Rest easy, Honolulu. McGarrett and his crew are back on the case.
As the cameras rolled, they roared into action yesterday on hip, cool rides, dangled a bad guy off a Waikiki hotel balcony and opened a new era on television’s most iconic police drama, "Hawaii Five-0."
The remake of the series, which ended its original run 30 years ago, started with a high-octane chase into the lobby of the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Rainbow Tower.
Dozens of tourists and a gaggle of reporters watched as the new Steve McGarrett, portrayed by Alex O’Loughlin, and Danno, played by Scott Caan, sped through the resort driveway in a silver Camaro. They were followed closely by Daniel Dae Kim—the new Chin Ho Kelly—on a sleek Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The show’s creators are promising excitement in the new "Five-0," but with a little something extra.
"I think we have the crew to make that big show happen every week," said Peter Lenkov, the show’s executive producer. "It’s an action show but it’s real heavy on character."
Lenkov knows something about action. He helped produce and also wrote episodes of Fox’s "24," starring Kiefer Sutherland.
Although the national network debut has not been announced, Hawaii will get the first look at the CBS "Five-0" remake during a special preview screening of the pilot Sept. 13 at "Sunset on the Beach" in Waikiki.
The tourists who stumbled upon the film crew yesterday outside the Rainbow Tower or a blessing of the show on the resort’s Great Lawn got their first up-close look at show’s cast, which includes Grace Park as Kono.
Of all the stars in the remake, the sprightly Park, who had a regular role in Syfy’s "Battlestar Galactica," will be creating the biggest character makeover. Her role as Kono was originally played by Zulu, a burly former Waikiki beachboy.
"I feel the pressure is not really on me," she said before filming began. "I can only do what I do. But there seems to be a lot of hype and a lot of excitement."
She hasn’t spent enough time in the islands to duplicate believable pidgin, but figures she’ll create a back story for her character. For example, maybe she spent a few years on the mainland away at college.
"I like things to make sense, and people who live here are going to know she doesn’t have the accent," Park said.
One star with a head start on local-style life is Kim, who settled his family here after becoming a regular on ABC’s "Lost." He was more than ready for action yesterday.
"It feels good," he said. "I feel like this has been in the works for a while and I’ve been waiting at the starting gates."
He wants the new "Five-0" to make its own mark.
"People are very opinionated about this show," he said. "There are those who want it to look like the original and those who want something fresh and new. I’m hopeful that the fans will appreciate it and the show will have its own legacy."
The original "Five-0," created by Leonard Freeman, aired from 1968 to 1980. It set a standard for police drama and was the first TV show to be filmed entirely on location. It also made a pop culture icon out of its leading man, Jack Lord, whose portrayal of McGarrett was all business.
The morning blessing was attended by Honolulu’s real top cop, Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who is a fan of the original series and still watches it regularly in reruns.
"We just came out to watch the cast and crew and wish them the best of luck," he said. "Put as many bad guys as you can in jail."