The Hawaii Five-O Quick FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions)
Is there a real "Hawaii Five-O" -- a state police agency?
Hawaii does not and never did have a state police force.
Why was it called Five-O, anyway?
Hawaii was the fiftieth state in the union.
Is Hawaii Five-O available on DVD or video?
As of early 2012, all twelve seasons of Five-O have been released on DVD by CBS/Paramount Video.
There are "complete" DVD sets of the show being sold on Ebay and other web sites. These are NOT official releases and are likely taken from TV broadcasts and the tapes released by Columbia House. Some people have reported these DVDs are mediocre in quality and the WWW sites selling them leave a lot to be desired as far as customer service is concerned. I personally have no idea what the quality of these DVDs is like, having never purchased any of them. The site TV Shows on DVD has a very interesting FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about bootlegs which is worth reading.
VHS tapes of selected episodes were released by Columbia House in the USA and Canada. They are no longer available. Sometimes you can find these for sale on Ebay and other web sites. From time to time 16mm prints of the show are also sold on Ebay.
Will you make copies of such and such an episode for me on DVD?
Why has the second season episode "Bored She Hung Herself" not been seen since the original broadcast in 1970 and is not included in the second season DVD box set?
According to Mrs. Leonard Freeman (wife of the late creator of the show), speaking to some fans at the 1996 Five-O convention, someone tried the yoga-related hanging technique depicted in the show and killed themselves. As a result, perhaps because of litigation (this is my opinion, not Mrs. Freeman's), the show was not rebroadcast and never included in any syndication packages.
In late 2011, I had an opportunity to speak to an executive of CBS Home Entertainment regarding this episode. He told me that he would have liked to include it with a DVD release, but every time he tried this, he was shot down by the company's legal department. He didn't specify what were the reasons for this.
Is there going to be a Five-O movie?
Considering Five-O returned to TV in 2010 and was relatively successful, I think it is unlikely that we will be seeing a Five-O movie for some time. When and if this happens, you will read about it here.
Is Jack Lord still alive? What about the other stars?
No, Lord died January 21, 1998 from congestive heart failure. Other stars of the show who have passed away include James MacArthur (Danno -- October 28, 2010, of natural causes), Kam Fong (Chin Ho Kelly - October 18, 2002, of lung cancer), Gilbert Kauhi -- Zulu (Kono -- May 3, 2004, from complications of diabetes), Herman Wedemeyer (Duke -- January 25, 1999, heart attack), Richard Denning (Governor -- October 11, 1998, cardiac arrest), Moe Keale (Truck -- April 15, 2002 of "natural causes"), Harry Endo (Che Fong - January 9, 2009, stroke) and Khigh Dhiegh (Wo Fat -- October 25, 1991, of kidney and heart failure). Stars who are still alive include Al Harrington (Ben) and Doug Mossman (various parts).
Who played the main theme? Was it the Ventures?
The main theme was played by studio musicians under the direction of Morton Stevens, who composed it. The Ventures made a popular recording of the main theme on Liberty Records. Three of the four members of the Ventures also anonymously contributed to the episode Up Tight, which featured weird contemporary music accompanying a drug-culture story. Some of this music appeared on the soundtrack album.
Is the Five-O soundtrack (released on LP record many years ago) available on CD?
The soundtrack has been issued by Film Score Monthly on CD. Due to licensing restrictions, it only contains the original Capitol LP, which is less than 30 minutes long and doesn't have any artwork relating to the show, other than the original album cover. There are recently-made audiophile LPs of the soundtrack of questionable legality still being sold on places like Ebay.
Where can I find more Frequently Asked Questions?
Check out the Hawaii Five-O FAQ (the bigger version).
Revised March 9, 2013