A “Lost” Episode of Hawaii Five-O

In this week’s DVD Tuesday I mentioned that there is an episode from the second season of Hawaii Five-O that hasn’t been seen since its original broadcast, leading jb to ask in the comments why the episode is missing from the DVD release. The episode, titled “Bored, She Hung Herself,” was aired on Wednesday, January 7th, 1970, the 16th episode of the second season and the 41st episode overall (or 39th, depending on whether the pilot is counted as two episodes or not). Reportedly, it has never been shown again, not in repeats on CBS and not in syndication.

Still from Hawaii Five-O Episode Bored, She Hung Herself
Still from Hawaii Five-O Episode “Bored, She Hung Herself”

The following is from the Quick FAQ at the Hawaii Five-O Home Page:

No one at CBS or Paramount has offered a direct explanation as to why this is so. According to Mrs. Leonard Freeman (wife of the late creator of the show), speaking to some fans at the 1996 Five-O convention, someone tried the hanging technique depicted in the show (supposedly yoga-related, but more like autoerotic asphyxiation) and killed themselves. As a result, the show was not rebroadcast and never included in any syndication packages. As far as the DVD set is concerned, including this episode would have necessitated having a 7th DVD with one episode (or spreading 25 episodes over 7 DVDs), which would result in extra expense for Paramount as far as packaging was concerned.

A disclaimer located on back of the Season Two DVD noted that “the second season episode ‘Bored, She Hung Herself’ aired only once and is not included in this set.” Here‘s an August 3rd, 2007 article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin about the Season Two DVD release that mentions the missing episode.

View a Scene from Unavailable Hawaii Five-O Episode “Bored, She Hung Herself”
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It should be noted that the episode is neither lost nor missing but simply unavailable (read more about lost, missing and unavailable television programs here). I am all but certain that CBS and/or Paramount has a copy somewhere. According to the United States Copyright Office, copyright on the episode was renewed in January of 1997 by CBS, Inc.

Still from Hawaii Five-O Episode Bored, She Hung Herself
Still from Hawaii Five-O Episode “Bored, She Hung Herself”

Furthermore, a copy of the episode has been in the hands of private collectors for some time, apparently from a rather poor quality 16mm print of the episode that includes CBS identification and network bumpers, suggesting it may have come from an affiliate. That’s just speculation on my part, though. Take a look at the above video clip and the various images from the episode for an indication of the quality.

Still from Hawaii Five-O Episode Bored, She Hung Herself
Still from Hawaii Five-O Episode “Bored, She Hung Herself”

Has “Bored, She Hung Herself” ever aired in the United States since its original broadcast? Or internationally? I can’t say. Will it ever make its way to DVD? Unlikely. But who knows, it might be included in a complete series collection after all twelve seasons are released individually.

12 Comments

  • ejp says:

    I had a chance to see the whole episode in a download torrent file and while I’m a gigantic Five-O fan, the episode is one of the worst in the series. For one thing, the title is a bit of a misnomer since the story is ultimately a case of murder from start to finish and then we have a bizarre unbilled cameo by the episode’s director John Newland (of “One Step Beyond” fame) as a character who can only be described as the late 60s version of “swishy”. And finally, the climax as the young boyfriend finds himself exonerated ranks as the dumbest conclusion to an episode you’ll ever see.

  • jb says:

    I suppose the liability concerns are legitimate, but what are the odds that somebody would try the auto-asphyxiation technique based on a 40-year-old TV episode, when one so inclined can probably find detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to do it with a Google search?

    Thanks for looking into the mystery. You’ve got one of my favorite sites on the whole Internet here.

  • Chuck Collins says:

    Like so many episodes, there is a “TV reality” in place that does not allow realistic portrayals of speech and actions by persons in the youth culture of the time. There are things that the boyfriend says that are almost in code. They definitely have an obscured meaning that only those who are into that scene would dig, man.

  • RGJ says:

    ejp, thanks for the insight into the episode. I actually haven’t watched the entire thing. I’m sure many Hawaii Five-O would like to see it released on DVD even if it isn’t a good episode. I agree that the supposed reason it is being withheld seems weak but perhaps the matter was never actually investigated by anyone with the authority to decide to allow the episode to be included in the Season Two DVD set. Somebody saw that it had been pulled from the syndication package and decided not to bother worrying about it.

    Or, maybe there was a lawsuit and the episode cannot be released commercially. That’s complete and utter conjecture, mind you. As mentioned in the FAQ at the Hawaii Five-O Home Page, the only person to comment on the episode is the wife of the creator of the series. So nobody really knows why it is being withheld.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Well, several episodes of “DANIEL BOONE” were also “withdrawn” from the syndicated edition of the series during the ’70s becuase local stations received complaints claiming some of those episodes featured “stereotypical” Indians. Eventually, the entire series was made available again.

    Obviously, the episode in question wasn’t “destroyed”, so there’s hope it might one day be “resurrected”….good, bad, or indifferent.

  • James Patton says:

    does anyone know where i might view this “lost” episode online? i can see where the fear of someone trying this so called technique might cause concern,yet i cannot judge or make a comment since i have not seen it. If someone did die by trying this technique or whatever it is,that in itself may be the reason it is not shown

  • pinkpagoda says:

    Is that Stephanie Powers?

  • RGJ says:

    No, the actress in the video clip is Pamela Murphy.

  • jpc says:

    There is video seller from southern Queebec that sells the complete Hawaii Five-O series for under 100 dollars, including this missing episode. This episode is a bit projectory.

  • Logan says:

    This might be a good idea. Let me know what you think H50 fans. Let CBS release the withheld episode as an I-Tunes video release (digitally enhanced of course like the DVD releases). That way, fans who want it can download for a reasonable price (between $5.99 and $9.99). Or a bonus episode with the new H50 series when they go to DVD.

  • m says:

    i just found it via google and downloaded it of rapidshare. though the a/v quality is poor, i was able to hear all the dialog, and see everything that was going on. I thought the episode was a snooze fest though. Still, it’s good that the show is available in a watchable format.

  • Wiseguy says:

    As far as the DVD packaging is concerned, I hardly think the reason “Bored She Hung Herself” (note there is no comma in the title) is not included is because CBS/Paramount didn’t want the set to include a 7th disc. They had already released or will have released “The Wild Wild West” seasons 1 and 2, “Mission: Imposible” seasons 1 through 4 and the first season of Hawaii Five-0 with 7 discs. In some of those cases, only one episode brought the total episodes over 24.

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