The expression, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” seems to have missed Hollywood in its zeal to remake classic movies or TV shows. Still, we suppose it’s inevitable that people who make TV shows and movies are seduced by updating an idea that was wildly successful the first around. This is how we find ourselves with a remake of Magnum P.I.
The original version of the popular TV series aired from 1980 to 1988 and made a star out of Tom Selleck. The best episodes had Selleck’s character, “Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV,” colliding with “the lads,” a pair of Doberman Pinschers named, “Zeus” and “Apollo” who guarded the estate on which Magnum lived.
In the original Magnum P.I., three local Doberman Pinchers portrayed “the lads” who were actually two bitches named “Cola” and “Nohea,” and a male named “Joe.” When their trainer, Karl Lewis Miller, left the show mid-season, professional Hollywood animal trainer, Scott E. Hart, was brought in as the official animal supervisor for the show. He eventually eventually brought in his own two Doberman Pinschers, “Whiskey” and “Brutus,” as well as “Dominique,” a female.
The 2018 version has Jay Hernandez playing Thomas Magnum, a decorated former Navy SEAL who comes home from Afghanistan and repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. As in the original, this modern Magnum is a charming rogue, drives a vintage Ferrari, and has to contend with Doberman Pinschers who get along with everyone but him. You can get a glimpse of the new dogs at the 1:10 mark in the trailer below:
The “new” Doberman Pinschers are still named Zeus and Apollo, but the “Higgens” in this update is female (the original Higgins was played by John Hillerman who died in 2017 at the age of 84) and is played by British actress, Perdita Weeks.
With regards to the dogs, Weeks said, “I go up to them, and they will snuggle on my leg and stuff which is really sweet but they’re very drooly. I get on really well with the trainers and as much time as I can spend with them is better. They are just going to become such pros by the time we’re finished…they’re super chill. They don’t like hanging around for long periods of time. They get bored. They’re animals. They are incredibly well-behaved and you’re not supposed to say ‘action’ around them because they know the word ‘action.’ You have something to say, “Proceed.” When they say ‘proceed,’ all of us actors are going, ‘duh, what?” The dogs are doing exactly what they should be.”
You can see more of the dogs in the promotional commercial here.