A new feature of The Champ Box this year will be our weekly post featuring notable guest performers.
Sometimes guest performances are phoned in, others are brilliantly executed to work alongside the main cast for a truly memorable episode. We will be highlighting some of those memorable performances, both from well known actors and those not-so well known. We have chosen to feature certain performances because the guest actor did a terrific job with the character (likeable or not), we felt connected to the particular guest characters, they were part of a well-written COTW, or they brought something special – no matter how small – to a show we love to celebrate.
Our first featured guest performer comes from episode 2.4, ‘Mea Makamae’ (treasure). This episode’s COTW centred on a diver, Blake Spencer, who was murdered over unexpected treasure – a cache of Hawaii overprint notes from WW2 – even though his mission had been to find out what happened to his grandfather’s body. His treasure was not of the pirate kind but rather some closure for his family over the grandfather lost during WW2.
There were two acting heavyweights in this week’s episode. One was Peter Fonda as the unscrupulous treasure hunter:
The other guest performer, and our feature of the post this week, was Patty Duke. An acting legend, Patty Duke has won numerous awards, the most notable an Oscar for 1963’s The miracle worker. This was actually her second Hawaii 50 appearance as she was a guest performer in an episode in the original series in 1973.
In this episode, Patty Duke played Blake’s mother, Sylvia. She was in three scenes and she was brilliant in all of them. Her character had Alzheimer’s Disease and in her confused mind, she thought Blake was a little boy on his way home from school. Patty Duke played Sylvia just right – she was believable and sincere and I liked the feelings I got from her scenes.
And, as usual for Alex, when he is given good material and is in the company of talented actors, he shines even brighter. I liked that we had the chance to see him flex his acting muscles in his scene with Patty Duke:
Of course there were women melting all over the planet when he smiled after Sylvia said he had “the look of someone who had served” and called her “ma’am”. Sigh….
When Blake’s grandfather’s remains are finally uncovered, they received the send off they deserved but had been denied for so long.
(Notice how I avoided including any pics of She who shall not be Named? Clever me.)
This episode was also notable for some other key character moments:
Like Danno meeting Dr Gabby Asano for the first time and being all awkward around her (“coffee is a beverage, not a relationship”).
And later, Cath’s departure:
And for some McG BAMFness:
McG shirtless (sort of, but I’ll forgive less of the shirtless for that faaaaaace!):
And McG in uniform:
(Pics from bookemdanno.net and screen caps at aithine.org.)
Tune in next week to see which guest performer we will be featuring.