“Hawaii Five-0,” the original TV show, and the “Mars” miniseries are on home video this week.
“Hawaii Five-0: The Complete Series” (CBS/Paramount, 1968-80, 72 discs, 278 episodes, featurette, music video, episode and series promos). A police procedural set and filmed in Hawaii, this was a hugely successful TV series that ran 12 seasons from the late 1960s through 1980, with tough characters, a catchy title tune and pointed dialogue, some of which entered the national lexicon (“Book ’em Danno!”). And this was 30-40 years before CBS’s Friday-night remake.
Stoic, square-jawed Jack Lord stars as police detective Steve McGarrett, with youthful James MacArthur as his sidekick Danny “Danno” Williams. They lead a team of cops adept at taking down all kinds of criminals, occasionally veering into the world of espionage, especially when McGarrett’s nemesis Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) is involved. Among the many guest stars are Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, William Shatner, Patty Duke, Leslie Nielsen, Sal Mineo, Sam Elliott, Helen Hayes, Cyd Charisse and Jeff Daniels, among others.
“Mars” (National Geographic, 2016, three discs, six episodes, featurettes). In 2033, an international crew of astronauts leads a maiden voyage to Mars, paving the way for future colonization. It is entertaining and beautifully photographed but is a somewhat uneasy mix of a fictional storyline and documentary elements.
“Home Fires: The Complete Second Season” (PBS, 2016, two discs, six episodes). Soap opera informed by history drives this British series set during World War II, with this season taking place from June-September 1940. The focus is on the Women’s Institute, a real-life organization that encouraged women to become involved in the war effort. Francesca Annis heads the cast.
“800 Words: Season 2, Part 1” (Acorn, 2016, two discs, eight episodes, featurette). An Australian widower and newspaper columnist (Erik Thomson) impulsively moved his two teenagers to a New Zealand coastal town in the first season. He’s still trying to fit in with his quirky neighbors while looking for steady work locally. This is a warm, amusing family show. (The title refers to the number of words in the average column.)
“John Lewis: Get in the Way” (PBS, 2017). This is an hourlong profile of the Georgia congressman whose résumé includes tireless work as a civil rights leader before he became a legislator. This documentary is told in his own voice from interviews he’s given over the past 20 years.
“Hell Below” (Smithsonian, 2016, two discs, six episodes). This documentary series looks at submarine patrols of World War II and uses re-enactments filmed on authentic-era subs to explain strategies and technical developments that developed throughout the war.
“Tangled: Before Ever After” (Disney, 2017, four animated shorts; journal). Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) postpones her marriage to Eugene and escapes the castle with her lady-in-waiting for a pre-wedding adventure. This hourlong TV cartoon is a sequel to the theatrical “Tangled” (2010) and kicked off a TV series that airs on the Disney Channel.