DVD box set features pieces of local flair
There's a little bit of island love contained in the just-released "Hawaii Five-0" DVD set.
In October 1996, television personality and producer Emme Tomimbang put together a local documentary called "Memories of Hawaii Five-0." Excerpts pertinent to the drama's debut season are included in the box set.
Did the famous theme song have lyrics? Composer Morton Stevens didn't write any, but Google "Hawaii Five-0 lyrics" and you'll find a few suggestions.
The Web site www. hawaiifive0.org offers a computer desktop wallpaper with these lyrics (surely you can recall enough of the tune to sing along):
"If you're feelin' lonely, you can come with me. Feel my arms around you. Lay beside the sea. ..." -- it gets a bit suggestive after that.
The special's co-writer and consultant Derik Onuma remembers getting the initial OK from creator Leonard Freeman's widow, Rose, to include actual scenes from the cop drama. Onuma, now a freelance advertising copywriter, remembers looking through tapes that included some he had recorded from reruns on TV, and some of the original 1-inch tapes that were being shown in syndication.
For years, he said, he and Tomimbang had talked about wanting to dedicate something to "Five-0" while most of the principals were still alive.
"It was a look back at how it all got started," Onuma said. "We spoke to many of the lead actors, some of the local supporting actors as well as crew at the original 'Five-0' up at Diamond Head," Onuma said. "I remembered they all talked a lot about Jack Lord and how he was a very strict taskmaster and perfectionist. But I was surprised they didn't speak of him in an unkind way. That's because it was his overall attention to the show that made it better and made the actors better.
"I realize now why the show was such a success. While we were unable to talk to Lord himself, we did talk to his wife, Marie Lord, and I don't think anybody had ever talked to her on camera beforehand. Rose Freeman also flew in from Los Angeles to talk about her husband's show."
Tomimbang said she had just received an e-mail from Rose Freeman, who'd seen the documentary again on the DVD. Freeman said it brought her to tears. "I had forgotten how many people we've lost over the years," she said.
"I'm glad (that through) the DVD, fans can have a lasting memory of the special people who were part of 'Hawaii 5-0.'"
Onuma hopes that as the remainder of "Five-0's" seasons are released on DVD, other interviews from the documentary will be included, such as those with local celebrities Harry Endo, Glenn Cannon, Jimmy Borges and Kimo Kahoano.
"I was only 5 years old in 1968, and I remember watching the show, first in black and white," Onuma said. "I remember the family driving around downtown, and we'd see the big CBS 'Five-0' production trucks, and saying, 'Do you see Jack Lord and James MacArthur over there?' It was a huge deal back then."