Magnum P.I. Reboot Blends Flavor and Nostalgia

CBS sets out to prove everything old is new again with the reboot of Magnum P.I. The classic 80’s TV show receives a few updated touches here and there but overall the series stays true to the original. Small changes give the show a fresh perspective and an intriguing character dynamic. Fans of Hawaii Five-0, S.W.A.T. N.C.I.S and MacGyver will enjoy CBS’ new version of Magnum P.I.

The show uses a proven formula. Enter one charming star with a dazzling smile, and boyish personality. Add a cantankerous person or two for conflict. Sprinkle in some action scenes from an exotic locale and viola instant hit, or at least that’s what CBS is banking on.

Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez)is joined by his best friends, Rick (Zachery Knighton) and T.C. (Stephen Hill). The three friends are all former POWs who were held captive together in Afghanistan. To add to the nostalgia factor the pilot episode closely mirrors the pilot episode of the original series which starred Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I. from 1980 – 1988.

The first episode introduces key players, and pays homage to the past in an entertaining manner. The characters’ back stories are deftly woven through the pilot to lay the foundation for the series. One of the constant issues between Magnum and Higgins in the original is the destruction of expensive property  at Magnum’s hand. The private investigator has a knack for destroying cars. Which turns out to be a bit pricey even if Robin Masters is a millionaire. Magnum’s reckless driving lead to the destruction of two Ferraris in the pilot.

The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same

Higgins (Perdita Weeks) might have undergone a drastic transformation, but somethings remain the same. Magnum’s antagonistic relationship with Higgins is still combative. It’s clear the two share a deep respect for each other. Though she tries to give the impression she’s incapable of empathy, or compassion several times during the pilot her humanity shines through. Try not to blink though, the glimmers of Higgins compassion are brief and disappear quickly. Her prickly nature makes her a little more likeable than the Higgins in the original series.

T.C.’s helicopter is the same. Magnum still refers to Robin Masters’ Dobermans as the ‘hounds of hell’. The ferocious dogs are almost playful pups when they interact with everyone, everyone that is except for Thomas Magnum.

Magnum is still a highly decorated military veteran. He’s still the bane of Higgins’ existence and judging from the quips from Higgins in the pilot Thomas Magnum is still a ladies man.

In the original series Magnum was rarely seen without his Detroit Tigers baseball cap. In the updated version the cap is still around. Before the show ends Magnum shares the origin of the cap with his friend’s son. The two bond over the hat and their fathers. It’s a touching moment.

Overall the updated version keeps enough of the old flavor from the original to give you warm feelings of nostalgia while changing things up just enough to stand on its own. Only time will tell if fans can accept a Hispanic Magnum P.I. and a female Higgins.

What do you think about the Magnum P.I. reboot? The show airs on CBS Mondays at 9 Eastern. Do you have it penciled in on your schedule as must watch TV? Let me know what you think about Magnum P.I. in the comments below. Keep up with your favorite shows on and Apple News .

Images and video courtesy of CBS

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