Hawaii Five-O: The Sixth Season
Directed by Charles Dubin et al
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 1201 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
MSRP: $ 54.99
Release Date: April 21, 2009
Review Date: April 5, 2009
The sixth season of CBS’ Hawaii Five-O found the Thursday night drama still near the top of the Nielsen heap ranking as the fifth most popular show on television. Featuring the same mix of cops and killers as in previous seasons, 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 (an elaborate con game played on three unsuspecting victims being one of the season’s most entertaining dramas). In some shows the mobsters are clearly identified early while still others find associates of the police actually being the surprise masterminds of the dastardly crimes (this happened in two episodes during this season). 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 Ben Kokua (Al Harrington). Being given more to do this season is forensic scientist Che Fong (Harry Endu) who's in almost every episode. Reigning Red Chinese gangster Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) does not show up this season breaking somewhat with the tradition of previous seasons, but there are plenty of bad guys to do plenty of dirty work that Five-O must straighten out.
The array of guest stars for the sixth 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 Mark Lenard, Nehemiah Persoff, Audrey Totter, Bert Convy, Slim Pickins, Bo Hopkins, Barbara Baxeley, Michael Anderson, Jr., Jack Dodson, Don Porter, Sally Kirkland, Gregory Sierra, Pat Morita, Ron Glass, Laurence Pressman, Murray Matheson, A. Martinez, Lew Ayers, Jack Carter, Louise Sorel, Victor Buono, Don Stroud, Peter Haskell, Perry King, Nicholas Hammond, Ed Flanders, Cindy Williams, Andrew Duggan, Peter Strauss, John Beck, Frank Cady, Anthony Zerbe, Casey Kasem, Keene Curtis, Jon Byner, William Devane, and David Wayne.
Here’s the line-up of the season’s twenty-four episodes contained on the six discs which make up the set:
1 - Hookman
2 - Draw Me a Killer
3 - Charter for Death
4 - One Big Happy Family
5 - The Sunday Torch
6 - Murder Is a Taxing Affair
7 - Tricks Are Not Treats
8 - Why Wait Till Uncle Kevin Dies?
9 - Flash of Color, Flash of Death
10 - A Bullet for El Diablo
11 - The Finishing Touch
12 - Anybody Can Build a Bomb
13 - Try to Die on Time
14 - The $100,000 Nickel
15 - The Flip Side Is Death
16 - The Banzai Pipeline
17 - One Born Every Minute (elaborate con game was my favorite episode this season)
18 - Secret Witness
19 - Death with Father (directed by series star Jack Lord)
20 - Murder with a Golden Touch
21 - Nightmare in Blue
22 - Mother’s Deadly Helper
23 - Killer at Sea
24 - 30,000 Rooms, and I Have the Key (this season’s light comedy caper show)
The original 1.33:1 television aspect ratio is faithfully delivered in these transfers. Paramount has done a very good job at remastering these old films as, for the most part, they look really terrific. Sure, there are occasional speckles, some slight moiré, and some soft shots owing to either dated stock footage or “glamour shots” for certain stars. Otherwise, color is very strong, sharpness is generally excellent, and blacks are impressively deep with some good shadow detail to be seen. Each episode has been divided into 6 chapters without the promos or 7 chapters with them.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is a solid encoding of the sound design typical for its era. You may hear some light hiss occasionally, but the audio tracks have been mostly cleaned up and sound pleasingly robust for mono tracks.
There are episode promos available for every episode of the sixth season. The viewer may choose to watch them or skip them from the main menu.
The set offers previews for Mannix, Cannon, Jack & the Fatman, Nash Bridges, Walker, Texas Ranger, and JAG.
Paramount has delivered another solid season of Hawaii Five-O with episodes looking mostly fresh and offering good entertainment for your investment.