The wait is over! Star Wars: The Force Awakens has finally been released to enraptured audiences.
Unfortunately, I was not among them. The only showing that wasn't sold out was in 3D, which to me doesn't make movies look three-dimensional so much as it turns them blurry and induces migraines.
Instead of reviewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I'm pleased to announce that I'll be doing the next best thing--reviewing Operation: Silent Night, the 1983 Christmas episode of hit 1980s TV series Magnum, P.I.!
Before we dive right into the episode, it's worth noting that there's a fascinating connection between Magnum and Star Wars by way of one series' creator and both series' stars.
The Indiana Jones We Deserved
Everyone knows that superstar Harrison Ford played the title role in the George Lucas-produced Indiana Jones series. But did you know that we almost got a different Indy?
It's true! Had fate's fickle hand not intervened, the iconic role of Indiana Jones would have gone to none other than Tom Selleck.
Behold the irrecoverable loss to the art of film--and all of Western civilization!
Both Lucas and Spielberg loved Selleck's performance and were ready to sign him on the spot. Unfortunately, Selleck was already contracted to play the title character of another landmark series--that's right, Magnum, P.I.. CBS refused to let him out of the contract, so we got stuck with Ford.
Yet all was not lost. Instead of playing Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. in a paltry three films (yes, I said and meant three), Selleck got the chance to shine for eight seasons on one of the 1980s' most consistently highest-rated TV shows.
With a pedigree like that, you'd expect Magnum, P.I. to bring something special to the table when it came to Christmas episodes, and you'd be right! The episode I've chosen in honor of the event which Higgins rightly calls, "one of the most sacred in human history" is the 1983 Christmas special, Operation: Silent Night.
The Main Event
Note: I won't bother with spoiler warnings for a 32 year-old TV show. Besides, you all should have watched every episode of Magnum by now, if not committed the whole series to memory.
|Less seedy than most mall Santas|
The adventure begins with Magnum, TC, Rick, and Higgins en route to various Christmas festivities in TC's helicopter, which in no way resembles an off-the-shelf model.
|Pictured: a real helicopter next to a freakishly large tree|
Meanwhile, unknown to our heroes, the captain of a nearby US Navy destroyer--played to hawkish perfection by Ed Lauter--decides to target the island they've landed on for artillery practice.
|Christmas leave is cancelled until morale improves!|
|This guy is partially responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor, but Magnum is honorable enough to give him a proper burial and notify his next of kin. Classy!|
|Eat your heart out, Charlie Brown!|
|A Christmas episode with big ass explosions. Thanks, Magnum, P.I.!|
Plus, explosions. HUGE explosions.
Is Magnum, P.I. episode S04E10 Operation: Silent Night the best Christmas episode of any TV series ever? In a nutshell, yes. Yes it is.