Magnum, P.I.

Season 7 Episode 16

Solo Flight

Aired Unknown Feb 04, 1987 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
36 votes
  • In the middle of a run of bad luck which has included being fired from a case, without telling anyone Magnum decides to climb a remote mountain. But, already suffering a centipede bite, he becomes trapped under the wreckage of a WWII plane. Very good...

    This review contains spoilers.

    'Solo Flight' is in many ways a remake of the classic fourth season opener 'Home From the Sea' (my all-time favourite episode of the series). But thankfully, instead of being a simple retread, 'Solo Flight' adds enough new elements and good moments for it to rank as an excellent episode in its own right.

    The story could have ended up as a 'flashback episode' – a staple TV device, especially during the 1970s and '80s, where most of the story is made up of flashbacks to previous episodes. However, here, whilst there are indeed a wide range of flashbacks (most prominently from the aforementioned 'Home From the Sea'), they serve to illustrate the story, instead of getting in the way of the overall plot.
    There are some very good moments in this story – one of my favourites is even before Magnum has become trapped under the wreckage, when he first finds the plane, and feels compelled to salute. It doesn't sound much reading it, but on-screen, it comes across as a very powerful moment.

    The music for the story is also very good – slow and dramatic and vaguely menacing, it fits perfectly into the episode.

    Another good element of the story is how Magnum 'remotely' solves the case from which he has been fired.
    Most of the story is simply Magnum laying trapped under the wreckage talking to himself – in lesser capable hands, this would have come across as very dull, but with Tom Selleck, it comes off as immensely watchable.

    As I say, this is in many ways a remake of 'Home From the Sea'. In that episode, Magnum was stuck out at sea treading water, with no-one knowing he was there; this one is similar in that he is again in great peril, with no-one realising where he is. There are a lot of references to the former episode – Magnum even names a spider he is watching 'Herman', a name he also dubbed a shark in 'Home...' (which in turn is a name that he gave the monster under his bed as a kid). But more of a blatant rip-off, 'Solo Flight' comes across merely as a story in the same vein.

    In 'Home...', Magnum's psychic abilities with his friends alerts them to his peril; they could have used the same device again here, but then I think the story really would feel like a rip-off. Instead, Magnum works his own way out of this one – which some may argue is ultimately more satisfying.

    Then there is the nice ending – after trying to save a fly from 'Herman' while on the mountain, at the end of the story, Magnum subconsciously swats a fly on the back of his neck, before realising what he has done!

    All-in-all, this is a really good story. It could have come across as a blatant remake / rip-off, but thankfully it works really well. I give it a 10.