Do you guys remember the very first episode you saw?

by ringfire211 Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:28 pm

Some of my earliest memories of the show were from all different seasons, so they really were all over the place. Everything from "Killer Bee" and "The Young Assassins" to "Skyline Killer" and "Distant Thunder", whatever episode I happened to stumble on. But the VERY first episode that I saw was "Strangers in Our Own Land". I was at a friend's house (I must have been 11 or so at the time) and he had the TV on and I remember this huge scary looking wave rolling in. I still clearly remember being freaked out at how huge that thing looked. I didnt think waves could be that huge. Maybe because I was smaller at the time but it looked like it was 30 or 40 stories high or something. So that definitely made an impression on me. Also I couldn't swim at the time so I had this fear of water. In any case I think I saw that wave during one of the commercial breaks (probably towards the end of the show). The only other thing I remember from the episode is a guy in a bulldozer trying to bulldoze a guy laying in the dirt. Hence why I know it was this episode. That also made quite the impression on me. I thought that was a grizzly way to die.

What's your earliest Five-O memory?

by North Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:29 am

Never watched it during the original run as I was too young to stay up that late for most of the 70's. My first memories of the show were in the 70's at my grandmothers house, I remember the opening sequence. My grandmother liked the show but I don't think I really watched any episodes, just bits before going to bed.

I started watching the show in 82-83 when i was 18, the local CBS affiliate was playing it M-F at 11:30 after the local news and I caught it by accident coming home after going to a bar with friends. Not sure what hooked me so quick but it quickly became a nightly habit and I put to use a VCR my dad had bought to tape the Diana royal wedding the year before (the remote was on a cable). The station must have bought an incomplete package because I went through 2 and a half cycles of the same episodes and basically it was seasons 1 through 7 and the 9th but several episodes were missing from each season including the pilot, all wo-fat episodes and most of the two hour episodes. I specifically recall the only way I knew of Wo Fat was from an episode (I think the one about the duplicate house) where McGarrett mentions Wofat had doubles.

In the mid 80's the show was replaced with some kind of CBS late night rotation of several rerun cop shows that included a re-branded season 12 called McGarrett. When it in turn was cancelled I spent the next dozen years watching the show from about 17 VHS tapes I had made (4-6 episodes each). In the late 90's I discovered H5O online , and gradually built up a complete collection of the series by buying copies of old VHS tapes like mine, most poor quality like my original tapes. I lucked out about 2000 when I found a guy online who sold me a DVD collection of every episode from high quality taping he made in the early 80's. Then of course came the official DVD's.

I can't recall the first episode I watched but it was season 1 and the first one that sticks in my mind is "daisy's" where Danno shoots a young thief. Right from the day one I always had a soft spot for the 60's energy of the first seasons and appreciated the quality stories and ensemble cast of the middle seasons.

by ringfire211 Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:28 pm

Yes same here - season 1 does seem to stick out for me as my earliest memory (obviously because of "Strangers in Our Own Land") as well as "Big Chicken". I'm convinced that he was the first Five-O baddie that I remembered. Now, I can't remember at which point exactly I first saw "Chicken" (or which episode - "Daisies" or "The Box") - whether it was immediately after "Strangers" or not - but it had to be at some very early point in my Five-O exposure. I didn't discover Wo Fat until quite a few years later. Furthermore for some odd reason I thought that "Chicken" appeared in a handful of episodes and was really surprised that he only showed up in 2. When I read in some Five-O book that there's a recurring villain named Wo Fat I was curious why I never came across him. I kept reading to see mention of the other "recurring villain" Big Chicken but there was no mention of him. Like I said, I really thought at the time that he was "recurring" and it wasn't until many years later that I found out he only appeared twice on the show. I guess as a kid I saw him two times and both times he made such an impression on me (he and that name of his) that I somehow subconsciously assumed he was a recurring villain. Or maybe I imagined I saw him more times than I did. Anyhoo, Chicken was definitely a very early Five-O memory for me.

by Jeff*H Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:51 pm

WOR cable tv rotation, March 1986: the V for Vashon trilogy. Talk about starting at the top. Was hooked immediately. They ran the show twice daily so I recorded and watched 10 episodes per week with the original 200 episode syndication package at the time.

by North Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:24 pm

When you mention 200 episode syndication that sounds about right for the loop I was watching, 8 seasons less a few episodes. I remember rushing home to watch it even though I had the VCR programmed I still liked to watch it "live", luckily my siblings didn't use the VCR much. Seems like yesterday, can't fathom that that was a third of a century ago!

by Jeff*H Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:37 pm

That 200 episode package consisted of seasons 1-9 and a handful from season 10, minus the two-parters and two-hour shows (except for Vashon), and a handful of other random episodes from the first 9 seasons. This package existed from 1981-1989. Seasons 11 and 12 were broadcast on CBS Late Night during those years.

In 1989, the new syndication package switched from 16mm film transfers to cleaner videotape transfers, and all remaining episodes were added to the package, minus "Bored She Hung Herself" (and "Six Kilos" in some packages). This continued until the current syndication package from 1997 with 209 remastered episodes (originally 175) that the Family Channel helped subsidize. To this day, that syndication package hasn't changed, though HD masters now exist for a future HD package (those HD transfers were used for Netflix, Amazon Video, Vudu, and CBS All Access, and were downgraded to SD for the DVD releases).

by Mr. Mike Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:08 am

In the late 60's/early 70's I was living at my grandmother's house in Vancouver. She didn't have a TV, but a friend named Andrew and his wife lived down the street and I would visit them occasionally and we would watch Five-O. I don't remember any specific show that was the first one I saw, but I recall we would joke about Wo Fat, so it must have been a show from one of the early seasons like Forty feet high, and it kills. Several years later, I remember watching Nine Dragons which totally freaked me out because it was just like a movie. I particularly remember the scene where McGarrett was being tortured by Wo Fat, including the hallucination he was having involving snakes. Flash forward to the 1990s when I was between jobs and Five-O was being shown daily on KVOS TV in Bellingham, WA, just over the border. I started watching this show regularly (helped with a VCR -- I had owned one of those since the early 1980s). I started finding goofs in the show and would write down short reviews of the episodes, which became the basis for my first Five-O site which happened around 1994-5. You can still see these pages:, logb and logc. KVOS only ran up to the 10th season, but I managed to get copies of the last two seasons from various people where they were being shown in Pennsylvania, San Jose and Seattle. For some reason, Six Kilos was a "missing" episode which was not shown in the KVOS syndication package, but suddenly it appeared at one point, and then it started to be available in the other areas as well.

by ringfire211 Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:57 pm

Thanks, all. Very interesting to hear what everyone's first exposure was. Everyone's situation is unique, though it seems like the earlier seasons is the prevailing starting point for most.

And yes "Six Kilos" seemed to be absent in most syndication packages. I didn't catch it on TV until sometime in the 2000s, shortly before the syndication package was discontinued here on our local channel.

by North Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:01 am

The episodes I was watching in the early 80's was missing all of the season 8 episodes (as well as 10, 11 and 12) did anyone else have this experience at that time?

by Shigato Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:46 pm

I believe that the first full episode I watched was "The Reunion" in Season 3 at some point in the 80s when I was a teenager. The character Shigato really stood out to me and I seem to remember his wonderfully coiffed white Pompadour very vividly. I actually didn't watch many more episodes after that one, but when one of my local stations here in Pennsylvania started re-running it in the mid-90s, I did dive deep into the series.

by John Chergi Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:57 pm

I think the 1st Hawaii Five-O Classic episode I watched was King Of The Hill. It was 1 of the best episodes in Season 1 and the entire series. I was born in mid 70's and vaguely remember Season 11 and 12. My Grandmother and I would watch Hawaii Five O late at night on CBS 1987 time frame. They would show a double dip with an older episode and then something from Season 12. My sister saw an episode that Chin Ho was killed off. I thought she was lying but later I saw Death In The Family. It was not very wise to place Chin undercover especially those criminals and hoods knew Five-O. Hated when school started because they would still show the 2 episodes. I'd be dragging on Mondays.

by Mcgarrettsmerc Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:34 pm

I don't know if I am proud or ashamed to admit this-I recall seeing the series premiere promos on TV, before the pilot aired. i distinctly recall the camera shot upwards towards the palm trees, and thinking that's not like "normal" TV at the time. i didn't watch at all that first season-other stuff was going on. However, by the summer of '69, the theme song was everywhere. It was especially popular at area country club juke boxes by the pool, and we all knew it as a Ventures tune. For my friend circle, Ventures were just about the ultimate in cool, so we all figured -we better start watching this show. The first first-run episode I have a clear memory of is "Just Lucky I Guess"-and I don't think i missed a single episode through season 7.

by H50 1.0 FOREVER Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:20 pm

The first one I remember -- and the one that stood out in my mind so strongly until the DVDs came out -- is "Once Upon a Time" (Part 2). The courtroom scene, where Fremont reels off a list of all McGarrett's past ailments only to be tripped up when McGarrett slipped her a sample of vegetable dye and red food coloring. And the catchy tune from "Over Fifty? Steal" came to mind at various times through the years, but I couldn't remember where I had heard it until the DVDs came out. My father-in-law and I loved Five-0 and watched it every week. Everything else fell by the wayside when it was time for Five-0 to come on.

by ringfire211 Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:23 pm

H50 1.0 FOREVER wrote: Everything else fell by the wayside when it was time for Five-0 to come on.

As it should!

by Steven from Miami Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:11 am

The first episode I ever remember seeing was either Yesterday Died and Tomorrow Won't Be Born or Up Tight. My grandmother used to hurry up and finish her chores or errands and get back to the TV by 1 P.M. because that's when a local Miami station started its Mon-Fri back-to-back syndicated episodes of Five-0. Her enthusiasm for the show influenced me because I started getting interested in McGarrett and company's adventures because of my grandmother's love of the series.

As for those episodes, I was immediately impressed with "Yesterday Died" right from the start, as the pov camera stuff and intimidating reveal at the episode's opening pulled me right into the story.

Up Tight was memorable because I must have caught the episode just as Brenda Scott's character was having her "moped freak out." I loved how late '60s shows depicted drug use among those dope-addled Boomers, and Up Tight not only had that, but it was done so stylishly. Brenda Scott in her white bikini has stayed with me all these joke.

by ringfire211 Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:19 pm

"Up Tight" was also a fairly early memory for me. Sometime in the mid-90s is when I first saw it I think. Like you, Brenda Scott's trippy motorcycle ride is the thing I remembered most from it. As well as the nut-house scene with all those dope heads. Also Ed Flanders being fed all those pills at the end. Heck, I didn't even know it was Flanders at that time. But those were some of my recollections from that episode.

"Yesterday Died" I didn't see until much later. Early 2000s I think, during my college years. Fantastic episode! Powerful stuff, right from the word go! Those POV shots, that creepy music!

by WilliamJE Mon May 15, 2017 8:37 am

The first episode I remember watching was 'A Hawaiian Nightmare'. I was 13 at the time and living in New York. Until my family moved to Florida, I recall watching many season 7 and 8 episodes but my Five-O watching stopped after my move.

I began watching the show again in the early 80's. The first episode I recall watching then was 'The Payoff'.

by todd Tue May 16, 2017 12:58 am

The first episode I saw was "Thanks for the Honeymoon" in late night reruns on KCOP Channel 13 Los Angeles.

It wasn't a great episode, but it was good enough to make me want to watch another.

I caught it the next night and happened upon the excellent "Draw Me a Killer", which remains my favorite episode.

That was what hooked me. I then made sure to catch (or tape) Five-O every night on Channel 13, though I was frustrated in that the schedule was erratic, and with Five-O being the last show broadcast overnight, it was usually off schedule by 8-20 minutes. That is, instead of starting at 4am, it was starting anywhere from 3:40am-4:20am. Then the station would go off the air at the conclusion of Five-O, and come back on at 6am.

Anyway, after recording a bunch of Five-O episodes, I was able to start trading with people I met on the newsgroup, including our own Mr. Mike.

This allowed me to eventually see all of the Five-O episodes.

I'm only 45 years old, so I was not even 8 when the show broadcast its original final episode. I didn't catch the reruns until my early 20s. I was able to watch all of the episodes prior to the 1996 Mahalo Con (Hawaii Five-O convention), and attended the Los Angeles version of it.

A few years later I visited Hawaii for the first time, and visited various landmarks from the series.

by Mr. Mike Tue May 16, 2017 8:07 am

Todd, I had totally forgotten about making tapes for you, but I checked my e-mail which goes back to 1995 and you are quite correct!

Your signature on these e-mails, by the way, was "If you were a SPEED READER, you would have finished reading this .sig about 10 minutes ago."

Way back then, I made tapes for several other people as well. One guy lived in places like Ireland and Australia, and it was possible to ship a box of VHS dubs by sea mail for a very reasonable rate. These days the cost of doing this (assuming that commercially recorded Five-O tapes and DVDs never existed) would be astronomical.

by TLeung Fri May 19, 2017 8:28 pm

Mine was "Cocoon" Part 1. It was aired in Hong Kong, where I reside, in 1971. The local station ceased showing the series early in Season 3.