Mark Forsythe: And from the snow, to Hawaii Five-O...
[A large-scale version of The Five-O theme plays.]
MF: Picture this ... wind-swept Hawaiian island, pompous pompadoured police detective and boyish personal lackey fight crime in paradise. Sound familiar? Hawaii Five-O ran for twelve years on television and endlessly into syndication, and now add a new made-in-Vancouver Hawaii Five-O Web site. It has been named one of the top of the crowd by a Web critic, and Mike Quigley is the man who designed it. Hello, Mike, congratulations.
MQ: Hi there, Mark. Thanks.
MF: How does it feel to be at the top of the heap there?
MQ: It was quite a surprise, it just came out of nowhere. I tell you, Hawaii is some place I would like to be today [it was snowing outside].
MF: Absolutely. So why Hawaii Five-O in the first place, why did you decide to create a Web site dedicated to this kind of campy TV show?
MQ: Well, I was interested in Five-O in the late sixties when I was going to university and also in the seventies I came back from a trip in Japan and got hooked on the show which ran up until 1980. Recently I saw the show when it was being syndicated by KVOS-TV in Bellingham and got hooked on it again. With the accessibility of World Wide Web pages at my Internet provider I decided to create a home page for it which, since it was the first one, became the Hawaii Five-O Home Page.
MF: Now what is it, though, about this McGarrett character played by Jack Lord, it's kind of all a blur to me, but what did you like about him and the show?
MQ: Well, I quite enjoyed the interaction between the characters. McGarrett is sort of the despotic ruler of Hawaii Five-O, the special police force investigating serious felonies in Hawaii. His assistant, of course, was James MacArthur playing Danno and there were other island actors playing subsidiary roles.
MF: So if people dial up your Web site, what do they observe or hear?
MQ: On the Web site there's the Five-O FAQ, which stands for Frequently Asked Questions which was given to me by a woman in Florida who's sort of the "boss" of the Hawaii Five-O fan club. We also have a list of all the Five-O episodes, a list of all the composers for the Five-O episodes, which is sort of my personal interest...
MF: Oh, you liked the music, did you [he sings the theme]?
MQ: Yeah, that was one of the high points of the show for me. There was not only music by Morton Stevens, who wrote the main theme and a lot of the music in the first few seasons, there's also some other composers who went on to bigger and better things, people like Bruce Broughton, who wrote Silverado, Ernest Gold who wrote the theme from Exodus and quite a lot of others.
MF: It was pretty campy stuff. What would you consider some of its lowest moments?
MQ: Well, the lowest moments are definitely to be found in the last two seasons where they just ran out of inspiration and some of the cast members like Danno left. As it got to the end, it just got more and more depressing. The last show is one where McGarrett finally meets up with his nemesis Wo Fat.
MF: Wo Fat?
MQ: Yeah, Wo Fat. He was a terrible villain who ran across several seasons and always managed to escape McGarrett's grasp. In the last episode he finally catches up with Wo Fat, and throws him in jail, but even then there's some hints that he may still escape and come back to haunt McGarrett again.
MF: Sounds like a Superman comic to me.
MQ: Yeah, it was pretty comical.
MF: "To be continued..." Pretty sexist stuff by today's standards too, wasn't it?
MQ: Yeah, I think so. There's a lot of McGarrett calling women "honey," "dames", and stuff like that.
MF: He wouldn't have one out on the street with him as a detective, would he?
MQ: Well, actually he did in the last season. There was a woman agent with Five-O. McGarrett did seem to soften a bit towards the end. There's also one episode with Jean Simmons where she really gives him a hard time over his sexist attitudes.
MF: Canada has a couple of swipes taken at it, doesn't it?
MQ: Yeah, actually it's quite interesting. In one of the shows, Danny Williams, who's McGarrett's assistant, goes underground as a draft resister and he refers to Canada as "Trudeau-turf, where it's cold and snows eight months of the year."
MF: Well, he's half right...
MQ: Yeah, it is today, anyway.
MF: Trudeau-turf. How biting! Do you know if there are many Five-O fans out there dialling up your site?
MQ: There seems to be quite a lot of action on the site. There's also a Usenet newsgroup called alt.fan.hawaii-five-o which has a modest amount of activity. There's people that just drop in to reminisce about the old days and there are other people like myself who are a bit more serious about it. My page is not the only one on the Web, there's actually three more and they all have different angles on the show.
MF: So whatever did happen to Jack Lord, anyway?
MQ: From what I can gather, he's sort of living a Greta Garbo-like existence in Hawaii, retired as a recluse. I'm sure he's making lots of money from all his residuals.
MF: The syndication runs on and on.
MQ: That 's for sure.
MF: Well, congratulations on such a high rating, Mike and thanks for talking to me.
MQ: Okay, thanks, Mark. Goodbye!
[The Five-O theme plays again.]
MF: Book 'em, Danno! Did we ever say that in that interview? Mike Quigley is creator of a now critically acclaimed Web site, all about Hawaii Five-O.
The Hawaii Five-O Home Page.