All you need to know about Hawaii Five-0, that's back on the small screen after three decades
An elite police task force keeps the residents of Hawaii safe from crime. Producer Peter M Lenkov tells us what we can expect from Hawaii Five-0
It is not easy rebooting a TV show that came out in the 1960s, but for Peter M Lenkov, reviving the action police procedural, Hawaii Five-0 (that aired from ’68 to ’80), was a welcome challenge. In a chat with Indulge, the 53-year-old Canadian, known for his work as both writer and producer in shows such as 24 (adapted in India with Anil Kapoor), La Femme Nikita, and CSI: NY, tells us why rebooting old favourite TV shows comes naturally to him.
Hawaii Five-0 is the story of a task force of policemen who are assigned to keep Hawaii as crime-free as possible. Lenkov says he tried to keep the spirit of the original show intact, adding, “I try to understand why people like the original show and figure out why they would watch a reboot. I try to add value, by making it relevant. I like doing it because these are shows I grew up watching. It almost feels like I’m writing fan fiction.”
However, sustaining a show for more than 200 episodes, spread across nine seasons, was a task in itself. Ask him how he managed to do it and he says, “It sure was tough coming up with new stories, but
I think, as writers, the best part is investing in these characters, allowing them to grow, and writing plots that are close to our hearts. The stuff that writers enjoy the most, is fleshing out characters and I think, we can easily do it for another 200 episodes.”
Interestingly, the characters are all named the same — there are just new actors playing them. So, major characters like Lt Steve McGarrett, Detective Danny Williams and Detective Lt Chin Ho Kelly, are all part of the entourage. But Lenkov promises that the story is different. “We have a storyline that will build on McGarrett and Danny, maybe one day they can retire... that’s one of the ongoing storylines. So, it is a lot of big stories and a lot of character development,” he adds.
Lenkov, who has also written for films like Demolition Man, says that he prefers writing for TV, more than films. “For me, I have noticed that once you write the script, you disappear. However, in TV, even after I have scripted a show, there is a more hands-on active role I play, in terms of production. That is why I like TV better —because it offers a more finished product,” he signs off.
Hawaii Five-0 Season 8 premieres on May 11, and airs every Friday, 10 pm on AXN.