Spoiler is audio only, at the end of the audio clip, so read on.
Last night, co-executive producer Peter Lenkov and producer Paul Zbyszewski sat down to talk story with AM 830 KHVH radio host Mike Buck. It was a full hour of production and behind the scenes insights, about character and storyline development, and a HUGE spoiler at the end. Read the highlights below or click the link to start the podcast.
-Peter talked about getting into the writing business.
-Paul Z talked about transitioning from working on Lost and discussed Daniel Dae Kim’s transition.
-Peter discussed how the network decides when new episodes will run.
-Peter and Paul discussed serialization versus procedurals, and how Five-0 balances between the two.
-Mike asked about how Five-0 cast and crew connects to the fans and social media, with @Amy_Bakari. Peter: “We have a very loyal fan base!”
-@LisaLisa98 sneakily asked about season 2’s Sunset on the Beach premiere on Waikiki Beach, but got no answer (nice try)!
–Mike asked: What was the biggest obstacle you thought you had to over come, to bring the new show out of the old show, or did you say “forget about it” and we’re gonna bring in this brand new thing…?
-Peter: For me it was 12 years of a really great cutting edge procedural that existed. At any given time in any place in the world that show is playing in reruns. And I think If you’ve never seen the show, you at least know the theme song, you know sort of the iconic moments of the show, the book ’em danno… those things are iconic. …I don’t think we try to fill those shoes, I think we try to honor that original show…for us that was really the goal.
-Paul Z: For me, I just thought the material was great and I wanted to come aboard on the show because of Peter’s great pilot and the writing and the potential I saw in the characters and in the world. It’s tough when you take on the mantle of an existing piece of work, someone else’s work. There’s a segment of the audience that’s automatically going to want to kick you…you can’t think about that, you do the best that you can and you hope that people like it. We hope that we’re telling good stories, and we’re creating characters that people like and can get behind, and we’re putting that expectation stuff aside.
-Discussion on the mechanics and scheduling of a show…shooting an episode in 8 days, minimum 12 hours a day.
–Officer 808 asked: How far along are the characters now, from where they were originally envisioned?
Peter: I think for me when I first went to CBS and pitched the idea of the pilot I knew where the end game was for the end of the first season. I knew where I wanted the characters to start, I knew where I wanted them to end. I did have some sort of mini arcs…through the course of the season but for the most part what you see week to week is built in the writers room… we’re getting to a place where we planned it that way…
Officer 808 asked: Being this far along the season, are there things that are unaccomplished, unfulfilled or things that could have possibly gone differently with the storylines or story arcs that you can talk about?
Paul Z: No I think things are kind of going as planned…when you sit down and map out the season, you plot out mile marker sort of episodes where characters are going to make some serious turns and you try and platform stuff that happens at the end so it makes sense and pieces fall together, like the way peter sort of laid out with the story of the champ box…it has a resolution in the finale that is pretty exciting and very cool. So there’s a lot of calculation that goes into building arcs for the season, as opposed to creating a story for the week, and one of the things that we do well is we can do both. We have a story that is opened and closed every week, a mystery they can follow, and yet we also give them a little bit of character that’s going to carry over from episode to episode, and we’re going to see these characters grow.
-A “special guest” asked how to develop a sexy radio voice like Peter and Paul… He also talked about local references (food, restaurants) as nostalgia for the locals and travel brochures for those who haven’t been to Hawaii.
-Peter added: Part of our job is to really sell the fifth character of the show, and the fifth character is the island, and for us it’s a real pleasure for us to bring up these real businesses and locations and really sell this place. Nobody pays us, nobody comes up to offer this stuff we actually aggressively go after these business or places that we frequent. Daniel actually introduced me to Sidestreet [Inn], and I enjoyed it and ended up going there a few times. And I just felt like that’s a place McGarrett and Danny would go to also, and it made it into an episode.
-And of course, there’s a huge spoiler at the end.