Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)
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The Year of the Horse 

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 »


Don Weis


Leonard Freeman (created by), Richard DeLong Adams

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Episode cast overview:
Jack Lord ... Det. Steve McGarrett
James MacArthur ... Danny Williams
Herman Wedemeyer ... Duke Lukela (credit only)
Barry Bostwick ... Lucas Sandover
Victoria Principal ... Dolores Sandover
Lawrence Dobkin ... General Oban
Manu Tupou ... Eddie Chu
George Lazenby ... John Cossett
William Beckley ... Jonas
Thomas Lee Thomas Lee ... Mr. Ho
Mocktar Mocktar ... Selah Sahib
Osman Zailani 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) See more »

Filming Locations:

Singapore See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The title refers to the Chinese calender's 12 year cycle of animals which include the horse. The Year of the Horse ran from 7 Feb 1978 to 27 Jan 1979. By the time the episode was broadcast the year had ended. The title is also a double entendre, as horse is a euphemism for heroin. 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 MartinHaferSee 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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