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TCA Press Tour: Don't dare call 'Hawaii Five-0' a remake

July 28, 2010 |  1:37 pm

99024_D0517b The impossibly catchy theme song pretty much remains the same. Hawaii is a key character. And there will be a lot of chases, shooting and crime-fighting.

But the producers and the stars of CBS' revamped version of "Hawaii Five-0" want to make it perfectly clear: They are not remaking the classic series. They are "rebooting" it.

"We're trying to do the same thing we did with 'Star Trek," said executive producer Alex Kurtzman, who was also one of the key forces behind the big-screen return of the popular science-fiction series in 2008. "We have to find the spirit of what the original was all about, and then expand the rules and bring something new and fresh to the table."

Scott Caan, one of the stars of the new series, said he was so focused on bringing a fresh perspective to the project that he didn't want to watch old episodes. His costar Alex O'Loughlin said that he remembered enjoying watching the series when he was younger, but "a lot has changed on TV," and although his character, McGarrett, shares the same name as the central character in the former series, he wanted to make sure viewers didn't approach the new show as a remake.

Unlike Jack Lord, who brought "hair and blue steel" to his portrayal of McGarrett, O'Loughlin said his character will have "a lot more colors, a lot more flaws."

And though the original show was largely dramatic and focused on the solving of weekly cases, the new version will be more lighthearted and include plenty of banter between O'Loughlin and Caan.

There will be subtle references to the original series to reward longtime fans. But one thing that pretty much could not be messed with was the theme song, complete with its hurtling brass chorus and thundering drums.

Said Kurtzman: "That is one of those things that had to be respected," noting that some of the musicians who played on the original theme were recruited for the new version.

"A great theme song is a lost art," he said. "It would be a huge disservice not to bring it back."

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan in "Hawaii Five-0." Credit: Mario Perez / CBS


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