files that got the studio interested in giving him his own series is included here for fans and to promote those box sets.

 

Up next, a feature film remake of the series without Selleck scheduled for 2009. If it is good, that will be a nice surprise. If not, even this last season will look better.

 

 

- Nicholas Sheffo


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