For the world premiere of the new “Hawaii Five-0,” thousands of visitors and local folks converged on Waikiki Beach on Monday to see the rebirth of a cop show that introduced the islands to millions of viewers around the world more than four decades ago.
Before the evening screening, one of the high points of the night was the stage appearances of Al Harrington, who played the character of Ben Kokua during “Five-0”’s original run, and the three daughters of show creator Leonard Freeman, who, in essence, handed over the legacy of their father and the iconic cast led by Jack Lord to the show’s new producers, Peter Lenkov, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.
Harrington joked that in response to McGarrett’s trademark show closer — “Book ’em, Danno” — he was often tempted to reply, “Book ’em yourself.”
“But the money was so good that I didn’t want to risk it,” he said.
While reading remarks from original cast member James MacArthur, who did not attend, Harrington became emotional when reeling off the names of those who have since died. “I speak for Lenny (Freeman), Kam (Fong), Jack (Lord), Zulu and the rest of the original cast to say it’s very heartening to leave our legacy in your hands,” he said, reading from MacArthur’s statement.
Harrington also said he hopes the spirit of the new show would keep in mind the state’s motto of “Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono” — the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness — “and may you all enjoy Hawaii and its fabulous people.”
One actor who enjoyed his stay in the islands was special guest Jorge Garcia. The former “Lost” cast member said he moved back to Los Angeles three months ago, and it just so happened his visit back to Hawaii coincided with the “Five-0” public screening.
Referring to fellow “Lost” actor Daniel Dae Kim, who plays the part of Chin Ho Kelly in the new “Five-0,” Garcia said he attended the event because “I wanted to support Daniel in his new adventures.”
Jason Scott Lee also was among the celebrities in attendance.
It was a night to celebrate all that was “Five-0.” The University of Hawaii Warrior Marching Band and Dancers performed their familiar rendition of the show’s iconic opening theme, and both Gov. Linda Lingle and acting Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell offered proclamations that honored the new show with their own month and day, respectively.
There were steady chants from fans close to the red carpet of “Grace!,” “Scott!,” “Alex!” and “Daniel!” as Grace Park, Scott Caan, Alex O’Loughlin and Daniel Dae Kim first spoke with members of the media, and then went to the fans behind the barricade to sign autographs and pose for photos.