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New Police Procedurals Honor

Hawaii Five-0

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Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders  (2016 - Present)

CBS has a police procedural called Criminal Minds : Beyond Borders. It stars Gary Sinise, who plays Jack Garrett, head of the FBI’s top team for handling cases involving Americans abroad. 


The show, described as a procedural, piloted on the original Criminal Minds as the episode "Beyond Borders." The series began airing on March 16, 2016, and is thought to have been renewed for the 2017-2018 season. 


Gary Sinise co-produces the series, just as Jack co-produced Hawaii Five-0 and Mark Harmon co-produces NCIS.




Endeavour (2012 - Present)

"Endeavour" is the prequel to the long-popular "Inspector Morse" series (1987-2000). In Season 2, Episode 4, entitled "Neverland," homage is paid to the top cop. A crooked alderman is murdered. When the detectives arrive . . .

"Who found him?"

"His secretary, Mrs. McGarrett."

It turns out that Mrs. McGarrett is not as sweet and innocent as she first appears -- but, then, no one is in this episode. 

Endeavour can been seen on Amazon Prime Video.


Did Longmire Pay Homage to Hawaii Five-0 ?  (2012 - Present)

Remember the handsome desk McGarrett used in the early seasons of Hawaii Five-0? You can see several good views of it in "Just Lucky, I Guess" (Season 2). Move to the scene in which McGarrett is coaching Joyce Carlson (Anne Helm) before she confronts Charley Bombay (Albert Paulsen).


That desk -- or one identical to it -- appears in an episode of Longmire entitled "Help Wanted" (Season 4, Episode 5).


In case you haven't seen Longmire, it is a police procedural set in Absaroka County, Wyoming (but filmed near Santa Fe, New Mexico). Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is the sheriff. Widowed for a year following the murder of his wife, he remains dedicated to his work as he works through his personal problems. To help him in both are his daughter, Cady (Cassidy Freeman) and his friend, Henry Running Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips).


Longmire is strong, like McGarrett, yet more the silent type, a man of painfully few words. Also like McGarrett, he is quick to pick himself up, dust himself off, and go again after whatever culprit he might be pursuing. Unlike McGarrett, he sports western attire and drives an old Ford Ranger, which has seen as much action as he has.


Longmire is available on Netflix. Of course, "Just Lucky, I Guess" is available on CBS All Access.

Death in Paradise (BBC, et al., 2011-present)

If someone wanted to do Hawaii Five-0 without doing Hawaii Five-0, he would create Death in Paradise. At the very least, it would be easy to say that Hawaii Five-0 inspired the creator of Death in Paradise. Creator Robert Thorogood would disagree. He tells it this way:


The idea for Death In Paradise came to me pretty much fully formed when I read a report of a suspected murder in the Caribbean during the Cricket World Cup. I found it surprising that a British Metropolitan Policeman was sent out to head up the murder inquiry because the cricketer held a British passport.(1)


Still, one would be quick to note that the similarities are indisputable:


Setting:            Tropical island

Protagonist:     An eccentrically brilliant detective in a suit and tie

Aides:              Three island residents (kama‘aina, if you will)

Same Name:   The village in Death in Paradise is Honoré. So was Vashon, the father.


There, the similarities end. The island is in the Caribbean, not the Pacific. There is no governor, only a tough police commissioner, Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington). The three island residents who assist the detective inspector are not Caucasian, Hawaiian, and Chinese, but Caribbean of French, Dutch, and African descent. The detective sergeant is Camille Bordey (Sara Martins), while the police officers are Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) and Fidel Best (Gary Carr). Starting in Season 3, the cast begins to change, such that, by the end of Season 4, only Don Warrington, Danny John-Jules, and Elizabeth Bourgnine remain (Ms. Bourgnine portrays Catherine Bordey, mother of the departed Camille Bordey).  


The detective inspector in Seasons 1 and 2 plus the first episode of Season 3 was Richard Poole (Ben Miller). When DI Poole was killed poolside (no pun intended), he was replaced by Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall). Both were sent to the fictitious island of Saint Marie from the Metropolitan Police in London, more popularly known as Scotland Yard. The two are as different as day and night. Poole wore the suit and carried a worn leather briefcase everywhere he went. He was fastidious and somewhat squeamish about sharing a beach shack with a lizard, whom he named Harry at the end of Season 2. Goodman wears rumpled clothes, sometimes an aloha shirt, and, quite frankly, seems a bit ditzy, although he has an uncanny knack for solving crimes. He seems to get along well with the lizard. Near the end of Season 6, we are introduced to DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O'Hanlon), an Irish detective with the Metropolitan Police Department in London. When Humphrey Goodman decides to remain in London to marry his lady love, Mooney takes over as the chief inspector in Saint Marie.


The primary difference between Death in Paradise and Hawaii Five-0, however, centers around the presentation of the cases. We could follow McGarrett and his team as they worked to unravel the mystery presented to them. We have a much more difficult time following Poole, Goodman, and their team(s), for the detective inspectors seem to run in circles until, out of the blue, they present the solution to the case. 


A secondary difference is the presence in Death in Paradise of what was sorely missed in Hawaii Five-0, a social life for the detectives. They meet at Camille’s mother’s bar for beer after they solve their cases. Oh, but they must have taken that from the Five-0 remake. Except that they aren’t advertising products; they’re simply unwinding after a busy day at the office.


A tertiary difference is that, while Hawaii Five-0 was filmed in a major American city, Death in Paradise is filmed in a small fishing village. In reality, Honoré, Saint Marie, is Deshaies, Guadeloupe. Besides being island communities, Honoré and Honolulu share red tile roofs, Spanish-inspired architecture, and (until recently with the demolition of the International Marketplace) an open air marketplace. In fact, Honoré seems to be much like Hawaiians wish Honolulu still was.

Death in Paradise is an enjoyable program with interesting cases – even without the black Mercury, Diamond Head, and the Aloha Tower. And it is set on the island of Saint Marie -- after Jack's wife, perhaps? Probably not, but it's fun to wonder.


As an aside, in Episode 3.2 of Death in Paradise (no episode title given; said by IMDb to be known to some as "The Wrong Man"), a young starlet is murdered using toxin from the puffer fish lest she get in the way of the star, who has a secret to hide. In "Cloth of Gold" (Season 4), three crooked real estate developers are killed by Manoa (William Valentine) in revenge for the death of his daughter.


In Episode 6.7, entitled "In the Footsteps of a Killer," one of the suspects is named Garrett, albeit Tony Garret, spelled with one "t". He was portrayed by actor Jude Akuwudike, definitely a Caribbean name and no doubt completely coincidental in its similarity to KGMB's (among other station) J. Akuhead Pupule (Hal Lewis). He appeared in four episodes of Hawaii Five-0. Ah! But the coincidence with KGMB doesn't end there! 

See if this doesn’t sound familiar: When the fatal shot was fired, an indefinable sound was heard in the background. Officer JP Hooper’s (Toby Bakare) cousin was a disc jockey, and he just happened to have the same equipment for separating levels of sound that KGMB used to help identify the pump compressor in “Fools Die Twice” (Season 5). In this case, the background noise was a small cement mixer. The victim was found buried in cement beneath the deck of the not very grievous husband’s new house.

In the preview of the episode "Flames of Love" (Episode 5.8), we hear a drum beat that is distinctly like the drum beat in the Hawaii Five-0 theme song. It is heard at the end of Episode 5.7, "Blood Red Sea."


(1)   “Death in Paradise: New BBC One drama starring Ben Miller and Sara Martins” in BBC Media Centre.

(2)  Death in Paradise Episode 3.2. BBC, 2014.



Blue Bloods   (CBS, 2010-present)

Blue bloods traditionally are people who are born of nobility or, in the case of the United States, where there is no nobility, of exceedingly great wealth and social position. In the case of this television series, the blue bloods are the Irish Catholic Reagans, a family of law enforcement officers who wear blue uniforms. Grandfather Henry Reagan (Len Cariou) was the commissioner of police in New York City for many years. Now, father Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) holds that position. Frank’s sons, Danny (Donny Wahlberg), Joe (deceased), and Jamie (Will Estes) are  policemen, Danny having advanced to the rank of detective. Frank’s daughter, Erin (Bridget Moynahan), is an assistant district attorney. The Reagans are the blue bloods of New York law enforcement.

Right from the beginning, we learn that the series will be about conflicting theories in law enforcement. Through Detective Danny Reagan's efforts as he tracks down hardened criminals in New York City, we explore old school methods. Danny began his career in law enforcement in the day when a policeman did what he had to do to lasso the bad guy. In addition, he was a Marine, who served two tours in the Iraq War, and still carries the Ooh Rah! mentality. Add some Irish stubbornness, and we have an old school detective who will stop at nothing to get the job done. 


Through ADA Erin Reagan, we explore the new school philosophy of civil rights for even the most hardened criminal. She's the first to call Danny's methods police brutality. Conversely, as Danny tells Erin in the series pilot, “Say hello to the ACLU.” The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) represents liberal thought in socio-political issues and is both credited with and faulted for making it more difficult to obtain convictions. 


Jamie, a graduate of the Harvard School of Law, who chose to follow his family into police work, also leans to the more liberal new school of thought and tends to stand behind Erin in disputes. Despite his age, Frank Reagan represents the new school of thought; his position in One Police Plaza (1PP) demands it. Henry, on the other hand, served during the days of the old school of thought and has related harrowing tales about the tactics he and his men used to get the job done. Despite the passage of time, he stands behind those tactics.


For those of us accustomed to watching McGarrett slam Joe Fletcher (Lyle Bettger) against a door for taping his words with the intent of editing them to his own advantage, the changes in police philosophy aren’t always easy to take. Let’s face it: Joe Fletcher had it coming. At the same time, by any definition, it was police brutality when Danny Reagan held suspect Donald Banse’s (Richard Waugh) head under water in a toilet in the series pilot. Somehow, under today’s philosophy, it would be forgotten that, in “Pray Love Remember, Pray Love Remember” (Season 1), Benny Apa’s (Ron Feinberg) twirling McGarrett like a shot put and tossing him into a ditch equaled Danny Reagan's brutality.


As we listen to the debates taking place around the Reagan dinner table, we are caused to wonder how McGarrett would fare if he had to practice law enforcement by today’s standards. Indeed, we see a shift in that direction in certain episodes. In “You Don’t Have to Kill to Get Rich – But It Helps” (Season 5), District Attorney John Manicote (Glenn Cannon) informs McGarrett that he can’t get a warrant to tap the telephones of five suspects; come back when he’s narrowed his suspect list to one. McGarrett does not have kind words for the judge who refuses to issue the warrants. At the same time, he is able to tap the Telex machines of those five suspects. In that day, there was no legal precedent against tapping a Telex machine.


So, how might McGarrett have zeroed in on the Veritex Corporation and its sleazy leader, William Spear (Ric Marlow), if he had been required to operate under the new school methods of law enforcement? All he would have had to work with were the missing girl, whose body was found in the channel between Molokai and Lana‘i, and the suicide of the Atlanta businessman, who had just visited in the islands. Could McGarrett have established a link between them? Perhaps, as we saw in “Welcome to Our Branch Office” (Season 7), one of the wealthy businessmen would have reported the blackmail being perpetrated upon him. Or, perhaps, it all would have come to light after Sam Tolliver (William Shatner) and his hired gun broke into Spear’s beach estate and were killed by Spear’s bodyguard. In both of those scenarios, evidence would have come to light that would have been admissible by today’s standards to put Spear behind bars and Veritex out of business. 

Of course, we would have missed out on the then-new technology of satellite-transmitted Telex communications, which helped to usher in today’s world of instant telecommunications.


On a lighter note, it is interesting that Blue Bloods pays homage to Hawaii Five-0. Like both Jack Lord and Steve McGarrett, the Reagans are Irish Catholics, and like Jack Lord, they hail from New York City. The eldest Reagan son is named Danny. The youngest Reagan son is named Jameson, even though he goes by Jamie. Danny’s older son is named Jack. Danny’s younger son bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Jack Lord. Erin’s ex-husband is also named Jack. Frank Reagan’s public relations man is named Garrett. In Season 1, a detective was named Ryan. And, of course, as the police move in, the street gangs give the warning call, "Five-0!"  


But, then, Tom Selleck’s Thomas Sullivan Magnum paid homage to Hawaii Five-0 in several episodes of Magnum, PI, and the show’s producer, Donald Bellisario, tried several times to persuade Jack to appear on Magnum, PI. Of course, we know that would have worked only if he had driven up to Robin’s Nest in McGarrett’s 1968 Mercury Park Lane. Just saying, you understand.


In the episode "My Funny Valentine" (Season 1), two story lines borrow from Hawaii Five-0:

 * A teenage girl fakes her own kidnapping. In "Tiger By the Tail" (Season 1), a 20-something vocalist faked his own kidnapping in order to gain his father's attention. In "My Funny Valentine," the young girl wanted to bring her estranged parents back together.


 * A cleaning woman's son is falsely accused of a crime. In "Tread the King's Shadow" (Season 10), the son was accused of kidnapping the woman he loved when, in fact, he took her to the Big Island in order to marry her and be with her when she delivered their baby. In "My Funny Valentine," the young man's Metro card proved that he was far from the scene of the crime when it was committed.

In the episode "Justice Served" (Season 4), Detective Danny Reagan draws jury duty and is the only member of the jury to vote "Not Guilty" for a lack of solid evidence against a murder suspect.  In Hawaii Five-0/ The Case Against Philip Christie (Season 11), McGarrett is the jury member who votes "Not Guilty" and saves the defendant from a life sentence. 

In the episode "The Dedication" (Season 1), Commissioner Reagan is speaking at a ceremony to name a college's atrium after the son he lost, Joe, when he quotes John Donne, including the words "Any man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind." McGarrett recited these words at the end of "Just Lucky, I Guess" (Season 2).

In the episode "Model Behavior" (Season 1), Danny Reagan accuses a rock musician of poisoning a fashion model in order to popularize his new song about a model who dies from mushroom poisoning. His song, Danny says, would soar to the top of the charts, where it would be Number One With a Bullet.

NCIS   (CBS, 2003-present)

Several times on Hawaii Five-0, we heard McGarrett refer to the NIS. The Naval Investigative Service, an investigative body within the US Navy, was completely reorganized and renamed in 1992, following a lengthy list of badly investigated cases. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service was thus created to be a more tightly disciplined agency than the NIS without the authority to investigate counter-intelligence and government procurement cases, which its predecessor had done.


In 2003, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), a retired Marine gunnery sergeant with extensive special operations and intelligence work, took on three young, civilian investigators and taught them how to investigate major cases for the Navy and Marine Corps. Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) had investigated for the Baltimore Police Department, Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander) had been a secret service agent, and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) had been an NCIS computer geek in Norfolk when they took their places at NCIS headquarters in the Washington Navy Yard in DC. It was not an easy task, for his young charges lacked Gibbs’ seasoned awareness of just what they were walking into. Indeed, Gibbs often seemed like Father Goose as he corralled his team for the case at hand.


Gibbs is very much like McGarrett in his business-like, often brusque, manner. Just as McGarrett was known to say, “In English, Doc,” Gibbs is known to say, “Give it to me in English.” As McGarrett was known to say, “Whattaya got?”, Gibbs is known to back-slap a head and ask, “Ya think?” Too, both are completely dedicated to their work, although McGarrett was known to enjoy a Sunday spent sailing or working on his boat, while Gibbs is known to build boats in his basement. Did they ever say how he got the finished boats out of his basement? Neither has been particularly lucky in love, although Gibbs did dearly love his first wife, Shannon, who was killed by the leader of a Mexican drug cartel. He later had three wives of short duration, none of whom could have hoped to replace Shannon. McGarrett, on the other hand, never married. One can be fairly certain that he lost more than a few women for having to break dates with them when work got in the way. There, the similarities end, for McGarrett was an impeccable dresser and chef of Italian cuisine, while Gibbs wears casual threads and heats TV dinners. McGarrett seemed at home behind the wheel of his Mercury luxury sedans, while Gibbs seems more at home in SUVs. 


DiNozzo, the class clown, as it were, began as a male chauvinist of the caliber of Steve McGarrett. The difference is they lived two generations apart. Chauvinism was the order of the day in McGarrett’s time. It was considered poor manners by the time DiNozzo came along. And, so, Weatherly toned down DiNozzo’s chauvinism, and the women viewers thanked him for it. 


DiNozzo showed that he could be deadly serious about his work when the need arose. Even so, he became involved in a serious relationship with Jeanne Benoit. It began as Tony worked undercover as Tony DiNardo to investigate René Benoit, alias La Grenouille, a French arms dealer, who just happened to be Jeanne’s father. What began as an inside track to La Grenouille became true love. When the truth came out about his investigation, Jeanne left Tony, deeply hurt by his ulterior motives for seeing her. It seems doubtful whether she ever realized that he truly had fallen in love with her. We have to wonder whether Tony’s alias, DiNardo, was homage paid to Marie Lord, whose maiden name was DeNarde. The answer depends upon one’s belief or disbelief in coincidence.


The relationships between the chief investigators and their medical examiners were as different as day and night in Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS. While McGarrett never got along with the medical examiners, who worked with painstaking (and time taking) attention to detail, Gibbs enjoys a genuine and long-time friendship with Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum). He relies on Ducky for more than just forensic pathology. Ducky also dabbles in forensic psychology, and Gibbs relies on his evaluations of suspects. McGarrett, on the other hand, turned to outside psychology experts. Interestingly, he got along much better with forensic scientists Che Fong (Harry Endo) and Charlie (Josie Over), although he never established the rapport with either of them that Gibbs has with Abbie Sciuto (Pauley Perrette).


The biggest difference between Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS is the attention to back story. In Five-0’s day, back story tended not to be included. The focus was on the cases being investigated, not on the people investigating them. Today, viewers want to know about the investigators. After all, we’re going through some tight spots with those investigators. As McGarrett said to Nicole Wylie (Marj Dusay) in “The Singapore File” (Season 2), “I have to know who I’m traveling with.” And we want to know who we’re traveling with each Tuesday night.


Again, homage was paid to Hawaii Five-0: As Gibbs approached a street gang playing basketball in “Seadog” (Season 1), the gang spokesman deduced that he was from "Five-0." The order, "Book 'em, Danno," was said in the episodes "Seadog" (Season 1) and "Capitol Offense" (Season 6).  While making an arrest in "Power Down" (Season 7), Gibbs said, "Book 'em, DAN-ozzo" to which DiNozzo replied, "Nice Hawaii Five-0 reference, Boss." 


In a certain sense, “Power Down” was a tribute to Hawaii Five-0 and other shows of its era. When counter-intelligence knocked out the power to Maryland, Virginia, and the District, the NCIS detectives were required to solve the case in the time-honored way, by going through boxes upon boxes of financial records and fingerprints and by pounding the pavement. At first, they grumbled and growled, but when they managed to solve the case, they felt a sense of reward and satisfaction they had not known before. 


In the 2014-2015 season, NCIS matched Hawaii Five-0's record of 12 seasons, but not its 284 episodes. NCIS's 284th episode was "Double Trouble," which aired during Season 13, on October 13, 2015.



Foyle’s War  (ITV/PBS, 2003-2015)

In Foyle’s War, we do not attempt to find parallels with Hawaii Five-0. Rather, we appreciate the well-researched and well-produced series in its own right. Here, I should say that I use the term “series” and “season” as they are used in American television. Thus, “series” denotes the entire production, while “season” denotes a given programming year.


Foyle’s War was created by Anthony Horowitz to tell the story of World War II in England through the eyes of Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) in the seaside town of Hastings (Seasons 1-6). After the war, Foyle moves to London to work with MI-5, roughly equivalent to the FBI in the United States (Seasons 7-8). Far and away, the better seasons are the ones set in and around Hastings, although one who studies the Cold War might prefer the seasons set in post-war London. This article covers the war years.


The most notable feature of Foyle’s War is its accuracy of detail when relating actual events. Indeed, the series comprises a textbook of the war in England that touches on issues we, in America, never learned. 


Initially, we watched the English struggle to adapt to wartime living. The changes affected every aspect of life, from using blackout curtains on windows and shields over headlights on cars to watching food supplies dwindle to seeing families bombed out of their homes, work places, and pubs and losing friends and family members in the process. We saw that Herr Hitler had his forces up and running, unlike the English, who seemed to be outnumbered in every aspect. Some people looked to the Americans for help, while others felt that the Americans didn’t care and would just as soon see England lose the war.


America was involved, albeit it under the table and behind the scenes. A prime example is the sinking of the USS Reuben James (DD-245) in the North Atlantic in October 1941. The Reuben James was on patrol, protecting merchant ships transporting goods and materiel to England, when a German U-Boat fired a torpedo and sank it. The Roosevelt administration kept the incident quiet, supposedly in hopes of keeping the country out of the war, although that sounds very doubtful a mere five weeks before December 7, 1941. In Foyle’s War, episode “Invasion” (Season 4), US Army Major John Kieffer (Jay Benedict), an engineer, who had arrived with his company to build an air base near Hastings, told DCS Foyle that he joined the Army the week after his brother died aboard the Reuben James.

In the same episode, we learned that some Englishmen wondered if the homeland wouldn’t have been better off had Germany invaded. The ones who felt this most acutely were the ones whose land was taken for the construction of military facilities. Somehow, it didn’t matter that the confiscation orders came from Whitehall Street; the ones with the steam shovels were American. When an English barmaid was killed, the US engineers found themselves prime suspects, and a few may have had reason to do the deed; the woman was a tramp. As it turned out, however, the perpetrator was the barkeep, who wanted to put an end to her using his bar for her moonshine operation.


Another unwelcome American was Ambassador Howard Paige (Henry Goodman) in the episode “Fifty Ships” (Season 2). An ally on the surface, Paige soon proved to be a common thief when it came to light that, while a student at Oxford, he had stolen the plans for what would become the synchro-mesh gearbox from a fellow student. Worse, he had patented the formula in America and earned a king’s ransom from the invention. He got away from England on his ambassador status but was driven to suicide when Foyle went after him in America after the war. If this story line was based on fact, I can find no record of it. The story line about the US sending fifty ships to England in 1940 was true. The ships were old and had been decommissioned, which made it easy to spirit them out of the US and into Royal Navy inventory, but they still sailed and could carry the big guns necessary to win a victory at sea. More to the point, they let the world know that America was on England's side in the war.


Not all the bad guys were American. The profiteers were just as apt to be English as not. In “Fifty Ships,” we learned that the air raid wardens were sometimes guilty of looting bombed buildings of heirlooms, jewelry, and other valuables. When captured, they were subject to hanging. In those days, taking advantage of a man’s misfortune was a crime.


And, yet, some good came out of the war. Perhaps most notably covered in Foyle’s War was the practice of treating burns with saline. In “Enemy Fire” (Season 3), we learned that airmen who went down in the English Channel recovered more quickly from their burns than did airmen who went down on land. Credit was given to real-life Dr. Archibald McIndoe, who invented the technique of treating burn victims in saline baths, a practice that is used to this day.

And, so, we pay homage to Foyle’s War. Would but that all television programming were as well researched and produced.

New Tricks (BBC, 2003-2015)

In the episode "In Vino Veritas" (Season 11), DCI Sasha Miller (Tamzin Outhwaite) and Inspector Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman) approach barkeep Lee Connery (Adam Astill) to obtain information about a case they are investigating. He takes one look at them and asks, "Five-0, right?"

Law & Order  (NBC, 1990-2010)

Law & Order was the first and, until last season (2014-2015), the only police procedural to surpass Hawaii Five-0 for longevity. Even so, only the first half of each hour-long episode was a police procedural;  the second half showed the trial that followed the arrests made at the end of the first half-hour. As such, the show had separate casts, the police officers, who investigated the crimes, and the jurists, who tried the criminal suspects.


As could be expected, the cast changed many times during the years. The original cast comprised George Dzunda, Chris Noth, and Dann Florek as the police officers and Michael Moriarty, Richard Brooks, and Steven Hill as the jurists. The cast members who remained on the series the longest were S. Epatha Merkerson (17 years), Sam Waterston (16 years), and Steven Hill (10 years). Ms. Merkerson portrayed Police Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. Sam Waterston portrayed Assistant District Attorney / District Attorney Jack McCoy. Steven Hill portrayed District Attorney Adam Schiff.


Four spin-off series were made from Law & Order. All, like the original, were created by Dick Wolf. They are Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-present), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005-2006), and Law & Order: LA (2010-prersent).


Several notable facts emerge about Law & Order:

 * Many cases were based on real-life cases. It shares this trait with Hawaii Five-0, which modeled "One Big Happy Family" (Season 6) on a case that won notoriety on the mainland.

 * A number of real-life New York figures appeared as themselves on the show, including Mayor Rudolf Giulani and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Similarly, Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi appeared as McGarrett's golfing buddy in "The Two-Faced Corpse" (Season 7).

 * John Carter, who portrayed Steve McGarrett’s brother-in-law, Tom Whalen, in “Once Upon a Time” (parts 1 and 2, Season 1), appeared in five episodes of Law & Order as Judge Harlan Newfield.

 * John McMartin, who portrayed Cdr Ron Nicholson in “FOB Honolulu” (parts 1 and 2, Season 3), appeared in five episodes of Law & Order.

 * Fred Dalton Thompson, who portrayed District Attorney Arthur Branch (Seasons 13-17), was a United States Senator. In fact, he was still in office when his first appearance on Law & Order aired. His character served as a conservative balance to ADA Jack McCoy’s liberal philosophy. DA Arthur Branch was said to have been elected for his traditional ways immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

 * Ratings began to decline following the departure and death of Jerry Orbach, who portrayed the very likeable Detective Lennie Briscoe (Seasons 3-14). 



Inspector Morse  (Various, 1987-2000)

Based on a series of detective novels by Colin Dexter, Inspector Morse almost comes across like an English version of Hawaii Five-0. Start with a brusque, perfectionist of a chief of investigations and give him an easy-going assistant and a burly medical examiner. Set it in the medieval English town of Oxford, rather than on a tropical island, and you have a series of police procedurals that could only tie its inspiration's lead by running for 12 seasons, albeit for only 33 episodes.


Chief Inspector E Morse (John Thaw) is lacking in people skills -- living people skills, that is. He more than makes up for it in his powers of deduction. When he becomes frustrated over a set of clues that fail to arrange themselves in proper order, his assistant, Detective Sergeant Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whately) makes an observation that makes all the difference. Indeed, Robbie Lewis is very much like Danno Williams, except that Lewis has a wife and two children, while Williams does not. Otherwise, as the Five-0 episode title goes, not that much different.


Morse's supervisor, Chief Superintendent Strange (James Grout), is a big man, who doesn't think much of Morse's drinking during business hours or his way of taking too long to solve cases. He tolerates Morse's ways, because they do bring results. In a way, he makes us think of McGarrett's relationship with Governor Jameson, especially in the later seasons, when the governor made such pronouncements as "Oh, those Irish!"


Morse's medical examiner, Max (Peter Woodthorpe), is almost identical in personality to Five-0's Doc Bergman. He refuses to give a cause of death until after his autopsies are complete. He doesn't see that he is in Morse's way; rather, to him, Morse is in his way.


Both Morse and McGarrett are well educated. Morse read in Oxford, although he failed to earn a degree. He is exceedingly well read in poetry, thoroughly enjoys opera, and reads avidly. McGarrett, of course, graduated from the US Naval Academy, reads avidly, and recites poetry quite often in the course of solving a case. 


Both Morse and McGarrett are bachelors. One gathers that Morse is not by choice; rather, true love has eluded him. McGarrett seems to fall for the wrong kind of women. Certainly, he could do better than Cathy Wallis (Diana Muldaur), who already had a fiance when she lured him. Of course, he could be said to be unlucky in love when we consider his feelings for the late Cathi Ryan (Camilla Sparv). 


Morse lives in a bachelor flat filled with books a fine sound system, and an ample supply of ale. We never learn where or how McGarrett lives, except that he owns a condo in Waikiki, rents a beach house in Aina Haina, and keeps a supply of mushrooms and Parmesan cheese for omelets and seedless blackberry jam for his wheat toast -- when he's not breaking fast on wheat germ and yogurt. Whereas, Morse drinks like a fish and loves opera, McGarrett abstains from alcohol almost entirely, prefers not to contaminate his air space with cigarette smoke, and enjoys outdoor activities, especially jogging, sailing, and golfing.


Morse drives a 1960 Jaguar Mark II, burgundy with a black top. It was voted England's best loved car in 2004, and it sold for £100,000 in 2005, when an England-based businessman snatched it up despite its having more than 79,000 miles on its odometer. John Thaw is quoted as saying it is "a beggar to drive." His love of the car shows as he tools around Oxford. In fact, he appears no less comfortable in the Jaguar than McGarrett appears as he drives his Mercury Park Lane. Similarly, the Park Lane had more than 70,000 miles on it when Michael Timothy located it and took it home to restore. 


It was only in the final episode of Inspector Morse, "The Remorseful Day," when Morse died of a heart attack and Gabriel Fauré's Requiem was playing in the background, that we learned that his initial "E" stood for Endeavour. There was even a contest for fans to try and guess what the "E" stood for. If anyone guessed "Endeavour," he surely must have had a dictionary in hand. Certainly, Endeavour Morse endeavored to do many things in his life, and he did most of it very well, if not a bit impatiently -- as did Stephen J. "Aloysius" McGarrett. 



Magnum, PI  (CBS, 1980-1988)

Inasmuch as Magnum, PI was created as a replacement for Hawaii Five-0, a great many shared details and/or curious coincidences are to be found in the successor series. And, so, we'll let this be a work in progress.


 * Magnum, PI, which is sometimes abbreviated "MPI," shares its acronym with Mid-Pacific Industries (MPI), which made its first appearance in "Over Fifty? Steal" (Season 3).

 * In "Torah, Torah, Torah" (MPI, Season 5) . . .

 *  Five-0 guest stars Nehemiah Persoff and France Nuyen appear. Five-0 beloved semi-regulars Don Over and Kwan Hi Lim appear. 

 *  The Honolulu Police Department is housed in the Territorial Office Building, where the Five-0 offices were moved when they left 'Iolani Palace in "Nine Dragons" (H50, Season 9). 

 *  The bad guy's name is Vic Makula. In "Horoscope for Murder" (H50, Season 11), a character's name was Rick Makula (Kimo Kahoano).

 *  Magnum is seen driving from the tunnel that leads into Diamond Head. He comes to a stop in the parking lot that is now paved and overlooks Kahala. That tunnel and parking lot appeared in numerous episodes of Hawaii Five-0.

 *  Magnum meets Miss Chou at the Byodo-In Temple, where we see the Peace Bell being wrung, as well as the altar where the statue of Buddha stands.  The Byodo-In Temple first appeared on Hawaii Five-0 in "Pray Love Remember, Pray Love Remember" (Season 1), while the Peace Bell first appeared in "The Singapore File" (Season 2).


Did Hawaii Five-0 Inspire an Episode of New Tricks?

In the episode of New Tricks (BBC) entitled “Dead Man Talking” (Season 7), a young woman is bereft following the death of her father. He was attacked by an intruder and caused to suffer a fatal heart attack. She consults a medium, Sebastian Carter (Paul Rhys), who is thought by DI Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) to be a fake and a fraud. After all, he is on the verge of bankruptcy and might well say anything to get some of the dead man’s money. Even as Pullman investigates the father’s death, she investigates Sebastian Carter. 


In the episode of Hawaii Five-0 entitled “The Spirit is Willie” (Season 11), a young woman’s husband is murdered as he SCUBA dives. Bereft, she is determined that her husband is still alive. After all, a medium, Sebastian Rolande (Robert Vaughn), said so. Mystery writer Millicent Shand (Mildred Natwick), the young widow’s aunt, believes Sebastian Rolande is a fake and a fraud, who is out to take the widow’s money for himself, and is determined to prove him so, even as she investigates the young husband’s death.


See any similarities? I do. And that's not all! In the episode "Gloves Off" (Season 7), a character is named Steven Garrido. Seems a lot like Stephen McGarrett, if you ask me. 


JAG (1995-2005)


This military-themed investigations / trial show was produced by Bellisarius Productions with NBC-TV (Season 1) and CBS-TV (Seasons 2-10). In all, 227 episodes aired, short of Hawaii Five-0’s 284 episodes, yet impressive, nonetheless.


Several details seem to have been inspired by Hawaii Five-0, whether intentionally or coincidentally. Either way, they make for interesting reading (or observation):


 * Perhaps, most noticeably, like Hawaii Five-0, JAG oftentimes took place at sea, aboard real-life US Navy ships. Just as Danno went aboard the John Haskel in "Follow the White Brick Road" (Season 4) to discover who was supplying the sailors with illegal drugs, the JAG officers went aboard to solve their cases. In both series, the ships bore real-life hull numbers, but had names of their own. The Haskel, for example, was filmed aboard two ships, the USS Whipple (FF-1062) (in port) and the USS Knox (FF-1052) (at sea). The Knox took over when the Whipple was needed by the Navy for other duties. The USS Knox also appeared in "Murder - Eyes Only" (Season 8); in fact, McGarrett rode the highline between the Knox and the USS Cochrane (DD-21) in that episode.


In the pilot episode of JAG, we see the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), although it is not called by that name, and even the island of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). The USS Arleigh Burke was seen in stock footage throughout the series. Admiral Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) was known to greatly admire ADM Arleigh Burke for whom the ship and its class of guided missile destroyers were named. 


 * The theme of JAG was composed by Hawaii Five-0 veteran composer Bruce Broughton. Mr. Broughton composed music for two episodes of Hawaii Five-0:  “The 100,000 Nickel” (Season 6) and “The Finishing Touch” (Season 6). In fact, his theme for "The 100,000 Nickel" won an Emmy Award!


 * Three episodes of JAG had titles that were identical or very similar to titles of Hawaii Five-0 titles: “Death Watch,” “Capital Crime,” and “Odd Man Out” (It was “Odd Man In” on Hawaii Five-0).

 * Like Hawaii Five-0, JAG delved into issues of concern in the years in which it was in production. Just as McGarrett & Co. dealt with the problems of the displaced Hawaiian population when the developers took over Waikiki, the JAG investigators dealt with the problems of whether women officers serving in the Middle East should be require to wear a abaya (cloak), hijab (headscarf), and niqab (veil) or be prohibited from driving or even sitting on the same seat with a man in a car. Another issue covered on JAGwas how strictly servicemen should adhere to the codes of honor, such as “leave no man behind,” or whether they should adhere strictly to orders received.


 * When Hawaii Five-0 first aired, the police and the media worked together for the common good. For example, in “Rest in Peace, Somebody” (Season 4), McGarrett asked Eddie Sherman (himself) to hold a story in order not to give into the murder suspect’s desire for publicity of his threat to kill the governor. Sherman was happy to oblige. After Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered the secrets behind the Watergate break-in, however, the mood changed, and the media seemed to feel it to be its duty to expose every detail about every incident. The new mood was seen on Hawaii Five-0 in Season 12’s “Good Help is Hard to Find,” when television journalist Mark Maynard (Les Keiter) seemed determined to bring down Five-0 and, especially, Steve McGarrett. We saw the same lack of cooperation between the judge advocate general and the media in the JAG episode “Code of Conduct” (Season 7). The media seemed to be out to hang ADM Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) – until it came to light that the “victim” had lied about several important details in the case.


These observations should come as no surprise. After all JAG creator, Donald P. Bellisario, makes no secret of the fact that he is a great fan of Hawaii Five-0.

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