Peter Lenkov

Go to German Version 
Peter Lenkov, executive producer of last season’s new smash hit Hawaii Five-0, has kindly agreed to answer us a few questions. We are very pleased to present you his answers to 12 questions that were pressing on our minds. We hope you find this interview as interesting as we did and enjoy our little Austrian-German collaboration.
Interview by Gaby Eichberger/Christine Schmidt
To start us off, here’s a warm-up question for you: What was your motivation, your interest in creating a new, modern version of an old show?

Motivation? My father was a huge fan of the original show and I remember him watching it religiously when I was a child…. so the show meant something to me. I understood it. I also felt that there was still areas to explore, character for instance, that I could expand on, and in some ways add value to the franchise.
A large part of H50’s appeal is the onscreen chemistry between the actors. Is that something that right in the beginning influenced your casting decision or was it a fortunate “organic” development?

I think we all knew from the beginning that if we didn’t cast this show right, we’d die pretty quickly. The relationships were all there on the page, but they needed great actors to really bring them to life… and we hit a home run with all of our casting choices.
Did you start out with a clear-cut idea of where the story was headed? Do you have something like a master plan for your entire story arc?

I knew from the start what season 1 would look like, what the arcs were and how it would end. Of course those were was all just „ideas“, I needed writers besides myself to make it happen… and luckily ended up with a great writing staff that helped me bring those ideas to fruition. I also had some general thoughts in mind for season 2, but a lot of what is coming up is being built now in the writers room.
How did the individual looks/styles of the main characters develop? Is that something the actors came up with, or were there drawings and ideas beforehand?

Creating a TV show is really a team effort and there is a great crew behind what you see every week. From wardrobe to sets, everything is very carefully decided upon. And of course we take our actors opinions into consideration since they know their character best.
H50 has been incredibly successful right from the start. What are the contributing factors for that success in your opinion?

Casting and Location…. and good stories.
What is it like to film in one of the dream vacation locations of most people and how does Hawaii’s climate and culture influence the work?

„Dream“ is right… you go to work there and pinch yourself hoping it’s not a dream. You also have to be careful not to fall into the „vacation mode“ there since everywhere you look folks are enjoying the island while you’re working…
I send writers down to oversee the production of their episodes, but not because the crew needs any help, it’s mostly for morale and important for them to spend time in Hawaii, soak in the atmosphere and culture and bring those influences to their next script.
In recent years, it seems to us that TV series have gained a lot more respect and impact. Quality of effects, acting and shooting has improved dramatically, as well as the depth of the content shown. Could you comment on that impression?

I think there is so much good product in TV right now that in order to be competitive everyone needs to be on their A game, so that simply generates quality shows.
H50 brings us action scenes on a very high level. How do you achieve this cinematic flair?

We have an amazing crew. Really, that’s all it takes. Our people push themselves to make every episode better than the last.
If you look back on the first season, what was the most fun thing about it and what the most difficult?

The most fun — presenting the pilot to the people of O’ahu @ Sunset on the Beach. I was really nervous about that, and hoped they would accept this new version of the show. After all, it’s THEIR show… I did not want to let them down. The most difficult? There are challenges every day, so so far I can’t look back at this experience and say anything was that difficult. Again, not to say that the process is easy, but this show certainly is fun to make.
The season finale has left the fans with many questions and some serious issues. Speculations and theories are running wild. Do you monitor such discussions and do you take fan opinion into account at all?

It’s hard to take fan opinions into account because we’re usually so far ahead story wise by the time they’ve watched an episode. For instance, we already had the first few eps of season 2 mapped out by the time the finale aired.
How did you come up with the big bang that was the season finale, anyway? In effect, you “blew up” practically everything the season had built up to! Can we expect Season two be a completely new beginning for H50?

I think there will be a lot of surprises next year, but the fun for us writers is rebuilding the family. Don’t look at the finale as the end of Five-0, but a test of their relationships.
If you had unlimited budget and resources, plus you could work with any actor you wanted, what would your dream project be?

Honestly? I may be doing my dream project right now.
That’s it from our side. Is there anything you would like to tell the German fans?

ONLY MAHALO for watching… it means a lot to us that you are there supporting the show.
Thanks again for your interest. I realize you put a lot of time and effort into these questions.  Best, Peter


Again, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish the entire cast and crew an exciting and fun Season 2 and assure you that we’re all hanging on the edge of our seats, waiting for September!


Peter on Twitter


Please credit if you’re reposting! Thanks!