One of the first things I did as decorator was to make the books in the "wild bookcase" section fake. It was extremely difficult to move the bookcase wall with the books in it because of the weight. Whenever you saw a camera angle of the desk from the bookcase side, it had to be taken out to fit the camera in. The other side with the French doors was not a problem.
The (fake) white brick wall in Higgins' den were a left over design element from the pilot that was filmed partially at the Marks' Estate. There was an enclosed lanai that had painted white bricks on a couple of the walls. The double doors at the end of the room lead into the entry hall with the curved staircase. Beyond that was the door I called "the door to everywhere else" since it went to several places depending on the episode. Any of you ever notice this?
Not sure where to insert this entry hall story, but this is as good a place as any. When Ms. Lansbury came over to do the combined "Murder She Wrote" episode (later commenting that her show had "saved" Magnum when our ratings were down), she had a scene on the stairs with Tom. I was not present when this happened, but I did hear about it from several people. Ms. Lansbury was delivering her lines at the top of the stairs (as mentioned earlier that they only lead to the catwalks above the set) and Tom was at the bottom. At some point in the afternoon around 4:00 p.m. while Tom was saying his lines, an alarm tone went off. Ms. Lansbury suddenly walked down the stairs past Tom who had a look of bewilderment on his face. One of her people then said, "Ms. Lansbury is done for the day." Apparently part of her contract was to only work so many hours a day, which is not uncommon. Having an alarm clock and leaving in the middle of a scene is uncommon. I don't think anyone felt the love after that. Tom, on the other hand, was always good about giving that extra to finish a scene--especially at a location where returning would have been difficult (and expensive).
As long as I'm inserting sidebar messages, thank all of you who bid on my eBay Magnum items (especially you know who). I really don't think I have anything left of interest (the box I used to store my papers in? lol) If I ever do find anything, I will be sure to let you know. In the meantime, as mentioned before, the eBay guys from Hauula (Hawaiiprops) are legitimate and nice people--and are doing VERY well! I'd better establish some advertising / endorsement rates soon!
Mahalo again for your expressions of thanks for this blog!