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15 December 2010, 18:01

Most of the recent television series remakes are a disgrace, so when I learned of Hawaii Five-0 I wasn’t optimistic. I’ve since warmed to it, even though it’s a complete remake of a premise that was owned by Jack Lord and Leonard Freeman and the people they created the original series with.

So many remakes are in the category of “we really respect the concept of this series, but it has to be translated into American so that it can be understood” (from the Life on Mars debacle to Coupling and One Foot in the Grave, and also Being Human, Spooks, Red Dwarf, The Inbetweeners and the Paul McGann Doctor Who telefilm). When Kudos found itself in a similar position, it was much more reverential to the source, and Law & Order: UK is consistently as good as the original era of L&O.

The 2010 Hawaii Five-0 is as consistent, but the only things retained from the original are the character names (extending to Duke! and Wo Fat, but no Che Fong, Manicote or Jenny—yet), McGarrett’s naval background and the address. There is occasionally a nod to tradition. Everything else was reinvented and has a distinct origin point, which is impressive in that it’s done well. Usually forced origins are an epic failure (every comic book movie seems to do this, badly). It’s even wise that the premise is centred on a four-person taskforce, not an established department. It all clicks and now we look forward to it every week (not a common feeling with American network television these days).

Hawaii Five-0 expert Mike Quigley is reviewing each episode as they air.

Rodney Eric Griffith

TV

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