Compare Die Another Day vs. Hawaii Five-0

At the start of 2002’s Die Another Day, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is captured on a mission in North Korea. Danny Kleinman’s main titles incorporates depiction of Bond being tortured:

On the Nov. 21 episode of Hawaii Five-0, Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) has been tricked by arch enemy Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) to coming to North Korea. McGarrett is on the receiving end of a similarly tough time. In both Die Another Day and Five-0, sequences set in Korea are shot in a washed out style while scenes at other locations are in bright color. In this clip, the Five-0 team is flying into North Korea (courtesy of a pilot played by Jimmy Buffett) while Wo Fat is torturing McG.

Hawaii Five-O season 12 out on DVD in January

Season 12 of Hawaii Five-O, the last campaign of the 1968-80 show, is scheduled to come out on DVD on Jan. 10, according to the TV Shows on DVD Web site.

By this time, star Jack Lord as lawman Steve McGarrett was the only remaining member of the original cast still present. James MacArthur departed at the end of the 11th season. A new supporting cast was recruited, led by veteran character actor William Smith as James Carew, a cop looking for the men who killed his wife. Also on board was Sharon Farrell as Lori, the first Five-O woman officer. Prior to this, Five-O occasionally utilized policewomen working for the Hololulu P.D.

But there were notable returns. Composer Morton Stevens, who wrote the Five-O theme, was back scoring episodes after skipping the 11th season. Ross Martin, who had appeared in three season 11 episodes as a Hawaiian crime boss, was back in the role for two episodes in season 12. And Khigh Dhiegh as archvillain Wo Fat reprised the role one more time. The back of Five-O Season 12 box has at least three images from the episode, titled “Woe to Wo Fat.”

Most season 12 episodes don’t receive good reviews on the Web site of Five-O expert Mike Quigley. Hard-core Five-O fans, we suspect, will still seek out the DVD set.

Here’s the final scenes of the series, with Morton Stevens supplying the music.

CBS provides preview of Hawaii Five-0 season finale

CBS, which has been using YouTube as part of its Hawaii Five-0 marketing efforts all season long, uploaded a preview of the May 16 season finale. Wo Fat 2.0 frames McGarrett 2.0, an idea that evokes the plot of an episode of the original Five-O series called The Ninety-Second War.

In the clip CBS uploaded, McGarrett 2.0 is driving his father’s old Mercury, which just happens to be the same model driven by Jack Lord’s McGarrett in the original show. (The original series had Ford Motor Co. vehicles. CBS struck a deal with General Motors Co., which provides the bulk of cars for the new show.) McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) is on the run and needs help:

New-look McGarrett and Wo Fat face off on Monday

CBS is using the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to promote a new Hawaii Five-0 episode on Monday in which the new-look versions of Steve McGarrett and Wo Fat have a meeting.

Wo Fat 2.0 has had two cameo appearances prior to this. CBS has been showing repeats the past few weeks as it tries to spread out its 22 first-season episodes for the television season. We’re guessing Wo Fat is behind a subplot that has featured throughout the season. Monday may provide clues whether we’re correct.

Here’s the first meeting of McGarrett and Wo Fat in the new series from earlier in the season:

UPDATE: No sign of Wo Fat after two commercial breaks, but we’re introduced the new-look (and new gender) Jonathan Kaye, who’s now Jenna Kaye. The new Kaye is just a CIA agent (rather than head of the spymaster in charge of the Pacific Rim). She wants McGarrett’s files into his father’s murder.

UPDATE II: Oops. Turns out Kaye is merely a CIA analyst who was trying to bluff McG. Mistake. Wo Fat shown in flashback.

UPDATE III: Kaye provides details on Wo Fat 2.0 who, we’re told, was “one of the good guys” and who U.S. intelligence officials believe is responsible for at least 23 deaths. Wo Fat also responsible for death of Kaye’s financee.

UPDATE IV: Wo Fat finally showed up in the last scene, after the episode’s main storyline was resolved. Wo Fat met McGarrett at a Chinese restaurant, McG had a gun under the table but had to let him go. “Don’t dig too deeply into your family’s past,” Wo Fat says, calling it a piece of “friendly advice.”

New Hawaii Five-0 swipes plot of two episodes of original series

We finally had a chance to catch up with the Jan. 23 episode of Hawaii Five-0. It turns out the show centered around a false tsunami alarm, which was the plot of not one, but *two* episodes of the original show.

One of the original episodes that utilized the plot was called Forty Feet High And It Kills!, which was one of the Wo Fat episodes. That installment involved Wo Fat triggering a false tsunami warning to kidnap an important scientist. The other was just titled Tusnami and aired during the orignal series’ 10th season (scroll down to episode 224 of the preceding link).

We suspect the Jan. 23 episode will be related to the unfolding storyline involving Wo Fat 2.0. But we’ll see. The Jan. 23 episode included a second appearance by Al Harrington, one of the few surviving members of the cast of the orignal series.

Meet the new Wo Fat

Actor Mark Cacascos has assumed the role of Steve McGarrett’s arch-nemesis, originated by Khigh Dhiegh in the original Hawaii Five-O series.

The new Wo Fat surfaced at the end of the Dec. 13 episode, which you can watch BY CLICKING HERE. It features the return of the man who killed the father of McGarrett 2.0, as seen in the pilot of the new series. It’s revealed that the killer is in the employ of Wo Fat at the very end of the episode.

The last time original Wo Fat appeared? April 1980 when the last episode of the original series ended. Here’s the final faceoff:

Wo Fat 2.0 makes his appearance in the new Hawaii Five-0 show

Younger, thinner. no longer bald and with no facial hair, the new version of Wo Fat made his debut in the Dec. 13 oif the new Hawaii Five-O (or Hawaii Five-0, as the new series is officially spelled) series on Dec. 13. The revamped version of Steve McGarrett’s arch foe appeared at the very end of the show so we’ll have to see what develops (and whether he’ll come close to matching Khigh Dhiegh’s portrayal in the original series).

However it turns out, we’re pleased CBS opted to bring back the arch-villain. Wo Fat was to Steve McGarrett as Ernst Stavro Blofeld was to James Bond or Professor Moriatry was to Sherlock Holmes.

Hawaii Five-O’s most 007-like episode about to hit DVD

The website reports that Season 9 of Hawaii Five-O is coming out on Aug. 3.

The first episode in the set is “Nine Dragons,” the next-to-last Wo Fat story and the one episode that perhaps most resembles a James Bond movie. It includes substantial location filming in Hong Kong and a plot that featur’s Wo Fat’s most ambitious scheme and even permits actor Khigh Dhiegh to evoke an earlier role as the Chinese brainwashing expert in the original version of The Manchurian Candidate.

Here’s a sampling:

If Season 9 sells, presumably Season 10 will come out, which includes appearances by Maud Adams and Luciana Paluzzi as guest stars. And if momentum continues, season 11 has a guest appearance by former 007 George Lazenby.

1975: ABC (with 007) and CBS (with Hawaii Five-O) try to knock off NBC’s The Rockford Files

September 1975 featured an interesting faceoff between the three U.S. commercial television networks. Both ABC and CBS wanted to try to knock off NBC’s Friday line-up, which was anchored by the private-eye show The Rockford Files.

ABC’s main programming for the evening was a new ABC Friday Night Movie. Most would be made-for-television movies. But not the debut. That honor would go to the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, which was being shown on television for the first time. ABC, as it typically did, made a number of trims, such as the joke told by comedian/diamond smuggler Shady Tree, that trying to find Willard Whyte “was like trying to find a virgin in a maternity ward.”

Over on CBS, the evening was comprised of a one-hour episode of M*A*S*H, which featured the introduction of Mike Farrell’s B.J. Hunnicut character, and a two-hour Hawaii Five-O story featuring another faceoff between Steve McGarrett and his arch-nemesis, international spy/bad guy Wo Fat.

It was quite an evening for lovers of adventure TV. CBS and ABC were unsuccessful, however. Rockford remained on the air (both it and Five-O had new episodes until 1980).

We’re reminded of this because, the 8th season of Five-O, which includes the Wo Fat episode called “Murder — Eyes Only,” came out this week and is available for sale. The set also features another spy-oriented story called Termionation With Extreme Prejudice,” which features the excellent character actor Dan O’Herlihy, directed by his brother, Michael O’Herlihy, one of the most frequent Five-O directors.