With an injection of humour the New Hawaii five-0 looks set to make waves

Pat Stacey

If there's one thing more perilous than remaking an iconic movie, it's remaking an iconic television series. The short-lived remake of Kojak, for instance, was a disaster. Not even casting the great Ving Rhames (Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction) as the tough New York police detective with a heart of gold could erase the memory of Telly Savalas.

While the idea of a middle-aged detective with a shaved head swanning around NYC sucking a lollipop and dressed in the kind of suits he'd have to be on the take to afford was a novelty in the '70s, it looked slightly ridiculous in 2005.

The much-trumpeted remake of The Rockford Files, with Canadian actor Dermot Mulroney bravely attempting to step into the shoes of the irreplaceable James Garner, didn't get past first base.

A pilot episode was shot earlier this year, but executives at American network NBC were so unimpressed with the finished product that plans for a full series were shelved.

So, what are the chances for the upcoming remake of Hawaii Five-O -- rebranded slightly as Hawaii Five-0, with a zero replacing the capital O -- which begins in the US on September 20, with RTE2 and Bravo showing it soon after? Well, if the clips and trailers on the internet are anything to go by, pretty high.

Fans of the original will be delighted to hear the famous theme tune has been retained. So, too, has the wave in the opening title sequence, which pays delightful homage by including a few shots from its predecessor.

The character names are unchanged. Alex O'Loughlin is the new Steve McGarrett, Scott Caan (son of James) is Danny 'Danno' Williams -- although their relationship now seems to be as partners, rather than boss and sidekick -- and Lost star Daniel Dae Kim plays Chin Ho Kelly.

The biggest change is that Kono Kalakaua is now a woman, played by Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica.

On fleeting first sight, Hawaii Five-0 looks fast moving and action packed, and includes an ingredient that rarely, if ever, featured in the original: humour. The old Danno (James MacArthur) basically functioned as strait-laced straight man to the even straighter, more strait-laced McGarrett (Jack Lord, who was apparently as humourless in real life as he was on screen).

And since you ask, yes: the new McGarrett DOES say, "Book him, Danno." Are we excited yet? I think we are.