Hawaii Five-O: Season 11, Episode 21

The Year of the Horse (5 Apr. 1979)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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As an American drug smuggler, who faces death by hanging if arrested by Singapore authorities, escapes McGarrett's grip quite literally by sliding along a tram car cable, then fleeing to ... See full summary »


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Title: The Year of the Horse (05 Apr 1979)

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Episode cast overview:
Dan Williams
Herman Wedemeyer ...
Duke Lukela (credit only)
Lucas Sandover
Dolores Sandover
Lawrence Dobkin ...
General Oban
Eddie Chu
John Cossett
William Beckley ...
Thomas Lee ...
Mr. Ho
Mocktar ...
Selah Sahib
Osman Zailani ...
Ong Lee


As an American drug smuggler, who faces death by hanging if arrested by Singapore authorities, escapes McGarrett's grip quite literally by sliding along a tram car cable, then fleeing to one of the tiny islands that surround the main island. A Malay drug lord, stiffed by the American, wants his scalp and kidnaps his wife to force him to come out into the open. The drug lord permits McGarrett to board his boat and to take the wife (who has been forced to ingest cocaine and will soon die if she doesn't get medical help) to a hospital in return for her husband facing death by a bullet. The American agrees, but secretly instructs his goon squad to create a diversion while he pulls off the ultimate double-cross. Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 April 1979 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


An announcement in TV Guide before the start of the 1978-79 season tells readers that this show was filmed as the season opener - no word on why CBS-TV decided to hold it until the end of the season (although the show's big ratings got it a renewal for the 1979-80 season). When the show returned to Hawaii to film the regular shows, Lawrence Dobkin (who plays a drug lord in this show) moved behind the camera to direct the first show filmed, A Distant Thunder (which was shown in November 1978). See more »


When McGarrett enters Club Tropicalla he passes a handwritten sign, "The Queen's Pupu Counter". More commonly used for Hawaiian pupu trays than for Asian cuisine in general, this sign appears to be in an actual Honolulu club rather than one in Singapore. See more »

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User Reviews

It's NOT 60 minutes--it's a double-length episode
6 February 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I often exercise on my treadmill as I watch episodes of "Hawaii Five-O" and have racked up at least 800 miles watching the show. However, "The Year of the Horse" threw me, as I was expecting to walk for about 48 minutes but it clocked in at twice that! IMDb was wrong--this isn't a 60 minute show but about 100 minutes. Oh well, I needed the exercise.

The show begins with a woman dying on an airliner bound for Hawaii. The autopsy* shows she died from a burst heroin-filled balloon she was smuggling into the country. McGarrett vows to go the Singapore where the flight originated and track down the folks responsible for bringing smack onto the islands. While other foreign locales were used in previous episodes, they really were filmed in Hawaii. This one appears to have been filmed in Singapore.

When McGarrett arrives in Singapore he goes as Mr. Riley but soon folks start to realize his true identity--such as the scary General as well as the wife of a seemingly dead guy who MIGHT not be so dead after all. Starring in this lengthy short is an odd assortment of guests--including Barry Bostwick as the not-so-dead dead man, Victoria Principal as his wife and George Lazenby as a scummy drug dealer who looks about an unlike James Bond as you can find. All in all, an exciting episode and a nice finale for Danny, as this was the last televised episode with James McArthur. Enjoyable and worth seeing--and far better than most season 11 episodes.

*This show marks the final episode with Al Eben as the coroner. While he'd been a semi-regular for much of the series, his appearance he is somewhat out of the blue, as it was a year since his last appearance and his role was filled by other actors in most of the later episodes.

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