Central Dispatch

 

THE HAWAII FIVE-0 NEWSLETTER

Volume 1 April 15, 2005 Issue 3

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Jerry Pickard has sent us another of his great interviews. Just how lucky is this guy? He gets to meet and talk with those who were actually acquainted with the show.

ACCENT/ASCENT TO STARDOM

by Jerry Pickard, UH '72 uhalum@yahoo.com

One has to hand it to Hans, who appeared in eight hours of Five-0 between the fourth and last seasons. Very possibly, if Leonard Freeman hadn't chosen to stay at the prestigious Colony Surf Hotel (elegantly tucked away down near the Natatorium end of Kalakaua Avenue), Hans might not have had his moments of acting fame. He was the general manager of the hotel, however, and Mr. Freeman, ever vigilant for possible casting prospects, tapped Hans to audition. As he put it, 'we have a part in our show that was written just for you. 'More on that shortly.

Our face-to-face took place in May '04, across Hans' enormous, uncluttered desk in attractive and wall-bedecked offices on South King Street in Honolulu. These premises double not only as the world headquarters for Hotelmark Corporation which he founded in the early 80's and still heads; they also house the Austrian Consulate in Hawai'i.

Hans has been Consul since '76, proudly pointing out that of the 38 nations represented with such governmental outlets in the Fiftieth State he has served the longest. And from purely a personal matter of interest on the interviewer's part, I was fascinated to finally meet the very influential man who had for many years been the chairman of the Advisory Board for the UH's School of T.I.M., from which I had graduated 32 years before. In fact, he shared that just prior to our appointment; he had been at a related engagement!

A fluent master of five languages and trained in his native Austria at a young age in the finer, more gracious nuances of the hotel/hospitality field, Hans moved to Honolulu and the Colony Surf in '70. He remained at the latter until '80; during the decade, he had the chance to meet many of the show's guest stars. Including, he said, acclaimed Austrian actress Maria Pershy (who told him she was thrilled to have a role in Five-0 but had found Jack Lord rather hard to work with). At any rate, back to Mr. Freeman's 'discovery' of Hans' potential as a featured performer.

The episode, actually a two-parter, was 'The Ninety-Second War.' It needed someone with a Teutonic brogue, as did certain other shows' plots, and Hans was tapped. At first, however, he demurred, pointing out that he could see himself only as an 'innkeeper, selling soup and renting beds.' But Leonard persisted, Hans read for Bob Sweeney, and the part of Charbonne was his. He found the entire process both 'a nice thing to do,' and 'far out and different,' completely contrary to the less exacting business of running hotels and such. Playing a Swiss banker with a German accent meant spending a full President's Day in a downtown financial institution.

It was fascinating, he said, learning how a television show is filmed, from the terminology used, the lighting, the camera angles, importance of camera distance, and the number of takes needed to get a particular scene 'just right' in the director's view. He remembers being totally shocked that first time, when he was told that for all the effort from 0800-1800 hrs, only about two and one-half minutes of usable footage had been captured for the episode.

Part of the difficulty was that, because of double-imaging needed to show the audience that there was both the real McGarrett and an imposter interacting at the same time, a drawn gun kept crossing an imaginary line, resulting in numerous repetitions of the scene before the desired effect was achieved. Hans pointed out that his episode dialogues were almost always with Jack Lord in each of the eight shows.

Jack was patient as they would go over their lines, with fun being poked at Hans for being a 'Kraut' (which of course was untrue, as he is Austrian). The realization came with its characteristic rapidity, that on the set Jack was the 'absolute ruler,' totally feared and respected (at least outwardly) by everyone around.

Hans felt most if not all who were involved with the show, recognized that because of Jack's extremely strong perfectionistic tendencies, the end product was outstandingly good and thus they had jobs. But still, in Hans' eyes, Lord was basically a tyrant, with behaviors and actions bordering on sheer ruthlessness much of the time. This could produce extreme tension, of course.

There was an occasion, when '30,000 Rooms and I Have the Key' was being filmed (interestingly, Hans played himself as a hotel manager), when Jack Lord repeatedly flubbed a line. It was to be delivered along the wording of 'Mr. Strasser, I have men all around the outside of your hotel and every one has one of these (flashing a picture of the elusive crook).' The air was thick as the re-takes piled up, and Hans worried that when Jack did get it right, Hans might muff his response and then things would become very explosive. However, it all worked out okay in due course.

Fortunately, away from the Diamond Head Studios, he felt they became very good friends, often meeting each other by chance at Long's Drugs in Kahala Mall.

Other reminiscences seemed to pour forward as we talked: - he appreciated that his characters were never 'knocked off' to join dead bodies on the ground by the end of his episodes, and that he always had 'non-crook' roles - in 'Presenting...In the Center Ring...Murder,' he played what he felt was his least attractive character, a circus director, and James MacArthur coached him, telling him, 'Hans, you've got to look like a very horny circus ring-master!'

He recalled playing tennis with MacArthur on the roof of a discount store not far from his current location, where they called themselves members of the 'Pay-less Country Club!'

The quality of the catering supplied at the Studios and on location was absolutely top-notch, which, from a professional who operated the first-class dining facilities at Michel's @ The Colony Surf, was a profound endorsement.

Any time he returned to Austria for a visit after being on the series, those who knew him invariably made quite hilarious references to his appearances...which he enjoyed - his mother-in-law, who lived in England when the show was on, commented the first time that she saw his performance 'Oh, Hans is certainly getting fatter.'

Hans being less follicley-challenged than at present, his make-up artist always 'painted in' additional hair for the filmings...much to his wife's amusement when he'd go home after a shoot.

For 'East Wind Ill Wind,' which had a Third World congressional delegation scene shot at Ala Moana Park's McCoy Pavilion, he had to deliver a speech while members of the delegation were firing shots at each other. He wishes he'd kept that speech copy, as it was a meaningful one for him in terms of its humanitarian message. Laughingly, he mentioned that his Mauritian wife sat in the scene as an extra as the representative from that country, directly by his speaker's podium, which he found rather cool.

My time was not overly long with Hans; as one might expect, he continues to juggle a number of activities (including being on various boards such as the Great Aloha Run with Carole Kai). But he was gracious enough to meet with your humble scribe, and he certainly provided some memorable clips from those feisty days of Five-0 yore! Aloha, und Guten Tag!

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A fan of the show sent this summary of one of the episodes.

"Once Upon A Time..."

by H. A. Collins

Recently, I had the good fortune to come across a copy of the "First Draft" of Leonard Freeman’s script for the Five-O episode "Once Upon A Time." For many fans, this first-season story (original air dates February 19th and 26th, 1969) is a favorite. And, why not? It has just about everything: drama; pathos; touches of humor; a wonderfully strong character to play against McGarrett. Even a "disconnect" that so many Five-O fans enjoy catching (more on that later). And, it was a two-parter. What could be better than that?

By way of refresher, here’s a summary of the plot: McGarrett’s nephew, the only child of Steve’s younger sister and her husband, is diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Little Tommy Whalen, just an infant, seems destined for death. And, Mary Ann McGarrett Whalen is coming apart at the seams as a result of the terrible news. Steve, along with Mary Ann’s husband, Tom, have done their best to hold her together, but she is devastated.

Until she finds C. L. Freemont, a Doctor of Naturopathy. A healer. The good doctor promises that Tommy can and will be healed by her methods - just as she claims to have cured dozens of other cancer patients. Desperate for any possible miracle, Mary Ann buys into the expensive daily treatments with Freemont’s "wonder machine." As his baby’s life and his family’s finances slip away, Tom Whalen calls McGarrett for help. It is up to McGarrett to fly to Los Angeles and convince his sister that Freemont is a quack.

That’s the part familiar to most fans. But, I was surprised to learn that Leonard Freeman's original concept (written on August 27, 1968) was different in many respects from the final version we all got to see.

First, the initial script was for a standard one-hour episode, rather than the two hours it ultimately became. Left out of the first draft was the entire search by McGarrett for other patients who’d been treated by Dr. Freemont and died - including the scene at the L.A. Hall of Records with Steve plowing through endless death certificates; and his tireless efforts running around Los Angeles to find that "perfect case." Gone was his quest to have her convicted of murder. He will settle for fraud - although he still says, in the famous scene in his office with Danny Williams, that "it ought to be murder, a hundred counts!" And, we see nothing of Walter Grant, his family members, his exhumation, or his inconclusive autopsy to establish diabetes, rather than vitamin deficiency, as his cause of death.

Instead, we see a scene in which Steve and officers from the LAPD raid Dr. Freemont’s office, rip out her treatment machines, and "lock up the joint."

Perhaps more important than these differences is the way in which the episode’s ending was changed from first version to final one. In the ending scene we’re accustomed to seeing, Mary Ann finally recognizes the truth about Freemont when Steve’s courtroom trick bears fruit. By substituting vegetable dye for his own blood, McGarrett, as a "volunteer" to test her diagnosis and treatment machine, exposes Freemont for the fraud that she is. And, Mary Ann finally acknowledges that reality by chasing after her brother when he leaves the courtroom. In a heartfelt embrace, she lets him know that he was right - not only about Freemont’s quackery, but also in pursuing the doctor even against Mary Ann’s pleas for him to stop.

The originally planned ending was not quite so sentimental. When Freemont is tripped up in court by her own ego, Steve walks to his sister in the spectator section and says, "I’m sorry. But now at least you see her for what she is. Maybe now you can stop torturing yourself about Tommy. Now you know the truth."

But, Mary Ann Whalen doesn’t buy it. Instead, she responds, "What truth? The truth of a shabby courtroom trick, used to destroy a saint? I’m not crying, just for my dead child, I’m crying for her, too...You crucified her, Steve. You crucified a saint. Congratulations." And, it is she who storms from the courtroom, followed by her helpless and ineffective husband.

And, a defeated but still defiant and hateful Dr. Freemont stares at McGarrett, who tries to come to grips with his hollow victory. Zipser, the Food and Drug Administration attorney prosecuting Freemont, shakes McGarrett’s hand and says in a consoling voice, "In time, Steve."

"I hope," McGarrett replies.

Zipser repeats, "Time,"

And, Steve just replies, "Yeah."

As the judge is instructing the jury, McGarrett gathers his things and leaves, and the camera fades to the credits.

It’s always interesting to watch a Five-O episode written by Leonard Freeman, since he was the show’s creator, and supplied the original artistic vision for the character McGarrett. And, despite the changes noted above, I was surprised at how much of the dialogue translated directly from the first draft script into the actual production. In most respects, the words the characters spoke underwent very little modification in the script editing and filming process for "Once Upon A Time."

There was, however, one aspect of this script on which we may assume Jack Lord had a significant impact. (This episode was heavily promoted in hopes of producing an Emmy nomination for Lord as best actor in a dramatic series, but, unfortunately, such nomination did not materialize.) For the pivotal scene in McGarrett’s office, after Steve learns that his nephew has died, Freeman set the stage this way: "Interior of McGarrett’s office - insert cigarette butt glowing fire-red in the darkness. Pull back to establish McGarrett, silent, unmoving, somehow lost, he sits behind desk in shadowed, unlighted room. On the desk top an ashtray full of dead butts, one crumpled empty pack, a second ripped open and cigarettes spilled over desk." And, instead of tears during and after McGarrett’s famous monologue about Tommy going into a coma, Steve was supposed to fiercely grind out a cigarette.

Of course, Jack Lord, after having smoked for much of his adult life, gave up the habit (reportedly at his wife’s request), and became quite adamant about not showing Five-O characters smoking. And his wishes apparently won out to produce the changes in this scene.

Perhaps the same was true of McGarrett’s use of alcohol. For when Danny Williams brings in the bottle of booze and announces there’s about "two fingers apiece," the first draft called for McGarrett to "stare at the cup - again seemingly lost. Now he finds the thing to do. He lifts cup and slowly drains it to the very last drop." And, later in the scene, when he’s wondering aloud why he cares so much if phony cures bilk people out of millions, McGarrett "crushes the paper cup in his fist and flings it across the room."

Yet, it didn’t happen that way. Instead, in the final production, Steve ignored Danny’s offer of the cup of alcohol. And, while McGarrett occasionally lifted a glass in toast in other episodes of the show, we also heard and saw him routinely decline to drink because he was a cop. So, it would be interesting to know how, and why, and at whose behest the McGarrett character changed in this regard from concept to "reality."

And, last but not least, there’s that disconnect I mentioned. In the original script, and in the episode as actually produced, after Dr. Freemont has regaled Steve with her life story and ability to heal the sick if they "believe," McGarrett asks her whether a six-month old baby "can believe." The question stops Freemont in her tracks. Yet, in the filmed, two-part episode, when the scene with the Grant family was added, someone must have forgotten that line, because Steve tells the Grants that his nephew is 12-months old, not six.

Well, it just proves that nobody’s perfect. Not even McGarrett.

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"Trivia Corner"

submitted by Andi Carter

People are always asking me why "Hawaii Five-0" seemed to start to decline midway through its long run. Usually this question comes from folks who were either not around then, or were to young to watch the show when it first aired.

I can't give you an exact date, but I'd guess the "change" happened around 1976 or 1977--and the writers, directors, producers, actors, and actresses had nothing whatever to do with "the change."

What did happen was one of those quirks in American history in which the populace as a whole [well, almost as a whole] got on the bandwagon about there being too much violence on television. The furor grew to the point where there were legislative and congressional hearings and a special committee on "Violence in Television" that just rolled over the three major TV networks [at the time, most people did not have cable TV] CBS, NBC, and ABC.

The outcome of the committee's study and the hearings resulted in an FCC-mandated procedure that all networks and network affiliates had to follow--which, of course meant that all their shows had to follow that procedure--in order to "save the children" and "get rid of so much violence on TV."

So several things happened, First, there was the creation of "Family Viewing", which meant that ALL TV stations were not allowed to show any violent programming between the hours of 7-9 p.m. Second, shows that featured a fair amount of violence in them [and "Five-0" was a prime example--I almost think that at the time it was listed as THE most violent show on television] were given a specific number of violent incidents that could occur during any individual episode.

I vaguely remember some comment from Jack Lord [in the newspaper, I believe] in which he mused: "How do you make a crime series without showing violence?"

To make matters even worse, if either of these two specific mandates were violated, the offending station was fined, and fined BIG. So they had no choice to knuckle under.

What happened to "Five-0" as a result was that it became more character-driven, motivation-driven, or situation-driven, and the violence was drastically reduced. As I recall, this mandate remained in place until well after the show went off the air. And, of course, this changed the show dramatically--but this was also the time when we began to learn more about the characters on the show [particularly McGarrett, of course], and in that way it was a plus. But finding scripts that could adhere to the regulations and still keep the huge audience that "Five-0" had was very difficult.

This was also the time that comedy shows began to pop up with astonishing speed, and initiated what was, for a good number of years, the preferred type of show for most TV-watchers [but not me!].

Yes, "Five-0" did change, but it was a change that was mandated by the majority of the American people. And the show did rise well to the challenge, but there is a distinct difference in the shows during its first 6 years and the shows during the second 6 years. And for those who want to understand much of the changes over the years and are too young to have watched the show in its initial run, my suggestion is that you find yourself a social history of the decade of the 1970s and read it. Because television programming always goes hand in hand with Nielsen ratings [and Nielsen ratings come from the "average" American viewer] and the history of what was taking place in the country as a whole at the time.

So for those of you who have been wondering, "what went wrong"--nothing did. "Five-0" was just doing what it was designed to do--following orders.

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I thought everyone might enjoy some of the items found in the original fan clubs Iolani Irregulars newsletters, so I’m starting with a word search puzzle for everyone to enjoy. Thank you to whoever created this.

A Death In The Family

Head To Head

The Clock Struck Twelve

A Distant Thunder

Hookman

The Defector

A Gun For McGarrett

Image Of Fear

The Hostage

A Touch Of Guilt

Journey Out Of Limbo

The Kahuna

Anybody Can Build A Bomb

Jury Of One

The Pagoda Factor

Charter For Death

Killer Bee

The Spirit Is Willie

Deadly Courier

Legacy Of Terror

The Sunday Torch

Death Mask

Number One With A Bullet

The Waterfront Steal

Diary Of A Gun

Odd Man In

The Young Assassins

Double Exposure

Pig In A Blanket

To Kill A Mind

Elegy In A Rainforest

Ready, Aim…

Tread The King’s Shadow

Engaged To Be Buried

Secret Witness

Tsunami

Frozen Assets

See How She Runs

Welcome To Our Branch Office

Flash Of Color, Flash Of Death

Sing A Song Of Suspense

When Does A War End?

Good Help Is Hard To Find

Study In Rage

Woe To Wo Fat

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A word from our sponsors:

Anyone interested in copies of Hawaii Five-0 episodes (mostly all full versions) can contact Barbara Brindle at 105 Warren Road, Sparta, NJ 07871. Unfortunately, Barbara does not have an email address so you’ll need to phone her at 973-729-9232. Her rates are reasonable and she’s very reliable.

Ron Evans, owner of e/p Partners, http:\\www.networksplus.net/caseyguy/epPartners.htm, also offer VCR tapes of Hawaii Five-0, Jack Lord and James MacArthur, among others. His email is caseyguy@networksplus.net.

Hard copies of the newsletter are available.

The Hawaii Five-0 Newsletter is available in print form. Membership is $10 per year for four issues (foreign subscriptions are $14.00 US funds). Checks for membership may be made out to Annette Nixon/H50FC. To mail your membership dues contact Annette Nixon through her email at spinkick@colint.net and she will give you her address. Any additional financial contributions are always welcome. The newsletter will be available on the 15th of January, April, July and October.

Submissions for the newsletter are always welcomed and can be emailed to Terri Whitman at TW1151@Comcast.Net. Deadlines are one month before each issue.

2005 Calendars are now available.

Debbie Fitzgerald has put together two different 2005 calendars for anyone wishing to buy one. One is of Jack Lord (this is not the 4th season, but a collection of pictures of Jack Lord) and one is of Hawaii Five-0. Calendars are $10 each ($14 for outside the US-payable in USD). To purchase a calendar contact Debbie at momh50@aol.com.

Memorial Contributions

You can still contribute to the Memorial. Just sent it to: Jack and Marie Lord Trust c/o Hawaii Community Foundation, 900 Front Street Mall, Suite 1300, Honolulu, HI 96813. This fund was established in 1988 and was set up by the Lord’s to benefit their favorite charities. We have been assured that while personal responses are not possible, Mrs. Lord is made aware of all contributions.

See you in August 2005

 

 

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