It may not need saying, but here we have classic "Hawaii Five–O" (1968–80), not its more recent reboot.
This series found its groove around Seasons 3 (1970–71) and 4 (1971–72). Both were above the series' average in general. Season 3 may have had a couple more standout episodes than its successor; overall, the quality of Season 4 was more consistently high for "hurry-up-get-the-film-in-the-can" U. S. TV production in the early '70s. Season 4 is sentimental in one respect: it was the last that featured Gilbert Lani Kauhi, a.k.a. Zulu, as Kono Kalakaua: the comedic muscle of Steve Garrett's original team of four. Though, sadly, he was given much less to do than Dan Blocker, his character was "Five-O"'s answer to Hoss Cartwright on "Bonanza."
The series was a police procedural, with change-ups into espionage, seriocomedy, and straight mysteries. What set it apart was on-location filming in the fiftieth state: a first for network television. A first-rate "Five-O" offers a tight script, good acting, creative direction, and smart use of Hawaii, arguably the show's brightest star. In these respects the most rewatchable episodes in this set are the season opener, "Highest Castle, Deepest Grave," an homage to "Laura" (1944), guest-starring Herbert Lom, France Nuyen, and Jeff Corey and beautifully scored by Morton Stevens, composer of the series' iconic theme; "Rest In Peace, Somebody," a taught assassination thriller scripted by John D. F. Black (an original "Star Trek" writer-producer); "Nine, Ten—You're Dead," featuring reliable Moses Gunn and Albert Paulsen, directed by Leo Penn (Sean's father) with another excellent musical score by Harry Geller; "Cloth Of Gold," directed by Micheal O'Herlihy, a "Five-O" long-hauler, which makes good use of the islands; and "Skinhead," with a powerhouse performance by Lee Paul, a segment so edgy that you wonder how it got past the censors. The scripts for some of these twenty-four episodes strain credulity ("Didn't We Meet At A Murder?"), offset by others that conclude with some nice twist endings.
The core cast—Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong, and Zulu, all now wearing their characters as comfortably as their tailored suits—are well supported by many of that era's top actors: among others, Joanna Barnes, Beth Brickell, David Canary, Roger C. Carmel, Jackie Cooper, Hume Cronyn, Henry Darrow, Buddy Ebsen, Ed Flanders, James Hong, Jack Kruschen, Monte Markham, Vic Morrow, Simon Oakland, Tim O'Connor, Donald Pleasance, John Ritter, Jay Robinson, Marion Ross, Michael Strong, Barry Sullivan, Loretta Swit, Soon Taik-Oh, Malachi Throne, Dana Wynter. Richard Denning is back as the Governor. In a two-parter, "The Ninety-Second War," Khigh Dhiegh returns as McGarrett's nemesis, the Red Chinese agent Wo Fat. As always, this season makes smart use of many indigenous islanders in supporting roles.
As with Seasons 2 and 3, most episodes are accompanied by the original promos for next week's show, narrated by Jack Lord (who bids us, "Be here. Aloha"). Some episodes lack these trailers, probably because they've gone missing. These are the set's only special features—and they often contain spoilers. Let the viewer beware.
Technically the CBS-Paramount transfers are (usually) skip-free, clean, with clear audio, and closed-captioned (except for the trailers).
That's my run-down on "Hawaii Five-O: Season Four." If the price is right, it offers a day's worth of binge-worthy television.