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DVD Review: Hawaii Five-O – The Third Season

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Hawaii Five-O, which ran from 1968-1980 on CBS, remains one of the most popular police dramas in television history. Jack Lord’s steely portrayal of Five-O’s man in charge, Steve McGarrett, makes the show worth watching. Played by Jack Lord, McGarrett combines intensity with coolness.

McGarrett is a bachelor who obviously enjoys the company of island ladies — a self-assured man with a staccato delivery. He is always polite when dealing with his subordinates, Danny "Danno" Williams, Kono Kalakaua, and Chin Ho Kelly. However, Steve has little patience for constitutional civilities — "Gentlemen, I want you to turn this place inside out" — finding the crook is always the most important thing.

The 24 episode third season of Hawaii Five-O opens with the Five-O on the trail of their nemesis, Wo Fat. While a critically wounded U.S agent awaits surgery, McGarrett and his men race to recover the kidnapped daughter of the doctor scheduled to do the surgery and come face to face with Red Chinese Agent Wo Fat. Wo Fat remains an arch enemy of the Five-O throughout the twelve year run of Hawaii Five-O

The legendary jazz singer Nancy Wilson guest stars on “Trouble in Mind.” In the episode, Wilson plays singer Eadie Jordan who is trying to stage a comeback at a concert, but she is struggling with an addiction to heroin. Meanwhile, McGarrett and his men are in a race against time, as they try to stop the distribution of arsenic-laced heroin on the island of Oahu. Nancy Wilson fans will enjoy this episode, as she sings several times.

A young Eric Braeden (Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless) guest stars as journalist Klaus Marberg on “The Second Shot.” McGarrett and his team have a lot of dangerous situations to contend with as assassination attempts are made on an exiled Greek doctor and the journalist who comes to interview him. To make matters worse, things aren’t what they seem.

Martin Sheen, who appeared on the second season's “Cry Lie” episode, appears once again in “Time and Memories.” When a lawyer is murdered, his wife becomes the top suspect and McGarrett investigates. However, matters are complicated by the fact that the woman (Diana Muldar) had a relationship with McGarrett. “Time and Memories” gives the audience a bit of insight into Steve McGarrett’s personal life. While we already know that he was in Naval Intelligence, this is the first time we learn he was in a serious relationship while on active duty as a Navy lieutenant.

One of my favorite episodes on Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season is “Force of Waves.” After a boat explosion kills a wealthy businessman and seriously injures McGarrett, Danno (James MacArthur) is forced to take over the investigation. Danny discovers a similar string of incidents that involve rich men abandoning their wives.

In another standout, the two part “The Grandstand Play” a former major league baseball player brings his developmentally challenged son to Hawaii to start a new life after receiving death threats on the mainland. After the boy witnesses a murder at the ballpark, he is too scared to tell his father or the police.

While Hawaii Five-O doesn’t burn with the intensity of modern police dramas like N.Y.P.D Blue, Law & Order: SVU or C.S.I, considering it was the early 1970s Hawaii Five-O is to be commended for taking a serious look at issues such as drug abuse, revenge, and international politics.

Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season is a must have for fans of the series or fans of police drama. The scripts are first rate, the actors are top-notch, and the Hawaiian scenery is a bonus.

Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season is packed with notable guest stars including: Vera Miles, Hume Cronyn, Joan Van Ark, Ed Flanders, Andrew Duggan, Peter Bonerz, Simon Oakland, Anne Archer, and Monte Markham. I bet getting folks to come to Hawaii to shoot an episode or two wasn’t too difficult.

The Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season DVD set is presented in widescreen format. The sound is in Dolby digital surround sound 2.0. The picture is surprisingly clear for a show originally broadcast in 1970-71. Subtitles are available in Spanish, Brazilian, and Portuguese. The only special features are the episodic promos that were common for shows of that time.

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About Rebecca Wright

  • Jim Wynorski

    Season 3 is not presented in the wide screen format(as stated in the above review), nor should it be…as the shows were shot for the 4X3 TV medium.

  • http://www.elasticpop.com Rebecca Wright

    As Jim states, season 3 is presented in full screen format, as are seasons 1&2.