|Magnum, P.I. and Simon And Simon|
Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)
Simon And Simon (1981-1988)
Magnum, P.I. and Simon And Simon represent another powerful two hour block of TV. Airing on CBS, they, especially Magnum, P.I., owned Thursday night for the longest time until being toppled by what would become NBC's Thursday night sitcom "Must See TV" juggernaut starting with The Cosby Show. But that's getting off the topic.
Magnum, P.I. told the stories of Hawaii based private investigator Thomas Magnum. Magnum lived on the estate of the wealthy Robin Masters, a rich writer who was never seen. At times it seemed that Magnum himself or maybe Higgins, who ran the estate, was actually Mr. Masters living incognito. As it was Magnum had free run of the place... or as much free run as Higgin's would give him... and a nice ferarri in exchange for acting as the estate's security man. Also on hand were two of Magnum's Viet Nam buddies Rick who had connections to local criminal charaters like "Icepick", and T.C. who ran a local Helicopter service.
Basically Magnum was a good looking heroic guy who ended up seeming like a bumbling regular guy. He didn't get a lot of respect. His friends and enemies all generally dumped on him and abused him in minor ways. And sometimes he had it coming - trying to duck out on his duties or obligations in favor of having some fun. With his big cheesy mustache, Tom Selleck as Magnum became an 80's TV icon. Originally Thomas Magnum was supposed to be a rich crime foiling guy ala Hart To Hart. It was Tom Selleck's idea to make him the abused hired help and that was maybe the master stroke of the show's charm. Not that uber producer Don Bellisario should be counted out of the show's success. He has worked on and created tons of other TV classics.
Simon And Simon aired right after Magnum, P.I. A.J. and Rick Simon were brothers who ran the small struggling Simon And Simon private investigation agency in San Diego. They were polar opposites. Rick was a scruffy, sloppy, hard liquor, have some fun sort of guy. A.J. was well a well groomed, anally neat, fine wine, appreciation for the good things in life sort. So needless to say they clashed over a lot of things.
And where they could investigate a case in the same way Magnum could, they were also adept at setting up scams and cons to help resolve their cases.
That brings us to the crossovers. Being on right after each other, Magnum, P.I. and Simon And Simon staged a number of two part crossovers. The story would start on Magnum, P.I. and then roll over into Simon And Simon for the conclusion. For right now I'm just going to get into the initial crossover. Since it featured the first meeting of the main characters it is to me the most interesting.
The first time the two shows collided, the plot was set up in the classic way comic books would always stage crossover meetings. You don't just have Superman and Batman meet and say, "Oh, hello there." You set up a misunderstanding between the two so at first its Batman versus Superman THEN you have them make friends.
Magnum P.I. started with a man, sweaty and sick, coming into an Southern California antique store in search of a statue of a Hawaiian poison god. He explained he had taken the statue from a cave before loosing possession of it and that the statue was cursed. Until it was returned to its cave, everyone who came in contact with the statue would die! The owner of the shop explained that the statue had been sold and scoffed at the curse. The man left the store and immediately met a swift death. Da da da dooooooom!!!
Cut to Hawaii where Higgins is preparing to stage a charity auction. The first person to show up with an item to donate to the auction is none other than a beautiful vixen named Catherine and played by Morgan Fairchild. I'll give you one guess what her donated item was... No not a Pez dispenser! The poison god, stupid! Opening the box the god was being kept in, we hear a strange rattle noise (the CURSE noise) and at that exact moment we also see Magnum knocked off the small boat he has been rowing. Hmmm. This trend continues through the show. We see the poison god, we hear the noise and then something unexpected and bad happens (In point of fact, this seems oddly sitcommy and very similar to a plot from when the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii but to be fair the writers did make it fun and not stupid). Higgins soon drafts Magnum into service running security for the auction and making sure none of the items are stolen.
Okay, so where do Simon And Simon fit into all this? Well it turns out Mr. antique shop owner has been getting veeeeery sick and believes it is the curse of the poison god (odd he only got the curse after the other guy told him about it). He hires Simon And Simon to find it. We find curseboy and the Simons staking out Robin Master's estate. The Simon's run a number of scams to try and get the statue. First A.J. breaks into the estate setting off the perimeter alarms. Rick stands leaning on the front gate so it will look like HE set them off accidentally. Rick plays the part of the bumbling lost tourist to distract Higgins while A.J. tries and fails to get the statue, being run off by the estate's guard dogs.
The next day, Rick swipes an exterminator's van and infiltrates the grounds pretending to be the guy who sprays for bugs once a month. Higgins falls for it. Given that Rick is supposedly spraying deadly chemicals, it also serves to get everyone to leave him alone in the house to nab the poison god. Meanwhile, A.J. distracts Magnum by invading the estate's beach pretending to be a high as a kite surfer looking for some good curls. The plan works and they get away with the poison god! Then they take a corner too fast in the van, the statue's box comes open and (insert curse rattle noise here) the van dies! Soon Magnum and company are on their tails. After a guns-drawn standoff, Rick and A.J. escape with the god. Returning to their hotel room, they hand the statue to their relieved client who promptly dies.
Magnum, Rick (Magnum's Rick that is) and T.C. soon locate Rick and A.J. and get the drop on them. Rick and A.J. explain who they are and what is going on. They tell Magnum that their client had been tricked into selling the statue by a con-woman. Then they explain all about the curse, how they didn't believe in it but the client did.
Magnum is suddenly struck with a realization. Catherine! She was the con-woman! Running home he discovers that Higgins has sent her to the bank with all of the money from the auction - only it is passed the time the banks close! Higgins is stunned that he has been duped. Magnum and Higgins hurry to the airport to stop this con-woman from escaping. Now originally as aired on CBS, they failed and Catherine escaped on a plane to California. But for people watching Magnum, P.I. in syndication where the Simon And Simon conclusion wouldn't be present, this ending wouldn't be very satisfying. So in syndication Magnum and Higgins barely manage to catch Catherine just in the nick of time. As to the poison god, Magnum, Rick and T.C. return it to its cave, the statue coming out of it's box one final time causing T.C.'s helicopter some trouble before Magnum can close the lid for good.
But now onto part two, which is a lot simpler to explain. At the end of Magnum, P.I., Higgins had taken off on the next flight for Southern California in pursuit of the con-woman, his honor besmirched. Simon And Simon then arrived at the airport promising Magnum to keep an eye on Higgins and to help him find her.
As it turns out, Catherine had paid someone to pose as her on the flight while she made her escape to a small country with no extradition treaties with the U.S. Once Simon And Simon convince Higgins they aren't con-men themselves (he only knew them from their robbery of the mansion), they all decided to go down to this country and find a way to apprehend her. Magnum talks with them by phone and is going to lend a hand but the Simons point out the con-woman knows Magnum and would see him coming. She doesn't know the Simons and as long as she doesn't see Higgins they should be better able to catch her by surprise. A.J. posed as a young man with a diamond mine scheme and lures her into being his partner. Higgins allowed himself to be seen by con-lady making her nervous and anxious to get on the road out of town to the diamond mine. Rick then poses as the head of a group of local revolutionaries, intercepts them on the way to the non-existant mine and with guns blazing gives chase. He chases Rick and Catherine until, before she knows what is happening, they have driven her out of the country and into a neighboring country that DOES have extradition to the U.S.
Rick and A.J. then return to Hawaii where they will have to stay for some time assisting in the prosecution of the con-woman. In thanks, Higgins offers them full run of the estate and of all Magnums things for the length of their stay leaving Magnum to be abused once again.Other Magnum, P.I. Crossover Links
Magnum, P.I. and Hawaii 50
Magnum, P.I. and Murder, She Wrote
Other Simon And Simon Crossover Links
Simon And Simon and Whiz Kids
Click here to return to main Crossover List
Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out Magnum, P.I. and Simon And Simon on DVD! The crossover mentioned on this page can be found on a number of DVDs. The Magnum, P.I. First Season DVD set includes both episodes of the crossover as a bonus feature. The Magnum, P.I. half of the crossover is also part of the Magnum, P.I. Third Season DVD set. The Simon And Simon half is part of Simon And Simon's Second Season.