Original Hawaii Five-O fun, especially the great scenery
What is it? Hawaii Five-O, complete series, 161 episodes on 72 disks from CBS DVD When? Now
How much? $179.98 Complete series? Isn’t it still going on? That’s the remake. We’re talking about the original series that ran 19681980 — the longest-running crime drama in TV history until Law & Order broke its record.
Hawaii Five-O, version 1.0, was an episodic series that followed the adventures of Capt. Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) and his special task force in Honolulu.
McGarrett, a former Navy officer, was appointed by the governor (Richard Denning) and was completely dedicated to protecting the people of Hawaii (and the U.S.) from the bad guys.
Under his command were detectives Danny Williams (James MacArthur), Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong), Kono Kalakaua (Zulu), Duke Lukela (Herman Wedemeyer), Ben Kokua (Al Harrington) and assorted other law enforcement officers.
Working together, they tackled crimes like murder and smuggling while also taking on the occasional “diabolical mastermind” plot with wider-reaching implications. The latter usually involved McGarrett’s arch nemesis, Chinese agent Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh).
All of this was done against the stunning backdrop of Hawaii, where the series was filmed.
How is it? This is one of the better examples of 1960s-’ 70s episodic crime dramas. It’s not as in-depth as today’s shows — the characters’ personal lives are mostly ignored — but it’s entertaining, well-made and, overall, a fun show to watch with its mixture of humor, drama, action and local color.
The fact that international smuggling rings, spies and organized crime are thrown in with the run-of-the-mill murders and robberies makes things a bit more exciting.
Extras? Just promos for most episodes, a series promo, and a music video by Track Masters with Punchline and Taj.
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