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Paramount Home Video presents
Hawaii Five-O: The Second Season (1969/1970)

McGarrett: How come someone from 5-O missed a pretty girl?
Danno: I guess I was thinking of The Beast.

- Jack Lord, James MacArthur

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: September 14, 2007

Stars: Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Zulu, Kam Fong
Other Stars: Richard Denning, Peggy Ryan, Harry Guardino, James Hong, Loretta Swit, Barbara Luna, Mark Lenard, Will Kuluva, Will Geer, Anne Helm, Albert Paulsen, John Randolph, Elaine Joyce, Herb Vigran, Henry Silva, Julie Gregg, Khigh Dhiegh, Winston Char, Eric Braeden, Marianne McAndrew, Bill Bigelow, Soon-Teck Oh, Theodore Bikel, Philip Ahn, Linda Marsh, Joe Brennan, Arthur Franz, Brandon de Wilde, Marj Dusay, Lyle Bettger, James Gregory, Keye Luke, Titos Vandis, Joe De Santis, Paul Stevens, Frank Marth, James Hong, Beverlee McKinsey, , Jackie Coogan, William Windom, Marion Ross, Robert Edwards, Herman Wedemeyer, Harry Endo, Christopher Walken, David Arkin, John Colicos, Jack Soo, Martin Sheen, Tom Skerritt, Sam Melville, Lani Kai, George Groves, Charles Aidman, Fred Beir, Ed Flanders, Dana Elcar, Joanne Linville
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nothing objectionable
Run Time: 20h:26m:03s
Release Date: July 24, 2007
UPC: 097368521247
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A A-A-A C+

DVD Review

Hawaii 5-0 is back for its second season, which originally aired in 1969-1970. Like the first season, the production value is high and stylish, with the show taking full advantage of the island scenery and culture. The cast is well established and are natural in their roles, with Jack Lord's McGarrett commanding both the story lines and screen presence. This time out 5-0 has its hands full dealing with everything from corrupt politicians or the army, to pranksters and international espionage, but as always, McGarrett gets his man.

The season opener, A Thousand Pardons - You're Dead! has 5-0 investigating an military insurance scam, when the widows of GI's serving in 'Nam begin winding up dead. M*A*S*H star Loretta Swit makes an appearance. In To Hell with Babe Ruth an escaped Japanese mental patient is on a mission to complete his assignment 28 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although the premise had promise, this isn't one of the finer 5-O moments.

First seen in the series pilot, Cocoon, McGarrett's nemesis, Chinese agent Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh), makes a pair of appearances this season, the first of which is Forty Feet High and it Kills where a diversionary tidal wave warning sends 5-O into evacuation mode, enabling the kidnapping of a brilliant geneticist (Will Geer) who uses his own cunning against his captors to facilitate his rescue. Just Lucky, I Guess has McGarrett trying to convince the reluctant witness to a prostitute's murder to testify against a crime lord—look for one of McGarrett's many ethical diatribes in this one.

Foreign revolutionaries carry out a daring weapons theft from an armoury in Savage Sunday, and it's up to McGarrett's team to stop the haul from leaving the island. In his second appearance, Wo Fat is behind the scenes in There's A Bullet for McGarrett when a psychology professor hypnotizes his students to become assassins, and McGarrett's undercover plant may be his next victim. There's Sweet Terror in the air when 5-O uncovers plans to destroy the island's sugar cane industry are hatched by a rival nation, then games go too far when, as a lark to prove something to "the man," a group of college students heist an island heirloom from the museum in King Kamehameha Blues.

In a rare off-island episode, Steve travels to Singapore to repatriate a mob witness (Marj Dusay), but finds himself on the run (The Singapore File). After a failed assassination attempt against a candidate, McGarrett has his suspicions in All the King's Horses about the politician pushing 5-O to pursue an ex-racketeer, a man McGarrett believes is clean. Politics are again in the storyline as a foreign dictator is grounded on Hawaiian soil by rival factions (Leopard on the Rock) and a young boy's kidnapping uncovers a story about The Devil and Mr. Frog.

A high stakes game takes a deadly turn as a pair of young men play for the hand of a wealthy heiress in The Joker's Wild, Man, Wild! and an errant tip has 5-O staking out the wrong bank when one of McGarrett's former adversaries returns to the island to pull off a major heist (Which Way Did They Go).

McGarrett's birthday celebration winds up costing him his sight when he survives a car bombing attempt. Happy Days star Marion Ross plays the nurse out to help Steve adjust to being a Blind Tiger. Guest Christopher Walken puts in a memorable performance when a former hood McGarrett convinced to join the navy becomes the suspect in a murder investigation. The evidence is overwhelming, but Steve has a hunch something doesn't add up (Run Johnny, Run), and when a number of children start disappearing, it's up to McGarrett to discover why an army psychologist is out to drive a fellow serviceman crazy in Killer Bee. In the wake of a crooked card game, 5-O has to solve the murder of a player before his brother (Battlestar Gallactica's John Colicos) exacts revenge on those responsible in The One With the Gun.

A pair of episodes focus on individual 5-O members. The first takes a rare look at family life when Cry, Lie finds Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong) is under suspicion when accusations arise that he has been taking bribes to protect a heroin dealer. James MacArthur takes the spotlight as Danno's loyalties are tested when the wife of his friend (Tom Skerritt), a fellow cop, is murdered, the 5-O crew are once again racing against time before the widower takes justice into his own hands in Most Likely to Murder. McGarrett is at odds with the goverment in Nightmare Road when a research scientist disappears after being set up by a group of revolutionaries as the suspect in a murder case.

The season's centerpiece, the two-part Three Dead Cows at Makapuu finds 5-O facing a threat which could wipe out life on the island, when their investigation of three badly disfigured corpses leads to the discovery that a missing genetic engineer plans to unleash the deadly bacteria strain he has created for the military. Loretta Swit makes her second guest appearance as a telephone operator who gets involved with the scientist, unaware of his sinister plans. The final installment, Kiss the Queen Goodbye pits 5-O against a jewel thief looking to make off with a priceless heritage piece.

The stories are well written for the most part, keeping them engaging throughout. While there are occasional lapses in plausibility, and a few places where McGarrett takes on a little too much responsibility, the show continues to impress and entertain. There's plenty of action, the tension is palpable, and the performances are convincing with good chemistry between the principle cast. Even with its serious themes and dramatic tone, the series manages to balance a little humor now and then, such as Kono's comments after being clubbed by a federal agent. If you enjoyed the first season, this one will not disappoint.

There is one notable omission on this set—the episode Bored, She Hung Herself, which according to the packaging, only aired once—apparently suppressed after a viewer killed themselves attempting the title stunt. The packaging also notes that some of the episodes may be edited, however the only changes reported are in the opening title sequence, which are repeated from the first season.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Like the first season, these episodes here look great. The image is extremely clean with very few defects. Colors are well saturated, detail is excellent, and grain structure is naturally rendered. Another stellar job from Paramount.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The mono audio soundtrack provided is extremely clean and articulated, with no defects worth mentioning. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, and the sound is well balanced tonally. English and Spanish tracks are included.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 0 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
Packaging: Thinpak
Picture Disc
6 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Episode promos
Extras Review: This six disc set is house in three double thinpak cases inside a sturdy cardboard box. The cases include a brief synopsis for each episode including the original airdate.

All but one of the episodes (To Hell With Babe Ruth) feature their original preview segments, which may be played as a group or as part of the episode in question, although they would have normally been placed before the end credits on the previous show. There is no play all feature for the episodes themselves.

Promo trailers for Paramount's TV drama on DVD line up (CSI, CSI:NY, CSI:Miami, Numb3rs, NCIS, Medium and The 4400) and Mission Impossible can be found on the first disc.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Once again Paramount has done a great job with the transfers, and despite the missing episode, the rest will prove highly entertaining. If you enjoyed the first season, this collection of Hawaii 5-0 episodes is a must own. Mahalo.


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