Tag Archives: Steve McGarrett

Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day – Hawaii Five-O


Hawaii Five-O is perhaps the most iconic of the 60s/70s US cop shows.

It began in 1968, the same year the Choob was born, and ran for 12 seasons (278 episodes) before Detective Steve McGarrett (played by Jack Lord) stopped pounding the island beat for good in 1980.

Surprisingly, since it aired throughout my childhood, I don’t actually recall ever seeing a single episode of Hawaii Five-O. I remember watching most of the other US cop/detective shows that made it onto UK TV in the 70s, such as Harry O, Cannon, Ironside, Kojak, The Streets Of San Francisco, The Rockfod Files and many others.  But not Hawaii Five-O.

However, everyone knows the show’s wonderful theme tune, which was written by Morton Stevens. It’s undeniably one of TV’s best.

Here are two slightly different versions of the opening titles – the first is a bit longer and I think may be from the pilot episode:

There were two distinct versions of the closing credits. These are the ones that aired in season one:

And these are more familiar, canoe-footage ones that were used for the rest of the show’s run:

Here is the full-lengthversion of the theme tune:

The Hawaii Five-O theme also features in my favourite scene of the rather sweet 2000 Aussie movie The Dish:

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Filed under Classic TV, Movies, The Monday Movie, Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day, TV Themes