A few months back I did a post on Downton Abbey and analysed its ‘Geek Quotient’, that being defined as the number of characters played by actors who have starred in films or shows which have some form of ‘geek cred’, specifically something with overt sci fi, fantasy or supernatural elements. I said this may be a regular feature and so here is the second in the series… the newly regenerated Hawaii Five-O series which is currently in its third series.
So, as for Downton, I looked at the IMDb cast listing for the series and counted up the total number of cast members (77 at the time of writing). Then I counted up the number of those who have starred in fantasy or sci fi shows and divide this number by the total cast to get a number between 0 and 1 which indicates how geek heavy the cast is. By my reckoning, there are 45 cast members who have geek credentials making the GQ of Hawaii Five-O (2010 version) 0.584. This is lower than Downton Abbey’s 0.633.
Now, the thing about Hawaii Five O is you have several obvious big hitters in the line up. While neither of the two male leads have any Geek cred in their filmographies, you have three huge hitting Asian geek actors in the form of Battlestar Galactica’s Grace Park, Angel’s Daniel Day Kim and Heroes’ Masi Oka. Daniel Dae Kim has also put in time on shows like Lost and the TV show version of Avatar: The Last Airbender as well as putting in an appearance in Spiderman 2.
And Lost is fairly important here as many of the cast have had a role in that at some level, including Terry O’Quinn who is recognisable as having had a fairly major role in it. Lost did cause me a little concern because it is difficult to decide if it qualifies as ‘Fantasy or Sci Fi’. I am opting here for the ‘Lost is Sci Fi/Fantasy’ theory but, to be honest, I do not think it makes that much difference as most of the actors who were in Lost also have another Geek credit to their name.
Reviewing the cast list it seems as if the main reason Hawaii Five-O scores less than
Downton Abbey is because of the much longer cast listing on IMDb. There are actually many on the list with Geek credits, including many small voice roles in superhero animations and bit parts in film like the X-Men franchise and various Asian cinema movies. However, there are also many more who seem to have this as their only acting credit or who have never done a geek thing before which is, I suspect, the real reason for the lower score.
Overall, it is interesting to see the difference between Hawaii Five-O and Downton Abbey in the type of actors used. Obviously, just as Downton makes use of many traditional english actors, Hawaii Five-O also uses local talent and this changes the sort of things they are involved in. Instead of Doctor Who and Harry Potter you have American TV shows and Asian cinema and one actor whose main claim to fame before becoming an actor was being a sumo wrestler.