THE HAWAII FIVE-0 FAN CLUB NEWSLETTER
Volume 6 April, 2004 Issue 22
The Jack Lord Memorial Dedication is set for June 19, 2004
The memorial to Jack Lord is finally ready and the ceremony is set for June 19, 2004. Doug Mossman has extended an invitation to everyone in the fan club to join in a ceremony at 10 A. M. at the Macy's end of the Kahala Mall (just a few streets over from the Hawaii Film Studio. Many who were associated with Hawaii Five-0 and some Hawaiian dignitaries have been invited to attend the dedication which will probably include some musical entertainment. The memorial committee is very pleased with the final results of the sculpture and hope that many of us will be able to attend.
(I would love to hear from anyone who is able to attend with their memories of the event. I would love to include them in the next newsletter - to share with those of us who are unable to attend. Email me at SMcGarrettFive0@aol.com or write to me in-care of the newsletter: The Hawaii Five-0 Newsletter, 682 Durham Road, Adams, TN 37010. )
Also, there is an article from Doug Mossman from January, 2004 that tells about the project that you might enjoy!
by Jerry Pickard, UH '72, firstname.lastname@example.org
It's probable that Tim Ryan, Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s local TV and movie reporter, may have felt a bit awkward, for a change being on the receiving end of some program probes relating to Five-0. But, if that was the case when we met for an early mid-November 2002 supper at the funky Big City Diner on Waialae Ave in Ka’imuki, he masked it well.
Your ever-green amateur ‘columnist’ had considered soliciting his views on the show, after becoming casually acquainted with Tim at the ‘96 MahaloCon in Burbank. Seeing one of Honolulu’s dailies being represented at this landmark convention, led the writer to believe that the event had significant extra validity. Indeed, Tim allowed during our chat six years later, that he continues to sense—and gladly, too! – considerable obligation to cover virtually anything associated with the series. Gratitude was also expressed to all who’ve kept the memory of the show alive for so long, including not only those who directly were part of the production but also to us long-time appreciators. It was nice to note such accolades.
Tim did not strike the interviewer as belonging to the generally-perceived genre of hard-driving, hard-living, highly-pressured predators of the paparazzi press. Although he was ”sporting” (so to speak), the remnants of an injury to his face, it was not because he’d been viciously attacked by some privacy-seeking show-biz type. Instead, Tim’s surfboard had clobbered him during a recent encounter on O’ahu’s North Shore!
His intense love of riding the waves, in fact, brought Tim to Hawai’i in the mid-60’s for a five-year stay. He remembers the Five-0 pilot’s filming somewhat, because some of his surfing pals were used as extras in it. But he left the Islands in ‘69. To this day, he says he deeply regrets not being around during the vast majority of the time that the show was being made. If he’d had his druthers and been a local newspaper reporter covering the series then, he would have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Five-0 ohana. He goes so far as to suggest that Jack Lord and he would have most likely gotten along quite famously, had that coverage dream worked out. On reflection, Tim believes that the period encompassing Five-0’s production, represents the golden age of Hawaiian television. Indeed, he pointed out that he is constantly told by local filming types, year after year, that “if only we could get another Five-0...” It remains THE standard.
In ‘84, Tim had moved back in Honolulu from California, working as a general assignment reporter for the Star-Bulletin. (Note: he had toiled as well for various Los Angeles entertainment publications, and still does articles relating to the Pacific region for Variety magazine.) His direct interest in Five-0 was rekindled the next year when he was charged with doing a story on Jack Lord as a painter. A message was passed along to Jack, through Margaret Doversola, that Tim Ryan from the newspaper wanted to speak with him. Jack returned the call, but didn’t identify himself. He immediately asked Tim “where’s your family from?” The somewhat stunned writer said that his roots went back to New Jersey, whereupon Lord pointed out that he was from New York, “so maybe we’re related.” Tim, ever quick on his feet, responded, “I can only hope!” Jack liked this reply, apparently, because he said in turn, “hey, you’re not getting any residuals.” And Tim finished it off with a mock pout of “aw, daddy!” Jack told him to call him by his first name, and to feel free to seek him out any time...Jack would be happy to keep in touch.
Not a bad first meeting between these two Ryan’s. Tim stressed, though, that as with any of his prime contacts, he tries very hard never to take advantage of such courtesies extended. It’s easy to outwear one’s welcome in this business, he confided, and once that happens, the golden goose has been cooked—one is likely to never regain admission to generally perceived “exclusive circles.”
Over the next several years, Tim encountered Jack three or four more times, oddly enough in the Star-Bulletin parking lot. He recalls seeing the black Cadillac disgorging Jack (who like Tim, stood about 6’ 2”). He was invariably togged out in white slacks, long-sleeved aloha shirt and Panama hat, with snow-colored skin. It seems that Jack liked to personally inspect the newspaper’s work when he needed to arrange advertising that related to his on-location appearances associated with artwork showings. He is remembered as most pleasant. The two of them did joke about why it always seemed the show mentioned only the Honolulu Advertiser; with then-‘tiser columnist Eddie Sherman appearing occasionally on Five-0, that paper had the “inside edge.”
Tim reinforced what others had pointed out, speculating as to why the Lords stayed on in Hawai’i well after the series was over. He suggested that they liked the relative lack of fuss over celebrities. At the supermarket, for example, a friendly glance or word of praise about the show was acceptable...quite unlike the usual harassment that can often be the case in other places, like Los Angeles.
The topic of the ‘97 re-pilot came up in our conversation. It was “an absolute farce,” in Tim’s view, largely because of what he termed the “belligerent, belittling” behavior of the star. Such was not helped when this same individual had to have serious nasal surgery—the cause of which was thought to be more than just an act of God. Given that, as Tim put it, there was otherwise a good cast, a reasonable story-line, and the prowess of Stephen Cannell as the director, the finished product had to have come out quite poorly for the network’s executives’ immediate kibosh. In retrospect, Tim mused that it was probably the best outcome, since very few if any series comebacks ever do well. And Five-0 did not deserve such a death knell as that. Tim mentioned too, he has kicked himself somewhat for not retaining the complete script that Kam Fong had slipped to him (so that Tim would not have to keep asking when to be where to watch the filming each day).
also had other reminiscences about Kam. Whenever anyone directly connected
with the series would start to complain about Jack Lord’s controlling
tendencies, Kam had a ready response: ”Look, this show is a golden goose,
we’re all being compensated quite well, so keep your mouth shut, go with the
program, and collect your paycheck.” Good, wise Chin-type advice!
Kam related a vignette that has stuck with Tim to this day. For one early scene he had an exceptionally long stretch of somewhat complex dialogue. Lots of flubs occurred, and Jack Lord did blow up at him. Kam felt very badly about this. When Jack summoned him to his office, Kam was positive that his time on the show was over. He was just getting ready to apologize to Jack for the speech delivery difficulties, when he was interrupted. Instead, Jack told him that he realized Kam was not an experienced actor, and that he was sorry he’d lost his temper particularly in front of everyone else on the set. Kam was stunned by this, and replied “I thought you were going to sack me.” Whereupon, Jack said “Look, if I was going to fire everyone who had trouble with their words, we wouldn’t have anyone here!” Kam always felt this incident illustrated that Jack was both a fair man, and undisputedly the star, per Tim.
For this long-time Star-Bulletin writer now, the unique intrigue of the show is at least threefold.
Tim keenly recognizes the special “realness” of almost always very
well-devised plots that, for the times, involved an exceptional and eclectic mix
of largely believable characters. He mentioned the element of self-caricaturization,
particularly McGarrett’s strong tendency to wear consistently a basic (but
strangely odd in a tropical environment) coat-and-tie ensemble. Even
though in reality the Chief of the HPD was hardly ever seen in such garb, it
definitely made the main (only?) star of the show stand out.
Secondly, for someone who lives or once lived in the Islands, there is the reminiscent curiosity of seeing places that once existed but currently are no more, including specific buildings or even whole neighborhoods. Tim described this aspect as very fascinating, albeit at times disheartening when particular past happy associations with those locations were recalled.
finally, it was noted that Five-0, besides bringing in an ongoing plethora of
well-known guest performers, also served as a launch pad for a surprising number
of newer actors who later became readily identifiable—Tim cited Seinfeld’s
TV uncle as just one example.
Tim has covered just about everything relating to Five-0 since he began specializing in TV and film reporting for the newspaper. And as noted previously, that included the ‘96 MahaloCon. So, your intrepid interviewer wondered aloud, what are Tim’s own thoughts about Five-0’s fan group? His reply was that, as noted, he too likes many things about Five-0. But he does not consider himself anything akin to being “fanatic” or obsessed with the series to the point of going to a convention to discuss and analyze all the series’ numerous facets. So, fandom is somewhat puzzling to him. (As a point of interest, his own favorite TV program is Rockford Files—in part because of his admiration for James Garner, and also due to his having lived in Malibu when that show was being filmed.)
Many of Five-0’s well-known personalities, however, have confided in Tim that they were totally “shell-shocked” at the amount of attention the show has garnered in recent years. They’ve said they never dreamed that there’d be such interest in it so long afterward, and that there’d ever be such a “back-swell.” Tim referred to Karen Rhodes’ book from ‘97, mentioning that he does consult it for background material when writing about Five-0. He then commented on the main cause, in his opinion, of why the show continues to enjoy such a relatively high degree of recognition and popularity. In two words, it’s Jack Lord, he said. While the supporting characters, the values/themes, the exotic settings, etc., are not unimportant; those factors plus the exceptional quality of the script can still do only so much to endear a series to viewers on a long-term basis. He feels that Jack made the personage of McGarrett a uniquely “larger-than-life” entity, one who could rightfully be called an ultimate ‘take-charge’ kind of individual whose presence was so evident in every episode. The role of McGarrett had no equal on TV during most if not all of the 70’s, he argued.
Tim pointed out, as others have, that Jack did not tolerate from those working on Five-0, anything bordering on nastiness in or around the set. Nothing of a demeaning nature was allowed; he had great expectations of total respect being displayed at all times for everyone. This was in stark contrast, of course, with some of what was staged in front of the camera, and Tim pointed out the irony of this from a particular perspective. The executive of the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, especially in the series’ early years, cringed when the show’s dominant content which was often of violent scenes, manifested itself week after week. They feared that such a representation would drive holidayers away, rather than doing what the show actually so powerfully did, and that was to greatly help attract countless arrivals to the Islands’ shores. Tim added that he personally feels that Five-0 did offer a fairly accurate encapsulated portrayal of much of what was going on in Hawai’i when the show was broadcast, with one possible exception. Racism in the state was very much in evidence then, he believes, yet the series tended to downplay its existence.
He went on at length about the wonderful spirit of ’ohana that melded the actors at the time of production, and has continued well after Five-0 was pau (over). As a long-time Hawai’I resident, Tim was able to comment with authority on the special bond among the locals associated with the show. He suggested that in time, and in its own fashion, that bond spilled over to others, including Jack Lord too. For just example, one could readily sense the positive vibes between Jack and Kam Fong. Tim recalled that on the planet during much of Five-0’s first runs, such mutual respect and chemistry were very rare. He described Kam as a sort of “kind, teddy-bear gentleman” both on the set and in everyday life, ”a real Hawai’i person.” And much of the credit for Five-0’s being able to present most of these relationships, he feels, belongs to Leonard Freeman. The show’s creator had, Tim said, an uncanny ability to make almost instantly accurate judgments of character, at seeing a unique intangible, when lining up the early casts.
Back to the fans, and tying them in to this observation of the sense of ‘ohana: Tim mentioned that Jim MacArthur had told him that he felt a special obligation to the fan base that he should do all possible to come to the first convention (and other events that followed, when possible). Jim has shown his gratitude on numerous occasions accordingly, for those who’ve done various things (e.g. websites, fan communications, reunions, etc.) to keep the memory of Five-0 alive so long. For Jim, it has helped him keep in touch with what was for him truly a magical time, as Tim relayed this sharing. Similar sentiments have been conveyed to Tim by other actors. None of them has to do or to have done, all that many of us have been privileged to experience...but the feelings of appreciation and ‘ohana have been such that those things have been well supported by the show’s remaining celebrities.
As one listens to Tim, an understanding of what this particular landmark series has meant, and keeps meaning, to the people of Hawai’i, cannot help but be broadened. As recently as 2002, when he has been at filming locations for new productions like “Helldorado,” “The Big Bounce,” and “Blue Crush,” encounters with crew personnel who got their start with Five-0 are frequent. Almost without fail, they all say “Jack Lord was tough, tough, but also fair.” Each of them has plenty of stories from the early career days. Many have declared that without Five-0, they would have been very hard-pressed to buy a first home, or later to put their children through college. They largely credit Jack Lord’s dogged determination, in retrospect, with keeping the show going. Mention of Magnum occurs too, for it helped to maintain the momentum.
Tim summed it up this way: “Five-0 began the education of Hawai’i production crews—folks who could learn to do what had to be done to make a TV series work...electricians, gaffers, production assistants, prop staff, etc.—so that such craftspeople did not to be brought in from L.A. at great cost. Thus a tremendous talent pool was developed and its legacy is that now, when shows are done in Hawai’i, the caliber of production and support crew are top notch. And all because of the high standards set during Five-0. A lot of praise is due these people who cut their teeth on Five-0...and who still talk of it as though it had only just wound down.”
And for all that Tim himself has done to keep the cherished memory of this pioneer show in the forefront of Hawai’i’s developing film industry, many thanks are owed. It was great to renew acquaintance with him. Remember that his Reel News column may be read Wednesdays in the Star-Bulletin! (www.starbulletin.com) .
A Book from Bill Bigelow
supporting actor Bill Bigelow has written what looks to be a superb book
RED SKY AT NIGHT. It might very well bring to mind some shades of Wo Fat
and related intrigue. You can check out www.authorhouse.com
and look under Bill's name as an auther. He expects to launch a promo tour
on the Mainland very soon.
(Thanks again to Jerry Pickard for this item!)
Searching for the Perfect Hawaii Five-0 Souvenir
by Gregory Carrubba
One of the things I was most looking forward to on my three trips to Hawaii was an abundance of Hawaii Five-0 related items. Between trips to Hawaii's historic attractions, viewing natural scenery and doing things like swimming, snorkeling, helicopter rides, jet skiing and luaus, I thought I would spend some time searching out H50 items.
I thought that since this show did so much to promote Hawaii, there would be plenty of items such as t-shirts, magnets, postcards, posters, etc. all of these in my imagination would either show cast members or scenes from the show, like the famous wave.
When I began my search I immediately started looking in magnet stores and t-shirt shops. None of these had any H50 items. One store near the Aloha Tower had a name similar to Hawaii Five-0. Surely I thought there would be something related to our favorite show. Instead, absolutely nothing! Another store a few blocks away had an assortment of celebrity photos and posters. In the window was a color poster showing the entire H50 cast. It was not a photograph but based on an artist's work. I didn't particularly care for how some of the characters looked, but I figured I had to get at least one Five-0 item. also on the floor of the display case was a sliver Five-0 badge for $399.00. This really amazed me since I already had a gold badge I figured I did not need a sliver one, especially at that price. The sign next to the badge also said "collectors item" in addition to the price.
I then entered the store thinking I'd at least by the poster. When I asked the man behind the counter who appeared to be the owner how much it was, he arrogantly replied, "It's not for sale." I then asked him why he kept it in the window if it wasn't for sale. He then mumbled something unintelligible and I left the store. This man was evidently a newcomer to Hawaii because of his arrogant attitude! His poor attitude is something I've never encountered in any other establishment in my trips to Hawaii.
I continued my search this time near my hotel. A few days later I did manage to find two postcards showing Jack Lord in various poses in a collectibles store in the Kings Village Shopping Center. I asked the very pleasant lady who worked there if she had any other H50 items. She replied that those were all she had so I bout a few for myself and friends. Earlier I had bought an Iolani Palace postcard on a tour of the palace because I thought if I couldn't get something showing a character I would at least get something related to the show and what better than the Iolani Palace which serves as Hawaii Five-0 HQ and is shown in very episode!
On my nest two trips to Hawaii, I resumed my search and this time had slightly better luck. A coin and stamp store (now out of business) in the Ala Moana Mall had the same not so nice previously described poster and H50 ID cards for some of the Five-0 staff. There were cards for Steve, Danny Duke and Chin. Each card had a color photo ID and a physical description of the character. These cards were nice but I thought they were a bit overpriced. I don't remember the exact price, but I think they were about $4.95 each.
My Hawaii trip if 2002 saw me again visiting the collectibles shop in Kings Village Shopping Center. The same store that had the Jack Lord postcards was not all out of them. They did however have cheap blue ball point pens with gold writing on them saying Hawaii Five-0. The pens were either $2.99 or $3.99 each. Too expensive for something of that quality. They also carried dark blue t-shirts also saying Hawaii Five-0, but I didn't purchase these either.
So far, I haven't found much in the way of Hawaii Five-0 souvenirs, but I will persist in future trips to Hawaii. The search continues!
Death With Father
an episode review by Richard Salzer
Guest Stars: Andrew Duggan and Peter Strauss
e 139 - January 22,1973, sixth season"Death With Father" stars in a laboratory which one soon finds out is being raided by McGarrett and Five-0. One man escapes, crashing his truck through an HPD roadblock.
The next scene finds McGarrett confronting Actor Andrew Duggan (his first time back on the show since his villainous role in Cocoon) as former HPD detective Tom Morgan who was fired on a technicality with two years to go until retirement. McGarrett has to break the news to Morgan, an old school style detective, that his son is a suspect.
Morgan confronts his son at the University of Honolulu (the real University of Hawaii where I attended school from 1980-1982). His son is played by a young, long-haired Peter Strauss. Janice Woo, played by attractive actress Luella Costello (who has been seen in many episodes of the series) is his girlfriend. Young Morgan beats her into saying she will lie to give him an alibi.
(In the hospital scene, we hear "Dr. Freeman" once again being paged in tribute to producer, Leonard Freeman.)
There is a great scene where Duke (Herman Wedemeyer - one of the best of the "fourth" guys in the show) goes off on an HPD officer who allowed a survivor of the lab raid to be killed in his hospital room!
This is one of my favorite episodes. It is fast paced with Morgan always one step ahead of McGarrett, trying to cover up his son's involvement in the narcotics processing. A big and pleasant surprise is the appearance of two of my favorite character actors of the series - Kwan Hi Lim and Seth Sakai as the heavies. They meet with young Morgan to make him an offer he can't refuse - to process more morphine based junk.
Chin finally shows up one-third of the way through the episode and makes some important points while helping Duke, Ben and Danny stake out the new lab where the next batch is to be make. In the meantime, Tom Morgan uses his old key for the police impound evidence room and steals the $5,000 worth of junk that could indict his son. He jimmies open the cabinet to make it look like a random break-in, but McGarrett suspects more.
Janice Woo, who doesn't want to lie for young Morgan, takes an overdose of "ludes" as Danno puts it and dies on the way to the hospital with Danny right beside her.
Morgan finally confronts his son, asking why he has gotten involved with these criminals. Young Morgan finally tells his father that the reason he went to Viet Nam (where he won a silver medal and two purple hearts) was to get away from his father who he says was too self-absorbed in his career and didn't pay attention to his son.
McGarrett now confronts Morgan, telling him he knows he stole the drugs from the evidence room and makes a deal with Morgan to wire him and send to the new lab which Danno and the crew have staked out.
The final ending comes a little to quick, as slick as Kwan Hi Lim and Seth Sakai are as villains, I'm surprised that they give up so quickly. But it does sue p the final crescendo when Morgan tells his son, "You're coming with me", and young Morgan replies, "No, you're coming with me," and proceeds to use a striker and acetylene tank to blow themselves and the make-shift lap to smithereens. All this as McGarrett and the team watch with horror.
A great episode overall - a three and one-half stars!!!
Next issue: July, 2004