We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Magnum, P.I.

Season 3 Episode 20

Two Birds of a Feather

Aired Unknown Mar 17, 1983 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
34 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Two Birds of a Feather
Magnum investigates the crash of a small plane in the estate's tidal pool and discovers it wasn't an accident and that the pilot he vaguely recognizes helped save him in the Vietnam War.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Guest stars

    My favorite guest stars:

    William Lucking

    Richard Roundtree
  • Magnum meets pilot Sam Hunter, who he indirectly knew in Vietnam, when the plane Hunter is flying crashes into the Estate's tidal pool, narrowly missing Magnum. But it turns out the crash was no simple accident. The pilot for a series that didn't sell...moreless

    'Two Birds of a Feather' is a backdoor pilot for a proposed spin-off series that did not sell. William Lucking (who many will recognise as Colonel Lynch from 'The A-Team') had already played a very similar character, Grady Dancer, in two of Donald P. Bellisario's one season wonder, 'Tales of the Gold Monkey' (1982-83), 'Legends Are Forever' (where the character met his demise), and 'Honor Thy Brother' (where Grady was seen in flashback).

    Bellisario obviously liked the character enough to try and spin him off into his own series. The character was updated to the 1980s ('Tales of the Gold Monkey' was set in the late 1930s) and fleshed out, but is very much Grady Dancer mark II, complete with cowboy hat and interest in ancient ruins.

    Anyway, this episode, being a pilot for a series revolving around Lucking as Sam Hunter, features very little of Magnum and co. The opening trailer features Magnum heavily, no doubt to try and hook the regular viewers who tuned in to see Thomas Sullivan, but the story itself more revolves around Hunter and his family and associates.

    It is the first of just a few 'Magnum-lite' episodes of the series (in terms of the character), with Magnum and Higgins only seen in a few scenes. T.C. and Rick are only seen in flashback in the opening 'Nam sequence (T.C. is mentioned in the present, but not seen).

    The bulk of the episode sets about giving background to Hunter's character. His boss is played by 'Shaft' actor Richard Roundtree (who deserved to be used in a better and more prominent MPI story).

    The climatic jet chase is quite exciting and well shot, and is probably the highlight of the story.

    Lucking is likable enough as Hunter, and one can only wonder what it would have been like if he got his own series, but people who tuned in to see Magnum, Higgins, T.C. and Rick may be disappointed.

    The pilot for a series set around Sam Hunter did not sell, but Bellisario did take the very basic notion of an ace combat pilot, and worked it into 'Airwolf' (1984-86). As a fan of both 'Tales of the Gold Monkey' and 'Airwolf', I find these connections to MPI fascinating. One can only wonder what the series would have been like, if it had ever emerged.moreless
Soon-Teck Oh

Soon-Teck Oh


Guest Star

John Di Santi

John Di Santi

Gargoyle Gallagher

Guest Star

Ann Doran

Ann Doran

Mrs. Hunter

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (6)

    • The German episode title is "Zwei auf einen Schlag", meaning (idiomatically) "Kill Two Birds with One Stone". The French title is "Le temple khmer". The Italian title is "Volare per vivere", meaning "Fly to Live".

    • The scenes of the aerial battle between Sam and Nick were used two years later in the Airwolf episode, "Severence Pay".

    • The aircraft that Sam pilots at the end of the episode is Miss Van Nuys, a P-51D Mustang Survivor.

    • The aircraft that Nick pilots at the end of the episode appears to be a Lear Jet 24 or 24B.

    • Chad Sheets was nominated for the 1984 Best Young Actor, Guest in a Television Series, Young Artist Award for his performance as Kip Hunter in this episode.

    • This episode is the unsold pilot for a series about treasure hunter and ace combat pilot Sam Houston Hunter and contains the strains of the series' theme song in the closing credits. After he failed to attract any interest in this series, Bellisario took the bare bones of the concept and eventually developed it into Airwolf.