'Magnum P.I.' Skydives From Outer Space in Explosive Opening Scene

CBS' Magnum P.I. began with an explosive and completely unexpected opening, where the new Thomas S. Magnum skydived from outer space.

Before we even saw the title card, the show started with Magnum (Jar Hernandez) jumping from a satellite. He landed in North Korea, where he had to rescue a doctor from captivity. Unfortunately, the doctor wants to take his family, which complicates the rescue operation.

Magnum gets the family inside a car, but the North Korean army is on the chase. While driving through the mountains, his friends - Rick (Zachary Knighton), TC (Stephen Hill) and Sebastian - are following in a helicopter. After causing his pursuers' truck to explode, his friends find him and pull off the daring rescue.

However, this is all revealed to be a fantasy. It comes from a book written by Mr. Masters, the rich owner of the guest house Magnum calls home, just as the original Magnum did in the 1980s. In the reboot, Masters was a journalist who covered Magnum and his friends while they served in the Middle East. After becoming a successful novelist, Masters agreed to help Magnum out.

Masters has also written a series of fictionalized novels loosely based on Magnum's career with his friends. It turns out the entire opening in North Korea was just a scene from Masters' book.

Most of the new Magnum P.I. follows the same story foundation as the original series. However, Higgins, the caretaker of Masters' estate, is now Juliet Higgins, played by Perdita Weeks (The Tudors). Like the original Higgins, she is a former British spy.

Another big change is Magnum without a mustache. During the original series, Tom Selleck kept his now-iconic mustache through the whole series. Jay Hernanez has no intention of growing one, although he does have a stubble.

"Tom Selleck brought that to the character — it wasn't written that way," Hernandez told CBS News. "I felt like anybody who would come in and try to do the mustache — it was going to be a swing and a mess, because Tom owned it and it was his."

Hernandez continued, "Magnum is still a war vet, still an ex-Navy SEAL. He still lives on Robin Masters' Estate and drives a red Ferrari, so there's a lot from the original show that if you're fans of the original show you'll respect and love, but there's some changes. Also Higgins is now played by Perdita Weeks ... which adds a fun dynamic that was not there in the original. There's action, there's a little bit of heart, some comedy — there's kind of a bit of everything."

New episodes of Magnum P.I. air on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.


Photo credit: CBS