Hawaii Five-O: The Fifth Season
Directed by Charles Dubin et al
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 1209 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
MSRP: $ 54.99
Release Date: November 18, 2008
Review Date: November 10, 2008
The fifth season of CBS’ Hawaii Five-O marked the zenith for the show’s run. Ranking third among all broadcast programs for the 1972-1973 season, Hawaii Five-O continued to entertain viewers with cases both elaborate and enjoyable. True to previous seasons, the writers for the show mixed up the formulas, never settling on the show’s being merely an action series with lots of gunplay. Some of the episodes are real mysteries with the guilty party revealed in the show‘s last few minutes. Some are twist-filled caper plots with the squad playing catch-up as the crooks follow a predetermined path to great riches. Some shows are more standard crime dramas with the perpetrators clearly identified early while still others are cat and mouse chases. I can’t think of another crime show of the same era that mixed up its formula any more than Hawaii Five-O did.
Once again, Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) heads the Hawaii Five-O crime unit branch of the Hawaii state patrol network. Since they work for the state rather than the local police department, the unit reports directly to the governor of Hawaii (Richard Denning). Second in command is Danny “Danno” Williams (James MacArthur), and also part of the team are Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong) and new to the team this season Ben Kokua (Al Harrington). Reigning Red Chinese gangster Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) also shows up again this season with a nefarious scheme which uses misplaced patriotism as a weapon to make him richer. The three-part “’V’ for Vashon” series of episodes are collectively some of my favorites of the entire series.
The array of guest stars for the fifth season is a formidable one featuring not only great character actors of the time but also rising stars in some of their earliest roles. Among the famous faces glimpsed in these episodes are Michael Ansara, George Chakiris, Ricardo Montalban, Diana Muldaur, William Shatner, Louise Latham, John Rubenstein, Clu Gulager, Linden Chiles, Mary Frann, Keenan Wynn, Harold Gould, Luther Adler, Andy Griffith, Joyce Van Patten, Grady Sutton, Meg Foster, Richard Anderson, Richard Hatch, Patty Duke, Larry Kert, Lane Bradford, Carol Lawrence, Greg Mullavey, Robert Foxworth, Monte Markham, Madlyn Rhue, Richard Basehart, Malachi Throne, Mark Lenard, Nehemiah Persoff, Jackie Coogan, Nina Foch, Erik Estrada, Simon Oakland, and Eric Braeden.
Here’s the line-up of the season’s twenty-four episodes contained on the six discs which make up the set:
1 - Death Is a Company Policy
2 - Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain
3 - You Don’t Have to Kill to Get Rich - But It Helps
4 - Pig in a Blanket (a great showcase for James MacArthur)
5 - The Jinn Who Clears the Way
6 - Fools Die Twice
7 - Chain of Events
8 - Journey Out of Limbo
9 - “V” for Vashon: The Son
10 - “V” for Vashon: The Father
11 - “V” for Vashon: The Patriarch
12 - The Clock Struck Twelve
13 - I’m a Family Crook - Don’t Shoot (the season’s comedic episode)
14 - The Child Stealers
15 - Thanks for the Honeymoon
16 - The Listener
17 - Here Today … Gone Tonight
18 - The Odd Lot Caper
19 - Will the Real Mr. Winkler Please Die?
20 - Little Girl Blue
21 - Percentage
22 - Engaged to Be Buried (a nice standout role for Kam Fong)
23 - The Diamond That Nobody Stole
24 - Jury of One
The program’s 1.33:1 aspect ratio is faithfully delivered in these DVD transfers. The remastering of the episodes is quite evident as the visuals are sharp and feature excellent color saturation. Flesh tones are gorgeous and blacks are really impressive for a show of this vintage. Sure, there are occasional white specks, and nothing can help the grainy, scratched, and soft looking stock footage used in some shots. One episode featured a weird series of yellow vertical lines occuring several times during the episode. Still, these shows overall look marvelous. Each episode has been divided into 6 chapters without promos and 7 chapters with them.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound is decoded by Dolby Prologic properly into the center channel. All age related problems with hiss, pops, crackle, or flutter are mostly non-existent. The mono mixes are of their era but offer a solid representation of the sound as recorded.
The network promos which served as coming attractions for the series' episodes are available for selection with the shows that contain them. Each runs about 1-minute.
There are previews for Mannix, Cannon, Jake and the Fatman and Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition.
It’s another very successful Hawaii Five-O box set which fans of the show will be glad to have looking so splendid in this fifth season release.