"Although I am writing from the UK, I have recorded a fair number of the season 5 episodes from TV transmission on VHS some years ago, and in any case remember much of the series from the original broadcasts in the 70s. Season 5 is one of the three best seasons of Hawaii Five-O (the other two are to come, including the very best ever). I understand viewer frustration when publishers needlessly edit these releases, but apart from the omission of the season 2 episode, I have personally not been aware of any such editing. Season 4 was released with cheaper packaging and downbeat motifs on the discs themselves, and along with other comments here, I am scared silly that the publishers may not release all 12 seasons (I have the first four on DVD now and would buy the other 8 at the drop of a hat if given the chance). However the content and transfer is first rate at least for teh first 4 seasons. Reasons why Hawaii Five-O is -great- on DVD: - The wonderful locations really come across like they never did on VHS or original broadcast - e.g. the background sounds of the waves breaking on the beach or the wind in the trees, or the bright vivid colours on a sun-soaked clear day. Some episodes make me feel a little bit like I'm on holiday/vacation. - In today's world of moral uncertainty, Jack Lord is a breath of fresh air with his clear values, integrity, and respect for the law. You may not agree with how he handles every situation - but he makes you think. - As we advance through the seasons, the plots get quite sufficiently clever to make it worth watching for these alone. - Good plots + strong characters + wonderful locations = a heady mix. - The series is also respectful of cultures, and deals with many colourful issues. So my suggestion is that you can't make a mistake by buying this one (S5), and since there is so much great material yet to come, let's keep the sales up, so we might have a chance at getting all 12 seasons? . . . plus - when can we have this one in the UK please? . . the seasons are being released sooo slowly!"
Woah, "Fugitive" people...
Jolar70 | Queens, NY | 09/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is in regards to those reviewers leaving a single star rating before the actual release of season five. I understand the heartbreak and outrage over the mutilation of The Fugitive TV show by Paramount Video but, so far, the handling of Hawaii Five O has been respectful.
The bad: other than episode promos, there have been no special features since season 1. There is the continued ominous fine-print warning that "Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions". Worst of all was the decision not to include the lost episode "Bored, She Hung Herself" from season 2. We were ALL waiting for that episode (and would STILL like to see it)!
The good: so far, the print conversions have been stunning, with beautiful color and sharp grain structure. The sound is excellent and, most importantly, all the original music seems to have been left intact. They're also being released as full season sets, instead of the frustrating half-season-at-a-time rip off scheme. As for any new editing, I personally have not noticed anything radical, or any premature digital fades to hurry the end of a scene (as with TV reruns of this show when they insert extra commercials). I hate the idea that anything is being left out from these and I would MUCH prefer they remain totally intact!
I understand giving a defective product a one star rating, and I've even done so politically in the past, but this sort of preemptive strike, Amazon-activism, against Paramount, on behalf of ANOTHER SHOW that they screwed up, is really only hurting the chances of any future "Hawaii Five O" releases. I think chances are extremely slim that we will see all 12 seasons released (Mary Tyler Moore only got 4 of its 7 seasons, and that was a popular show) so I was VERY happy to see the announcement of season 5 of Hawaii Five O. If it arrives seriously altered I will be the first to cry murder, but lets please wait until it arrives before we derail the whole train.
I realize it's totally hypocritical for me to now leave a star-rating, but you can't post without doing so. I'm leaving 4 stars based fairly on the last 4 seasons I've seen (THIS WOULD ABSOLUTELY BE FIVE STARS IF NOT FOR ANY EDITING!). If I feel differently with season 5, I will delete this review. And NO, to the conspiracy theorists, I don't work for Paramount (see my other reviews)."
Book 'em Danno!
S. Ward | UK | 11/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Possibly the finest season in the show's twelve year run, at last, season five is here in all it remastered glory! Quality of the actual DVDs themselves is, in the main, very good - superb in some episodes; if you take into consideration the print quality of other shows from this era - colours are generally vibrant and rich. The soundtrack is intact and as broadcast - so any fears over tinkering similar to that of "The Fugitive" can be laid to rest. Subsequent seasons never bettered this one, but some tried and season 6 came close. Seasons 7 & 8 weren't too bad either and of course, "Nine Dragons" - the opening episode to season 9 is rightly regarded as classic. Highly recommended - roll on the next release and let us relive one of the very best 5-0 episodes - "Hookman"."
Hawaii Five-O - No music changes
K. Queen | 11/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all of the people who were flipping out ahead of the release of Hawaii Five-O season 5 based on what CBS did to The Fugitive - relax! I've watched most of my new season 5 episodes (thank God for DVD releases!) and all the original music seems to be intact. Picture quality is great, as in each of the previous 4 seasons, and the show itself is better than ever - this is my favorite season so far. Great writing, interesting stories, top-notch acting from pretty much everyone, including most of the guest stars, and of course the beautiful scenery, funky '70's clothes, and the awesome, unflappable Steve McGarrett, which all combine to make this one of the most iconic cop shows in TV history. I just hope CBS releases ALL 12 seasons! They've done a great job so far. 5 stars - book 'em, Danno!"
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Waldorf | St. Paul, MN | 12/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
This whole set - season 5 - is the best so far; I have the first four seasons, and this one has some of the better episodes I've seen. As others have previously stated, the "V for Vashon" episodes by themselves make the entire set worth it; that trilogy, along with some of the Wo Fat episodes, were the best that Five-0 had to offer.
I think this is the first set I've seen that doesn't seem really dated. Mind you, I actually sometimes enjoy the dated quality of some of these classic TV shows, which is why I bother to buy them in the first place - they're time capsules. But it just seems that season 5 stands the test of time and is a bit "grittier" than the early Five-0 seasons, IMO. Not necessarily better, just different - and very interesting.
I was also pleased to discover that I'd never before seen quite a few of the episodes on this set. For some reason quite a few of these shows got skipped over the years in syndication (at least in my viewing area), and I've watched a ton of Five-0 reruns.
Some of my favorite episodes in this set include:
"Death is a Company Policy" (I got quite a kick seeing George Chakiris in the lead, and I rediscovered that Herman "Squirmin' Herman" Wedemeyer can really act!) "Pig in a Blanket" (Danno shoots another kid!) "The Jinn Who Clears the Way" (a very good Wo Fat episode) "V for Vashon" trilogy (classic stuff) "The Odd Lot Caper" (gotta love armed robbery on Five-0!) "Percentage" (a good ol' fashioned gambling-murder drama) "Engaged to be Buried" (Chin Ho has problems)
Really, with just a few exceptions, all of the episodes are really good.
While I wouldn't say that there is really anything exceptionally bad about this set, some of the episodes, well, I'm not sure what they were thinking.
For instance, the episode "Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain" misses the mark. It stars Ricardo Montalban in the lead, and although it's not nearly as good as another episode he starred in - "Samurai" in season 1 - at least he isn't made up to look Japanese. Poorly developed characters, really bad musical score, and no real edge to the script. Some of the acting is good, particularly the final scene with Ricardo's son. But overall the show just seems really cheesy. I don't know - maybe it's me.
Although I liked the episode "Here Today...Gone Tonight" (starring Five-0 regular guest star Monte Markham), I felt that the helicopter twist was far-fetched and not very creative; they could have done a better job of making that believable, because the rest of the show was very strong.
And I have no idea why they wanted to rehash another sniper saga in the same bunker we saw in "And I Want Some Candy, and a Gun That Shoots" in season 4. "Litte Girl Blue" has poorly developed characters, sketchy plot, lots of exposition, and Jackie Coogan just mails in his performance - which is understandable since he isn't required to do anything except get chest pains.
Also, although I thought the encoding was good throughout the series, some episodes contain scenes that don't appear to be properly color-corrected. I just chalked this up to some of the original masters being damaged/faded, and it appears that could be the case. Still, these glitches are few and far between.
Good Lord (no pun intended), who dressed McGarrett in "V for Vashon: The Patriarch"!! That Tyrolean hat, with the white suit and ascot, was just absurd. Even in 1972 that outfit would have been a big stretch. I think Marie Lord may have had more influence on Jack's wardrobe than we may want to believe...LOL!
All in all, this is an excellent DVD set, and I'm really bummed because I just finished watching all 24 episodes and want to keep going! I can't wait for season 6, so I hope CBS sees the demand and gets cracking.
I'm looking forward to seeing a couple of Five-0 episodes that I found particularly creepy, and although I'm not sure in which season(s) they appear, I know they're coming soon. One of them stars Danny Goldman as a copycat psycho killer who mocks McGarrett by recreating murders. Another great episode stars Slim Pickens as the father in a redneck family that just goes off in Hawaii, murdering tourists - complete sociopaths, deranged characters even by today's TV standards. I'm really pumped to see those episodes again.