Magnum, P.I.

Season 1 Episode 5

No Need to Know

Aired Unknown Jan 08, 1981 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

No Need to Know
Magnum returns from a case to find that Higgins' old Army commander is staying on the Masters estate, under tight security, until some I.R.A. members he helped capture are tried. Two secret intelligence agents hire Magnum to protect the brigadier and foil assassins out to kill him before the terrorists' trial, but the "need to know" basis the agents insist on operating by only serves to complicate matters for Magnum.moreless

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  • Higgins' former commander, Brigadier General Ffolkes, visits Robin's Nest on holiday. Both Higgins and Magnum are upset when it is deemed they have "no need to know" of a suspected assassination plot on the Brigadier's life.moreless

    "No Need to Know" is one of those episodes of Magnum PI that really leaves nothing wanting. Magnum and Higgins are in top form with their usual chiding banter, the plot is excellent, and there is just the right mix of comedy, romance, and action. For once, the plot is not readily deducible.

    "No Need to Know" is the first episode that coins that phrase in the Magnum universe; it will come back frequently as Magnum butts heads with government and military types in future episodes. Their strict, "by-the-book" style conflicts starkly with Magnum's, and it galls him to no end when his own investigations are jeopardized by the government's unwillingness to cooperate with him, even (as in this episode) when he is hired directly by them!

    "No Need to Know" ranks among the better Magnum episodes, and is a good representative for understanding the characters and series as a whole.moreless
  • A British Army commander is staying at Robin's Nest after capturing some IRA members who are due to go on trial, and risks a retaliation killing. Magnum is hired by two intelligence agents to covertly protect to commander. A very good episode...moreless

    After the disappointing 'Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too', things return to form with this very good episode. In fact, it would have made a far better follow-up to 'China Doll' in my opinion.

    The episode opens with some genuine IRA attack footage, accompanied by a very dodgy Irish news voiceover. Although the series was generally very good with British accents (just listen to Higgins), when it came to Irish on this one they seemed to have trouble, as it doesn't sound all that convincing at all to me.

    Anyway, I find the story to be a very good one, and one that leaves you guessing throughout. It has some very good scenes, and all of the cast give good performances. I particularly like the scene where Magnum sticks up for Higgins. Although he had saved Higgins' job (and butt) in the Pilot by giving a good feedback report to Robin Masters, this is the first real time that Magnum stands up for Higgins.

    This episode is also the first time that we see Richard Johnson as Brigadier Alistair Ffolks, who would return in the enjoyable third season finale 'Faith and Begorrah'.

    Although I never saw this episode on ITV (in the U.K.) originally, I'd imagine it was sometimes edited or skipped completely due to the IRA themes, something that ITV often shied away from.

    [spoiler] When this episode was broadcast on Channel 5 in 2002, I hadn't ever seen it previously. That day I recorded it (as I did with all episodes) but didn't watch it 'live'; when I switched on to turn my video recorder off, I saw the shot on the end credits of Mandy holding the gun on Magnum, giving the whole story away. D'oh! But even so, it was a very good story to watch, and even after you know who the real villain is, it is one of those episodes that stands up well to repeat viewings. [End of spoiler]

    All-in-all, a very good episode, and one that is a good showcase for the generally high quality of the first season.

    The only thing that slightly stops it from getting an even higher rating from me is that the middle of the story (investigating the possible assassin's apartment, etc.) does verge on getting a little 'routine' at points, but thankfully soon picks up again. Still, a great ep.moreless
  • Magnum is hired to protect a British Army Brigadier General who is staying at the estate while two attractive flight attendants are on vacation at the estate as well.

    "No Need to Know" is an excellent episode from Magnum PI's first season. In this episode multiple guests are staying at the Robin Masters Estate; two attractive flight attendants, a British Army Brigadier General and some troops. Magnum becomes attracted to and befriends Mandy the prettier of the two flight attendants. The drama begins quickly when a stranger is seen out on the ocean spying on the estate. The Brigadier General is a target of assassination because of his military actions in Northern Ireland. A distracted and frustrated Magnum is unable to properly protect the General because he is on a "need to know" basis with the intelligence officers who've hired him. Good suspense, pacing, and dialogue plus a surprise ending. Mandy played by actress Robin Dearden easily gets my vote for Magnum Babe for this first season of the show.moreless
Robin Dearden

Robin Dearden


Guest Star

Edward Grover

Edward Grover

William J. Hooker

Guest Star

Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Alistair Ffolkes

Guest Star

Remi Abellira

Remi Abellira


Recurring Role

Reri Tava Jobe

Reri Tava Jobe


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The bomb is hidden in the fuel tank of the car meaning that there should be no light in there, but there are frequent shots of a well-lit clock face. Additionally, although the timer on the bomb supposely counts down from 17 seconds, a total of 38 seconds passes during that time period.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (1)

    • The German episode title is "Bombengrüße aus Ulster", meaning "Explosive Greeting from Ulster". The French title is "Pas besoin de savoir", an exact translation. The Italian title is "Non c'è altro da sapere", meaning "There's No More to Know".


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