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HTF DVD REVIEW: Hawaii Five-O: The Fifth Season (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

Reviewer
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Matt Hough

Hawaii Five-O: The Fifth Season
Directed by Charles Dubin et al

Studio: Paramount
Year: 1972-1973
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 1209 minutes
Rating: NR
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 Series

4/5

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


Video Quality

4/5

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.

Audio Quality

3.5/5

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.


Special Features

1/5

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.


In Conclusion

4/5 (not an average)

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.


Matt Hough
Charlotte, NC
 

BobSchneider

Second Unit
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Matt as far as you can tell the music sound track has been left un molested unlike the hack job on Fugitive s1 v2. I'm getting tired of seeing Hawaii Five-0 s5 getting trash on pre release reviews of amazon and elsewhere by fugitive fans saying there will be heavy editing and music score replacement, could you lay those rumors to rest so, the fugitive fan boys stop trashing this release. Thanks, BTW this is a must buy for me and I'm not waiting till Christmas
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Steve...O

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Great review, Matt. Thank you.

This sounds like another winner from the H 5-0 franchise. I'm not too concerned about music replacement in this series given that 4 seasons have gone by largely unmolested.
 

Aryn Leroux

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Thanks for the Review... I have been looking forward to Season 5. I hear so many excellent things about this season. I am not sure if i will continue to collect beyond Season 5. But i have been enjoying these sets so much. So who knows.
 

BobSchneider

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Actually the quality of Five-0 in my mind is good thur season 8 ,s9 outward the quality of the writing and acting decline dramatically :frowning: . Season 8 is were I plan to stop collecting myself. Here in So Cal channel 56 shows Hawaii Five-0 re runs mon - fri and Ive seen almost every episode atleast twice (and yes I still want dvd sets ,yes I know Im a sick man :P ;) :D ) and from s9 on the good to bad episode ratio starts its decline. Still I cant want till next tuesday to pick up season 5 , I just got done with JAG season 7 and need more tv to watch besides all the crazy stuff I Tivo every week LOL
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Brent Avery

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Wish I knew what to look for regarding the theme music etc. Was there a slight change in the style of the theme music this season? It is just slightly different in the use of some instruments. Otherwise it appears to be the same (background music as well) throughout the five episodes viewed so far.
 

Matt Hough

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The box does carry the disclaimer that some shows may have been edited from their network broadcast versions, but nothing stood out for me. However, I don't consider myself an expert on HAWAII FIVE-O, and I could have been fooled.
 

Jeff*H

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The main title sequence was once again re-scored in season 5 (and used again in season 6). It was actually re-scored every season of the series except in seasons 3 and 6.
While season 5 is indeed one of the pinnacles of the series, season 6 is no slouch as it has a lot of great nutjobs and guest stars featured, and features the classic episode "Hookman" as the season opener, in which a deranged psychopath with hooks for hands goes around killing cops. So to everyone who is debating whether to continue on after season 5, I definitely recommend that you do.
If I recall, CBS Television (which actually produced the show in conjunction with Leonard Freeman Productions) owns the underscore for Hawaii Five-0 so I would be very surprised if any of it was replaced. There were never any rights issues to my knowledge.

Great review Matt, you definitely touched on a lot of the reasons why season 5 is such an incredibly good season for the series.
 

BobSchneider

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Honestly I wasn't expecting any changes , but I'm tried of seeing all the outraged fugitive fans posting outrageous trashing reviews of Five-0 s5 just because cbs released it. I was hoping matt h would have something definitive (not you're fault btw) I could counter post so they finally stop trash S5 for no reason. Well reguardless I still buying, as I mentioned earlier I'm planning on buy at least three more seasons;)
 

Aryn Leroux

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I might have to rethink where i want to stop collecting. I know one thing i usually am a completist, but i highly doubt i will continue to the end with 5-0. As i hear so much bad talk about the later seasons. I hate to tarnish what i am enjoying so much here. For me it is like watching these for the first time. I only remember watching this show when it was in syndication in the 80's. But i didn't really remember it that well. So maybe i will buy 2 or 3 more seasons aswell. I will have to consider it as we approach the S6 Release. The show is outstanding to this point!
 

Brian Himes

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I'm in this one for the long haul. I'll buy as many seasons as they release. I love this show.
 

Mister-Mike

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I've already watched 9 episodes (I got my set last Saturday in a local store which jumps the gun on release dates), and couldn't detect any changes in the music. Some of these episodes are pretty sparsely-scored, actually, relying a lot on stock cues.

Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain (episode #98) had an exceptional score, though. I haven't seen this episode in a very long time, so I got suspicious. But, ironically, it turns out it is scored by Pete Rugolo -- his only Five-O effort. Ironic, since Rugolo was the man at the center of the Fugitive score replacement controversy.


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The Hawaii Five-O Home Page -- The Hawaii Five-O Home Page
 

WaveCrest

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The footage they used for the Al Harrington as Ben credit in the main title sequence - was that taken from "Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain"?
 

Mister-Mike

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In the Five-O episode You Don't Have to Kill to Get Rich, but It Helps, in which William Shatner gives a very hammy performance as a Texan private detective, there is a shot of a video tape machine which the Shatner character is using to blackmail someone who is trying to blackmail him: http://www.mjq.net/fiveo/misc/videomachine.jpg

At one point, Shatner actually cuts the tape and puts the reel in an envelope which he intends to send to himself for safe keeping.

But if you look at the picture via the link above, there are two reels of different size. The one on the left looks like a reel to reel tape, whereas the other one looks like a 1" video tape reel.

As well, these two reels are on different levels.

Does anyone know what kind of machine this is?
 

Jeff*H

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These episodes look absolutely amazing, with the HD remastering they underwent. I've noticed all sorts of details that I never did before in the TV airings (for instance, Jack Lord had a fair amount of grey showing in his sideburns, Danny's hair appears darker this season). Watching it on an HDTV on an upconverting DVD player helps. And from what I can tell, no underscore has been touched, it's all there as it should be.

There are a ton of great episodes this season beyond the Vashon trilogy, it's no wonder this was the show's highest-rated season.
 

BobSchneider

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Yes I have to agree so far Ive watch three episodes of season five and they all look and sound great, another excellent a+ grade on the set and I am look forward to more seasons.
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bmasters9

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I plan to write a review myself as soon as I finish going through the first viewing. For right now, though, it looks and sounds pretty good. The menus are the same as they have been through all releases (except of course that the #1 menu only had "Episodes," "Set Up," and "Play All" (not in that order), and on the 7th disc, those options and one for "Emme's Island Moments," while #2-#5 have "Play All Episode Promos," "Episodes," and "Set Up" on all discs). The opening and closing music both have somewhat of a stereo sound to them, I think. The packaging is much the same as #4, with silver discs (2 discs in each of 3 slipcases). As for episodes, of the first four, “Death Is A Company Policy” and “Pig in A Blanket” were very good. “Pig in A Blanket” was another strong outing from James MacArthur to go along with “Beautiful Screamer” from #3 and “…And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin” from #1.
 

WaveCrest

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In terms of sales is there any word yet on how the Season 5 (Region 1) boxset has done?
 

Jeff*H

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Not sure yet about how Season 5 has been selling, but I did confirm directly with a reliable industry source that HAWAII FIVE-0: THE SIXTH SEASON will be heading our way on Tuesday, April 21st, so Season 5 must be selling pretty well. I expect an official announcement to be made sometime next month.
 

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